6 Tips for Building a Split Rail Fence

November 25, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins


Traditional wood split rail fence is both economical and fairly easy to install.

Traditional wood split rail fence is both economical and fairly easy to install.

Homeowners like split rail fences as they are among the simplest and most economical type of fence to build.  Drive around the rolling hills of the western Maryland area and you’re sure to see quite a few of them surrounding some lovely farms or gorgeous homes in suburban areas.  To many of us at Frederick Fence, there’s nothing more gorgeous than a split rail fence—they’re one of the most decorative and you can now build them using vinyl, which means the sections will never warp or fade!  A majority of the time you’ll see split rail fence covered with welded wire, which helps keep your children and pets in the yard and pesky critters like deer and rabbits off property.

Adding a split rail fence to your yard augments its appearance with a natural, rustic beauty. Split rail’s design is simple and it’s one of the easiest fences for a first time DIYer.  If you’re considering building a split rail fence soon, here are seven tips to help you build fence that will make your process easier:

 

  1. Consider installing a split rail style gate.  It’s a lot easier than installing a picket gate fence.  However, if you want to install a picket gate and are not sure how, call us for help!
  2. Make sure to set your posts on 10’6” centers.  Rails for a split rail fence are 11’ tip to tip.  The ends of rails are tapered or “paddled” so they can overlap when they are put in the post. If you set you posts 10’6” from the center of post to center of post, this will give you the perfect space to accommodate the rails.
  3. Rails should overlap 3” on either side. If you have less overlap, the rail are more likely to fall out over time, if your posts are too close, you can’t overlap too much and the rails won’t fit.
  4. Secure your rails with a nail on the ends and corners, and short sections.  These portions of fence are the most likely to move.  The ends are corners are called terminals and bear a lot of the load.  The short sections are custom built and need to be secured to avoid any rails falling out.
  5. Dry pack all post holes with about 25 lbs of concrete.  This will keep them in place even among the harshest of weather conditions.  If your posts are not properly set, your fence may become less sturdy over time and you may find yourself re-installing some sections if we have to endure a lot of harsh weather during winter and spring.
  6. Your gate opening should be 2” wider than the width of the actual gate panel in order to accommodate for the hardware
3 rail vinyl fence

Vinyl split rail fence is the perfect fence for DIYers wanting to install one fence to last a lifetime that requires little to no maintenance!

Got more questions on building a split rail fence? You can chat with us online or just stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive—we’re open weekdays until 5 PM during winter and we’ll be open on Saturdays from early spring through late fall—we’re happy to offer you everything you need to build your own split rail fence!

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