10 Inspiring Horizontal Fence Ideas

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Horizontal fences are stylish and versatile. If you want to make a statement, try one of these horizontal fence ideas in your yard. Go big with cedar planks or start small with a horizontally fenced gate.
Fences serve many purposes. They mark the property line, provide privacy by blocking out nosy neighbors, and they create a safe play area for kids and pets. Both aesthetics and functionality are important, alongside the budget, of course.
Before you build, remember to check local guidelines about fence height. You may be constrained by city ordinances or HOA rules when it comes to maximum height.
Check out these top 10 horizontal fence ideas, curated for you by the insurance comparison and shopping app Jerry. If you need car insurance or homeowners insurance, start with Jerry.

What is the difference between a vertical fence and a horizontal fence?

The key difference is the orientation of the boards.
In a vertical fence, the posts are usually set about six to eight feet apart. The posts are attached to wood panels to create the fencing. On the other hand, lateral or horizontal fences use wide boards and are smooth. They are set horizontally which creates an attractive and spacious look.
Horizontal fences can use any type of material, although most people use wood. You can use horizontal fences on a gentle downward slope if you stagger the panels.

Pros of horizontal fences

  • More privacy (no gaps between the slats)
  • Unique appearance compared to other fences
  • Illusion of larger space due to horizontal lines
  • Creates opportunities for shelving and hanging things off the fence
Be aware that horizontal fences can be more expensive than vertical fences because their orientation requires higher-grade materials to prevent sagging in the middle.
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Horizontal fence design ideas

1. Backyard spa

Wooden fence arranged and stained to resemble a spa.
Use cedar planks to create a spa-like environment in your backyard. 
Set the planks horizontally to create the illusion of a much larger space. Mount some solar lanterns or battery-powered sconces. Install a hot tub if you have the space. Voila! Instant backyard spa.
Treat the wood and maintain it regularly if you want to keep the calming honey color. Otherwise, the cedar will patina with weathering. However, some people prefer this gray color so make your own decision. 
Cedar is durable but can be susceptible to dents and scratches. Don’t use it in a high-traffic area of the yard.

2. Fence in your driveway with a gate

Modern driveway fence
If your driveway continues alongside your house, consider fencing in the driveway with a lateral fence along the driveway.
If you park your car beside your home, a fence can provide some extra security. Plus, a horizontal fence gate across the driveway is a bold style choice. Can you say curb appeal?

3. Create a gate to the backyard

A simple lateral fence and gate against a blue sky
If your children play in the backyard, this strategy can provide extra peace of mind. Keep young children in and keep strangers out.
A horizontal fence gate adds contemporary flair to your property, no matter the style of your home. If you’re not sure about major renovations, this is an excellent way to start small and see if you like the style.

4. Horizontal fencing in the garden

Plants love fences, so why not use horizontal fencing in your garden?
Try building a small portion of horizontal fencing at one edge. Train climbing vines and you’ll soon enjoy a lush, green cover on your stylish lateral fence.
If you prefer to enclose your garden, try angling the slats for a louvered fence. This allows you to see out but stops others from peering in. It’s also a good strategy to ensure that your plants get enough sunshine throughout the day.

5. Create a motif with different types of wood

Wood planks of different sizes and colors arranged into a decorative fence.
It’s time to get playful!
Experiment with either the size or color of the wood. Play around and create a pattern in your lateral fence. A good start would be by alternating every two planks with a slightly darker, thinner beam.
The beauty of this approach is that wood patterns create visual interest without the flashy appearance (or upkeep) of a painted fence. 

6. Break up the fencing with plants, stone, or pillars

A garden fence separated by trees and shrubs
If you don’t need a securely fenced yard, you can get creative with your fencing.
Try breaking up the horizontal fence with other materials. Shrubs, potted plants, or piled stone are very interesting when interspersed with your horizontal wood slats. Include a metal accent in the middle of the wall. For serious impact, use concrete pillars to create the impression of a palatial backyard.

7. Paint a pattern on your horizontal fence

The planks may be horizontal but painted designs don’t have to stay horizontal. 
The options are unlimited. Go for a quilted, country-style look and stencil white patterns on your horizontal fence. Paint a quote or botanical motif along a portion of the wall. 
For an elegant accent, try painting the rails or a single plank.

8. Add shelving

White flower bed shelf on a red fence
This is a trick borrowed from tiny home dwellers—use the vertical space!
Horizontal fences are perfectly suited to shelves and vertical container gardens. You can put small potted plants on these shelves and create even more gardening areas. Can you ever have enough herbs and succulents?
A simpler alternative is to use S-hooks to hang small pots from the lateral fence.

9. Mirror the materials of your home

Horizontal fences don’t have to be made of wood! 
If your home is steel and glass, try using similar materials in your lateral fence. Horizontal panels of glass or metal can be hugely impactful, seamlessly integrating with your existing property.
Be sure to choose a material that will age well in your climate. For instance, some metals will slowly rust into a patina. In a place like the Southwest, that’s a desirable design feature. 

10. Fence in the front yard

Lightly spaced lateral fence
You can create extra living space in your front yard by adding a lateral fence.
This is a particularly good strategy for city dwellers, where road noise and pedestrians interfere with safety and privacy. A front yard horizontal fence can even increase the value of your home. 
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Does insurance cover fence damage

It depends on the source of the damage. 
Your homeowners policy has a list of covered perils that will almost always be covered. For instance, incidents like hail damage and vandalism are probably listed in your policy. However, a dent from the lawnmower is likely not covered.
You can always submit a claim with good documentation if you think your fence damage will be covered by insurance.

Finding the right insurance for your property

Insurance is your best defense against the unpredictable. For instance, what if a car plows into your brand new horizontal fence next week? Your homeowners policy would cover the cost to repair the damage.
If you’re looking for a new (or a better) policy, try Jerry.
Jerry contacts your home or renters insurance company to get the details of your current coverage so you don’t have to scale a mountain of questions. You get all the best prices and coverage with none of the legwork. And if that company isn’t for you, Jerry helps cancel your old policy.
Better yet, Jerry will help you bundle your home and auto insurance for even bigger savings.

FAQs

The price depends on the size and materials of the fence. However, generally speaking, horizontal fences are slightly more expensive than vertical fences.
It depends on the dog and the landscape! Chain-link can be effective for most dogs but it’s not the most beautiful option. Wood-slat fences can work for many sizes of dogs and in many types of soil—especially if the fence prevents passersby from visually disturbing your dog.

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