The Front Yard Fence
Selecting a Style

If you want to have a front yard fence (or a fence anywhere else), here is some information on fence styles that you can consider.

The fence material, height, and type are the main decisions you'll have to make. There are lots of choices, so select one that fits well with the look and feel of your landscape.

A country setting will call for more casual fencing such as wood. Wood can be painted, stained or left natural. If left alone (natural), it will get a faded look. This typically looks fine, especially if you have attractive plantings along the fence.

More traditional landscapes might look good with either wood or the popular aluminum fencing, which resembles wrought iron.


Fence Materials and Styles



Wood Fencing

Wood fencing comes in many styles and different types of wood.

It can be left to weather naturally which means that is practically maintenance free. Staining or painting a wooden fence can provide a different kind of look.

This can look nice, but requires continuous fence maintenance throughout the years.

This can be particularly difficult if there are plantings there.



Stockade Fence

Boards are usually close together, providing privacy.

You can imagine the typical fencing with flat boards about three inches wide. So I thought I would show this unusual one!

It has all the features of a stockade fence, but look at the wood which is made from logs...very interesting. So your stockade fence can have a creative twist to it too.


Three Board Fence
(Also Four Board)

This fencing is also known as split rail fencing, a nice, rustic look.

You can also add wire mesh for protection needs, such as children, dogs, swimming pool fencing, etc.

The picture here shows the fencing made from logs, but they are also available where the rails are made of flat pieces of wood.


When I lived in Virginia, the split rail fencing was also called horse fencing.

This is a typical scene, although this horse is particularly charming!

Many people just used this fencing to provide that country estate look. (They had no horses!) It really was a beautiful front yard fence that you would see as you drove around looking at the scenery.


Board on Board

The boards are fairly tight but they are more interesting as another dimension is provided.

A bit more costly, this fencing is a step up from regular stockade fencing.

There are many different styles besides the one shown here. One type to consider is that with a scalloped top. This scallop can be either scooped out or arched and adds another interesting feature to a front yard fence.



Picket Fence

Picket fencing has a charming look to it. It is often used as a more decorative front yard fence, rather than for privacy.

Arbors and gates are great additions and add to that old fashioned look.

The one shown here is quite elaborate, but many are more simple.

They typically look great painted white or another color. This one is even more dramatic...notice how the posts are very thick and painted a contrasting color.


Specialty Fences

There are other designs available with such things as lattice on top for an extra special look. This is a nice alternative to stockade fencing as it is more decorative and detailed as shown in the photo above. With a lattice "topper", you can have a fence that is quite tall but still attractive and interesting.

Photo courtesy of Walpole Woodworkers

, a company with 80 years experience. This high end company controlls the complete process from raw material, design, manufacturing, factory finishing and even installation. www.walpolewoodworkers.com


Aluminum (Resembles Wrought Iron)

Aluminum residential fencing comes in various picket sizes and spacing. There are also lots of aluminum picket styles, from the very simple to the more ornate.

Take into consideration the style of your home and your tastes.

If you have a simple home, a very ornate style will most likely look out of place.

Jerith Fencing is an excellent company where you can see various types of aluminum fencing. They ship all over and their products are made in the U.S.A.

Delgard aluminum fencing is another fencing company, although their fencing is made over seas.


Wrought Iron

This is another fencing option. It is very beautiful but not chosen often...it is very heavy and also requires lots of maintenance as it easily rusts.


Pvc Fencing

For those who want a front yard fence with a painted look, but without the maintenance, this is a synthetic material that does not need upkeep. If you are a purist, you may not like this and wood rather have wood...with the maintenance. Personally, I would rather go with a natural material (as I do in most landscape choices if it is affordable), such as wood or aluminum.


Fencing Heights

The height of the fence for your front yard depends on both function and look. As far as function goes, if you need to deter deer from coming into your yard, the fence should be a minimum of seven feet high. For a front yard there is always the driveway opening to consider too (for deer). Typically a gate would be used, but there are other methods also to keep the deer out of your yard.

If the front yard fence will be part of fencing for the entire yard, and you have a pool, the height will be determined by your zoning codes and regulations. A typical pool code height is four feet.

However, perhaps you don't have any of these issues…and you just want a nice fence! In that case, most fencing ranges from three feet high to about six feet, the average being in the area of 42" to 48". Picket fencing is in the lower range.

Photo courtesy of Walpole Woodworkers - www.walpolewoodworkers.com

A front yard fence often has at least one gate. Here is where you can have a lot of fun with many different styles. Here's an example of a beautiful moon gate.

You can also consider a garden arbor as an entrance, either with or without a gate.

Plantings always look nice up against a fence since they add texture and beauty, while softening the fence itself.


front yard walls and fencing

Here is a beautiful combination of stone walls, columns fencing on top and an iron gate. This would be really expensive to do, but I love it. I took this photo when I was in Lake Como, Italy.



Designing Front Yards
If you are looking for additional information on front yards, I encourage you to take a look at this book. I have included lots of professional tips along with project photos to show examples of good design.









Consider a Professional
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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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