You love your neighbor Oscar, but he can be a real grouch about your messy veggie garden/backyard sculpture collection/trash storage habits. That, plus your need for privacy/keeping Rover from running away/stopping the zombie hordes, mean you’re going to need a good fence.

Begin by determining what you want. There’s much to decide on: fence type, materials, finish, height, spacing and width of slats, and post size. Most fence builders provide catalogs you can examine.

Our Ratings Tables show the results of our surveys of area consumers who recently hired companies for fencing projects. Some companies got high accolades, but a few were rated “inferior” for “overall quality” by large percentages of their survey customers.

Our Ratings Tables also report our price comparison scores for each company, which are based on priced obtained by our undercover shoppers. They found very large company-to-company differences when obtaining price quotes for the same jobs.

Make sure the company you choose is aware of any community building code restrictions on your property. Every community has its own rules. For example, some require posts to be sunk below a certain level, or that fencing be located within a set distance of your property lines and set back a certain distance from streets or sidewalks. Also, some communities allow only certain types of fencing, and limit the height of fences and walls.