There is something about the right fence that really brings a home and a yard together.  Remove the fence and it feels like something is missing; it may not be a conscious feeling—something you are entirely aware of—but you get a sense of the incomplete.

Indeed, if you want curb appeal, you need to have the right fence.  But that does not mean you can erect just any old pieces of wood you have lying around. No, there a couple things you want to consider when begin to plan your pre-cut hardwood fence.  Obviously, price is a factor, but how much you pay is more about the qualities of the wood you are buying.  As such, here are two questions you want to ask about the pre-cut lumber you will buy to build your fence.

What does it Look Like?

The main reason you are putting up a new fence is that it helps to make your home and yard more visually appealing.  It will also provide some privacy; at the same time you want it to look nice and not distracting.  When shopping for your lumber, make sure to regard what it looks like.

And to determine the best visual quality, there are two basic variables you want to consider. These are Grade and Cut.  Grade, as you might guess, is the integrity of the wood. A grade of 3 is considered to be the most “rustic” in hardwoods.  Grade is, generally, a natural variable; you can’t necessarily change the grade of a piece of wood. Cut, however, is the way the wood has been manipulated into planks.  How a piece of lumber is cut helps to determine its appearance.

How Strong is it?

 More importantly than appearance—but often regarded after it—you want to know how strong the wood is.  The biggest factor here is determining which type of wood is going to withstand abuse from both the elements and from interaction with people, animals, etc.  Generally speaking, pre-cut engineered lumber is a little stronger because it is fabricated from several types of wood veneers.

What is best for you?  Well, the stronger, engineered woods are probably better for people who live in highly temperate regions. If your area goes through major seasonal shifts, you may want to invest in the engineered woods as they will likely better withstand the elements.