How to Build a Horizontal Cedar Fence

The sleek, clean lines of horizontal boards not only provide privacy and security but also create a stunning visual effect that sets it apart from traditional vertical fences. So, grab your tools and let's get started on creating a beautiful and durable fence that will stand the test of time.

How Wide Should Horizontal Fence Boards Be?

When building a horizontal cedar fence, one important factor to consider is the width of the fence boards. While one-by-six boards are the most commonly used lumber for this type of fence, you do have some flexibility in choosing the width. In addition to one-by-six boards, you can also use one-by-four or one-by-eight boards, or even a combination of different sizes.

To ensure a consistent and visually appealing look, it’s crucial to cut your fence boards to the correct measurement. This can be done using a chop saw or a circular saw. The boards should be cut to run from the center of one post to the center of the next, creating a seamless and uniform appearance.

This allows you to personalize your fence and make it stand out.

Thinner boards, such as one-by-four, can create a more open and airy look, while wider boards, such as one-by-eight, can provide a more solid and substantial appearance.

Consider the style of your home, the surrounding landscape, and any existing architectural features when making this decision. By carefully selecting the width of your fence boards, you can create a beautiful and functional fence that enhances the overall appeal of your property.

Horizontal fencing offers a modern and visually appealing design alternative to traditional fences. While most customers opt for a stepped fence, there’s an option to adjust horizons to follow the natural contours of the ground. This feature allows for a seamless blend with the landscape, creating a seamless and stunning aesthetic.

Should a Horizontal Fence Be Level or Follow the Ground?

Horizontal fencing offers a sleek and modern aesthetic that adds a touch of contemporary charm to any outdoor space. One crucial aspect to consider when building a horizontal cedar fence is whether it should be level or follow the grounds natural contours. While most customers prefer a stepped fence, where each panel is parallel to the ground, it’s possible to adjust a horizontal fence to follow uneven terrain with some additional preparation.

Many homeowners opt for a stepped fence due to it’s straightforward construction and visually appealing appearance. With each fence panel perfectly level, the step design creates an organized and structured look. It also enables easy installation, as the fence panels can be pre-assembled on flat ground before being positioned at various heights to create the stepping effect. This uniformity is visually satisfying and ideal for those seeking a more traditional fence design.

However, some landscaped areas may present slopes or uneven ground that can make installing a stepped fence challenging. In such cases, adjusting the horizontal fence to follow the grounds contours can be an excellent alternative. This method requires additional preparation, such as using string lines or leveling tools to determine the fences overall alignment. This approach allows the fence to meander with the natural undulations of the landscape, granting it a more organic and seamless appearance.

The horizontal orientation of the boards allows for unique design possibilities, such as varying widths between boards or alternating colors for a dynamic visual effect.

Careful planning and consideration of the terrain will help you achieve the desired look and functionality of your fence.

Pros and Cons of a Level Horizontal Fence

A level horizontal fence is a popular choice among homeowners for various reasons. One of the main advantages is the modern and sleek aesthetic it provides. The horizontal lines create a visually appealing appeal that can enhance the overall look of your property. Another advantage is the increased privacy it offers. The planks are typically placed close together, minimizing gaps and preventing outsiders from easily peering into your yard.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. One issue is the potential for reduced airflow compared to traditional vertical fences. This can impact air circulation and may require added considerations for proper ventilation, especially in windy areas. Additionally, a horizontal fence can be more challenging to install and maintain. The weight of the horizontally oriented planks can cause stress on the posts, making it important to use sturdy materials and appropriate construction techniques.

In summary, a level horizontal fence can be an attractive and contemporary choice for your property. It offers increased privacy but may require additional thought for proper ventilation and construction. Consider these factors when deciding if this type of fence is suitable for your needs.

When it comes to choosing a fence for your property, cost is an important factor to consider. While vertical fences, like stockade-style, have been a popular choice, they can be pricier compared to horizontal wood fences. On average, the materials for a vertical fence cost between $5-10 per linear foot, with installation fees ranging from $15-20. Meanwhile, a horizontal wood fence tends to be more cost-effective, with material prices averaging $5-12 per linear foot and installation costs falling within the $15-22 range.

Is It Cheaper to Build a Horizontal Fence?

When considering the overall cost, it’s reasonable to say that building a horizontal fence can be cheaper compared to a vertical fence. A stockade-style vertical fence typically involves higher material costs, averaging around $5-10 per linear foot. Furthermore, installation charges for such fences can amount to $15-20 per linear foot.

It’s important to note that the specific cost of building a horizontal cedar fence may vary depending on factors such as the size of the fence, the quality of materials used, and regional pricing variations. However, this general cost range provides a rough estimate of what to expect when considering a horizontal fence.

While a vertical fence may have a more traditional and common appearance, a horizontal fence can offer a more contemporary and modern aesthetic, making it an appealing option for many homeowners. Additionally, the horizontal orientation of the wood boards in the fence may require less material overall, leading to potential cost savings.

When budget is a consideration, it’s worthwhile to explore all available options and compare the costs of different fence styles. It’s also recommended to consult with professionals or contractors who can provide accurate estimates and guidance based on the specific requirements and preferences for your property. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that balances both your budget and desired aesthetic.

Spacing fence planks is an important step in the construction process to ensure stability and aesthetic appeal. The recommended space between wood fence boards is typically between 5/8 inch to 1/2 inch, while for picket fences, a spacing of around 2 1/2 inches is ideal. However, when it comes to vinyl fences, such as those made from synthetic plastics like PVC or polypropylene, there should generally be no space between the boards. On the other hand, if you’re installing horizontal fence boards, it’s recommended to allow for a spacing between 1/4 inch to an inch. Each type of fence has it’s own specific requirements, so it’s important to adjust accordingly for the best results.

How Do You Space a Fence Plank?

When it comes to spacing fence planks, the measurement can vary depending on the type of fence and the desired aesthetic. For a wood fence, the recommended spacing between boards is typically around 5/8 inch to 1/2 inch. This allows for proper air circulation and prevents moisture from accumulating between the boards, which could lead to rot or mold.

On the other hand, if youre building a picket fence, the spacing between the pickets should be around 2 1/2 inches. This provides enough room for visibility and airflow while still ensuring privacy and security.

For those looking for a low-maintenance option, vinyl fences are a popular choice. Unlike wood, vinyl is a synthetic material that doesn’t require regular painting or staining. When it comes to spacing vinyl fence boards, the recommended distance is similar to wood fences. The space between each vinyl plank should be around 5/8 inch to 1/2 inch, providing ample room for expansion and contraction in different weather conditions.

It’s important to note that the spacing between horizontal fence boards should be carefully considered as well. This allows for proper airflow, prevents moisture buildup, and ensures structural integrity.

It not only contributes to the overall aesthetic but also plays a crucial role in the durability and functionality of the fence. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your horizontal cedar fence is built to last and meets your specific needs.

Factors to Consider When Determining Fence Plank Spacing, Such as Climate and Wind Conditions

  • Climate
  • Wind conditions


By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, homeowners can achieve an aesthetically pleasing and durable fence that adds value to their property. From selecting quality materials to properly aligning the boards and ensuring a secure installation, every aspect of the process is crucial for achieving a beautiful finished product. Additionally, considering factors such as height, spacing, and maintenance requirements will further enhance the longevity and functionality of the fence.

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