10 Fence Construction Terms

Metal fence style.

Metal fence style.Fences are a natural part of home improvement. They can be as much about style as they are about functionality. Security, boundary definition, noise reduction and separation are some great reasons people like to add a fence to their property.

The right kind and style for you will depend on the intended purpose, and the planned location.

If you are trying to keep animals like your dogs in or animals like deer or other dogs out, you may need a taller barrier. If you are just defining a boundary and would like to add a touch of style, a small picket fence might be just right.

Whichever function or style you choose, it will help to know a bit of the terminology associated with fences and their installation.

Posts – Posts are the vertical shafts that are set firmly into the ground and provide stability for the fence. You should dig a hole and insert the post into the ground 6 inches deep or more.

Taller fences will require a deeper holes in order to remain stable. Sometimes, posts are cemented into the ground for added stability. In any fence there will be several posts at intervals. The distance between posts will depend on the materials and the intended purpose.

Main Posts – Main posts are found at all corners and on either side of gates. These are usually bigger or taller than other posts. They support more weight and are inserted deep into the ground or have been cemented in place for strength. Cementing also helps to protect fences in winter, by keeping the posts from shifting.

Line posts – Line posts are the posts between the main posts. All posts not at a corner or at a gate are referred to as line posts. Line posts provide stability for the fence and give a place to attach the panels or the railing.

They are put at intervals that depend on the look you would like and the purpose of your fence. Generally speaking, a fence with more posts will be stronger and last longer than one with fewer line posts. Tall fences to keep big animals out should have more of these than a simple fence for aesthetic purposes.

Rails – Rails are horizontal supports that span from post to post. The boards, pickets, or wire will be attached to the rails. Rails offer additional support for the fence.

Normally, two rails are used with one rail near the top and another rail near the bottom. The space between the rails is known as rail spacing. Some fences only require one rail.

Bay – Bay refers to the space between the posts. The greater the bay, the fewer the posts in a given space. The purpose of the barrier will usually determine the bay. A home fence may not need to be exceptionally strong so the bay will be greater than a security fence built to keep deer out, for example.

Semi Private – A semi private fence is one that has gaps in between the panels. The result is that one can see through the fence. This is a common option in residential settings where people like privacy but also don’t want to create an unwelcoming barrier around their property. Semi private fences are approachable and can look very stylish.

Mesh – Mesh is created by interlocking vertical and horizontal wires. The wires are often woven in a stylish pattern. Mesh fences are largely see through, so people can see and talk through the fence. The purpose of the fence will determine if this is a good option for you or not.

Driveway gate.Gate – Just as it sounds, a gate is an entry and exit through the fence. There are many styles of gates to choose from, if you even want a gate at all.

Gates can be mounted to swing only inwards, or only outwards, or both. Double swinging gates are common for wide gates like driveways.

Height – Height is the distance from the ground to the top of the fence. Care should be taken to keep the height uniform between posts. Height can vary from just a few feet to much higher than anyone could see over. The purpose and the style you like will determine the height.

Gauge – Gauge is the thickness of the wires used in a mesh fence or a chain-link fence. The wire can be wrapped in nylon or enamel for protection and maybe add a color.

Check with a professional fence installation contractor like All American Fence Company for advice on the proper type of fence specifications you should be using on your property.

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