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Outdoor Wooden Structures: Materials for Fences and Decks (page 1 of 4)

Learn about the different types of materials that can be used to build a wood fence or deck, plus get tips on basic fence construction.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

As well as featuring in the hard landscaping of many gardens, wooden structures are also commonly used to create fences as well as decorative features in the garden. All wood must be treated if it is in contact with the ground. Wooden structures can also be stained, varnished or painted.

Wooden Garden Materials

Wood can be used to build garden structures such as fences, features or decking. Wooden structures can be combined with masonry or metal components for decorative effect, extra strength or ease of construction. Kits are often available for you to construct fences or other projects, or you can use ready-made components such as sawn wood, posts and brackets to create your own design using basic woodworking joints.

Fence Considerations
Most fences need a gate. These are usually hung between two fence posts. Some open fences, such as split-rail designs, can be given a mesh backing if you need a barrier for animals.

Fence Types

There are several traditional designs of fence often used as boundaries or screens within a garden design. Some have panels or boards placed between posts to form a solid boundary, while other designs are more open, being simply constructed of vertical and horizontal members. When choosing a fence, consider how well it will fit with the style of house and garden, and what level of security and privacy you require.

Close-Board
A solid fence built from separate components, easily adapted to your specifications. Overlapping vertical wooden slats are attached to horizontal rails (arris rails) running between fence posts.

Picket
Similar in construction to a close-board fence, this decorative, partially see-through fence has gaps between the uprights. The uprights may be rounded or pointed for decorative effect.

Split Rail
A simple, open design. Horizontal members run between posts. Wire mesh can be used across the framework to provide a less penetrable barrier if necessary. The mesh is attached to the posts and rails using staples.

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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