Types of Split Rail Fencing

Types of Split Rail Fencing image by lanscaping.about.com,pbase.com
Types of Split Rail Fencing image by lanscaping.about.com,pbase.com

Overview

Split rail fencing is a familiar feature in suburban and rural settings. Used for hundreds of years, each type has a unique origin and was developed to solve livestock control problems. Which kind is best? It depends on what you're fencing.

Zigzag fence

Designs

Common designs for use in the home landscape include the post rail and snake (that's the zigzag configuration seen at a lot of historical properties). The post rail can also be built with an additional horizontal crosspiece for added strength.

Materials

Split rail fences are most commonly constructed of a durable hardwood like oak or cedar.They are being made of pressure-treated lumber these days. Additionally, plastic composites are finding their way into the split-rail fence market.

Uses

The traditional post rail type is often found near farms and rural properties, especially in horse country. Snake rail fences are good for a rustic look and for ease in construction.

Considerations

The style of split rail fence you choose depends on the style of your property and its topographical features. A traditional rail fence is ideal for containing livestock or for fencing in a yard, especially if used in conjunction with wire mesh on the inside of the fence. A snake rail system is very good if you're unskilled in carpentry or if your property has many changes in elevation.

Maintenance Tips

When using commercial pressure-treated wood, maintenance is simple: Monitor the fence and replace any pieces that are looking a little rickety. Rail fences made of hardwood might benefit from a protective coat of paint or a colorless exterior wood finish. Those rails made of plastic composites will need little maintenance other than a occasional dowsing with the hose.

About this Author

Susan Kerr is a former business journalist in the Penn State area who now writes an early-morning corporate-law newsletter, collaborates with military journalists, and writes some lighter material to maintain what's left of her sanity. She commutes daily to the cockpit of her Dutch yacht.

Photo by: lanscaping.about.com,pbase.com

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Types of Split Rail Fencing