What are the Different Types of Rustic Fencing?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Rustic fencing adds an aesthetic appeal to a yard, particularly when surrounding an old or historic building. Many varieties of rustic fencing exist, and most can be constructed with little effort or expertise. Perhaps the most recognizable rustic fencing is the wood picket fence, which was prominent during the 19th century and is still popular today. A split rail fence is another common fence design for farms and ranches, and such a fence can be built with few tools and no hardware. Bamboo fences are common in tropical climates, and the post and rail fence is common in rural areas, particularly on farms.

The picket fence is a type of rustic fencing that was historically constructed from scraps of lumber left over from home construction. The thin planks are often cut to a point at the top and then spaced evenly between posts. A clean white picket fence can add visual appeal to a newer home, and a more worn, rundown fence can add a touch of rustic nostalgia to an older or historic house. Picket fences are generally easy to construct, though some carpentry knowledge may be necessary.


A split rail fence is easily recognizable as rustic fencing, particularly on ranches or large farms. The split rail fence is constructed in a zig-zag manner, with unfinished pieces of tree trunks are stacked on top of each other. Where the two sections of fence meet, the pieces of wood intertwine, stacking on top of each other to form the height of the fence. Little or no carpentry knowledge is necessary to build such a fence, and no hardware — such as screws or nails — is necessary for construction. Braces can be placed at the intersection of the intertwined pieces of wood to add extra support, but such fences are not meant to bear a load.

Post and rail fences are popular on all sorts of properties, from suburban to rural. Upright posts are fixed into the ground — usually set in concrete — at regular intervals around the property. The posts usually have holes cut through them, one up high on the post and one down low. The rails are then placed between the posts; the rails are carved at each end to fit in the holes cut in the posts, and one rail is placed in the high set of holes while the other is placed in the low set of holes. It is a simple design that allows wind to pass through it, and as the rustic fencing ages, the wood gains a more visually pleasing aesthetic.


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