Variations on fence style
Fences allow an almost infinite variety in their design. Each member of a fence structure—the posts, rails, and infill—can assume different shapes that will conform to your sense of style and fit the design parameters of your landscape plans.
Posts are a prime target for design alternatives. Milled post caps or finials will spice up your design with little effort. Finials (available at your home center) come in a wonderful array of configurations made to fit 4×4 or 6×6 posts. Most come complete with lag screws that hold the finial to the top of the post in a predrilled hole. Other styles rely on glued dowels to keep them in place. To keep rainwater from rotting the top of the post, caulk the bottom edge with silicone before tightening the finial. Post caps (also readily available) cover the top of the posts completely and shed rain from the end grain. You’ll find them fluted, corniced, and chamfered (some with metal covers)—in styles that match any fence design.
If you don’t like what you see in the Toronto retail market, you can cut your own decorative shapes in the top of the posts. Chamfers are easily made by a tablesaw. So are any of a number of angled or beveled configurations and cornices. Rounded or globular shapes require a lathe. If you don’t have the right equipment to decorate your own posts, you can probably find a local woodworker who will make them for a moderate fee.
Rail joints Fence
How you join the rails to the posts can have a major impact on the appearance of your Toronto fence. Dadoes, through mortises, and channels (for panel or tongue-and-groove infill) will lend a touch of sophistication to your design. (They also will reduce maintenance costs because these joints are stronger than butt joints.)
Open tops Fence
An unadorned board fence can appear massive and imposing, but you can soften that image by opening up the top of the fence. The look of a fence top will contribute as much to its overall style and appearance as the infill you select. Simplicity is the key throughout: Fence-top styles should provide a contrast, not a complication. Here are three ways to dress up your fence:
Blocked panel Fence Toronto
In this variation 2×4 blocking at 3- to 4-foot intervals supports a 2×4 (or wider) cap rail. The blocks add an element of visual rhythm to the fence design and help keep the top rails from sagging.
Lattice Fence Toronto
If you don’t want a completely open top, install lattice. It affords some screening while it lets the light in and breaks up what otherwise might be an overwhelming stretch of tongue-and-groove or board infill. After fastening a 2×6 top rail spanning the posts, install lattice panels in a frame of 1 x stops.
Arbor Fence Toronto
An arbor can bring an exciting contrast to any board fence. Make the supporting cleats from mitered 2x4s or 2x6s. The ends can be cut in decorative curves. Fasten the cleats to the post tops with carriage bolts. Predrill the 2×2 slats before attaching them to the cleats with screws.