Any fence that separates your yard from the world at large can be considered a privacy fence. Fences mark boundaries, limit access and control wind, sun and noise. Polite behaviour dictates that your neighbours should not cross any fence you've built without your permission. Not all "privacy" fences, however, provide the same levels of seclusion. The four basic fence types are post and rail, spaced pickets, semi-privacy and full privacy fences. For a wooden privacy fence, you're probably looking for full visual screening.
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Solid Wood Fence
Solid wood panel fencing is probably one of the most common styles, especially in commercial settings.. Like stockade fencing, it is used for controlling noise, blocking sight, impeding access by strangers and containing pets and children. Horizontal or vertical boards are butted up against each other. The fence is flat at the top. The addition of trim and decorative posts and caps can make these simple fences look quite elegant.
Stockade fence uses vertical boards installed side by side. The tops of the pickets can be pointed, rounded, or rough cut for a natural look. The pickets can be straight across, scalloped or half moon style. Stockade fence can be installed board by board or screwed to posts as pre-assembled panels. Stockade fences provide complete visual blocking and dramatically reduce noise and some wind.
Shadowbox-style fencing places boards on opposite sides of the fence rail, their edges overlapping slightly to block vision, while allowing air to flow through the fence. This breaks the wind so that its speed is reduced through deflection. Shadowbox fence does a better job of wind control than solid styles, which divert wind over the top but do little to slow it down. Shadow box fencing also looks the same from both sides. Unlike styles where the pickets are all installed on the same side of the rail, shadowbox fencing has no backside. Because of the spacing of the boards, at an angle there is some very limited visibility through the fence. If someone outside looks at it straight on, their sight is blocked completely.
Lattice Wood Fence
Lattice wood fencing employs a solid board base with 12- to 24-inch lattice panel at the top. It provides complete privacy with the solid board panel, but there is some limited vision through the panels higher up. The lattice top style also does a better job than solid-top wooden fences of breaking up wind gusts and turning them into gentle breezes. Full-length lattice fence can provide a framework for growing ivy as a vision screen, but you'll have to wait for it to fill in before this will truly be a privacy fence.
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