Today we bring you our large gallery featuring a bewildering variety of fence designs and ideas for front and backyards.
These yard structures can enhance or hurt home aesthetic as much as many other outdoor features.
The art of yard fencing has evolved throughout the years, from simple property separators built with any available materials, to complex, artfully carved creations spanning multiple materials and hues.
Some of these backyard models are painstakingly crafted with carved wood or metal layered upon brick or concrete bases, while others at the opposite end of the spectrum are comprised of natural sticks or barely carved logs, evoking a pastoral sense.
Some enter the realm of having a privacy purpose, with zero gap and extra height tops, while others feature wide post gaps and barely-there covering. Every single option here is a unique expression, highlighting the range of permutations that the humble fence has seen in recent times.
A great place to start your fence planning is checking out examples, styles, types and features which we provide here. You then want to check out some fence design software and put your ideas into a blueprint.
Like so much with home improvement, the range in cost is a huge range.
Fencing is typically priced per foot or meter. Therefore, the longer it is, the more it costs.
If you go with pre-built panels, you pay per panel. The range in cost for panels is $40 to $300 for 6 to 8 feet of length. Expect to pay $100 to $200 per six to eight foot panels.
- 1 acre with 8 foot panels at $200/panel = 836 feet/8 X $200 = $20,900
- 1/2 acre = $10,450
- 1/4 acre = $5,225
Please note the above costs are merely estimates based on a cost of $200 per eight feet. It does NOT include the cost of paid installation.
Check out our fence cost calculator here.
The most common materials are wood (western red cedar is a common type of wood) and vinyl.
When it comes to shopping, especially panels, you’ll notice there are far more vinyl panel options than wood.
2 Most Popular Materials
- aluminum (including jerith aluminum)
Vinyl vs. Wood
Pros of Vinyl:
- Huge selection: More styles to choose from.
- Less maintenance
Cons of Vinyl:
- Costs more than wood
- If repairs needed, more likely you’ll need to replace the entire panel (whereas with wood you can simply swap out the board)
- Once stained, you need to replace it (unless you don’t mind ugly stains).
Pros of Wood:
- Natural wood look (who doesn’t like that);
- Costs less than vinyl
- Can repair broken boards
- Paint them any color you like.
Cons of Wood:
By Purpose (Examples)
1. Decorative/Functional Combo
This is by far the most popular purpose. It’s to keep kids/animals in and/or animals/people out.
A nice touch to add to a garden is to place a low, decorative fence around it. While not as protective as you’d like (it’s nearly impossible to keep deer out of a garden), the right garden fence can enhance the look of gardens in the yard.
Any pool owner needs a fence surrounding the pool, whether it’s around the property or directly wrapping around the pool. There are many pool fence options. We set out two common designs below.
Check this pool fence out… it’s all glass which is ideal for a pool (obvious not a privacy fence):
A privacy fence is an umbrella term for a lot of fence designs which is fairly tall and is more or less a solid wall offering privacy to the space it wraps around.
10 Popular Fence Style Options
Fence styles are largely determined by the fence tops, but some are also determined by the main section or how it fits together (i.e. rail fence).
Here’s an illustrated guide depicting the 10 popular fence styles (please pin on Pinterest):
Below are real life photo examples of the 10 most popular fence styles.
1. Dog Ear
The dog ear fence has is an inverted curve at the top with the posts being the high point.
2. Flat Top
As the name suggest, the flat top fence design is a flat top.
The gothic fence style is a series of points.
4. Lattice Top
The lattice top fence style is a regular fence with lattice attached to the top adding a decorative element to it.
An extremely popular and well-known type of fence, the picket is a short fence with gaps between vertical wood that makes up the fence. It’s mostly decorative, but taller picket fences can also serve as protective fences to a certain extent (to the extent any fence can be protective).
Privacy fences come in many forms; essentially they are more or less solid and serve to offer a space privacy. They’re typically full-height.
8. Shadow Box
The shadow box is fence that is formed via wood attached in an alternating fashion on each side of the frame. It offers privacy but from the side let’s in light.
9. Spaced Picket
The spaced picket is a picket fence with wider gaps.
The rail fence is typically used on larger properties and farms. It’s a horizontal style instead of vertical. It uses much less material per linear foot so it’s a cheaper style which is why it’s a popular choice for large properties.
Fence Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery (original)
This light natural wood style features Eastern-style arch over corner gate entry and lattice style upper detail.
This warm wood example features attached lattice mounted greenery. Source: Zillow DigsTM
This privacy example features natural wood sandwiched between layers of brick fence posts matching the yellow hued home.
Modern lattice style comprised of black stained wood posts and base, with lighter red toned body.
Here’s another rich, warm toned wooden privacy version with layered slats and horizontal top panel.
This high, modern type features built-in shelving and light sources scattered throughout its surface. Source: Zillow DigsTM
Formal look privacy example featuring upper lattice work design.
Light non-stained wood option with ivy artfully laid on.
This wood variety layers posts with rounded tops for a fully opaque look.
Unique spin on the waist-height, featuring striking cross-hair box style in dark grey and double-swing entry. Source: Zillow DigsTM
Light natural wood privacy example stands out brightly against lush lawn.
Layered structure rough natural wood material features interior posts.
Garden version features sparse, widely spaced posts with hooks for gardening tools.
Layered privacy style featuring darker natural wood, spaced between beige concrete pillars.
Multi-hued example sandwiches curved horizontal beams and natural wood posts between black sectional pillars.
Untreated wood that features layered posts with lattice style top section.
Traditional example in light natural tones, with cut-corner post tops.
This privacy example is in natural unstained wood features top horizontal layer.
Traditional picket type in light brown.
Rounded post lattice version here features rustic look, with latching gate at center.
Here’s a very sparse, natural wood garden design.
This example features natural wood posts with angled tops.
Here’s a great example of a white vinyl privacy version. Built of panels, it could easily be extended. Learn more.
Here’s a white vinyl scallop-topped spaced picket variety which is a nice arrangement for front yards. Source
Above is a white vinyl shadowbox style. Source
Above is a Vinyl closed picket photo providing both security and privacy. Source
Here we have a unique cylindrical post white picket garden type with flowers mixed throughout.
Here’s a low slung white option with cylindrical posts sandwiched between thick horizontal beams, with large square posts at corners.
Sparse posts on this white variety bookended and tied at the middle with horizontal wood beams.
This familiar picket style is raised off the ground several inches, features trapezoidal caps on dividing posts.
Waist height version with round pole-style vertical posts and four horizontal widely spaced slats.
This white one has spiked tops is framed in marble lower structure and dividing posts.
Traditional white picket concept with rounded post tops.
This wave-version features posts at multiple heights, over concrete base, in front of neatly pruned bush wall.
Here’s another four-slat white type, with large vertical posts capped with pyramid shape.
This rounded spike top white kind features large flat arch over gateway.
Cylindrical posts with spike caps is unified by two slim horizontal beams, supported on brick base.
Here’s another curved top, wave-like white picket, with rounded post tops.
Off-white features unique elements, with slim posts sandwiched between wider slats.
Spike topped thick post picket features slim gaps.
Super minimalist aesthetic on this white one, with uniform flat-topped posts and zero gap.
This wider gapped option features two slat heights, with rounded tops, between slim dividing posts.
Slim post, spike-topped example.
Here’s another farm style white fence with widely spaced horizontal beams.
Hewn Log & Branch
This branch variety features naturally warped cross-posts.
Hewn log features three thick horizontal beams and cylindrical posts.
Natural branches feature entirely untreated wood, with bark remaining, for thick look with minimal gap.
This is a combination of horizontal branches and hewn log vertical posts.
Here’s a natural bamboo concept, with minimal gap.
This wrought iron example features spike caps and circular flourish.
Black metal stands on white concrete base with large brick-topped gate surround.
These dark wooden posts feature minimalist rope “beams.”
Chain Link for Backyards
Frankly, chain link fences are not a great option for a home – back and front yard – because they don’t look great.
However, one option is to conceal a chain link type with a hedge such as the following (although I’d run the hedge the entire way). If you have young kids and/or pets, the chain link option adds an additional layer of protection. It’s also more easily hidden among a mature hedge, so in some cases it’s an excellent option with a hedge.
The following is another backyard with a chain link. While it’s not my first choice for fencing material, it doesn’t look terrible with the garden in front of it.
Bamboo fences are growing in popularity. Here’s a couple of examples. Be sure to check out our gallery featuring 21 bamboo designs.
Split rail fences are the zig zag style, designed in that configuration to assist standing up. It’s very simple. You often see them surrounding acreages, grazing areas and large properties. Their rustic look is also very appealing as they look to be a natural extension of the landscape.
Here a couple split rail examples.
Check out our full gallery of split rail fences here.
Fence Image Sources: Home Depot
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