We often think of fencing as a means of keeping something on (a pet) or off (trespassers) property. Fences actually serve a wide variety of purposes.
Types of Fencing
Their construction can depend on a homeowner's goals, the size of the property to be fenced, the style of architecture on the property, and the homeowner's security requirements. A fence is a man-made structure that is generally of lighter design than alternatives such as hedges and stone, brick, or concrete walls. Tall panel fences with tightly spaced boards are built for privacy. Decorative picket, post, lattice, palisade, or split rail fences can add value and character to a home. There are several types of fencing available to suit residential needs including chain-link fencing, wrought-iron fencing, and electric fencing. Because of its durability, economy, and good looks, wood fencing is perhaps the most popular choice among homeowners.
Wood fencing can feature spaces, as in a picket fence, tongue-and-groove or shadow-boxing construction for privacy, lattice and basketweaving, open rail and post designs, or custom configurations. Wood fences consist of three key elements: boards, posts, and caps. Boards comprise the face of the fence; their shapes and the width between them frequently define the look and purpose of the fencing. Boards may be flat-topped, or cut to create a design along the top edge. Picket fences often have a Gothic cut along the top edge. Boards can also be cut and varied in height to create special affects like scalloping or peaking of boards between the posts. The Posts are what holds the fencing together. They are placed in the ground vertically, and run horizontally as railing that forms a base onto which the boards are placed. Posts can be round, square, or beveled. A post and rail fence consists of just posts and is a popular fencing choice for ranch-style homes. Caps are placed on the posts to provide a finished look to the fencing and to add to the decorative look of the fence. With wood fencing, the design and color options are almost endless. One drawback of wood fencing is the maintenance factor. Wood can warp, be susceptible to rot and insects, and deteriorate over time if not properly cared for.
An excellent alternative to wood fencing is vinyl fencing. Vinyl offers the same stylistic options and possibilities as wood. It requires almost no maintenance, and generally comes with an outstanding warranty, but can be twice as expensive as wood fencing, and more difficult to install.
For information on fencing to use for horses see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Horse Fencing.