Wood fences are pleasant looking and harmonize with the landscape of any neighborhood. It is less jarring to the eye than vinyl fencing, and will not rust like the chain link. The gentle appearance of a wood fence doesn’t shout, “Keep out,” but it does offer as much privacy as you like.
And wood fencing costs far less than most other materials. The kind of wood you will use is an important consideration that will vary according to several factors. Whether or not you plan to paint, stain, or otherwise treat the wood will influence your decision. For a painted picket fence, for example, you can choose a less expensive wood like pine.
If you prefer the natural look of stained wood, you will want to fine good, cedar boards. Then you must choose between red or white cedar. Red cedar is strong and durable, but both types of wood possess the natural weatherproof and rot-resistant quality that makes cedar so desirable. It will probably be both more affordable and more sustainable to opt for the native variety of cedar. If you live in the eastern part of the country, choosing white cedar will probably cut back on shipping costs, and you’ll know the trees came from a nearby lumber farm. If you simply cannot afford cedar, pressure treated lumber is also suited to withstand the elements, although it won’t hold up as quite long as cedar. The chemicals used in this treatment have also gotten some bad press lately involving their level of toxicity. Do not plant a garden near a fence made from pressure treated lumber, as the chemicals could leach into your fruits and vegetables.
After you decide on which kind of wood you prefer, you should begin thinking about the appearance and purpose of your fence. If the fence is primarily for privacy, a basic stockade style fence will be the most obvious choice. If you find this type of fence too foreboding, consider adding a border of lattice for a friendly appearance that provides privacy, but allows a bit of a view. Incorporating your landscaping design into your fencing is a great way to enjoy the best of both worlds: Climbing roses, wisteria, or even grapes adore lattice and will look pretty bordering your home. As added bonus, passersby will not be able to see into your yard. If privacy is not a concern, try a short, neat picket, split rail, or post and rail style of fencing.