Will split rail fence work?

louislinusMay 14, 2014

At our new house we have to put up a fence for the dogs. DH wants to do a 3 rail split with welded wire. We installed this type of fence at our current house and it was easy, looks nice and relatively inexpensive. However our new house is more formal and I'm unconvinced that split rail won't look ridiculous. What do you think?

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Annie Deighnaugh

Not the best choice IMHO as split rail is very rustic and your home is very formal...pretty house.

Can you use invisible fencing? A lot of people use it very successfully in our neighborhood.

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Thu, May 15, 14 at 7:04

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:03AM
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Split rail fencing is more for farm-type properties I think it will completely clash with your house.

While the invisible dog fencing is expensive (so is hard fencing!), it's very effective. If it's just dogs you want to keep on your property, I'd suggest looking into invisible fencing.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Hi - your new house is beautiful. I agree with the others about a split rail fence probably not being the best choice visually.

I'm not suggesting against an invisible fence, just be aware that while it will likely keep your dogs within the boundary, it does nothing to keep other animals out. Another animal (dog, something bigger, whatever) can easily come onto your property and your dog will be trapped; it won't break through the barrier to get away - if the other animal is dangerous your dog can be hurt.

If you do opt for an actual fence, I'd go for something more formal, as you indicate.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:51AM
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I'm not one to encourage invisable fencing, but yes it can work in some instances. This would be a whole other thread.

Have you looked around your area? What do others do with your similar house? You need to be able to show DH examples in real life situations.

What will the fencing include? If it's just the back and not around the front, maybe you can get away with it. Function over form, if this type of fence is truly the only option.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:56AM
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I did this in a previous house: black wrought iron look aluminum fencing in the front, connecting to split rail and mesh in the back.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:27AM
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I think you could do it and honestly think it would not only look nice, but would look appropriate. A true split rail grays as it ages and is a chameleon in the landscape. Not every colonial homestead has formal fencing, especially if it has acreage. If you plan to do plantings in front it would be at least partially disguised and blend even more.

OTOH, you could do a variation of a spit rail that is more formal and decorative, however it would be far more expensive and require some upkeep. We have a colonial house and my DH built our fence, the posts are basically duplicates of our front porch posts. in our case, we didn't want a fence to blend in but rather be somewhat of an important backdrop for a garden.

Here it is in process - you can see the detail better.

And this is what it was designed to mimic

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:46AM
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OTâ¦but have to say it: dim, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the colors of your house. I absolutely love chocolate brown houses with black shutters, and the red of your door is matched so perfectly. I am wow'd. Absolutely gorgeous.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:50AM
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I think the fence dim2000 suggested would be quite appropriate for your home and a good compromise for your husband.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:55AM
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Thanks for all the advice. Dim your fence is great! I love it. How would I describe your fence for sourcing purposes?

The other reason we want an open fence with wire is because very few people in our neighborhood have fences and I feel like if we go and put in a privacy fence or something it just ruins the look of the whole street. I have mixed feelings about invisible fence but mostly I can't use it because our one dog (a standard poodle/airedale mix) would break through that sucker at the sight of the first squirrel. Now our other dog, the standard poodle, is quite dignified and would stay in the yard if I just gave him a good talking to. :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:29AM
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louislinus - Try searching board and post fence - those are the actual components of my fence but it really is a variation of post and rail. The first one beverly posted has the same components as mine but the second one has square rails instead of flat or split. They're all variations of classic split rail, which i still think you can do. Try a google image search for post and rail, board and post, open rail fencing, Kentucky horse fence..... you'll come up with a ton of pictures and some of them will show split rail with traditional houses in the background. They don't have to be surrounding a log cabin or a rustic stone cottage to look right. Your house makes me think of Bucks County and there are plenty of old colonials there with spit rail fence.

(thanks Tibbrix)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Are you doing just the back yard....starting and stopping at each end of the house or will it jut out at the sides? Or are you doing the front as well?

It wouldn't be my first choice, but if cost is an issue I think you could do split rail just in the back stopping and starting at then ends of the house...not jutting out the sides. This would be barely visible from the front, especially if you do not have it go out so far as what appears to be a little sun room with windows on the side in the back.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:56AM
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I think a white board and post would look great with your house :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:59AM
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If you don't want the trouble of painting, you can purchase the fence in vinyl from WalMart!!

Here's another source

Here is a link that might be useful: Ranch Rail Vinyl Fence

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:35PM
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My vote goes to Dlm's fence! I really like how it matches your front columns.
It's a perfect alternative.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:00PM
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Be sure to check the restrictive covenants in your subdivision. They frequently address fence styles. For example, in my sister's neighborhood only fences like dlm2000 posted are allowed. And they must be painted a dark charcoal. In my neighborhood, no fences are allowed.

I also agree with dlm2000. I can see your federal style house with a split rail fence a la Bucks County. Can you get someone to Photoshop a split rail so you can see if you like it with the house?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:48PM
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Thanks all! The fence will be just in the back but it will extend wider than the house. We have large side yards and want to fence the back part of those side yards in. I'm off to hit the googles!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:19AM
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we have invisible fencing and it is great, but we don't really have a concern for large wild animals (other than deer!) entering our property and stray dogs are not a problem where we live...

i personally don't think your house is too formal for a split rail fence- i almost think it's too informal for some wrought iron/look alike fencing... i see alot of split rail fences near where i live with lots of styles of houses... i think the bigger issue with some split rails is the height... don't know what type of dogs you have or might get in future...
if i were going to do a white fence, i would look into the no/low maintainance materials--- some look very shiny/plastic, but some look quite nice!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:29AM
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