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Fences 101 - Chapter 3: Fence Types
Last Updated: 02/10/2012

Ornamental Fences

Ornamental Fence Design

Ornamental fences are made from tubular steel rails and pickets and are often characterized by their ornate designs. Once a primarily decorative fence type, today the term ornamental applies to almost all metal picket and rail fences, regardless of function.

The most common ornamental fences today are made from aluminum or steel; however, iron, the original ornamental fencing material, is still popular in some areas. Depending on the material used and the fence style, an ornamental fence can provide a rustic or modern look to your property.

Privacy Fences

Privacy Fence Design

Privacy fences are built for, you guessed it, privacy. Made from panels of tightly fit boards, privacy fences are designed to protect the owner from prying eyes and loud external noises.

Privacy fences are usually made from wood, composites, or vinyl, although any opaque material can be used to make a privacy fence. Also, some fences, like chain link, can be turned into privacy or semi-privacy fences by installing privacy slats. Privacy slats are inserts that typically fit in the openings of a fence.

Picket Fences

Ornamental Fence Design

Is there any fence as iconic as the picket fence? A classic symbol of American homeownership, picket fences still hold a special place in our hearts.

Though picket fences have historically been made from wood, lately many homeowners and diy fence builders are choosing vinyl as their material. The reason? Vinyl is pre-shaped and requires less work to install than wood.

Board on Board (aka. Good Neighbor) Fences

Ornamental Fence Design

A variant of the standard privacy fence, Board on Board Fences (aka. Good Neighbor) feature an alternating board pattern that looks similar on both sides of the fence. The main reason for creating this fence design is to maintain good relations with your neighbors by not making them look at the business end of your privacy fence; hence the "Good Neighbor" moniker.

Board on Board fences can be made from wood, composite, or vinyl.

Post and Rail Fences

Ornamental Fence Design

Post and Rail Fences are beautiful in their simplicity. Drive down any road where there's farmland or a ranch and your likely to see a post and rail fence. This fence type is very material efficient, enabling you to create a long line of fence using less materials than almost any other type of fence. Like the picket fence, post and rail fences have traditionally been made from wood boards; however, in recent years vinyl has become a popular material.

In this chapter of the DIY Fence guide, we discussed several of the more popular types of fence. The next chapter will show you some of the common options for installing a fence. Go to Chapter 4: Installation Basics

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 > Fences 101 - Chapter 1: Introduction
 > Fences 101 - Chapter 2: Fence Materials
 > Fences 101 - Chapter 4: Fence Installation Basics
 > Fences 101 - Chapter 5: Fence Glossary