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Home Degree of Density for Fences
Degree of Density for Fences PDF Print E-mail

A long fence
Should your fence be solid, partially opaque, or open?

This question is usually answered by understanding the function you want your fence to perform:

Solid Fences

Believe it or not, a fence will actually make your space seem larger. A solid fence will increase the feeling of intimacy and enclosure.

Choose a fence with a more solid style if you want:

  • To contain small children or animals
  • To hide your property
  • To have a sense of security
  • To hide an unattractive view
  • To have complete privacy
  • To temper wind, sun or noise (for large areas, solid fences, like any solid barrier, will be relatively ineffective in blocking wind)
  • To make a strong statement of where your boundaries are
  • In some cases, to delineate areas for work, recreation, relaxation and storage

To achieve more visual interest with a solid fence, you should consider:

  • The plantings you’ll put on either side of your fence (it’s best to plan these at the same time you design the fence)
  • A decorative top treatment
  • Shelves or a grid to display plants or garden art

Partially Opaque Fences

An example of this type of fence is one with louvers or lattice-work.

A fence idea that can provide some screening, but not total screening might be your choice if:

  • You would like semi-privacy – a screen, without an enclosed feeling.
  • The children or animals you would like to contain are too large to fit through any slats or openings, but not strong enough to break through the building material.
  • You want to maintain a feeling of openness, but want to hide an unattractive view.
  • You want a more subtle boundary marker.
  • You want to mark a boundary, yet still see through to what is beyond.

Open Fences

Choose this style when:

  • You want a symbolic barrier (not really much of a barrier) that shows a boundary. The more open the fence is the more symbolic it is. As it becomes more dense, it becomes more of a physical barrier and a visual separation between the two sides.
  • You want to mark a boundary, but have a clear view of what is beyond. This is demonstrated by the use of the white picket fence surrounding the front yard of a home.


Home Garden Tip: We always plan the types of plantings we will use while we’re developing a fence idea for a client, so that the total effect can be understood.

read on for more information on fences ...