Horizontal Fencing – Simple and Customizable
Just as the right frame completes any great painting, a smart, contemporary fence will upgrade the look and feel of your home and backyard space. If you’re looking at putting a new fence in, or replacing an older one, you’ll have noticed there is a wide range of looks, materials and designs to choose from. There is one type of fence that is definitely growing in popularity, though: the horizontal fence.
While vertical pickets create a conventional look, installing your boards horizontally (and constructing support posts and rails accordingly), creates an entirely new, contemporary and sophisticated look. Here are a few pointers to get you going on an eye-catching new horizontal fence.
Check with your neighbors
Good fences make good neighbors, but your installation will go a lot more smoothly when you let them know what you’re planning on doing first. To save any future grief, always check that what you’re building is inside your property line. Also note that in some areas you’re obligated to finish the neighbor’s side, which makes a horizontal fence even more attractive as both sides can be identical. Sometimes neighboring properties will split the cost of a new fence (usually if neither current owner was there when the original fence went in), but in our experience more often than not it’s one side that takes on the project that foots the bill. Confer with the other side and you’ll both live happily ever after.
Prep work is key
If your backyard (or your neighbor’s) isn’t flat, you may need to regrade some areas or do a little structural work to shore up any stretches prone to erosion before you put your fence in. Every yard is different and checking that there aren’t any large roots or obstacles close by will make things much easier and keep your costs down.
Decisions, decisions, decisions
A lot of customers at The Decking Superstore say choosing the right material is the hardest part. We can help with that in store or with a quick call, but here’s a short overview of options:
Hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru and Garapa
These are extremely durable and long-lasting woods that will create a stunning and sophisticated horizontal fence. They are very dense and rot-resistant, and very much in demand. These species are higher priced than other options, however.
Softwoods like Western Red Cedar and California Redwood
Both Cedar and Redwood are naturally pest and rot-resistant and stand up extremely well to all weather conditions. These species are lighter and easier to work with than hardwoods. Knotty grades are more cost-effective and create a beautiful textured look. Clear grades are higher priced. Both take stain very well, or can be left unfinished to turn a desirable silvery-grey.
Pressure treated wood
Treated wood (sometimes called P.T.) is wood that has been infused with chemical preservatives to protect it from rot and is often the most cost-effective material for fence boards and posts. From an aesthetic perspective it’s not the most attractive, but if your fence is not in a high visibility area or will be obscured by trees or plants, this may be your best option.
The Horizontal Design
Once you’ve picked your material you can get started on the best part: the design. When it comes to design, horizontal plank fences have replaced the vertical and picket fencing of yesteryear. Where a vertical fence or panel says pre-fab, a horizontal fence says custom. Horizontal planks can be spaced close together with an eighth-inch gap between them for privacy, or with a quarter-inch to 1-inch opening between them for a light, open feel. Different widths of boards can be used as well for a really unique, contemporary look with lots of clean, crisp lines. If you’re looking for inspiration, Pinterest has numerous galleries of photos and ideas, or you can get advice from us at The Decking Superstore. We’ve seen a lot of customers opt for a solid panel with an opening on top. A popular choice is an Ipe fence with five feet of solid fence as the main part, and on the top 6 to 12 inches of open screen. You’ve got a ton of options with a horizontal fence.
For more information contact us at The Decking Superstore.