Fence Styles: 10 Popular Designs to Consider

With so many fence styles available today, it can be hard for homeowners to choose the one that best fits their property and needs. Fences generally fall into three categories: privacy, functional, and decorative. Whether used to define property boundaries, keep pets and children safe, or keep out unwelcome visitors (two- and four-legged), a fence can dramatically enhance your home’s curb appeal. Made of myriad materials, including wood, metal, vinyl, stone, and brick—you can be sure there is a fence style that’s right for you. And, since installing a fence is one of the most common do-it-yourself projects, you’ll find a wide variety of kits and premade panels to make assembly a snap. Here is a look at some of the most common styles of fences used today.

  1. Privacy, Please

    Wood privacy fence


    Transform your space into a secluded hideaway with privacy fences, which are available in a variety of styles and in materials that range from cedar and pressure-treated wood to vinyl. Decorative options include lattice panel tops with coordinating gates and post caps.

  2. Classic Charmer

    White picket fence


    Nothing is quite as much a part of our American consciousness as the traditional white picket fence, one of the most well-loved fence styles of all time. This attractive design is constructed of heavy-duty commercial-grade vinyl and features a graceful scalloped top and extra-wide posts set off by thinner top and bottom rails.

  3. The Splits

    Rustic wood fence


    One of the most common rustic fence styles is the classic split-rail fence, which is constructed of long, rough-hewn beams that are threaded through holes bored out in heavier, rounded posts. Traditionally, split-rail fences were used on farms to keep livestock from straying and were constructed using native American chestnut trees. Today, split-rail fences are constructed primarily of black locust wood.

  4. Attractive Aluminum

    Aluminum fence


    Metal makes an elegant and attractive—albeit expensive—ornamental fence material. Most metal fences feature an open design with widely spaced pickets and are often topped by scrollwork or decorative elements. Aluminum, one of the least expensive metals used for fencing, offers homeowners a durable and long-lasting option.

  5. Lovely Lattice

    Lattice fence


    Heavy-duty lattice panels can be used to create an elegant decorative element. Lattice fences may be constructed of cedar, pressure-treated pine, or natural whitewood. They're typically constructed with wide top and bottom rails for stability. Many lattice fences styles also feature decorative posts and post caps, creating a personalized appearance.

  6. Contemporary Custom

    Contemporary fence style


    Many modern fence designs defy description, incorporating unique combinations of horizontal, vertical, and even curved pickets to create something truly unique and personal. Contemporary-styled fences are often made of metal or vinyl, although there are many attractive, up-to-the-minute designs that are crafted from wood as well.

  7. Post Modern

    Estate fencing


    Post-and-rail fencing—also known as estate fencing—is an updated, contemporary take on the classic split-rail fence. Post-and-rail fencing is typically constructed using a three-rail design, with three square horizontal rails connected to solid, heavy-duty square posts. Post-and-rail fences can be constructed of wood, vinyl, or metal.

  8. Semi Sensational

    Semi private fence


    This custom semiprivate cedar fence is constructed using alternating pickets of two different widths; each type of picket is set in a row, with a gap between the two rows. This sleek and stylized design is finished off with horizontal rails on both the top and bottom, creating a unique and personalized look.

  9. Rock On

    Stone fence


    Rock and stone are the oldest types of fences, used since ancient times to delineate property lines and keep domestic animals confined. The earliest stone fences were made by simply piling stones on top of each other in a heap; newer stone fences use wire-mesh frames and mortar to achieve a more finished appearance.

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