All about Split-Rail Fencing

Split-rail fencing is used primarily in rural and suburban areas. It's the fencing you see on farms, homesteads and other property with a lot of land. You're able to view the land because of the split rails, and there's often some livestock behind it. You don't have to live in the country to enjoy split-rail fencing though. If you're a city dweller who grew up on a farm, or love the country look, you can install split-rail fencing on your property too.

Typical Uses of Split-Rail Fencing

Homeowners like split-rail fencing for its aesthetic value. It will enhance your landscape, but it's also functional. Some of the uses of split-railing fencing include:

  • Mark property lines
  • Prevent livestock from leaving your property
  • Keep animals out of your garden
  • Create sections of your property using split-railing fencing
  • Use as a corral for horses

These are the major uses of split-rail fencing, but you can use it for anything you want. Two things you can't use it for is to contain children or pets, unless you add wire meshing or fabric. They will find their way over, or through the split rails if you don't cover the exposed spaces.

Materials Used for Split-Rail Fencing

The two types of materials used for split-rail fencing are wood and vinyl. For wood, your main choices are:

  • Eastern white cedar
  • Western red cedar
  • Southern yellow pine wood
  • Oak

The problem with wood is that it warps and requires yearly maintenance. Wood also rots and can suffer water damage. An alternative to wood is vinyl. It will not warp and it requires no maintenance. You can expect to pay more for vinyl than wood, but you won't have to repaint it, because it will not fade. Wood fades, and you'll have to repaint it once a year to keep it looking decent. You can treat the wood to make it last longer.

Split-Rail Fencing Installation

You don't have to be a master builder to install split-rail fencing. It's straightforward, and with the help of a few family members or friends, you can install it in a short amount of time. All you have to do is dig a hole, put your end post into the ground, and stabilize it with quick concrete. Then, add a series of rails and posts, until you cover an entire area and complete the fence installation.

Split-Rail Fencing Suppliers

You can find split-rail fencing supplies in a number of ways. Check your local home builder's supplies stores and home improvement centers. You can even check Craigslist for building supplies, and newspaper classifieds. If you're not having much luck locally, check the following companies online:

  • Cedar Split Rail Fence & Designs
  • Hitz Fence Supplies
  • Hoover Fence Company
  • Split Rail Fence & Supply Company
  • The Kalinich Fence Company

You may have little choice but to buy from a company with a store online, if you don't have local options for vinyl split-rail fencing. Review their return and refund policy carefully before you make any online purchase.

There are city ordinances and homeowners association rules that affect where and how you can install split-rail fencing. Find out what permits are required, and what's prohibited on your property, before you make the investment and installation.