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75 Fence Designs, Styles, Patterns, Tops and Ideas (Backyard & Front Yard)

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Terrific gallery of 75 fence designs and ideas for the backyard and front yard. Includes wood, wrought iron, white picket, chain link and more.


Cute home with white picket fence.

Today we bring you our large gallery featuring a bewildering variety of fence designs and ideas for front and backyards.


These yard structures can enhance or hurt home aesthetic as much as many other outdoor features.

The art of yard fencing has evolved throughout the years, from simple property separators built with any available materials, to complex, artfully carved creations spanning multiple materials and hues.

We’re highlighting some of the best examples of multiple styles here, including wooden styles in a spectrum of colors and shapes, brick, garden, and white picket.

Some of these backyard models are painstakingly crafted with carved wood or metal layered upon brick or concrete bases, while others at the opposite end of the spectrum are comprised of natural sticks or barely carved logs, evoking a pastoral sense.

Some enter the realm of having a privacy purpose, with zero gap and extra height tops, while others feature wide post gaps and barely-there covering. Every single option here is a unique expression, highlighting the range of permutations that the humble fence has seen in recent times.

A great place to start your fence planning is checking out examples, styles, types and features which we provide here.  You then want to check out some fence design software and put your ideas into a blueprint.  Also check out our parts of a fence diagrams (for both wooden and chain link fences).

Buying Information

Fence Cost

Like so much with home improvement, the range in cost is a huge range.

Fencing is typically priced per foot or meter.  Therefore, the longer it is, the more it costs.

If you go with pre-built panels, you pay per panel.  The range in cost for panels is $40 to $300 for 6 to 8 feet of length.  Expect to pay $100 to $200 per six to eight foot panels.

Examples:

  • 1 acre with 8 foot panels at $200/panel = 836 feet/8 X $200 = $20,900
  • 1/2 acre = $10,450
  • 1/4 acre = $5,225

Please note the above costs are merely estimates based on a cost of $200 per eight feet.  It does NOT include the cost of paid installation.

Check out our fence cost calculator here.

Common Materials

The most common materials are wood (western red cedar is a common type of wood) and vinyl.

When it comes to shopping, especially panels, you’ll notice there are far more vinyl panel options than wood.

2 Most Popular Materials

1. Vinyl

White Vinyl Fence

Source

2. Wood

Western Red Cedar Fence with Lattice Top

Source

Other materials:

  • Iron
  • Metal
  • aluminum (including jerith aluminum)
  • Bamboo
  • Glass
  • Gabion

Vinyl vs. Wood

Pros of Vinyl:

  • Huge selection:  More styles to choose from.
  • Less maintenance

Cons of Vinyl:

  • Costs more than wood
  • If repairs needed, more likely you’ll need to replace the entire panel (whereas with wood you can simply swap out the board)
  • Once stained, you need to replace it (unless you don’t mind ugly stains).

Pros of Wood:

  • Natural wood look (who doesn’t like that);
  • Costs less than vinyl
  • Can repair broken boards
  • Paint them any color you like.

Cons of Wood:

  • More effort to maintain

By Purpose (Examples)

1. Decorative/Functional Combo

This is by far the most popular purpose.  It’s to keep kids/animals in and/or animals/people out.

White decorative fence in the front yard

Source

2. Garden

A nice touch to add to a garden is to place a low, decorative fence around it.  While not as protective as you’d like (it’s nearly impossible to keep deer out of a garden), the right garden fence can enhance the look of gardens in the yard.
White Garden Fence

Source

3. Pool

Any pool owner needs a fence surrounding the pool, whether it’s around the property or directly wrapping around the pool.  There are many pool fence options.  We set out two common designs below.

White Fence Surrounding a Pool

Source

Check this pool fence out… it’s all glass which is ideal for a pool (obvious not a privacy fence):

4. Privacy

A privacy fence is an umbrella term for a lot of fence designs which is fairly tall and is more or less a solid wall offering privacy to the space it wraps around.

32-hd-security-and-privacy-white-backyard-fence

Source

10 Popular Fence Style Options

Fence styles are largely determined by the fence tops, but some are also determined by the main section or how it fits together (i.e. rail fence).

Here’s an illustrated guide depicting the 10 popular fence styles (please pin on Pinterest):

Fence design styles illustrated chart

Below are real life photo examples of the 10 most popular fence styles courtesy of Home Depot.

1. Dog Ear

The dog ear fence has is an inverted curve at the top with the posts being the high point.

White Dog Ear Fence Design

 

2. Flat Top

As the name suggest, the flat top fence design is a flat top.

White Flat Top Vinyl Fence

 

3. Gothic

The gothic fence style is a series of points.

Gothic Style Fence

 

4. Lattice Top

The lattice top fence style is a regular fence with lattice attached to the top adding a decorative element to it.

Wood Fence with Lattice Top

 

5. Picket

An extremely popular and well-known type of fence, the picket is a short fence with gaps between vertical wood that makes up the fence.  It’s mostly decorative, but taller picket fences can also serve as protective fences to a certain extent (to the extent any fence can be protective).

White Picket Fence

 

6. Privacy

Privacy fences come in many forms; essentially they are more or less solid and serve to offer a space privacy.  They’re typically full-height.
Wood Privacy Fence

 

7. Scallop
White Scallop Fence Style

 

8. Shadow Box

The shadow box is fence that is formed via wood attached in an alternating fashion on each side of the frame.  It offers privacy but from the side let’s in light.
White Shadow Box Fence

 

9. Spaced Picket

The spaced picket is a picket fence with wider gaps.
White Spaced Picket Fence

 

10. Rail

The rail fence is typically used on larger properties and farms.  It’s a horizontal style instead of vertical.  It uses much less material per linear foot so it’s a cheaper style which is why it’s a popular choice for large properties.

3 Rail White Fence

Another fence style that’s not so popular, but effective, is a gabion fence.  A gabion fence is made with wire cages and rock (although you can fill the wire cages with anything).  Here’s an example.

Gabion fence example

See and learn more about gabion fences here.

Fence Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery (original)

Wood

This light natural wood fence features Eastern-style arch over corner gate entry and lattice style upper detail.

This light natural wood style features Eastern-style arch over corner gate entry and lattice style upper detail.

This warm wood privacy fence design features attached lattice mounted greenery.

This warm wood example features attached lattice mounted greenery. Source: Zillow DigsTM

This privacy fence features natural wood sandwiched between layers of brick matching the yellow hued home.
This privacy example features natural wood sandwiched between layers of brick fence posts matching the yellow hued home. See more fence posts ideas here.

Modern lattice fence comprised of black stained wood posts and base, with lighter red toned body.
Modern lattice style comprised of black stained wood posts and base, with lighter red toned body.

Here's another rich, warm toned wooden privacy fence with layered slats and horizontal top panel.

Here’s another rich, warm toned wooden privacy version with layered slats and horizontal top panel.

This high, modern fence design features built-in shelving and light sources scattered throughout its surface.

This high, modern type features built-in shelving and light sources scattered throughout its surface. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Formal look privacy fence featuring upper lattice work design.
Formal look privacy example featuring upper lattice work design.

Light non-stained wood fence with ivy artfully laid on.

Light non-stained wood option with ivy artfully laid on.

This wood fence design layers posts with rounded tops for a fully opaque look.

This wood variety layers posts with rounded tops for a fully opaque look.

Unique spin on the waist-height fence, featuring striking cross-hair box design in dark grey and double-swing entry.

Unique spin on the waist-height, featuring striking cross-hair box style in dark grey and double-swing entry. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Light natural wood privacy fence design here stands out brightly against lush lawn.

Light natural wood privacy example stands out brightly against lush lawn.

Layered design rough natural wood fence features interior posts.

Layered structure rough natural wood material features interior posts.

Garden fence design features sparse, widely spaced posts with hooks for gardening tools.

Garden version features sparse, widely spaced posts with hooks for gardening tools.

Layered privacy fence featuring darker natural wood, spaced between beige concrete pillars.

Layered privacy style featuring darker natural wood, spaced between beige concrete pillars.

Multi-hued fence design sandwiches curved horizontal beams and natural wood fence posts between black sectional pillars.

Multi-hued example sandwiches curved horizontal beams and natural wood posts between black sectional pillars.

Untreated wooden fence design features layered posts with lattice style top section.

Untreated wood that features layered posts with lattice style top section.

Traditional fence design in light natural tones, with cut-corner post tops.

Traditional example in light natural tones, with cut-corner post tops.

This privacy fence in natural unstained wood features top horizontal layer.

This privacy example is in natural unstained wood features top horizontal layer.

Traditional picket fence design in light brown.

Traditional picket type in light brown.

Rounded post lattice fence design here features rustic look, with latching gate at center.

Rounded post lattice version here features rustic look, with latching gate at center.

Here's a very sparse, natural wood garden fence design.

Here’s a very sparse, natural wood garden design.

Another traditional picket fence design, this example featuring natural wood posts with angled tops.

This example features natural wood posts with angled tops.

See more wooden examples here.

Vinyl

33hd-white-vinyl-fence

Here’s a great example of a white vinyl privacy version.  Built of panels, it could easily be extended. Learn more.

hd34-white-vinyl-fence

Here’s a white vinyl scallop-topped spaced picket variety which is a nice arrangement for front yards. Source

35hd-white-vinyl-fence

Above is a white vinyl shadowbox style. Source

36hd-white-vinyl-fence

Above is a Vinyl closed picket photo providing both security and privacy. Source

See more vinyl photos here.

White

Here we have a unique cylindrical post white picket garden fence design, with flowers mixed throughout.
Here we have a unique cylindrical post white picket garden type with flowers mixed throughout.

Here's a low slung white fence with cylindrical posts sandwiched between thick horizontal beams, with large square posts at corners.
Here’s a low slung white option with cylindrical posts sandwiched between thick horizontal beams, with large square posts at corners.

Sparse post design on this white fence bookended and tied at the middle with horizontal wood beams.
Sparse posts on this white variety bookended and tied at the middle with horizontal wood beams.

This familiar picket design is raised off the ground several inches, features trapezoidal caps on dividing posts.
This familiar picket style is raised off the ground several inches, features trapezoidal caps on dividing posts.

Waist height white fence with round pole-style vertical posts and four horizontal widely spaced slats.

Waist height version with round pole-style vertical posts and four horizontal widely spaced slats.

This white fence with spiked tops is framed in marble lower structure and dividing posts.

This white one has spiked tops is framed in marble lower structure and dividing posts.

Traditional white picket fence with rounded post tops.
Traditional white picket concept with rounded post tops.

This wave-design white fence features posts at multiple heights, over concrete base, in front of neatly pruned bush wall.

This wave-version features posts at multiple heights, over concrete base, in front of neatly pruned bush wall.

Here's another four-slat white fence, with large vertical posts capped with pyramid shape.
Here’s another four-slat white type, with large vertical posts capped with pyramid shape.

This rounded spike top white fence features large flat arch over gateway.
This rounded spike top white kind features large flat arch over gateway.

Cylindrical post fence with spike caps is unified by two slim horizontal beams, supported on brick base.

Cylindrical posts with spike caps is unified by two slim horizontal beams, supported on brick base.

Here's another curved top, wave-like white picket fence, with rounded post tops.

Here’s another curved top, wave-like white picket, with rounded post tops.

Off-white fence features unique design, with slim posts sandwiched between wider slats.

Off-white features unique elements, with slim posts sandwiched between wider slats.

Spike topped thick post picket fence features slim gaps.
Spike topped thick post picket features slim gaps.

Super minimal design on this white fence, with uniform flat-topped posts and zero gap.

Super minimalist aesthetic on this white one, with uniform flat-topped posts and zero gap.

This wider gapped white fence features two slat heights, with rounded tops, between slim dividing posts.
This wider gapped option features two slat heights, with rounded tops, between slim dividing posts.

Slim post, spike-topped white fence.

Slim post, spike-topped example.

Here's another farm style white fence with widely spaced horizontal beams.

Here’s another farm style white fence with widely spaced horizontal beams.

Hewn Log & Branch

This branch fence features naturally warped cross-post design.

This branch variety features naturally warped cross-posts.

Hewn log fence features three thick horizontal beams and cylindrical posts.

Hewn log features three thick horizontal beams and cylindrical posts.

Natural branch fence features entirely untreated wood, with bark remaining, for thick look with minimal gap.

Natural branches feature entirely untreated wood, with bark remaining, for thick look with minimal gap.

This fence is a combination of horizontal branches and hewn log vertical posts.

This is a combination of horizontal branches and hewn log vertical posts.

Here's a natural bamboo fence, with minimal gap.

Here’s a natural bamboo concept, with minimal gap.

Others

This wrought iron fence features spike caps and circular design flourish.
This wrought iron example features spike caps and circular flourish.

Black metal fence stands on white concrete base with large brick-topped gate surround.
Black metal stands on white concrete base with large brick-topped gate surround.

This dark wooden post fence design features minimalist rope "beams."
These dark wooden posts feature minimalist rope “beams.”

This intricate, varied brick fence design in yellow tones is topped with flat red bricks and greenery.
This intricate, varied brick design in yellow tones is topped with flat red bricks and greenery.

Brightly colored fence features green layered wood upper section over blue brick-topped red concrete base, separated by beige pillars with blue stripes.

Brightly colored features green layered wood upper section over blue brick-topped red concrete base, separated by beige pillars with blue stripes. 

Chain Link for Backyards

Frankly, chain link fences are not a great option for a home – back and front yard – because they don’t look great.

However, one option is to conceal a chain link type with a hedge such as the following (although I’d run the hedge the entire way).  If you have young kids and/or pets, the chain link option adds an additional layer of protection.  It’s also more easily hidden among a mature hedge, so in some cases it’s an excellent option with a hedge.

Chain link fence in backyard concealed with hedge

The following is another backyard with a chain link.  While it’s not my first choice for fencing material, it doesn’t look terrible with the garden in front of it.

Backyard with chain link fence

Bamboo

Bamboo fences are growing in popularity.  Here’s a couple of examples.  Be sure to check out our gallery featuring 21 bamboo designs.

Bamboo fence

Short bamboo fence

Click here for more bamboo fence ideas.

Split Rail

Split rail fences are the zig zag style, designed in that configuration to assist standing up.  It’s very simple.  You often see them surrounding acreages, grazing areas and large properties.  Their rustic look is also very appealing as they look to be a natural extension of the landscape.

Here a couple split rail examples.

split-rail2

split-rail-fence1

Check out our full gallery of split rail fences here.

Illustrations

Fences with gate

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466049983

Isolated Fences

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Fences

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions about fences.

How Long Does Vinyl Fencing last?

Vinyl is one of the longest-lasting materials available that’s used to build fences. If it’s installed correctly by a professional who is fully trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of vinyl fencing, it should last at least 30 years if the fence is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, Some vinyl fences even come with a lifetime warranty.

How Long Does Wood Fencing Last?

It depends on both the type of wood that is being used and whether it’s been treated. The most common types of wood used for fences are cedar, pine, and spruce. The untreated life of cut cedar will last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. If it’s treated and resealed as needed, cedar can last as long as 40 years. With pine, it will last a little more than 10 years untreated. Treated and maintained, it will last about 20 years. Spruce wears the quickest, lasting around 5 years untreated. But, if it’s treated and maintained, it can also last about 20 years.

Can Fences Be Repaired?

Yes. And since they are outside and constantly exposed to the elements, fences will become damaged from time to time, requiring some maintenance. Both vinyl and wood fences can be repaired if they are damaged. Unfortunately wood will only sustain so much damage before it will need to be replaced entirely.

Can Vinyl Fencing Be Painted?

While vinyl fencing won’t usually need to be repainted as long as it is maintained properly, it can be painted fairly easily. You’d want to start with a clean surface that is completely dry. Next, you would want at least one good coat of primer, preferably a formula that’s designed to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. Then apply an epoxy-based exterior paint, usually at least two coats, especially if you are changing the color of the fence. The final step would be coating the fence with a sealer for added protection and to add more of a sheen.

Can Vinyl Fencing Be Washed?

Not only can vinyl fencing be washed, but it’s the best way to maintain in and keep it looking beautiful. It also will prevent mold and mildew from growing in hidden areas where moisture can settle. Pressure washing is the most effective way to clean a vinyl fence. But you can also use some soapy water with a little elbow grease and a good garden hose sprayer. You’d want to clean a vinyl fence at least once a year to keep it looking beautiful.

Can You Screw Into Vinyl Fencing?

You can drill holes for screws into vinyl fencing, but it will take a little finesse. It is a little more difficult that drilling into wood. You’d need a good drill with a set of solid bits and always use stainless steel screws. You can even find vinyl caps to use to cover the ends of the screws if they are showing.

Do Fence Posts Need Concrete?

While gravel can sometimes be used if you have heavy, densely-packed, clay soil, using concrete has always been and still continues to be the most effective way to set fence posts to keep them from leaning.

Can Cats Climb Vinyl Fencing?

While a cat’s claws will not usually give them the capability of being able to scale a vinyl fence, their jumping ability can enable them to get over it, especially if the fence is shorter or there are things near it for the cat to use as a leaping pad. Cats won’t be able to jump over taller vinyl fencing.

Can Raccoons Climb Vinyl Fencing?

Raccoons will make every attempt to climb over any obstruction if they think that there is the possibility of food on the other side. But they cannot climb a vinyl fence and don’t have the jumping ability that cats possess. Raccoons are very adept at climbing though, and they have very sharp claws. So if you have anything stacked near a vinyl fence, they can be pretty creative with their scaling skills.

Can Vinyl Fencing Be Recycled?

It’s completely recyclable, even the sawdust that’s left behind after a vinyl fence is cut and installed. Vinyl fencing is made using PVC, which is a thermoplastic, meaning it can be melted and used for other purposes.

Can Used Fencing Be Sold?

Anything can be sold. And with the ever-growing popularity of the internet, social media outlets, and buy-and-sell websites, it almost seems like there is a new cyber-market where you can find nearly anything for a deal.

Because of the longevity of vinyl fencing, it is rare that you’ll see used fencing for sale. But it is fairly common to see used wood fencing for sale, usually because someone is upgrading to vinyl.

What Materials are Fences Made From?

Wood and vinyl are the most common types of materials used in the construction of fences. Chain-link fences are also a very economic option for enclosing an area for security. Fences can also be made using wrought-iron, aluminum, and bamboo.

What Type of Fencing is Best for Chickens?

Fencing is important for chickens to both keep them contained and to protect them from predators. And since chickens can fly, a fence would need to be at least six feet high to keep them from escaping.

Wire fencing is the most common type used for chickens because of its durability, ability to withstand the elements and the amount of protection it provides. Sometimes, vinyl lattices are used to line the bottom of the fences both for added stability and to make them more aesthetically appealing.

What Type of Fencing is Best for Goats?

Goats are playful, extremely inquisitive, and love to jump, making it a little difficult to contain them. So they will need a fence that’s tall enough and strong enough to contain them while also protecting them from any predators.

Wire and chain link are commonly used to contain goats as long as the openings aren’t big enough for them to get their heads or horns stuck in. Sometimes electric fences are used for especially aggressive goats. You can also use 3-rail vinyl fencing lined with electric wire to keep your goats safe.

Who Invented Vinyl Fencing?

We know that fences have been around since the beginning of time, probably starting as stones stacked to create a barrier and then later moving on to wood and other materials. Joseph Glidden invented barbed wire fencing in 1873 as a more effective means of controlling livestock and keeping out predators as well as for clearly marking property lines.

World War II brought about many changes in industrial production processes, mainly because many valuable alloys like aluminum were no longer available. That’s about the time that PVC was developed to be used for piping.

If anyone could take credit for the invention of vinyl fencing, it would have to be the farmers who discovered the benefits of using PVC pipes to stockade their animals. Their fences caught the eye of major manufacturers, spurring the advancements in vinyl fencing that we see today.

When was Vinyl Fencing Invented?

Vinyl fencing cam into play in the late 1970’s, mainly used to replace wooden 3-rail fences that were typically used on farms to contain livestock. And its discovery was somewhat by accident. Farmers who were friends with irrigation pipe manufacturers could easily secure the vinyl pipes at a minimal cost or for free and began to use them instead of the traditional wood fence posts and rails.

The idea quickly caught on and has now become one of the main materials used for fencing materials for both homes and businesses because of its durability and long life-span.

Image Sources

Fence Image Sources:  Home Depot

Related Galleries:

40 Garden Styles | 26 White Picket Variety | 28 Split Rail Options | 18 Pool Barriers | Fence Gates




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