Picket fences are the most common kind of suburban fencing. And even though pickets are a specific pattern, we use the word generically to describe any waist-high wooden fence. In modern times though, affordable vinyl fences are quickly replacing white wooden ones.
These vinyl fences come in hundreds of colors and styles, but many are still vertical. So if you’d like a fence that stands out from the neighbors, consider installing a horizontal vinyl fence. That slight shift in direction makes all the difference, so let’s check out some ideas.
1. Sideways Screening
Horizontal vinyl fences are popular options for domestic privacy fences. It may hem in a backyard or a swimming pool area. These fences have wide plastic planks with tiny gaps between their slats. The gaps are essential for air circulation, especially in humid areas. But the planks are thick enough that you can’t easily peep through, so they maintain discretion.
2. Paddock Fencing
If you happen to live near a farm (or maybe you visited one for summer), then you’re familiar with pasture fencing. These fences are minimalist, with long planks separated by large gaps and well-spaced posts. They’re intended to stop cattle and horses from straying into other sections of the grass or farmland. And you can quickly erect these horizontal vinyl fences.
3. In Your Lane
Another popular function for horizontal vinyl fences is to make pathways. On a large-scale farm, you may not want small grazers straying onto the road where they could get hurt. And if you happen to use horse wagons and carriages, hemming them between two fences is good for the animal’s safety as well as avoiding property damage if they run off the road in a panic.
4. Sharp New Fence
Sometimes, the difference between modern and old-school styling is in the shapes and lines. This horizontal vinyl fence – for example – has authentic-looking wood grains. It looks like they used reclaimed planks and painted them chocolate. But it’s actually a plastic fence with the slightest of gaps between its slats. And the sharp diagonal cut at the top keeps it modern.
5. Gridwork Fencing
Supposing you can’t decide between vertical and horizontal vinyl fences. But you still need a fence that guaranteed ventilation. This square lattice fence makes a pretty compromise. The squares are big enough to promise proper circulation and heat release. The fence allows a clear view so you can watch kids, pets, or farm animals but they can’t easily slip through.
6. Private Patio
You probably like to sit on your patio and watch the world go by. But you probably don’t want the neighbors checking you out as you do it. This white horizontal vinyl fence is a quick solution. You can install it on a lazy afternoon and it lets you enjoy the fresh outdoor air without feeling too exposed. The patio canopy is made of the same ventilated gapped vinyl.
7. Is It Plastic?
Horizontal vinyl fences are made using a series of different techniques. The two most popular types are printing and casting. With printed vinyl, patterns are machine-inked onto vinyl sheets. With cast fencing, solid molds are used to shape the plastic panels. This vinyl fence has realistically rendered colors and textures so you can barely tell it’s not real wood!
8. Slanted Privacy
It doesn’t sound like you can do much to modify horizontal vinyl fences. You might change the color or the width of the slats, but what else can you do? This example shows how you can enhance privacy by slightly shifting the angle. These vinyl slats are set at an angle. They resemble slightly open blinds, and the micro-overlap they create is a visual pleasure.
9. Bufftech Extruded and Molded
CertainTeed is a top supplier of vinyl fencing and siding, but because they have such a wide selection, you have to triple-check what you’re buying. This horizontal vinyl fence – for instance – is from their BuffTech series. The planks look realistic because they’re molded from wood, extruded with weatherproof plastic, and reinforced with internal steel beams.
10. Aluvinyl Fencing
When you’re buying materials for your horizontal vinyl fence, you’ll need to double-check. Some types of vinyl fence panels (like this set here) are reinforced with aluminum, steel, cement board, or composite wood. This means you get extra sturdiness plus a broad selection of colors and textures. But if you want pure vinyl, this hybrid fencing might outprice you.
11. Vinyl City Rails
Out in the Midwest, rail fences are mostly for horse country. You might even see them flanking the highway to prevent wild deer from rushing into your headlights (and they don’t always work!) But if you live in a more urban area and are longing for a touch of home, you can still install low horizontal vinyl fencing around your flowerbeds. Add decorative endcaps.
12. Certagrain Fencing
As we’ve mentioned, CertainTeed has several lines of horizontal vinyl fences reinforced with aluminum. So if you want a plastic fence that persuasively simulates the texture and semblance of wood grains, by a Brookline Certagrain. It comes in two greys (weathered and arctic) and two blends of brown (Brazilian and Sierra), and three no-grain neutral shades.
13. Cap it Off
Rail fences have the same basic style. They’re horizontal vinyl fences with long sideways rails and posts at even intervals. But you can spice up your rail fences but using additional rails, inserting decorative end gaps, and varying the space between rails. This fence has four horizontal rails and bullet-shaped end caps. You could also mix rail and/or post colors.
14. Part-time Fencing
The black-and-white theme in this backyard is impressive. The lower walls, flagstones, fencing, and siding are all white vinyl. But if you glance up, you can see the beginnings of black vinyl cladding for the upper floors. These horizontal vinyl fence panels are removable, so you can install them for privacy around the garbage bin or the exterior HVAC sections.
15. Crossbuck Fencing
Here’s another hybrid horizontal fence you could try if you’re unsure about sideways planks. It uses the same amount of vinyl, but the planks are diagonally crossed instead of sitting horizontally. This changes the visual effect of the fence, and that x in the middle prevents cattle, pets, and (some) children from sneaking through your fencing posts, so it works!
16. Semi-Privacy Fencing
How does a horizontal vinyl fence get classed as semi-private? It’s usually about the size of the gaps. This semi-privacy fence has realistic wood grain and you can order it in four hues – two dark shades (walnut and sequoia) and two lighter shades (tan and white). The top of the fence has narrow gaps while the lower slats are packed tighter with no gaps between.
17. Outdoor Shower Fence
The main function of a fence is to provide privacy. It also serves to separate your yard from your neighbor’s. But if you live in a beach town or if your kids routinely play with the sprinklers, you could use this louvered horizontal vinyl fence as an outdoor shower cubicle. It could also serve as an outdoor shower for a guesthouse or pool house with pebbled flooring.
18. Basket Weave Fencing
If ventilation is a factor but not a priority, you could try this basket-weave horizontal vinyl fence. The slats are set at an angle so they seem to interlock like a woven mat. But the slight shifts in slats are tiny gaps that can let air flow through. The gaps aren’t big enough for raindrops or snowflakes, but dirty water might leave streaks so you’ll need to hose this fence regularly.
19. Good Neighbour Fencing
When you’re erecting a fence, you don’t often think about the neighbors. You may need their permission to work on their side of the yard, but your focus is on your home. Luckily, this ‘good neighbor’ fence is ‘reversible’ so wherever you mount it, both sides will look equally pretty. If only they’d pay half! This version is a Brazilian blend brown vinyl fence.
20. Fusion Fencing
For consumers that are worried about the viability of horizontal vinyl fencing, Fusion products can be a happy compromise. This Fusion fence is a mix of aluminum and plastic. The ‘wooden’ planks are vinyl panels painted in realistic redwood tones. These planks are framed with black aluminum borders to give the fence extra strength and stability.
21. Middling Fences
You might like the idea of a horizontal vinyl fence in rail styling. But you might not be wild about the visibility that comes with it. Plan B? Buy excess rails and mount them closer together. In this yard, the front and sides of the fence are railed but the rear sides have solid panels for added privacy. You can use solid vinyl planks on the bedroom side of the yard.
22. Grey Wash
Horizontal vinyl fences don’t just keep the neighbors out. You can also use them to demarcate sections of your home. This grey fence divides the driveway from the lawn. It’s a good way to keep heavy wheels off the grass. It can also help you train your pets to stay on the stony side (or grassy side) of the yard. The fence keeps rodents out of the house as well.
23. Driftwood Vinyl
You might be an old soul that loves the look of distressed wood and retro furniture. But while a driftwood fence would look gorgeously organic, it would need a lot of care to stay that way. So consider this horizontal vinyl fence made from driftwood vinyl molds. The grain is real enough to impress you, but it doesn’t need staining or treatment and it has zero splinters!
24. Style is Key
At its most basic, the horizontal vinyl fence is a series of horse rails. So how can you make your fence exceptional? This faux fence is made from wood-grain plastic panels with minor gaps between. So you can heighten the fence appeal by planting vines and bamboo stalks around the fence. As leaves and flowers weave through the slats, the fence gets prettier.
25. Gated Fencing
You can make your horizontal vinyl fence as long or short as you like. Of course, longer planks cost more, so you may opt for shorter panels framed in a rectangular border. Each of these framed fence panels resembles a gate, so if you want a ‘foldable fence’, you can mount several ‘gate panels’ in a modular manner so you can open or shut the fence like a screen.
26. Tiered and Toned
Horizontal vinyl fences – particularly rail fences – sometimes have forked posts. This allows you to dig the individual posts into hilly terrain. By doing this, you can adjust the distance of the lowest rail from the ground, ensuring the rails are even all around with minimal gaps. But you can have alternate heights as well. Arrange them for maximum privacy or extra visibility.
27. Narrow Weave Fence
If you have the patience for it, here’s a horizontal vinyl fence idea you could try out. Vinyl is flexible, so find sufficiently long vinyl rods (or narrow planks) and weave them between sturdy fencing posts. The distance between the posts (and the parallel panels themselves) will depend on how much visibility or ventilation you need. And they can be removable.
28. Shadow Boxing Fences
In horse rail fences or paddock fences, the section between each post forms a sort of mini-fence panel. And this fence uses perpendicular planks on each sub-section, alternating vertical sections with horizontal ones. The verticals seem to have raised and recessed portions while the horizontal part forms a ‘shadow box’ effect because of the alignment.
29. Black Fencing
Your typical fence is a white picket version made of waist-high wood planks. It might even be shorter. So if you want something that’s anti-suburban stereotypes, try this black horizontal vinyl fence. It goes as high as your shoulders or higher and is a cute, semi-glossy black. You may need to hose it down daily because that shade of black is likely to show dust or stains.
30. Deeper Louvers
The average louvered horizontal vinyl fence has broad panels that tilt slightly towards the bottom. So only a small section of the slats overlap. But if you want additional privacy, you can slant the slats laterally. That means most of the vinyl panels will hide in the shadow of the prior panel. It lets more air through but limits the permeability of air, raindrops, or pets.
31. Mix and Mingle
This shouldn’t be this far down the list. Why not? Because mixing the width of your planks is the simplest way to add interest and variation to your horizontal vinyl fence. In this sample, the gaps are all the same, but the vinyl planks include one broad plank followed by two thinner planks. The river rocks at the base of the fence are useful for both style and drainage.
32. Poolside Paneling
Stone and concrete walls are expensive. And if you have a swimming pool, these materials might crack or crumble after years of chlorine erosion and humidity. So make the science work for you. Hot air rises, and so does water vapor. So make the bottom of your whitewashed pool fence stone – only about a foot high. Then top it with gapped black vinyl.
33. Bravo Fencing
For our last horizontal vinyl fence, let’s go down to Tampa. Like many of the fences we’ve looked at, this one plays on the perpendicular. The bottom-most foot of the fence has solid vertical panel ridges that can stop runoff and prevent the limbs and body parts of pets, pests, and little kids from getting stuck. But the upper part contains gapped horizontal panels.
What’s your favorite horizontal vinyl fence? Show us some photos in the comments section!