What are the Different Picket Fence Designs?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2019
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Picket fence designs do not vary too drastically from one another, but simple accents and changes between designs make big differences. The biggest determining factor as to how picket fence designs will look as a final product is the material from which the fence is made. Wood is the most popular material, but vinyl is becoming increasingly popular because of its low maintenance and aesthetic appeal. Once the materials for the fence have been determined, picket fence designs can range from a traditional, straight picket fence to a more ornate, concave picket fence with decorative posts.

The most common and most traditional of the picket fence designs is the straight picket fence. This design consists of vertical pickets of identical height with triangular tips cut from the top of each picket. The pickets are affixed to two horizontal braces, one toward the top of the pickets and one near the bottom. The pickets are lined up with each other so the tips of each are the same height, though the spacing may vary. Some designs call for the pickets to be spaced a few inches apart, while others call for the pickets to snug up against each other, eliminating any gaps. One variation on this design calls for the horizontal braces to be cut and placed diagonally across the pickets between each fence post.


More elaborate picket fence designs call for pickets of varying height. Such pickets are usually placed between two posts to form a concave dip. Implementing this design between several successive posts forms a wave pattern. The opposite can also be done: the higher pickets can be placed in the middle of the two posts, while the shorter pickets are placed closer to each post. This also forms a wave pattern when done in succession.

Each picket can also be cut and accented in different ways, regardless of the picket fence designs chosen. Instead of the traditional peaked picket, ornate designs can be carved into the picket peaks. Posts can also be cut with a more ornate design to add a visually appealing accent to the fence. Some picket fence designs call for a hinged door to be placed in front of a walkway. Such fences often use metal hinges to attach the door to a post, and the metal one used for such an application can have a positive aesthetic impact on the overall fence. Wrought iron hinges are available, as are stainless steel. Each one is visually different, so choose one that fits the scheme of the fence.



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