Skip to Content

Parts of a Fence Diagrams (Wood and Chain Link Fences)

Photo collage of different parts of a fence.

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.

Parts of a wooden fence and gate (diagram)

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)

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