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Unique Fencing Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Do-it-yourself design goes hand in hand with do-it-yourself construction. Most homeowners don’t want to build a cookie-cutter fence of unsightly chain-link or boring block—they want to create something special. Unique fencing ideas help the intrepid do-it-yourselfer avoid homogeneity while providing the same privacy or protection as standard fences. A familiarity with unique fencing designs allows you to manipulate readily available building materials in aesthetically interesting ways and use your property as a canvas for creativity.

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A shadowbox design can be created using standard, dog-eared wooden fence boards, 4-by-4 posts and 2-by-4 rails. Like a conventional fence, a shadowbox fence features upright posts anchored into the ground by concrete and rails that run between the posts horizontally. The distinguishing features of the shadowbox fence are its upright fence boards that alternate between the front and back side of the rails. This results in a visual sense of depth and the creation of an interior “box” between the front and rear boards. Light and shadow play within the space, creating an attractive design that can be enjoyed, regardless of which side of the fence you’re on.


The term horizontal fence refers to fences that deviate from the standard vertical placement of fence boards. A fence of this design employs the same type of posts as a conventional fence but typically doesn’t require rails. This design literally turns the fence boards on their sides; the fence boards run left to right on a horizontal plane, perpendicular to the posts. If 5- or 6-foot dog-eared fence boards are used, the spacing between posts is reduced to accommodate their length. The long horizontal lines created by this design lend the fence a stout look. Horizontal fence boards may be alternated between front and rear to create a horizontal shadowbox.


The long, rounded shoots of the bamboo plant provide privacy with an Asian flair. Bamboo is touted as a “green” building material because of its quick and abundant growth. The cylindrical, pole-like shoots of the bamboo plant appear in both rigid, premade fence panels and flexible, woven rolls. Both panels and rolls of bamboo easily attach to a standard post and rail fence frame.

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About the Author

Based in Hawaii, Shane Grey began writing professionally in 2004. He draws on his construction experience to write instructional home and garden articles. In addition to freelance work, Grey has held a position as an in-house copywriter for an online retailer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater arts from Humboldt State University.

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