An old proverb advises that “anything worth doing is worth doing well”, implying that lasting value is an important aspect of most projects. A temporary fence usually requires replacement, making it a less desirable option than one that can last for years. Utah State University suggests these considerations for building a fence:
- safety of animals, people and property
- life expectancy
- installation and annual maintenance costs
Vinyl, privacy wood, chain link and wire are typical types of popular fence options that satisfy the requirements recommended by the university. Six reasons that give property owners a basis for deciding against installing temporary fence are worth considering.
1. Inferior Protection
Temporary fence usually lacks the type of installation methods that guarantee the safety of animals, people and property. Without supports that are secured in the ground, temporary fence may present little or no deterrence to thieves or vandals.
Preventing unauthorized entry is a major reason that property owners invest in fencing. Temporary fence is often unable to resist efforts by intruders to move it or damage it sufficiently to allow entry on foot or with a vehicle. It is well known that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a fence is effective when it is capable of providing protection successfully. A weak fence is no substitute for one that protects the area that it surrounds.
2. Lack of Aesthetic Appeal
Temporary fence usually has the appearance of a makeshift job that seems to lack a proper amount of planning. Communities often have regulations regarding the appearance of fencing to make sure that neighbouring properties are not adversely affected. Materials used for temporary fences are often inexpensive, lacking the aesthetic appeal that is desirable. Showing disrespect for existing standards, while perhaps not illegal, reflects a lack of understanding of local customs that is not appreciated by neighbouring property owners.
3. Substandard Functionality
Flimsy fencing materials that are hastily installed do not provide the functions that are typically associated with permanent fences. A well-constructed fence maintains a straight line across the top, regardless of the type of terrain. Drooping or sagging is unattractive as well as inefficient. Low areas in the fence line offer easy access for unauthorized entry, making it possible for an intruder to step over a temporary fence easily.
Gaining access for the purpose of theft or vandalism requires less effort when a temporary fence is in place than when the fence is permanent. A thief may drive through a barrier that provides substandard functionality and steal valuable items. A fence that is not capable of protecting a property may serve as an invitation to intruders. The American Fence Association shows types of fencing that are functional for a variety of installations.
4. Limited Life Expectancy
Purchasing items that have a short life expectancy is a matter of personal preference that owners may choose to do on occasion. Inexpensive or throw away items can provide an opportunity to enjoy buying something without regard for frugality. The price of an item is often an influential aspect of the decision making process, though it is not always the primary consideration.
Purchasing an item that has a temporary life span requires an owner to devalue price as a factor in evaluation. For reasons that may relate to a lack of planning, an owner may elect to build a temporary fence. Constructing a fence that does not conform to accepted standards for permanent fencing may require an owner to accept the expense as a loss.
5. Expensive Initial Investment
Installing a temporary fence is likely less expensive than installing a permanent one, depending on the type of material used for construction. Installation of a fence requires an outlay of funds for material and labour, and one that needs temporary supports can add to the cost.
6. Costs of Annual Maintenance
Temporary fences are often used for long periods, effectively making them permanent structures. Temporary fencing is usually not intended for extended exposure to the elements, and frequent maintenance may occur as a result. Home and business owners typically avoid investments that have little return, and temporary fencing exhausts its value quickly without providing the opportunity for tax advantages.
Property owners can benefit from comparing the relative merits of permanent versus temporary fencing options. Some owners may have no time for planning for the long term use of a fence installation, but making a plan that includes the current and future use of land space is a wise move. Relying on the advice of academic professionals and a national fence association helps property owners make decisions that are based on facts. Sound evaluation of fencing options involves consideration of safety, appearance, function and life expectancy as well as costs.