How Do I Choose the Best Wooden Fencing Materials?

Mark Wollacott
Mark Wollacott
Wooden fencing can be paneled or slatted for privacy.
Wooden fencing can be paneled or slatted for privacy.

When choosing the best wooden fencing materials, you need to match your requirements with your budget and the available materials. You should also measure your fence and account for the support post and other accessories. Wooden fences tend to be made from oak, pine, mahogany or teak, but other materials such as bamboo may suffice depending on your goals.

First, determine the basic dimensions of your face. You should take into account if the fence is going to be slatted or paneled for privacy or a three-beam open fence as used to pen animals. Consider whether you will have one or more gates inserted into the fence. It is also essential that you calculate your total budget for wooden fencing materials and remember to keep money aside for labor costs if you are not going to put up the fence yourself.

The most important element of a fence is the support post. Make sure you use a tough and strong wood and add a good 3 feet (90cm) to the length you need because you will have to sink the post into a post-hole so the fence does not fall over. In addition to this, you will need three beams — a low beam, a middle beam and a top beam —, and each one will stretch between the posts. The slats and panels will then be nailed to these beams if you so decide to have them.

Making a decision on the best wooden fencing materials to use needs to take into account how many of these items you will need. Post beams should be placed 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) apart. You will then need three beams between each post and dozens of planks to form the fence panels or slats.

In addition to the main wooden fencing materials noted above, you are going to have to purchase a number of accessories. The most important of these is the nails that you will use to keep the whole fence together. If you intend to install gates, then you will also need a pair of hinges and a locking mechanism. Even though your fence is wooden, these parts will undoubtedly be made of metal, with iron and steel being the best materials. You can use plastic as an alternative to metal, but plastic tends to lack the aesthetic value of quality metal hinges and locking mechanisms when attached to a wooden gate.

Other non-wooden fencing materials you might consider using include metal post caps and foundation decks. Fence caps help stop the support posts from rotting and splitting and are an essential element of the fence. They are traditionally made of the same wood as the rest of the fence, but you can choose a metal or plastic alternative. Foundation decks provide a secure base for the support posts and stop the soil from making them damp.

When researching retailers, it is important to consider the costs of their products compared to their quality and how you will transport the wood from the retailer to your location. Always, if possible, check the retailer’s stock before you make a purchase and make sure there is a return policy if the wood the business provides you is of low quality. This is harder to do online, so check their testimonials and ask their customers for feedback before making a decision.

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    • Wooden fencing can be paneled or slatted for privacy.
      By: Johanna Goodyear
      Wooden fencing can be paneled or slatted for privacy.