Wood Fences: Which Wood Is Best for Your Project?

Wood fences are a great way of marking off your property. They’re more attractive than chain link and a good wood fence can last many years, only needing to be repainted or stained to keep looking great. It’s important to know what wood to use in wood fences. Some types of wood last far longer than others.


You don’t need to use the same wood for all parts of the wood fences. Unlike the fence itself, the posts come in contact with the ground. For these you need lumber that’s been treated so it won’t be broken down and crumble. This is important. The posts, along with the horizontal pieces, form the bones of the wood fences. They need to be strong and remain firm in order to keep shape and form to the fences.

Many people will also use treated lumber for the horizontal pieces of the wood fences, for increased longevity and strength. Those who have the time will often build the frame and leave the fence at that for a winter before putting on the posts. This allows any moisture that’s in the wood ample time to leach out. However, the vast majority of folk won’t want to do that, and it’s not a vital step.


There are those who advocate using treated lumber for the fencing. You can do that but it’s really not necessary. There are plenty of types of wood that will wear very well and are resistant to the weather. These can be more expensive, but they’ll look lovely as they age, or can be painted. They’ll last for years.


Redwood is extremely expensive to use for wood fences. So is cedar. However, if you look around you’ll discover that there are construction grades of both woods, which will do very well in a fence.

Construction heart redwood is a lot cheaper than the best redwood but still has exactly the same weather-resistant properties and will do fine for wood fences. You can buy it already cut or rough cut it yourself. Using these woods will create the best appearance and the longest lasting fences.


You’ll have the very best protection if you paint the frame for the wood fences before you attach the fence itself. Then paint each of the pieces or pickets before attaching it. You should give several coats of paint or stain to the areas that will come in contact with the dirt. Use stainless steel nails and paint over them when the wood fences have been attached.

Woods To Avoid

Generally, you should avoid all soft woods for wood fences. Pine, for example, might be very cheap and versatile, but it’s not good for fencing as it will be exposed to dirt and the weather all the time. Even when it’s stained and protected, it won’t last in those conditions; it’s not meant to. Spend more on the material for the wood fences. They will last a great deal longer and keep their beauty and more than repay the investment you make in them.