Components of a Wood Fence

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Making barriers between two different areas has been a goal of human civilizations as long as they’ve existed. And collectively we’ve settled on one great solution as the delimiter indication, the humble wood fence. A wood fence is the most commonly used method to form a barricade, and/or physically show property lines. However, there can be a wide selection of wood fence types and styles, and understanding the benefits of each is important when making a selection. With that in mind, if you are planning to install a wood fence in your backyard, you might want to take a look and understand first the components and elements of a wood fence. Knowing the basics will help you choose the right wood fence for your home. To help you with your decision, here is our helpful guide to give you a deeper understanding of wood fence components.


Let’s start with the basics. Technically, a typical wood fence only consists of its three (3) main elements, and they are the following:

1. Posts

The posts serve as the foundation of a wood fence. Its purpose is to support the other fence pieces. A post needs to stand up vertically firm on the ground to hold the fence components. When installing your wood fence, make sure that your posts are solid and sturdy, because these pieces are like the anchors that create your fence’s overall resilience.

The post of a wood fence usually ranges from 4×4 or 6×6 wood lumber. However, the height and size of your wood fence post would still depend on your choice and liking.

NOTE: Keep in mind that a fence made out of wood needs to be checked and maintained over time. There can be pests like termites that invade your wood fence and can gradually eat and slowly damage the wood.

2. Rails

Rails are also known as the backer rails or fence railing. It is usually placed horizontally or in a fence plank connecting to each post on your wooden fence boards. Usually, you will need at least two or three fence railings. The total number of railings will depend on the height of the wood fence you want. Depending on the design and type of fence they can be stacked more closely together, or with large space between them. The standard design will have one railing near the top, one near the bottom, and one in the middle so your fence pickets stay stable.

For your rails, you will want lumber wood with an estimated thickness of 1-1/2 inches.

3. Pickets

In completing the building of your wooden fence, pickets are an essential part. Pickets serve as the main body of your wooden fence, and are what most people think of when they envision a fence in their mind. At this stage in construction, wooden fence boards are needed to complete your fence.

Pickets vary in style, and the different wood material needed for them also come with different thickness, hardness, color, and patterns. However, most buyers opt for a thickness of 5/8 inches picket wood, and the dog ear fence style is one of the most popular. Still, it is vital to check and ensure the accurate measurement of your planned wood fence before buying materials.

Popular Fence Styles

Pickets are the part of your wooden fence that will be most visible to everyone. In that case, you may want to have some interesting designs and style. However, if you are still making up your mind about what style you would choose for your wooden fence pickets, here is a list of popular fence styles:

  • Angled
  • Dog Ear
  • Flat Top
  • French Gothic
  • Scalloped
  • Lattice Top

Those are the three main parts of a fence. Still, you may want to customize your fence further beyond the basic components.

We also listed below some additional fence parts that you may want to put on your wood fence project.

Decorative Gates

Gates can be a classy way to help you secure your backyard, add easy access to and from backyards and frontwards, plus add a classy finished look to the fence.


If you plan to put a gate on your wooden fence, you will need some hinges. Hinges are required to connect the entrance to your fence’s post. The best hinges for a wooden fence gate are the T-hinges.


Gates are made to secure your property. Thus you will need a latch to close and secure your dangling gates.

As we all know, wood is the primary material of a fence. However, if you want to be more stylish, you can go for something unique than wood. An alternative way to build your wooden fence instead of using wood is to opt for vinyl. Vinyl will let you explore from its wide selection of styles and colors, and vinyl is said to require lesser maintenance than wood. However, vinyl can cost a lot of your budget than wood.


If you are thinking of putting up a wood fence, what exactly are the benefits?


By far, this is the primary purpose of a wooden fence or any fence. Privacy and safety are things that a family wants in their house, especially if kids and pets are around. If you are planning to build a fence for your family’s safety, make sure to choose firm and sturdy materials that will last a long time.


You can also add to the design of a garden with certain fence types and secure the garden from rampaging dogs sprinting all over your flowers.

Pool Area

Pool safety is important if you have a pool in your backyard. It’s also important to keep critters and larger animals out of your pool water, so having a fence and barrier around your pool is never a bad idea.

If you want to save time and lessen the stress, you may go for the option of buying a pre-built wooden fence. If you want a stress-free installation, you can also hire a professional wooden fence installer to help you assemble and install your wooden fence. Utilizing a professional fence installer has the benefit of knowing you’re getting high quality materials that will last, and installation that stands the test of time.

If you are looking for a reliable fence installation in your area, we have over 60 years experience installing fences for some of the biggest names in Atlanta, including the Hartsfield Jackson airport. We are wood fence installation specialists serving the people of Georgia since 1959. We offer free quotes for your yard or business, and can source the highest quality and unique materials, like when we shipped in the genuine bamboo fences for the Atlanta Zoo.

We have the skills, experience and friendly customer service to make your next fence project a breeze, so feel free to call us any time at 770-396-4200.