Good Fences By Design – Old House Journal Magazine


As a result of their historic architectural vocabulary is huge, fences are greatest designed beginning with operate. Then think about the fabric, the interval and elegance, and set up.

For picket fences alone, the historical past is immensely diversified. Design modified with the period and from area to area. Within the 18th century, New England fences have been architectural statements with classical particulars and carvings. Victorian fences have been as fanciful because the period’s picket gingerbread. Yow will discover documentation in previous builders’ catalogs, or maybe at a museum home, however most historic fences are lengthy gone. At present, think about the positioning and your objectives: Is the fence meant as a refined boundary marker, as an decoration, or to dam an unlucky view? 

It appears to be like like New England, however this home close to Minneapolis was inbuilt a holdover Greek Revival type ca. 1900. The good-looking new fence
 is modeled on one seen in an archival photograph that exhibits the street and entrance yard. 
Photograph: Andrea Rugg for Trehus Architects

Fences of Wooden

At present’s suburban wooden fences usually fall into one in all three sorts: picket, trellis or lattice, and privateness.

• Starting from 2′ to five′ tall, picket fences will be plain or fancy. Pickets could also be sawn for various profiles on the high.  A typical pyramidal publish cap usually suffices, however different caps are urns or Gothic spires. Picket fences mark the boundary of a small yard, and are sometimes utilized in entrance of a home, close to the sidewalk.

• Used with climbing vines, lattice fences solely partially obscure the view whereas permitting wind to move by way of. These work nicely as backyard and patio fences.

• Taller privateness fences obscure views of the street or a neighbor and are used for defense in opposition to intruders, wind, and noise. A privateness fence with lattice within the high part is a horny compromise.

A trellis high part trains wisteria and breaks up the mass of a privateness fence in Rockport, Mass. A eating space is hidden simply behind the previous kitchen addition. Photograph: Greg Premru

 Wooden fences of the purely practical kind are nonetheless in use: stockade fencing, split-rail, post-and-rail, zigzag, and so forth. Most of those, constructed inexpensively, merely marked a property line or corralled livestock. Picket fences are what most of us consider once we think about a wooden fence. These developed from the stockade fence however usually are thought of decorative. A picket fence can mark a property line, act as a backdrop for backyard beds, and supply winter curiosity. A easy picket fence with an built-in, fancier gate or entry arbor is usually one of the best guess, each aesthetically and budget-wise.

A tall privateness fence by Backyard Construction contains vertical trellis panels. With or with out vines, the graphic type is suitable for Twentieth- century properties from Tudor Revival to Mid-century Trendy. Photograph: courtesy gardenstructure.com

What we name a privateness fence was thought of a sensible choice for inhibiting a foul view or making certain privateness. Interval writing advises that tall fences be of “subdued coloration” and “partly hid” by plantings. Any lattice panels had lath or slats set not on the diagonal, however slightly perpendicular with sq. openings, small or massive. “If you design a big fence, over 6′ excessive and uncovered to the wind, each facet needs to be overbuilt,” cautions Lawrence Winterburn of Backyard Construction in Toronto—who’s at work on a “fence bible” that may embody plans.

Considerably austere iron fencing and railings have been typical for mid-Nineteenth-century row homes in Boston and different Japanese cities.

The Metallic Fence

Apart from iron entry gates on massive estates and plantations, iron fencing was primarily city, and infrequently took the type of railings alongside stairs and round a tiny entrance yard. Some cities are recognized for his or her iron fences: Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans come to thoughts, as do the monumental cast-iron newels and balustrades of brownstone Brooklyn, which emulated stone at far much less price. Most iron fences date to the Victorian period; they have been deemed “too formidable” for bungalow tons.

Earlier metallic fences have been made from wrought iron, malleable sufficient to kind into scrolls and even ornaments. Forged iron got here a bit later. It’s brittle however good in compression, and rusts extra slowly than wrought iron; even so it must be stored painted. Metal started to displace iron fencing on the finish of the Nineteenth century, when composite fencing made up of metal and malleable iron—the precursor of chain-link fencing—was broadly marketed to be used on farms and family yards. Many iron fences have been sacrificed throughout World Warfare II, after they have been melted down in scrap drives.

For landmark properties, forged iron is out there (that is Wiemann’s Heritage line). Photograph: courtesy wiemann metalcraft

For the businesses right now providing metallic fences, a lot of the enterprise is for railings, driveway gates, and pool enclosures. “Ours will be made in aluminum, metal, bronze, forged iron, or chrome steel, relying on the design,” says William Mogavero of Bill’s Custom Metal in Woodbury, N.Y.

Earlier than you set up a tall fence, test native zoning legal guidelines and constructing codes. Fences over 5 or 6 toes could require a allow, as would possibly fences in designated conservation areas. If you need a brand new fence to final greater than a decade, be
positive to observe greatest requirements for development in your local weather zone: for wooden species, wind load, posts buried in
cement under the frost line, rails and publish caps that shed water, joinery,
fasteners, and end.

The formal, classical fence on the King Caesar Home in Duxbury, Mass., is an architectural embellishment that echoes the type and symmetry of the 1809 Federal-period home. The inward curve is welcoming and softens the rectilinear facade. Photograph: Paul Rocheleau

Matching the Fence to the Home

The extremely decorative iron fences in New Orleans’ Vieux Carré would look ridiculous round a saltbox or ranch. Observe regional requirements and  such particulars as porch trim and stair railings. • For fences close to the home, proportion is as vital as type. Take into account top, the mass or obvious “weight” of the fence, and symmetry. A front-yard fence needs to be subservient to the façade and never combat the structure, as by showing taller than the porch or first-floor home windows. • A wooden fence could also be left to climate or painted or stained in naturalistic colours or darkish inexperienced. White and off-white fences are Colonial Revival classics. 

Fairly plain however with diversified heights, this fence echoes the bungalow’s color and style. Photograph: Doug Keister

Earlier than you set up a tall fence, test native zoning legal guidelines and constructing codes. Fences over 5 or 6 toes could require a allow, as would possibly fences in designated conservation areas. If you need a brand new fence to final greater than a decade, be
positive to observe greatest requirements for development in your local weather zone: for wooden species, wind load, posts buried in
cement under the frost line, rails and publish caps that shed water, joinery, fasteners, and end.

Trendy PVC fences with hole posts and snap-together parts are disallowed in lots of historic districts. With a plastic sheen, they have a tendency to return solely in a harsh white. As they grow to be brittle and crack, they appear unkempt—in contrast to weathered wooden, which has a extra romantic patina. A greater guess is a fence with structural parts and
those who contact the bottom made from painted PVC lumber, with pickets or boards in wooden.

For provider data, see our Fences & Gates Resources



Posted by :www.oldhouseonline.com

Corahome

Welcome, you are reading the article Good Fences By Design – Old House Journal Magazine published date 2022-08-16. Thank you for visiting Corarchitecture

Leave a Comment