Building a wood or chain link fence? A good starting point is understanding the different parts of a fence. We went to work and put our best graphics designer on the job to create some custom diagrams showing the different parts of a fence.
One for a wooden fence with gate (above) and the other for a chain link fence (below). Here they are.
Parts of a Wooden Fence and Gate (Diagram)
We combined the wooden fence with gate in the diagram because the gate portion is the same as a static fence section.
While there are many different types and styles of fences, the main anatomy remains the same.
- Picket/baluster: Most wooden fences have pickets or balusters. They may be spaced or butted up against one another to create a privacy fence.
- Post: The post forms the foundation so-to-speak of the fence. It holds up. It must be secured very well in the ground. If the posts fall over, the fence is toast.
- Top Rail: The top rail helps secure the balusters so that you actually have a fence. The top rail must be attached to the posts.
- Base: The base is where the posts go into the ground. It’s best to cement them in for additional strength.
- Hinges: For you fence gate, you need hinges. These are pretty easy to install. If you have a taller fence and/or heavy gate, you may want three hinges (not two as shown in the wooden fence diagram above).
- Bottom Rail: Forms the same function as the top rail except it’s at the bottom.
- Latch: Makes it possible for the two swinging gates to shut securely. You can add a lock as well.
Parts of a Chain Link Fence (Diagram)
While a chain link fence isn’t the prettiest option for backyards or front yards, in some cases it’s a viable option when the sole purpose is to keep something in or out and aesthetics isn’t important.
- Chain Link (aka Mesh): The chain link forms the same purpose as the balusters on a wooden fence. It creates the barrier. The chain link is made from coated steel.
- Fence Tie: The fence tie secures the chainlink sections to the line posts.
- Top Rail, End and Bottom Rails: Secures the chain link wire to the posts.
- Wire: The wire interlocks to create the mesh. The size of the wire is known as wire gauge size – learn about what size of wire gauge you need for different types of chain link fences.
- Next: How to install a chain link fence