Wood remains a favorite fencing material for many people and it’s available in a myriad of styles to beautify properties, accommodate a variety of specific purposes, and meet personal preferences. The following are some of the most popular styles, in no particular order.


A board-on-board fence resembles a picket fence on a grander scale. Large upright pickets are attached to horizontal rails. It doesn’t offer as much privacy since each board doesn’t touch and there are small gaps between them. An advantage to this type of fence is that the design enables air to flow through to cool the environment and they hold up well in strong winds for the same reason. The term board-on-board is often used to describe a shadow box type fence, but there are differences.


This is the type of fence seen pictured in thoroughbred horse farms. The design is simple, easy to see through and decorative, though the primary function is to keep horses and other prize livestock in. It’s also called post and rail.


Picket fences are no longer the bland white barriers of the past depicted in TV and film. They’re available in different colors and styles. They can be installed with scalloped tops, a myriad of rail sizes, and multiple types of points/decorative elements on top.

Shadow Box

This type of fence utilizes a design in which individual boards are attached vertically to horizontal rails. The upright boards are placed in a manner in which they alternate, one on each side of the rail, that results in a quasi-overlapping pattern. It’s not a solid fence but does afford a level of privacy and neighbors can’t see through unless they’re peering at an oblique angle. The term board-on-board is often used interchangeably with shadow box fences, but they’re different.

Split Rail

Originally developed as a basic way to corral livestock, the design has become a popular fencing option in a number of environments. The fence is erected by threading rails through holes in upright posts. It’s sometimes referred to as ranch-type fencing and typically installed as a decorative feature rather than functional.


Primarily designed for privacy, they’re often used to surround backyard pools to meet safety standards. The fencing features a solid barrier of boards placed tightly against one another so others can’t see through. The boards are typically pre-assembled in panels that are installed rather than placing each individual board. The fencing isn’t as attractive from the inside as the outside, but it is effective for creating secure yards for children and pets to play.

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