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All You Need To Know About Parkway Fencing

I’m binge watching the second season of CHEER on Netflix, so I’ve written a pump-you-up call and response.

Why do we fence?

We fence to protect!

What are we protecting?

Our investment!

This even made me laugh out loud because it’s sooo bad . . . I do not have a career in writing cheers! (I can lit-tra-ly hear Craig’s eyes hit the ceiling cuz he wishes he could have deleted this!)

My point is that using your parkway as an extension of your landscaping is a GREAT idea, but it also means that you’re going to need to protect your investment from car doors, people, dogs, and weather. And the best way to do this is utilize the fence (or a version of one). Hip-hip-hooray!

So, here’s all you need to know about fencing on a parkway.

Height.

Fencing around a parkway is typically 24 inches. Any shorter, it could be a trip hazard and any taller it starts to look out of place and disproportionate (a.k.a., weird).

Materials.

The longest lasting and strongest is wrought iron. (Stainless steel works too.)

There are two options for finishing wrought iron. But I’m going to pause here for a quick PSA. It is a GUARANTEE that ALL METAL WILL RUST when it is outdoors. There’s nothing you can do to stop it; you can help mitigate it with your finish choice, but it won’t be stopped. Plug your ears and run if you’re ever promised differently.

Back to the finishing options. 

1. Use a high-quality metal primer and paint. 

2. Opt for a powder-coated finish. This will deter rusting longer than primer and paint, but the fence will have to be prefabricated and bolted together on-site. 

Maintenance.

Should priming and painting be the choice, the fence will require regular upkeep with continued priming and painting over its lifetime to keep it looking sharp. 

If powder-coating is the choice, then the whole fence will need to be disassembled and brought to a shop for a new coating. (Yes, this is a bigger deal than just painting.)

Set Backs.

Chicago city code requires there be 24 inches from the street side of the curb to the fence in the parkway with 18 inches from the inside of the curb to the fence. The setback allows vehicles space to open their doors.

There are no codes for how to landscape the 18 inches, but we highly suggest having paving installed. So, when folks are exiting their vehicle, they can step on something solid versus sinking into mud. A nice neighborly choice too!

Design. 

The design style is all about context and preference. Click here to see our portfolio of options and ideas. 

I mean I could repeat the cheer to wrap this up, but I should most definitely leave that to the pros. Just like you can leave your parkway fencing and design to the pros. If you’d love to get started on a plan for yours, contact us today! Fencing is a fantastic option for protecting your landscaping investment in your parkway.

Go Fencing! Go!

 – Sara J-S

P.S. You, your neighbors, and the city-at-large benefit greatly from well-designed and cared for parkways. But please remember that the city owns the parkways, which means they do have the authority to access the property and utilities there without consent and are not liable for reimbursing you on any landscaping they disrupt. 

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