When choosing the fence, your taste plays a role, but not entirely without restriction. Both the environment in which the fence is built and the purposes the fence is intended to serve play a role and may reduce the options available.
To the property boundaries in the area, next to a fence made of wrought iron with ornate elements, a fence made of natural stakes will usually look unsuitable. But it doesn’t have to be, if the wrought iron fence shows the first noble signs of aging, the combination looks wildly romantic. In the settlement area, it is only a question of adapting the details, because there are regulations that forbid completely exotic property boundaries anyway.
Before thinking about choosing your wooden fence, we recommend a careful stroll through the neighborhood: Which wooden fences were mainly used in your settlement? In more rural settlements, wicker fences and picket fences always fit, they are our oldest fence types. New housing estates can be shaped quite differently, dry stone walls and windbreak hedges in coastal areas, pasture fences in Wild West style or very neat fences made of wire netting, stone and wood, there is everything.
Your fence can and should be individual, but not in a contradicting contrast to the conditions, that disturbs the harmonious overall impression.
The purpose of the fence
You have reasons to put a fence around your property, these reasons also play a role in choosing the fence:
- In rural areas, animals have to be locked up / locked out, this is the traditional role of wattle fences and picket fences.
- This can be just as necessary today on urban land; it is not uncommon for cheeky wild boars to be prevented from digging up all the flower bulbs.
- Then you need a wooden fence with rather narrow gaps that appear visually impenetrable to the wild boars.
- So a tightly stocked palisade or picket fence.
- Which does not necessarily have to be very massive, wild boars storming resolutely through the fence could not be stopped with wood anyway (fortunately, wild boars storming resolutely are very rare in the wild boar world).
- The quieter it is at night, the more important it is to secure the fence from being undermined.
- If such a fence should also provide privacy, it needs a certain height.
- If your fence is only meant to protect children or obedient and treacherous pets from jumping onto the street in the heat of the game, it may be easier to build.
- If the fence is simply supposed to clearly define the border with the neighbor, you need solid, immovable posts, but the fence itself could be even lighter.
The types of wooden fences
There are many different construction methods for wooden fences, here is an overview:
- A wicker fence consists of posts that are quite close together, around which wickerwork is wrapped. Rather light fence structures that still look quite massive. The wicker fence can look urban or rural, depending on the wicker material used.
- The hunter’s fence (cross fence, scissor fence) is one of our most famous wooden fences, the typical image of intersecting semicircular bars certainly adorns each of the approximately 30,000 German towns.
The hunter fence has long shed its gloomy robe soaked in protective wood, made of naturally silver-plated larch wood, it blends in cautiously with nature; made of light pine wood, it looks friendly and relaxed. But the hunter fence was originally used by hunters.
- Picket fence, palisade fence and picket fence are similar, two horizontal beams are always attached to posts that are rather far apart, to which vertical fence timbers are attached. Simple, beautiful and geographically not defined fences, whereby the terms do not describe any fixed differences and are sometimes used synonymously.
The picket fence is, so to speak, the generic term, it can be varied in many details:
- Round wood picket fence, half-round wood picket fence, angular picket fence
- The slats can be high or low, narrow or wide, thick or thin
- They can be set at different intervals
- They can be rounded or pointed at the top
Or in small works of art: www.auricher-zaunkoenig.de
- They can be painted very differently
- All of these fences look completely different and have a completely different effect, friendly or deterrent, solid or filigree
The picket fence is the more rural variant. It can consist of processed, but not soldierly uniform wood, but there is also the rustic version made of unprocessed branches. This natural variant of the picket fence is of course also open to decorations.
A peculiarity of the palisade fence are the laths that are pointed at the top (palisade, at the top, but not mandatory today); Palisade fences are usually built evenly and neatly. With closely set palisades, the palisade fence becomes a privacy fence.
- The actual privacy fences made of wood are mostly light, but with a completely closed area. Which is not always necessary, a loosely planked fence also offers privacy protection if it is not directly in front of the shelter.
If the area is clad in a rather airy manner, this can be beneficial for the climate behind the fence. If wind protection and / or noise protection are also to be achieved, these in turn have their own requirements.
- The pasture fence consists of posts at larger intervals that are connected with two crossbars. A fence that looks very airy, visual and actual boundary for anyone who accepts boundaries (most people, horses or cows). Everyone else can get through, which is why the pasture fence is used more in agriculture.
Because of its attractive effect and simple construction, it is increasingly being used for fencing around naturally vegetated properties. The pasture fence not only fits in well with the environment, but also signals to the burglar (who can overcome any normal wooden fence with ease) that there is nothing to get. Combined with good anti-burglary protection for the property itself, it is often more successful than a dense fence, behind which values are presumed, as burglar protection.
The differences in material and construction
Each of these fences is built slightly differently:
For the wicker fences, place posts very close to each other, which are then fitted with wickerwork. As with the braid, there is no braiding here, but the wickerwork is simply led horizontally alternately around the vertical post at the front and back. Thin, flexible strips of wood can be used as wickerwork, but you can also loop willow twigs or other twigs around the posts.
For hunter fences, wooden or metal posts are set about every 2.5 m, which are connected at the top and bottom with a cross-beam made of wood or metal. The fence timbers are mostly made from fir trees with a pointed semicircular profile. They are attached to the trusses so that they cross each other and create a diamond-shaped pattern. Either the fence timbers can be fastened on one side of the transverse timber in one direction and on the other side in the other direction, or the timbers are both crossed in front of / on the traverse.
For pasture fences, place posts every 2 to 2.5 m, which are connected with crossbars at 1/3 and 2/3 height. At least, you can of course also use three or more pickets horizontally (at some point such a fence will become a “transverse” picket fence, then the water drainage would have to be checked).
Privacy fences are assembled from finished privacy protection elements.
Picket fences, picket fences and picket fences are basically built in the same way: posts at intervals of 1 to 2.5 m, connected with two horizontal beams and planked with the actual fence timbers. The fence timbers can have different distances, any fence height between 40 and 200 cm is possible, different types of wood can be built in, the posts can be hammered in or set in concrete.
The current trend
The instructions for building it yourself deal with a wooden fence that is currently very trendy but also has a long tradition: a picket fence made of chestnut wood.
This fence has a long tradition because the picket fence is one of the oldest fences that limited human communities. There is also a tradition of chestnut wood, which we have been using for thousands of years. The picket fence made of chestnut wood is a familiar picture for us, familiar elements in our environment have a calming effect (also and especially with innovative people who are “beating down” a lot of new things).
The chestnut picket fence is also trendy because many people no longer allow themselves to be poisoned by pesticides from tropical wood plantations or thick layers of critical wood preservatives that have to be applied to wood that is not suitable for outdoor buildings. These people also don’t want the last of the rainforests to die for their fences.
Like oak, chestnut wood from the sweet chestnut is one of our most resistant woods, resistance class 2 in terms of resistance to weathering, with robinia wood that is our most resistant woods. The chestnut comes from guaranteed sustainable forestry, remains free from toxic heavy metals, coal tar oils and PVC coatings and is weather-resistant for 15 to 25 years outdoors even without chemical wood protection measures. It has an excellent ecological balance and an excellent energy balance, an ancient fence can be used as firewood or composted after its demolition.
Instructions for building a chestnut picket fence yourself
How to proceed:
- First look at the regulations of the municipalities on the delimitation of properties, they are not uniform.
- A wooden fence shouldn’t be a problem, but there might be something to consider with the height.
- To set the posts you will need an auger or iron rod, sledgehammer, plumb line and spirit level.
- Let the fence posts into the ground every four feet to five feet:
Pre-drill the hole with a 7 cm auger (can be borrowed from the hardware store) or with the iron rod.
- The iron bar is “turned into a drill” by ramming it into the ground and making circular movements.
- A steep funnel should be created, circle around until the hole corresponds approximately to the diameter of the post (do not make it larger).
- The chestnut posts can be driven directly into soft ground using a sledgehammer.
- If the ground is harder, you should choose longer posts that are sawn off after hammering in.
- This is where burrs often split off when you hammer in the post.
- Since the chestnut posts can split when hammered in, the head is tightly wrapped with wire or sturdy tape.
- The guide line is used to measure / check the position and height of the next post.
- Corner posts are supported by two additional posts set at 45 degrees.
- The end of the post should end a few centimeters below the top of the pole and is sawn off at an angle for better water drainage.
- The stakes can be made even more resistant to contact with the earth by charring them below, open fire or gas burners, 2-3 cm coal.
- The stacks are delivered individually or as a rollable, wired group.
- Depending on the situation, they are attached along the fence with “staples” on the binding wire, with stainless steel screws directly on the fence post or (e.g. with steel posts) with a wire loop around the post.
- The stakes can be sealed off from contact with the ground by placing small stones and / or galvanized roofing paper nails under them.
The wooden fence is the right fence for all nature lovers, today it is often made from local woods. But it can also be the right fence for an urban plot, there are beautiful picket fences that almost look like park boundaries. Anyone who has ever held a hammer can build a wooden fence themselves; the more natural posts, cross beams and stakes are, the easier the work is.
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