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Post-and-Rail Fences

Landscaping Photo of a Ranch-Style Fence

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In the prior fence pictures, I have focused on the most prominent components of picket fences and baluster fences: namely, their boards (or "panels")....
Picture of a post and rail fence.

Picture of a post-and-rail fence.

David Beaulieu

But fences do, of course, have other components. Fence posts are prominent enough in one fence style to warrant inclusion in the very name of the style: "post-and-rail" fences.

The post-and-rail fence style may be grouped under the more general heading of "ranch-style" or "horse" fences. Originally designed to contain livestock (especially horses), post-and-rail fences usually have 2-4 rails (i.e., the horizontal components). True to their practical origins, ranch-style fences are less work to construct than the more decorative fences: they are sparer, lacking vertical boards that have to be nailed up.

But despite their humble origins, post-and-rail fences are popular choices today in people's landscapes. They offer an airiness for homeowners who want a fence but don't want to be overwhelmed with the feeling of being "fenced in." Like picket-style fences and baluster-style fences, post-and-rail vinyl fences are supplanting their wooden counterparts in some neighborhoods.

In the next fence picture, you'll see a specific type of post-and-rail fence....

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