The Best Types of Fences for a Yard

Fences add style and privacy to a home.

Fences enhance privacy, create a protective barrier around the yard and add to the architectural flair of any home. The height of the fence, width of the boards, spacing of the boards and profile shape of the pickets determine a fence’s overall style. Whether strictly decorative or designed to keep children and pets close to home, fence designs go beyond the common 4-foot chain-link and 6-foot wooden privacy fences.

Lattice Fence

If privacy tops the list of reasons for a new fence, consider the delicate style of a lattice fence. Horizontal wood or vinyl planks woven together in a basket-weave pattern create solid panels. Lattice fencing has a more decorative look than a classic vertically aligned privacy fence. To save on fencing costs, consider topping a 4-foot privacy fence with 2 feet of lattice fencing for a stylistic approach that won’t drain the wallet.

Shadowbox Fence

The shadowbox fence focuses on privacy and beauty. Builders usually construct this style of fence at a 6-foot height for privacy. Vertical boards attached on alternate sides of two horizontal rails create a small gap between each picket. From an angle, you can see through the solid construction fence, while a straight-on view appears solid. This fence style helps conceal swimming pools or block the view of unsightly areas in the yard such as compost piles.

Picket Fence

The charm of a white picket fence lures many homeowners to construct the classic fence style. Usually standing no higher than 4 feet, picket fences keep small children and pets inside the yard without obstructing views around the property. A scalloped picket design and decorative post toppers add even more character to a classic picket fence design.

Ranch Fences

For a touch of the country, install a ranch fence. The open, airy design typically utilizes two, three or four horizontal rails connected to vertical posts spaced 8 feet apart. Also known as a post and rail fence, the barrier may include cross rails criss-crossed into an “X” pattern. This style of fence creates a barrier without the fortress-style feel of a solid fence. Choose a ranch fence for visual appeal, to contain large pets such as horses, or to contain flowers and gardens.

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