Wooden Fences – Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Wooden Fences – Frequently Asked Questions Answered

There are plenty of practical uses for a fence: to gain privacy, safely corral kids and pets, block wind and noise, and prevent unsupervised dips in a swimming pool. But the right fence also makes a strong aesthetic statement, improving a home’s curb appeal.

Wooden Fence

Why wood? – Cost, maintenance, and longevity?

It’s inexpensive and lightweight, to be sure, but so is chain link. The main reason is that a wood fence can easily be shaped to give properties character and individuality. You can choose from dozens of styles, including linear post-and-rail and crisscrossing lattice, as well as myriad picket patterns and post-cap designs. And you can stain the wood to make it pop out or recede from the landscape as either a vibrant or subtle frame for what’s behind it.

On the following slides, see some of the forms a wood fence can take, and learn the basics of buying, installing, and maintaining it. Take the time now to carefully consider your choice; if you follow our tips, you’ll be looking at that fence—and enjoying it—for many years to come.

It lasts about 20 years, if made of rot-resistant wood. Then posts are usually the first to go; panels survive longer because they typically don’t touch the ground. Posts should be plumbed and tamped every three years or so. If the wood has a coating, the schedule varies; clear toners and waterproofers need annual refreshing, semitransparent stains last three to four years, and solid-color stains go five to seven. Paint is not recommended.

Wooden Fence


Which Wood Type?

Wood Type Description
Cypress From southern swamps, this tan relative of redwood is stable and sap-free. Can have small, tight knots.
Douglas Fir This strong, northwestern softwood is stable and sap-free in clear, vertical-grain cuts. Less rot resistant than red cedar and redwood.
Eastern White Cedar Grows from New England to Minnesota. Stable and sap-free with small, tight knots.
Redwood Premium western softwood that’s stable and sap-free. Clear grades like this are costly.
Southern Yellow Pine A thrifty choice that has to be treated to resist rot and insects and to remove sap.
Western Red Cedar A Pacific Northwest wood with superior rot and insect resistance. Stable and sap-free.



Which Style?

Style Best For FYI
Lattice Gardens, decks, patios, pools. Crisscrossing strips of lath obscure the view while allowing air and light to pass through. A perfect screen for climbing plants.
Louver Pools, decks, parking pads, patios. Vertical louvers or staggered boards afford privacy when viewed straight on but allow airflow and open views from the side.
Picket Front yards, gardens, pool enclosures. Usually 3 to 4 feet high, these fences are named for their widely spaced pointy-topped pickets, which discourage climbing and shed raindrops.
Post and Rail Boundaries, enclosing fields. This inexpensive fence, traditionally used for penning livestock, also makes a bold demarcation between properties.
Vertical Board Nosy neighbors, wind and noise protection. Overlapped or butted edge to edge, tall vertical boards ensure privacy. They also block the wind, a good thing in winter but not so much in summer.


Due to material shortages and high volatility of lumber prices we are TEMPORARILY suspending all new WOOD AND CHAIN-LINK fence installations. We apologize for the inconvenience. Wood decks and all other types of fences (vinyl, iron) are still available.