The Homeowner's Guide to Split Rail Fencing

Given that it’s our namesake, we at Split Rail Fence & Supply Company have a definite affinity for this classic fence construction. Split rail fencing is a design that was adapted from early American wood zigzagging fences. They rose in popularity as a practical way to efficiently establish property lines around extensive farmland; now, however, this fencing design is as much of a stylistic statement in residential areas as it is an oft-used option for farmers.

How Split Rail Fences are Built

Split rail fences are unique in that they may be built without the use of nails or any other hardware, and they hold up well in terrain that is hard or rocky without cement pads for posts. Our split rail fences are made from rough sawn cedar that is split lengthwise into rails. We’ve chosen cedar because its natural oils make fences incredibly durable, protecting posts and rails from rotting, decay, and insect attacks. Additionally, it warps very little over its lifetime. When you construct your split rail fence, you’ll be able to select a design with either two or three rails.

Related: 8 Types of Fencing Compared

What We Love About Split Rail Fencing

Because split rail fences are so simple in their design and minimalistic in their material usage, they are an ideal and cost-effective way of demarcating the boundaries of expansive agricultural fields and of containing large livestock. If constructed with mesh, they can also be wonderful for deterring rabbits and other animals from ravaging gardens. Split rail fencing has an idyllic, old-world charm that cannot be paralleled, and because of this, its practical use in rural areas has been adapted to include a decorative appeal in residential yards, lawns, and gardens.

Practical Steps to Building Your Split Rail Fence

If you’d like to install a split rail fence around your own property or garden, begin by checking any HOA stipulations, zoning laws, and easement limitations. (Easements are right-of-ways given to surrounding property owners and/or utility companies that may restrict the location and/or design and height of fences.) Once permissions are cleared, contact your local contractor for a free estimate and quickly begin your yard transformation.

Learn more about Installing a Fence Yourself!