beautiful white picket fence before a house and flower garden
Photo: Eric Roth
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Why Wood?

There are plenty of practical uses for a fence: to gain privacy, safely corral kids and pets, block wind and noise, and prevent unsupervised dips in a swimming pool. But the right fence also makes a strong aesthetic statement, improving a home's curb appeal.

Going back 400 years, the favorite residential fencing material in this country has always been wood. In 2007 alone, Americans put up 59,000 miles of it, enough to circle the globe twice, and then some. Why wood? It's inexpensive and lightweight, to be sure, but so is chain link. The main reason is that a wood fence can easily be shaped to give properties character and individuality. You can choose from dozens of styles, including linear post-and-rail and crisscrossing lattice, as well as myriad picket patterns and post-cap designs. And you can stain the wood to make it pop out or recede from the landscape as either a vibrant or subtle frame for what's behind it.

On the following slides, see some of the forms a wood fence can take, and learn the basics of buying, installing, and maintaining it. Take the time now to carefully consider your choice; if you follow our tips, you'll be looking at that fence—and enjoying it—for many years to come.
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