Wooden fences are the only organic type of fencing material available, they give your home a natural look that is very complimentary to landscaping. Wood is also the only other fencing material apart from vinyl that can achieve 100% privacy.
During installation, posts are set in the ground encased in a concrete footer, then 2″ x 4″ horizontal members are nailed to those posts to create a frame. Finally, pickets (vertical members) are then nailed directly to the rails to complete the section.
A wood fence comes unfinished as a standard, you can choose to then paint or stain the unfinished surface whatever color you want. Styles available include board-on-board, shadowbox, stockade and horizontal.
Wooden fences are the most common type of fence in South Florida, primarily because of the fact that they are cost-efficient and provide privacy. Although vinyl fences are much more durable and able to withstand the elements more effectively, wood fences are much more customizable due to the fact that you can paint and stain them in order to match the finish of your home or the accents of your backyard. Find out below if wood fencing if the best choice for your project.
This is the most commonly installed wood fencing style since it provides privacy at an affordable cost. In this style, dog-ear pickets are nailed to the fencing section in an overlapping manner, with the initial picket being nailed directly to the face of the section, then the adjacent picket being nailed on top of that picket. This pattern repeats throughout the fencing line in order to create a totally opaque barrier. South Florida building code dictates that you must face the finished side towards your neighbor, so, unfortunately, the side of your fence that faces inwards will reveal the rails and the posts. You do however have the option of going double-sided for an additional fee per foot.
Shadowbox fences are assembled similarly to board-on-board fences, with one key difference. Instead of every even picket being nailed to the tops of the odd pickets, the odd pickets are nailed to the opposite side of the fencing section. This creates a fence that is private if you look at it straight-forward, but semi-private if you are looking at the fence at an angle. Certain cities like Coral Springs require this particular style of fence to be installed in lieu of other forms of wood fencing.
This style, like board-on-board, is also 100% opaque. It’s assembled by nailing every picket directly next to each other in the fence line, unlike board-on-board which overlaps each picket to create the private look. This style is seen much less often than board-on-board as wood has the tendency to warp over time which ultimately creates tiny gaps in between each picket, nullifying the privacy that it is meant for.
In this option, posts are set in concrete, then pickets are nailed directly to those posts horizontally as opposed to vertically. Horizontal wood fences tend to be semi-private, and therefore, each picket has a small space between the next one. Spacing is determined by local building codes and/or homeowners preference.
Unlike vinyl fencing, wood fencing requires quite a bit of continued maintenance in order to guarantee the type of longevity you would expect from a large investment like a fence. Although the components are pressure-treated, they can still decay when subjected to the humidity and salty air of South Florida. In order to keep your fence looking like new, you’re going to have to pressure wash it regularly and stain and paint it as often as it needs, usually once every 5 or so years.
Also, wooden fences tend to collapse during hurricanes, so if this concerns you, you might want to consider hurricane rated vinyl fencing as a substitute — it’s more expensive at first, but over the course of 10-20 years it ends up paying for itself.