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5 Designs to Modernize Your New Fence

08/22/2017
5 Designs to Modernize Your New Fence

A traditional fence will never truly go “out of style.” The classic white picket fence – once a staple for every home – might not be as popular as in days past, but still enjoys its place in Americana – think of the classic beach cottages of New England or a traditional home in the Midwest. The white picket fence is simple, functional and timeless.

Today, however, there are numerous options for building fences that differ in style, functionality, and material. Whether your fence is an extension of your existing home design or constructed with functionality as the focus, there are some great design options to give it a “modern” look and feel that will make it stand out from your neighbors’.

Here are 5 tips to modernize your fence design.

Go Horizontal

Give the traditional wood fence a modern twist with horizontal slats that cover the posts. You can leave a wide space between slats for extra visibility and air flow, or position them close together for full privacy. Wide wooden slats give a smooth and modern look, and you can stain them to match the color of other wood structures in and around your home. You can even stain different slats in different shades to create a custom pattern. Wood slat fences give you the ability to choose the type of wood look you want, from earthy Redwood and Cedar to more high-end options.

Invest in Luxury

Building a slatted wood fence with hardwoods – like Mangaris and Brazilian Ipe – will put your fence at the top of the proverbial neighborhood pecking order. These gorgeous hardwoods require a more substantial investment, but they are undoubtedly the most impressive of all fence materials. Hardwoods last for decades. Like Teak wood, Mangaris and Ipe will retain their structure, and turn gray in color over time. Construction of a hardwood fence requires a sounder structural base, as the wood is much heavier than softwoods, like Redwood and Cedar.

Hiring a contractor to ensure construction goes smoothly is recommended for high-end hardwood fences.

Combine Materials

Wood isn’t the only material for building fences. Technology (and taste) have helped elevate materials like vinyl, composite, and aluminum for fencing. These materials are similar in price to wood – and sometimes even more affordable. There are many benefits to using these materials, including ease of installation and minimal maintenance required for upkeep.

Aluminum, vinyl and composite materials are also versatile for fencing. Try combining vinyl and aluminum, or composite and aluminum, or wood and composite, etc. together for an entirely unique look. Make sure you research the fencing materials before you get to work to ensure all the pieces fit together correctly – and don’t hesitate to stop by a J&W Lumber warehouse to talk to one of our fencing specialists.

Don’t Ignore the Gates

Fence design can be somewhat structured. There are certain components you must have (posts, rails, etc.) for both structural integrity and to comply with municipal codes. However, the tips mentioned here will help you design a fence that stands out. Another item that can put a unique touch on your fence is the fence gate.

J&W Lumber offers a variety of different gates – including customizable and pre-designed gates from Sederra. When designing or choosing your gate style, don’t look past the hardware. Whether you want something modern and sleek – like stainless steel hardware – or something more classic that features ornate hammered metal hinges and handles, hardware is a great way to put your personal touch on your fence.

Check Frontier Style

People have been building fences for hundreds of years to delineate property, keep animals and keep neighbors in or out. Before the days of wholesale lumber yards, new-age materials and advanced home design, fences were often made from what was available – and functionality was the focus. This doesn’t mean these fences are outdated for today’s homes. In design, what’s old is new.

The classic “frontier fence” – or split-rail fence – remains popular for ranches, but can be used on any home for a unique approach to property borders. Constructed using rough and raw lumber like Western Red Cedar, the split-rail fence offers nearly unobstructed views of the land beyond your property. While it may not keep your dog from escaping, a split-rail fence can make your home stand out from your neighbors – especially if you live in a community where they are not common.

Looking for more tips to create unique fencing designs? Stop by a J&W Lumber showroom today and talk to one of our fencing specialists.

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Khorae Olivier
Khorae Olivier
4 years ago

I really like what you said about slatted fences going horizontal and how you can change them to increase airflow or close them for full privacy. My husband and I want to put a fence around our property and are having trouble deciding what kind. Thank you for the information about how slatted fences can be stained to match your home or so that different slats have different shades to make a custom pattern. That is really cool!

Loic
Loic
4 years ago

Hi, for an horizontal fence: what horizontal spacing do you usually recommend between 1×4 slats? I hesitate between 1/4″ and 1/2″

Deb Pearl
Deb Pearl
4 years ago

Thank you for all the tips about how to modernize your fence design. I have been wanting to get a new fence that looks nice, but I didn’t know what to get or do. I like your tip about making sure to do research the fencing materials before you get to work on fitting them all together. I will have to make sure I do that.

Heidi Bookenstock
Heidi Bookenstock
4 years ago

I had a makeshift fence put up around my yard but it recently blew down in a storm and now I’m getting a lot of skunks and raccoons i my yard. Putting up a more permanent fence would be a good idea, but I’m not sure what kind of material I’d use. I never considered combining materials, but an aluminium-vinyl combination could be cool.

Sam Li
Sam Li
3 years ago

I love what you said about hiring a contractor in order to properly install a luxury wood fence. Picket fences are pretty and affordable, so it’s a great idea to work with a fencing contractor that can offer you a good deal on one. My wife and I want to install a new fence, so we’ll make sure to contact the best fencing company in our local area in order to see fast results.

TW Darwin Fencing
TW Darwin Fencing
3 years ago

I definitely think combining materials like vinyl, aluminum, and composite is a very good idea. Indeed, more and more houses nowadays are installing modernize style gates and fences. I hope you can feature more modern fence style in your blog for inspiration.

Delta Fence & Construction
Delta Fence & Construction
3 years ago

Well worth a read. Got great insights and information from your blog. Thanks.

Ron Booker
Ron Booker
2 years ago

I like that you said that Brazilian hardwood is one of the most impressive of all fence materials. My wife and I are thinking about installing a wood fence to have a little more privacy. I’m going to check with her and see if you would like to use this type of material.

Ellie Davis
Ellie Davis
2 years ago

It’s interesting to know that a traditional wood fence with a horizontal design will help you to give it a better look to your gate. My husband and I are thinking about replacing our backyard fence, and we are looking for advice to choose the right materials. I will let him know about your recommendations to choose the right materials for our backyard fence.

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
2 years ago
Reply to  Ellie Davis

Thank you Ellie!! Horizontal definitely adds another dimension and visual appeal to a gates design, also check out some cool gate hardware to really make a statement. I would love to see pics of your finished project- feel free to email them to michelleb@jwlumber.com Thank you for reading and HAPPY BUILDING!

Franklin White
Franklin White
2 years ago

Thanks for the tip to go horizontal with your fence to save money. I think this would also look really good in my backyard. I’ll see what my wife thinks about getting horizontal fences.

Michelle Bayer
Michelle Bayer
1 year ago
Reply to  Franklin White

Sounds like a good plan Franklin!
Happy Building!