Tags: Categories: Gardens and Landscaping

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

Detailed diagram showing the different parts of a fence. Actually 2 diagrams, one for the anatomy of a wooden fence and gate and separate diagram showing the different parts of a chain link fence.

Backyard with wooden privacy fence around perimeterBuilding 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.

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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