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Are Wood Fences the Best?

Updated on December 2, 2015

6' Pressure Treated Pine Fence!

A wood fence looks a natural part of your property!
A wood fence looks a natural part of your property! | Source

Why Wood is the natural choice for a Fence!

Wood fences are of the sturdiest structures. It is the basic framing of the house in which you live. They add originality and beauty to your home and it's landscaping. They are great for a log cabin, a wood sided house, even cement, or a vinyl sided house, brick, or even stucco. Humans and animals alike, recognize the inherent naturalness of wood in the outdoor environment and feel at home surrounded by it.

With a Wood fence, one size does not fit all, and you can have it your way. Short or tall, picket, or solid panel, with an arched top, or a scalloped top, dog ear or french gothic pickets - the options are endless. Custom fences and custom gates are the order of the day when choosing wood.

Why do we build fences in the first place?

Security, security, security!

In my neighborhood, almost every house has it's fence. The majority are of wood. Vinyl, and Ornamental Aluminum, are neck and neck for second place with Chain Link bringing up the rear. All in various states of repair, ranging from new, to should have been replaced yesterday! Fences are popular today for the same reason they were in Biblical times. You feel secure when they go up. Oh sure, there's lots of other reasons. In fact being a Fence Builder, I have yet for a customer to tell me they need it to feel secure. But being in sales, I always bring up a line or two to let them know how secure their property will be, and how safe their children will be inside it. They protect your children, your pets, and your property, the things you care most about..

Fences are great additions to your home and it's landscaping, providing you with privacy and security. Wood fences are perfect for adding another element to your yard: beauty.

From the tall privacy fence in the back yard, to the rustic split rails of a large country estate, to crisp white pickets of a front yard neighborhood fence, wood fencing is endlessly versatile. No other fencing material is as adaptable, or as popular, as wood.

Coastal Cypress!

One of our favorite types of wood for fences, Coastal Cypress, in it's natural environment -  the swamps of Louisiana!
One of our favorite types of wood for fences, Coastal Cypress, in it's natural environment - the swamps of Louisiana! | Source

Custom Gates!

Fence details, such as the post tops, and especially custom gates like this one, can really make a Fence stand out!
Fence details, such as the post tops, and especially custom gates like this one, can really make a Fence stand out!

A Wood Fence for Every Need
The versatility of wood fencing may make your choice of fence type difficult. Deciding on the main function of your fence will make your choice easier. The main reasons for having a fence are privacy, security and property enhancement. Materials, board height, picket & post spacing, and decorative elements are all details to consider when picking a fence that's right for your needs. They can be designed to be as conservative, or as bold as your personality is!

Close Board Fences feature posts and horizontal rails with vertical boards placed edge-to edge. Close board fences offer the ultimate in privacy and security. Close board fences are also very effective as a windbreak.

Board on Board Fences follow the basic construction style of close board fences. In a board on board fence, however, the vertical elements alternate on both sides of the rails. These alternating pieces allow light and air to pass through without sacrificing privacy.

Picket Fences usually built less than four feet high, are the classic, decorative fences. What they lack in privacy and security, picket fences make up for in charm and visual style. They are hands down the best style fence for a front yard.

Rail Fences, popular on farms and country properties, feature three or four milled planks or metal pipes attached to heavy wooden posts. For a more sophisticated look, estate rail fences may use stone or brick columns in place of wood posts.

Split Rail Fences, featuring it's rough-hewn elements give a great rustic appearance. Like estate rail fences, split rail fences are perfect for large, rural properties.

Western Red Cedar!

You can let it age naturally, or Stain it for a longer life!
You can let it age naturally, or Stain it for a longer life!

Wood Fence Poll:

Which type of wood used in Fence building, do you have? Wish you had?

See results

Know your wood species:

The wood material you choose for your fence, will go a long way in determining how long it will last and how good it will look doing it.

Southern Pressure Treated Southern Pine is a popular choice all over the U. S. Although a soft wood, pine is plentiful in these areas of the country and makes an economical choice. Pressure treated pine is great for insect, rot, and decay resistance. Taken care of it is the longest lasting fence. Must be sealed to prevent warping, and to get the full life of the product. Medium heavy wood with a fair amount of knots. Some can be large and loose..

Western Red Cedar is naturally resistant to insects and decay, making it a popular fencing choice. Normally when used for fences the Pickets are WRC and the rails and post are PTP. When using red cedar for fence posts, do not set them in concrete, as it will cause the red cedar to rot, set them directly in the ground, and tamp them in. Concrete will inhibit drainage and shorten the life of your posts. Found in the great northwest, the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are the big producers of this species. British Columbia produces more that the U.S.. Light weight, easy to work with. Must be installed at 2 inches off the ground as it will start to deteriorate rather quickly when placed in direct contact with the soil. Light weight wood, with a fair amount of knots. Mostly small and tight.

Coastal Cypress, It's natural habitat is on the east coats down around the gulf coast and all the way to Mexico. All up through the Mississippi river delta area to Indiana. We have lots of them right here in Evansville, In. where we are located. However all that is commercially harvested is in the southeast. Predominately the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.Cypress naturally produces a preservative called cypressene, that protects it from insects, and decay. A strong, medium heavy wood that is easy to work with. Does not warp, shrink, or crack to any visual degree. Can be placed on the ground. Cypress is a dense wood, that has few knots, and they are small & tight.

Redwood is still a popular fencing option in the south west, but has become increasing expensive. Redwood will last a long time with proper maintenance. Easy to work with, has natural decay resistance. Redwood is a stable wood with very little shrinkage.

IPE or Brazilian Walnut, (ee-pay)

Pressure Treated Pine!

Freshly stained wood fence, in Evansville, Indiana!
Freshly stained wood fence, in Evansville, Indiana! | Source

The truth about Fence maintenance.

It really depends on a few things. Are you the type that likes to work out doors, with your hands? In August? We don't want to sugar coat it and fool you, pressure washing and staining a large wood fence is a hard job. It will require a quality pressure washer, about 2800 psi, is what we use, and a paint sprayer. While you can rent both of these items, if you have do too much running around and then renting items you don't really save much money. Which is the only reason you would be doing it in the first place. It also requires a lot of knowledge on products, and experience to match them to your fence material and your fence's climate and environment.


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