Fences are essential structures around homesteads; they give a sense of assurance regarding privacy and security. Fencing your homestead is not the most straightforward task if you factor in costs and the time, and that’s why you want to ensure that you erect a structure that will last for several years. I’m going to look at variaties of wood fences available in the market aspects that make them the best for various fencing projects.
Several types of wood fences are available; the most common ones are majorly softwoods, despite the name “soft,” these woods still make the best fencing material for your homes.
Types of Wood
There are two types of wood that I’m going to discuss in this section. These woods have different properties that make them suitable for uses such as fencing. They include.
- Hardwoods and Softwoods
Much as wood is divided into two types, hard and softwood, many people still find it difficult and confusing to differentiate the two. It is quite understandable when one gets confused between the two as the name, and the actual hardness of the woods do not correspond.
Virtually all hardwoods are harder with some exceptions; they have broad leaves and drop their leaves every fall (deciduous). Some examples of hardwoods include beech, mahogany, oak, ash, walnut, and teak. Usually, they are preferred for use on outdoor furniture and other decorative functionalities in woodworking.
Softwoods, on the contrary, are products of evergreens trees with needles and bear cones. Some of the softwoods include pine, cypress, cedar, fir, spruce, and redwood. They have natural resins that repel destructive insects such as termites and mildew.
Popular Softwoods for Constructing Wood Fences
Redwood guarantees you two essential things, beauty, and durability. Even so, this wood is one of the most costly fencing wood out there. A top-quality redwood comes with a deep red color. So if you are in the market for this wood type for fencing posts, ensure that you go for the high grade one. You can, however, use the lower-grade redwood for fence panels. Considering that your fence is in the exterior environment where there are harsh elements such as UV light and water, you can use an exterior stain or sealer. Stain and sealer help protect your wood against graying and water. Top-quality redwood can stand up insects and rot.
This wood contains natural acids and oils that repel insects, making it perfect for fence construction. Additionally, cedar does not warp the way other softwoods do. For example, western red cedar has a red bark, though it is light brown with a tint of red. Other impressive features of this wood include a tight grain and a low number of knots; these features make it a number one choice for construction duties.
The Northern white cedar comes in a lighter color, ranging from yellow to white. As it age, cedar turns gray.
Its durability is toe with that of redwood; it can resist both rot and insects, making a perfect fencing material for wet climates. One problem with cypress is that if you subject it to poor drying, it can warp. You will find it readily available in the southeastern regions of the US, especially Florida. Cypress is costlier; the further you drift away from the southeast region.
Spruce is affordable, making it a common fencing material among homeowners. In most cases, it is used for picket posts, prefab, or stockade-style fences. On the downside, it is less durable compared to redwood or cypress. Spruce is not great in damp climates as it tends to warp; it does have blemishes plus coarse grain. Furthermore, spruce is prone and susceptible to infestation by insects, unlike its other fencing wood counterparts.
Pine is another wood type that is popular amongst homeowners for the construction of fences. It is beautiful and gives an enthralling impression of the homestead. You can use it to construct a fence with a system such as pickets and boards.
Pressure Treated Wood
If you look to have a durable fence without spending a lot of money, go for the pressure treated wood. Most pressure-treated lumber is southern yellow pine. Sometimes, fir is used as treated wood.
During pressure treatment of wood, there’s an infusion of chemicals that inhibit infestation by insects under high pressure making the wood repel insects. Some of the chemicals used/were used in the process are harmful and pose health hazards to humans, so you need to be extra careful when working with the treated wood.
Pressure treated wood is reliable and can last up to 20 years or more when you use them for fencing. Some treated lumber comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which indicates how reliable they are for construction duties. This wood type is green when new but turns gray as it ages.
NB. Kiln-dried treated wood is better than the air-dried one because it does not warp easily.
Types of Wood Fences
Different individuals choose to install different types of wood fences because it complements the layout of different home designs. Here are some of the most popular styles in the construction of wood fences.
- Privacy Fence
It’s arguably the most common type of wood fence for backyards in North America, where the Lock Board fence is a favorite for this kind of project. This fence has a simple design that makes it perfect for all types of homes, especially with its tightly-spaced boards; this fence offers so much privacy and, above all, protection for pets and kids.
- Semi-Privacy Fence
This style gives off the types of wood fences you’ll find out there. You’ll love it thanks to the fact that it is both practical and appealing to the eyes. This structure allows you to fit the board together, especially if privacy is critical; however, leaving gaps in the fence allows the breeze to pass through, giving you proper ventilation in your homestead during the hot months of summer.
- Picket Fence
It’s arguably the most iconic of all the wood fence types; it symbolizes a peaceful home with happy families living within them. Besides their idyllic looks, these fences offer so much as far as the privacy and security of kids and your pets are concerned.
- Lattice Fence and Lattice-Detail Fence
Usually, you don’t find a fence created using entirely wooden lattice, offering so much privacy to your liking. However, these fences are a thing of beauty. These types of wood fences come with an excellent backdrop for plants and other climbing vines. If you can add lattice to the top of a privacy fence, rest assured that you will end up with a fence that offers a simple design detail coupled with privacy and security.
- Post and Rail Fence
This fence type is not popular in residential areas; however, they are common in rural properties such as ranches and around farms. They come with very simple construction designs and require little material to put up around your property. Post and rail fences let you cover large areas in an excellent way offering much-needed protection to your farm properties such as cattle, horses, and other livestock.
What Type of Wood Fence Is Most Durable?
The longevity of a wooden fence depends on the type of wood you are using. The most common woods for fencing include spruce, cedar, and pine. Redwood and cedar tend to last longer than most, usually 15-30 years, depending on the maintenance practices that you accord it. Spruce has a service life of 4-7 years, while pine can serve you for up to 12 years.
Which One Last Longer On Wood Fences- Redwood or Cedar?
Redwood is a tougher wood compared to cedar. Therefore, it lasts longer. Even so, you still need to ensure that you have protected your wood against moisture and UV light. Use deck stains and sealers to protect and ensure increased service life of your structure.
Fencing is vital for your homestead for many reasons; they offer so much assurance regarding privacy and security. Even so, installing these protective structures is not easy calls for a lot of time and money to erect one. For that reason, you must select and settle for the most suitable types of wood fences. When I say suitable, I mean a structure that can serve you for several years and save you the hassle of constant renovation.
Cedar and redwood fences are some of the best around, and acquiring and installing one will have you covered for a period that spans 20 years or more, especially with proper maintenance.
If you are in the market for a wood fence, I hope this post helps you find what suits you the most. Do you have a question, opinion, or suggestion? Kindly share it with me in the comment section below.