The right wood fence can add security and privacy, corral pets and children safely, prevent unauthorized access to a pool and protect your home’s value. While there are many different styles, including lattice, post-and-rail and scalloped, all wood fences share some important components. Understanding these components will help you choose the best style to fit your property and your budget.
The foundation of your wood fence is the posts. Posts are vertical planks that hold up the rest of your fence, either embedded in the ground or anchored with concrete for stability. They also provide the structure that holds up your pickets and allows for gate installations.
Wood fence posts are the first parts to show signs of wear and tear and can need mending or replacement in some cases. Because they come in contact with the soil, they are susceptible to moisture damage and can suffer from rot if not properly treated. They should be treated with a waterproofing sealant that is resistant to extreme low and high temperatures, as well as UV protection.
A good wood fence is only as strong as its base, so it’s essential to make sure the posts are firmly anchored in concrete or well-digging in the ground. A concrete footer helps keep your posts from shifting and buckling, while also increasing their lifespan and strength.
Once the posts are anchored in place, you can start installing your fence’s other components. Rails are horizontal planks that support the pickets or panels of your wood fence. They can be made out of the same lumber used for the posts, or from a separate species. Rails are typically spaced 6 to 8 feet apart, depending on the height of your wood fence.
In-fill boards are the front-facing panels of your fence that are attached to the rails. They’re available in a variety of materials, from pine and cedar to redwood and cypress. Cedar is a popular option for its natural look and resistance to rot and insects. Cypress is another rot-resistant choice, though it’s not as durable as cedar or redwood and can require periodic application of insecticides to prevent pest infestations.
Spruce is a cost-effective option that can be painted to match your fence’s color scheme. However, it’s not as durable in humid climates and may not resist rot as long as other types of wood.
The in-fill boards of a wood fence can be added to with decorative caps and other accents. These can be simple or elaborate, and are an excellent way to personalize your fence’s appearance while maintaining its structural integrity.
A kickboard can help protect your fence from moisture, which can lead to rot and encourage the growth of harmful microorganisms that can destroy your wooden fencing. The board can be installed between the bottom of your fence and the ground, or in-between the rails. It can be nailed or screwed to the posts and may include hinges to allow the fence to open and close.
If you’re thinking about installing a wooden fence, talk with the best Milwaukee fence contractor to learn more about your options. They will be able to help you choose the right type of wood and design for your home or business, and advise you on other aspects of the project, such as staining or landscaping options that can add additional value to the property.