17 Wood Fence Ideas for Any Yard

Kristin Salaky
Written by Kristin Salaky
Updated May 23, 2022
Friends at an outdoor party sitting in front of wooden fence
Photo: Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

There’s a reason why wood is one of the most common fence materials

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Of all the different types of fences available, wood fencing is one of the most popular options for its durability, minimal upkeep, affordability, and versatility. However, with versatility comes endless possibilities, which can make choosing a new wooden fence a bit challenging. Use this guide to learn about some different styles and wood fencing materials to pick the best option for your home.

Wood Fence Ideas

From pallets to white picket fencing, check out some various wood fence styles to inspire your outdoor space.

1. Full Trellis Fence

Trellis fence with climbing ivy
Photo: Melissa Ross / Getty Images

A trellis can either be made from thin slats of a wood, vinyl, or metal, weaved in a lattice pattern to create a structure that can either stand alone or be supported by beams to create a full fence. Many choose to surround a garden with a trellis fence, but you can also use it around the perimeter of your property. Plant climbing foliage near the trellis, such as wisteria or honeysuckle, for added privacy and visual intrigue.

2. Lattice Detail

Privacy fence with lattice at the top
Photo: davelogan / Getty Images

If you like the look of a trellis but prefer a more traditional wood fence for functionality, you can have the best of both worlds with this lattice-detailed privacy fence. This fence design features full wood panels with a charming lattice pattern on the top, providing you with privacy, sound and wind protection, and security. 

3. Pallet Fence

Painting recycled pallet white with paintbrush
Photo: Mrs_2015 / Getty Images

For a quick and budget-friendly option, consider installing a pallet fence. In many cases, this can be a DIY fence project and can be accomplished in a few steps:

  • Look for heat-treated pallets (marked with an “HT”) from a local large retailer or factory that are being given away. 

  • Sand them down and repaint them with outdoor-friendly paint. 

  • Arrange them in your chosen layout.

  • Dig post holes 96 inches apart.

  • Position a 4X4 wood post in each hole, then fill them in with cement. Remember to use pressure-treated posts to prevent rotting.

  • Once the cement has cured, slide the pallets over the posts and attach the panels together using three-inch bolts.

Pallet fences work well to contain small areas, like a garden fence, but may not be the best option if you need a taller barrier or if you’re surrounding a large property. 

4. Shou Sugi Ban Technique

Shou sugi ban wood texture
Photo: ozgurcoskun / Getty Images

Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese technique that adds both form and functionality to natural wood. Shou Sugi Ban is accomplished by charring cedar wood, allowing it to cool, brushing away the ash remnants with a wire brush, then coating it with oil. This creates a dark surface that accentuates the natural grain of the wood. The longer the wood is charred, the darker the appearance will be. This technique helps to preserve, as well as waterproof the wood, making this a great option for outdoor use. The charring creates a versatile look that complements rustic-style homes to modern aesthetics alike. 

5. Solid Board Fence

Wooden security fence around perimeter of yard
Photo: davelogan / Getty Images

Solid board panels are a popular fence choice, as they provide privacy, wind and sound protection, security, and an increase in resale value. While a solid board fence is associated with a higher price tag, it’s a smart choice if you live on a busy street or in close quarters to neighbors, have pets or small children, or are looking to boost the curb appeal of your home’s exterior. 

6. Rustic Post-and-Rail Fence

Post-and-rail fence enclosing large property
Photo: chuckcollier / Getty Images

A post-and-rail fence adds a rustic look to your property line. Post-and-rail fences are made with just that—two posts and two to three rails connecting the posts together. They are a popular option to delineate large properties, as they require less maintenance and have a lower upfront cost than other types of fences. Because they’re not fully enclosed, many homeowners choose this option if they don’t want to cover up their view with a fully enclosed type of fence. 

7. Natural Split-Rail Fencing

Natural split-rail fence surrounding large property
Photo: Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

Similar to the post-and-rail fence is the split-rail fence, which uses a similar design, but has a more natural look. A post-and-rail fence uses uniform pieces of rails connected to slots in the posts to provide a smoother-looking finish, whereas a split-rail fence uses natural live-edge pieces of wood rails connected to natural wooden posts. Both a post-and-rail and split-rail fence serve similar purposes, so it comes down to your personal style preferences when deciding between the two. 

8. Classic White Picket Fence

White picket fence in front yard
Photo: Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

What’s more classic than a white picket fence? This timeless type of fence adds charm and curb appeal, while also creating a barrier to surround your home’s exterior. This particular fence features slats that are uniform in height, but you can also find more intricate designs with varying height slats to create a more decorative look. You can cut costs by using a shorter picket fence in the front yard and a taller picket fence in the backyard. Install a matching picket fence gate in a designated place on your property to better direct foot traffic and keep pets and little ones contained.

9. Vertical Louver Fence

Vertical louver fence on balcony with garden
Photo: Oscar Wong / Getty Images

Louvered fence panels are positioned on a slant to increase privacy, but still allows wind to pass through and visibility from one direction. You can position it horizontally or vertically depending on your landscaping, aesthetic preferences, and the directional view you wish to see from your yard. 

10. Herringbone Pattern

Herringbone-patterned fence design
Photo: Ingram Publishing / Getty Images

Shake up the standard vertical panel wood fence design, and try out a different configuration. Arrange the boards in a herringbone pattern to give your fence a more customized look. You can streamline the boards and use one color, or stain them varying shades to add more depth and dimension.

11. Traditional Dog-Ear Fence

Mother and son on swing set in front of dog-ear fence
Photo: Cavan Images / Getty Images

Dog-ear fencing refers to the style of paneling used to build a wood fence, and may be one of the first things that comes to mind when you picture a wooden fence. Typically made from pine, dog-eared fence panels taper at the top of the slat to provide a finished and tapered look. They either come in full panels or individual slats, and can be placed close together for full privacy, or further apart to provide a bit more visibility.

What’s more, if you have the carpentry skills, this can be a DIY project over the course of a long weekend for most homeowners. Check out our How to Build a Fence guide to learn how to cut costs and build a simple fence on your property. 

12. Stockade Wood Fence

Stockade fence surrounding large yard
Photo: Kirkikis / Getty Images

Similar to the dog-ear fence, a stockade fence is typically made from pine, and refers to the style of panels used to create the structure. The pickets are butted up against each other to create a tight fit with minimal spacing. As opposed to dog-eared fencing, stockade pickets point toward the top to provide a classic look.

13. Functional Shadow-Box Fence

Close-up of shadow-box fence in yard
Photo: duckycards / Getty Images

A shadow-box fence, sometimes referred to as a board-on-board fence, is constructed using standard pickets that overlap with little to no spacing between the boards. The staggered pickets on both sides of the fence provide an aesthetically pleasing view of the fence for both you and your neighbors. 

14. Wood and Metal

Wood fence with metal post connectors
Photo: John Keeble / Getty Images

Rather than installing a wood fence with wood posts, use metal posts instead for a longer-lasting option. You can use galvanized steel posts, aluminum, or painted steel to add more durability. Not only does this ensure you won’t need to replace the posts as often, but it breaks up the fence to add depth and dimension to the overall structure. 

15. Wood and Wire Fence

Wood and wire fence in rustic yard to enclose chickens
Photo: marko / Adobe Stock

Not just for chicken coops—a price-tag friendly fence option is to construct a unit made from both wood and chicken wire. Use fence posts made from wood, and wrap them in chicken wire or box wire. Use this type of fence to delineate a particular area, keep animals contained, or to create a garden fence.  

16. Built-In Planter Box

Planter box built into wood fence design
Photo: beekeepx / Getty Images

Incorporate gardening into your fence design by making a planter box part of the structure. This will encourage you to garden more often, without taking up a lot of room on your property. Fill the planter box with high-quality potting soil and a homemade compost mixture to ensure your plants will flourish.

17. Modern Horizontal Slat Fence

Two men sitting in front of modern fence with horizontal slats
Photo: Christopher Malcom / Getty Images

Go for a more modern look, and turn the wood rails horizontally instead of vertically for a twist on the traditional wood fence design. This fence stacks the wood rails high enough to provide privacy and completely enclose the space, but leaves small gaps between the slats so you can still feel a light wind on breezy summer afternoons. 

Types of Wood Fences

Learn about some of the most common types of wood used to construct a fence. Before making your decision, consider your local weather conditions, as well as your budget to find the best type of wood for your new fence.


Redwood is one of the most commonly used fencing materials due to its durability and visual appeal. While it has a higher price tag than other types, it’s resistant to insects, such as termites, and less likely to warp or decay. Redwood has a rich appearance, almost the color of cinnamon, which gives it an elegant look. It’s important to note that this type of wood is less available on the east coast and areas outside of California.


Pine is widely used to construct various classic fences—stockade, dog-eared, and shadow-box styles, for example—due to its durability. Compared to other types of wood, pressure-treated pine is one of the most cost-effective options. It’s softer, making it easy to work with and less likely to shrink, but it can warp and fade over time.


Cedar is another versatile option and works well for different fencing styles. Cedar fencing has a level of elegance and doesn’t require a chemical treatment. The reddish-brown tint is visually appealing and cedar deters insects. However, compared to other materials, it has a higher price tag, and should not be used for fence posts, as it doesn’t hold up when directly exposed to soil.


Cypress is a good alternative to cedar because of its visual appeal, as well as its resistance to insects. What’s more, this type of material is durable, affordable, and less likely to rot than other woods. It’s a harder type of wood, so it works well for yards that are highly trafficked. Keep in mind that the price for cypress is higher in other areas of the U.S. outside of the Southeast, where it is locally grown.

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