What is picket fencing?

Picket fencing is a type of fence characterised by vertical wooden or vinyl boards called pickets that are evenly spaced and attached to horizontal rails. The pickets are typically pointed or shaped at the top, creating a decorative and classic look. Picket fences are known for their charming and traditional appearance and are often associated with country properties or rural settings.

Picket fences are usually shorter than other fences, ranging from around 3 to 4 feet tall. They are commonly used to define boundaries, enhance curb appeal, and provide a decorative element to residential properties, gardens, parks, and other outdoor spaces.

Picket fences can be made from different materials, including wood, vinyl, or metal. Wood is popular due to its natural aesthetic appeal, while vinyl and metal options offer low maintenance and durability. The spacing between the pickets can vary depending on the desired level of privacy or decorative effect.

Picket fencing is a versatile and visually appealing option that combines functionality with a touch of charm, creating a classic and timeless look for both traditional and modern homes.

This is a photo of a picket fence and picket gate installed by Fast Fix Fencing

How far apart should the pickets be spaced?

The spacing between pickets in a picket fence can vary depending on personal preference, desired level of privacy, and the style of the fence. Here are some general guidelines for picket spacing:

Traditional spacing: Traditional picket fences often have uniform spacing between pickets. The typical spacing ranges from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres). This spacing allows for a more open and decorative look while still providing a visual barrier.

Increased privacy: You can reduce the spacing between pickets if you desire more privacy. A spacing of around 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimetres) can provide a tighter barrier and limit the visibility through the fence.

Custom spacing: The spacing between pickets can be customised to suit your preferences. Some homeowners may prefer a specific aesthetic or functional requirement for a unique picket spacing. In such cases, it’s important to consider the balance between privacy, airflow, and the overall appearance of the fence.

When spacing the pickets, it’s important to maintain a consistent gap between each picket to achieve a visually pleasing and symmetrical look. Proper measurement, alignment, and installation techniques will contribute to a uniform appearance throughout the fence.

Ultimately, the spacing between pickets is a personal choice that should take into account the intended function of the fence, local regulations, and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve.

What are the benefits of picket fencing?

Picket fencing offers several benefits that make it a popular choice for homeowners. Here are some of the key advantages of picket fencing:

Aesthetic appeal: Picket fences have a classic and charming appearance that adds a touch of elegance and enhances the curb appeal of a property. They create a warm and inviting atmosphere and can complement various architectural styles.

Boundaries and demarcation: Picket fences effectively define property boundaries and mark off specific areas within a property. They provide a clear visual separation and can help keep people and animals from encroaching on your property.

Security and safety: While picket fences may not offer the same level of security as solid fences, they can serve as a deterrent and provide a basic level of protection. They can help keep children and pets safely contained within the property and discourage unauthorised access.

Ventilation and visibility: Picket fences allow for airflow and ventilation, making them suitable for properties where good air circulation is desired. Additionally, the spacing between the pickets allows for visibility, which can be beneficial for monitoring activities outside your property.

Versatility and customisation: Picket fences offer flexibility in terms of design and customisation options. They come in various styles, heights, and materials, allowing you to choose a picket fence that suits your preferences and complements your property’s overall aesthetic.

Low maintenance: Picket fences can be relatively low maintenance depending on the material chosen. Vinyl and metal picket fences are remarkably durable and require minimal upkeep, such as occasional cleaning. Wood picket fences may require more maintenance, including staining or painting and periodic repairs.

Quick and easy installation: Picket fences are generally easier and faster to install than solid fences due to their lighter weight and more straightforward construction. 

Neighbourhood-friendly: Picket fences are often seen as a neighbour-friendly fencing option, as they don’t completely block views or create a sense of isolation. 

It’s essential to consider your specific needs, and property requirements when deciding on the type of fencing to install. We are fencing expert and can help you make an informed decision based on your circumstances.

This is a photo of feather edge fencing and picket fencing and a picket gate, all installed by Fast Fix Fencing

Can picket fences be customised?

Yes, picket fences can be customised to suit individual preferences and specific requirements. Here are some aspects of picket fences that can be customised:

Material: Picket fences can be made from various materials, including wood, vinyl, or metal. Each material has unique characteristics in appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost. Choosing the right material allows you to customise the look and functionality of your fence.

Picket style: Picket fences come in different styles and shapes. The pickets can be straight, scalloped, or have various decorative designs at the top. The choice of picket style can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the fence and align it with your personal taste or the architectural style of your property.

Height: Picket fences can be customised to different heights based on your specific needs. While traditional picket fences are often around 3 to 4 feet tall, you can opt for taller or shorter ones depending on privacy requirements or the fence’s purpose.

Spacing and configuration: As mentioned earlier, the spacing between pickets can be customised to achieve the desired level of openness, privacy, or decorative effect. You can choose a uniform spacing or vary it throughout the fence to create a unique pattern or design. Additionally, you can configure the pickets in a straight line or create angles or curves to accommodate the layout of your property.

Colours and finishes: Picket fences made from materials like wood can be painted or stained in various colours to match your exterior design scheme. This customisation allows you to create a fence that seamlessly blends with the overall aesthetics of your property.

Accessories and accents: Picket fences can be further personalised with the addition of accessories and accents. For example, you can incorporate post caps, decorative finials, or lattice panels to add a distinctive touch to your fence.

Can picket fences be used for containing pets or children?

Picket fences can be used to contain pets or children to some extent, but they may not provide the same level of containment as solid or privacy fences. Here are some considerations regarding the use of picket fences for containing pets or children:

Height and spacing: The height of a picket fence typically ranges from 3 to 4 feet, which may be sufficient to contain smaller pets or young children. However, larger pets or older children may be able to jump over or climb over the fence. It’s essential to consider the size and agility of the pets or children you intend to contain and ensure that the fence height and spacing between pickets are appropriate.

Supervision: Even with a picket fence, it’s crucial to supervise children and pets when they are in the garden. No fence can substitute for proper supervision, especially when ensuring young children’s or pets’ safety.

Consideration for specific pets: Some pets, such as small breeds of dogs or cats, may be more prone to finding ways to escape through the pickets. It’s essential to understand the behaviour and tendencies of your specific pets and make adjustments accordingly.

Are there any alternatives to traditional picket fences?

Yes, several alternatives to traditional picket fences can provide different aesthetics, functions, and levels of privacy. Here are some popular options:

Privacy fences: Privacy fences are solid or semi-solid fences that offer higher privacy and security than picket fences. They typically have no gaps between the boards or panels, providing a barrier blocking the outside view. Privacy fences can be made of wood, vinyl, metal, or composite materials.

Lattice fences: Lattice fences feature a crisscross pattern made of wood, vinyl, or metal strips. They offer a combination of privacy and visibility, allowing airflow and light while partially blocking the view. Lattice fences are often used as decorative features or to support climbing plants.

Horizontal slat fences: Horizontal slat fences have horizontally oriented boards or slats that create a modern and contemporary look. The spacing between the slats can be adjusted to provide varying levels of privacy. Horizontal slat fences can be made from wood, vinyl, or metal.

Metal fences: Metal fences, such as wrought iron or aluminium, offer durability and a more open and decorative look than traditional picket fences. They can feature intricate designs, scrolls, or decorative elements, providing an elegant and timeless aesthetic.

Composite or vinyl fences: Composite or vinyl fences are low-maintenance alternatives to traditional wood fences. They are durable, resistant to rot and pests, and come in various styles, including options that mimic the appearance of wood.

It’s important to consider your specific needs, budget, maintenance requirements, and the overall style of your property when choosing an alternative to traditional picket fences. We can advise you of the most suitable options available to meet your specific needs.

How is a damaged picket fence repaired?

Repairing a damaged picket fence will depend on the nature and extent of the damage. Here are some common steps involved in repairing a damaged picket fence:

Assess the damage: Carefully inspect the fence to identify the specific areas that need repair. Look for broken or loose pickets, damaged rails, posts, or other structural issues.

Replace broken or damaged pickets: If individual pickets are broken or damaged, remove them from the fence. Measure and cut replacement pickets to the appropriate length and attach them securely to the horizontal rails using nails, screws, or other suitable fasteners.

Fix loose pickets: If pickets are loose but not broken, you can reinforce them by applying wood glue to the joint where the picket attaches to the rail. Then, secure the picket with screws or nails. Additional support, such as angle brackets or braces, can be added if necessary to ensure stability.

Repair rails and posts: If the horizontal rails or fence posts are damaged, they may need to be repaired or replaced. Remove the affected section for damaged rails and replace it with a new rail of the same size and material. For damaged posts, the extent of repair will depend on the severity of the damage. Small cracks or splits can often be repaired with wood glue and clamps, while more extensive damage may require the replacement of the entire post.

Strengthen weak connections: Check the connections between the rails, pickets, and posts. If any connections are weak or loose, reinforce them with additional screws or nails. Consider using metal brackets or braces for added support.

Paint or stain: After completing the necessary repairs, consider painting or staining the fence to restore its appearance and protect the wood. Make sure to choose a paint or stain that is suitable for exterior use and compatible with the material of your fence.

Regular maintenance, such as routine cleaning, painting, or staining, can help prevent future damage and extend the lifespan of your picket fence.

We are on hand to take care of all your picket fence installation and repair needs. Contact us anytime to schedule a free site survey.