Monday, December 19, 2011

Traditional Fence Types

A chain link fence overlooking a highway.

Traditional fences are used to demarcate the boundaries of a property. They also protect privacy, children and pets and may at least partially block unwanted noise. Fences can be made of wood, bamboo, iron, barbed wire or even concrete. Organic fences will need more maintenance and eventual replacement. The best woods for fences are cedar and pressure treated pine. Does this Spark an idea?

Fences for Yards and Gardens

Wattle fences are made from thin, usually split branches woven between uprights. Some gardeners don't find them particularly attractive and they may be useful to screen a part of the property like a compost heap or a kitchen garden. Fences made of interwoven panels look like the weave of wooden baskets. They have gaps between the weaves that might not provide the degree of privacy a homeowner wants and after a while they tend to warp and deteriorate. Picket fences are usually waist high fences. The pickets are traditionally painted white and look both charming and inviting. They also go well with cottage gardens. Closed board fences are strong, last a long time and are tall enough for both privacy and noise reduction.

Fences for Climbing Plants

Trellis fences are made of slats of wood that crisscross diagonally. They're good for training climbing plants on, but they're generally not very strong. When they're covered in plants they can be subject to much stress during high winds.

Fences for large areas

A couple on a post and rail fence.

Barbed wire fences are lengths of barbed wire stretched between poles. They are usually used at the edges of pastures and other large stretches of land because they're cheap and easy to install, and keep in livestock. Joseph F. Glidden from DeKalb Illinois invented barbed wire after he saw a wooden rail studded with nails hanging on a regular wire fence. Split rail fences are also used for pastures or other large acreage. They're made of logs that are split and arranged over each other in a zig zag pattern, and usually don't require nails or fastenings. As they do require a lot of timber, they're usually seen in places where wood is readily available. Since split rail fences don't use nails they're easy to take down and move. Post and rail fences are simple to construct, with rails being fitted into slots in posts.

Metal Fences

Wrought iron fences, which can be decorative, are often used around urban parks. Chain link or typhoon fences have been in use since the 1840s in the United Kingdom. Chain link fences are wire netting attached to metal poles and can be seen around suburban houses. They can come in a variety of heights but around private homes three or four feet is the standard. The height of a fence might be subject to local ordinances.

Tags: rail fences, barbed wire, Chain link, Fences made, other large, pastures other