What Is Split Rail Fencing?

What Is Split Rail Fencing?

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If you don’t live in north America, you probably don’t call it split rail fencing – but that doesn’t mean you haven’t seen it!

Split rail fencing is definitely more popular on the farms of the United States and Canada, but you can see similar types of rustic wooden fence in many other parts of the world.

What Materials Are Used for Split Rail Fencing?

There’s no hard and fast rule about what you should use to build split rail fencing. It evolved as a cost-effective way to fence large rural yards and similar areas, so it was often built with whatever was easily available.

Today, split rail fencing, as the name suggests, is usually made with split logs, which are nailed in place. Splitting the logs creates a flat surface that can butt up against the wooden posts.

How Is Split Rail Fencing Built?

Split rail fencing is a very rustic, rough, and ready type of fence. Posts may be in concrete, but they’re more likely to simply be driven into the ground.

While you can buy the materials for split rail fencing today, you still should not expect it to be smooth and splinter free. It will still be fairly rough when it’s delivered!

What Are the Benefits of Split Rail Fencing?

Split rail fencing is relatively cheap and quick to build, so you can put one up much faster than more “polished” fence types. It also has a distinct rustic appeal that is great for farms, but also for country homes or lake houses.

This type of fence is also fairly easy to DIY, and it is easy enough to replace a rail when you need to.

Split rail fencing also does not require any special tools to install. If you have a shovel, a hammer and a few other basic tools, you can build a split rail fence.

What Are the Drawbacks of Split Rail Fencing?

Split rail fencing offers very little in the way of security – it demarcates a boundary, and that’s about it. It probably also won’t keep pets and children contained unless you combine it with another type of fence.

What Are the Alternatives to Split Rail Fencing?

There are several cheaper fence types that could be an alternative to split rail fencing.

One of those is ranch rail, which is a similar horizontal rail style fencing, but made with more finished wood or even vinyl fence.

Another option, particularly if you do need to keep animals in or out, is to use wood fence posts and wire farm fence mesh.

Generally, though, if you don’t mind a very rustic looking fence, and you don’t need a highly effective barrier, split rail fencing can look great in certain settings.

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