Planning on fencing your property with a vinyl fence? If yes, you’re at the right place! You can definitely install a vinyl fence on your own. But before that, you’ll need to get acquainted with all the vinyl fencing terms, don’t you think?
Well, to your rescue, we’ve listed all the vinyl fence parts in this post. We’ll discuss each of these parts deeply. As a bonus, we’ve around listed the benefits of fencing your property with vinyl fences and a few popular types of vinyl fencing as well. Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
What are vinyl fences made up of?
First of all, let’s find out what vinyl fences are made up of, shall we? Vinyl fences are primarily comprised of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which are combined with other elements to strengthen its durability, stability, and weather resistance.
Vinyl fences are relatively low-maintenance and often come with a lifetime warranty. Now, in the next section, let’s dissects various parts of a vinyl fence.
8 vinyl fence parts
Posts are thick vertical structures that are generally embedded onto the ground using a concrete mixture. During the installation of posts, 1/3 of the length is usually buried underneath the ground, and around a 6-inch layer of gravel is added below these structures to ensure proper drainage below the fence.
Posts overall are relatively longer and thicker than the rest of the fence structure and are integral for maintaining the fence’s structural stability. Posts held horizontal rails in place, which in turn accepts the vertical pickets in place.
Some brands offer posts without any groove for rails attachment, which requires brackets to hold the rails in place. Good brands, however, have notches in their posts such that the rails are slipped into and locked easily.
Vinyl posts with groves are generally of four subtypes, depending on open their position and functions on the fencing system: end posts, corner posts, line posts, and gate socket posts.
- End posts
As the name suggests, end posts are the posts meant to be installed at the terminal of the fence or where the fence abuts the home. These types of posts only have a hole on one side of it to accommodate the horizontal rail.
- Corner posts
Corner posts are used on the corner of the fence where two adjacent sections are perpendicular to each other. To serve this function, corner posts have notches not on the opposite sites but on the two adjacent sides at 90 degrees to each other.
- Line posts
As line posts are used as intermediate posts to support the entire lengths and breadths of the fencing system, many fencing set comes with plenty of line posts.
Line posts are fixed every certain foot apart, depending upon the length of fence sections, and have holes on two opposite sides to accommodate horizontal rails of two consecutive sections.
- Gate posts
Gate posts are simple posts designed to support the vinyl gates and withstand the opening and closing forces that accompany them. Depending upon the position of the gate in the fencing system, the gate post can either be a line post, corner post, or an end post.
Likewise, with the increasing number of gates and their size, gate posts in a fence can be once or more. When one inserts heavy-duty metal inserts into the regular posts, these posts serve the function of gate posts. These metal inserts must also be embedded into the concrete mixture.
Once the gate posts are ready, one can simply add hinges to it, attach the gate, add latches, and that’s how simple it is to add a gate to a vinyl fence.
Rails are horizontal structures that home vertical boards or pickets. Depending upon the position, rails can be top rail, which is positioned on top of the panel; middle rail, which is attached on the middle or slightly below the top rail; and the bottom rail, which holds the pickets in place from the bottom.
The number of rails comprised in a vinyl fencing set depends upon the type and design of the fence.
While the majority of minimal-designed privacy fence has a top rail and a bottom rail to give a sleek look, picket fences generally do not comprise a top rail, thus imparts that beautiful pointed classic design on top.
Vertical structures between the posts that are held in place using horizontal rails are called pickets. Pickets come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and designs.
Some are pointed at the top, as we usually see in picket style fences, some are flat on top of which top rails are installed, and some features some other designs such as a round cap on top.
Aesthetic and privacy factor of a vinyl fence is determined by the design and distance between the two adjacent pickets on the panels. The tighter the distance, the more is the privacy.
However, pickets must have at least a minimal gap in between to provide enough space for expansion during hot days. To create an interesting aesthetics, sometimes, pickets are arranged in varying lengths throughout the panel to create scalloped vinyl fencing.
For convenience and mostly functional reasons, many homeowners install a vinyl gate on their fences. Vinyl gates come pre-fabricated and are super easy to install.
That being said, many also install vinyl gates just for aesthetic purposes, as these gates offer a range of styles and designs to elevate your overall fence appearance.
5. Post caps
Unlike in a wooden fencing system, where post caps prevent water damage, post caps on vinyl fences are used to enhance aesthetics. Post caps come in a variety of designs and are added as a decorative element on top of posts once they are fixed in place firmly.
6. Picket caps
Like post caps, picket caps also help in adding decoration to your vinyl fence. Picket caps generally come with a vinyl fence set that doesn’t comprise of top-most rail to lock the tip of pickets in place. This is common in picket fences where pointed or rounded picket caps decorate the pickets on top.
Brackets are often necessary to attach prefab panels to the posts, thus securing one section of vinyl fence to another. C channel brackets are attached to hold vertical pickets in place.
One shouldn’t compromise on brackets when buying vinyl fence accessories, as it plays an essential role in maintaining the structural integrity of the fence. Thus, brackets should be sturdy and of high quality.
The entire structure comprising of pickets and rails, which comes prefab to ease the installation process, are called panels. Panels are a section of the fence and are connected to each other via brackets.
Types of vinyl fence parts
By now, we know all the parts of a vinyl fence, don’t we? Furthermore, knowing different types of vinyl fences might also be beneficial for you. Here’s a list of a few popular vinyl fencing systems.
1. Privacy vinyl fence
If you expect utmost privacy from your vinyl fencing, privacy fencing is what you should opt for. This type of fencing system comprises of a minimal gap between two pickets, completely blinding view from the outside.
2. Semi-private vinyl fence
Semi-private fences are just what the name suggests; these are not completely blocking yet provides a fair share of privacy. These types of fencing come in a range of heights and spacings between the pickets to choose from.
3. Pool vinyl fence
Pool fences, as the name suggests, surround swimming pools and are tall enough to prevent children from climbing. These vinyl fences must comply with the city code and regulations before installation.
Generally, the gap between the pickets in pool fences shouldn’t exceed 4-inches. Thus, pool fences don’t provide much privacy but do a brilliant job in terms of security against fatalities and aesthetics.
4. Picket vinyl fence
Unlike privacy vinyl fencing style, picket fences are not installed for privacy purposes. Instead, many homeowners love the elegant and timeless designs that picket vinyl fence offers and are often used for decorative fences to delineate domestic boundaries. Picket fences have greater picket spacing than semi-private vinyl fences.
5. Post and rail vinyl fence
Post and rail vinyl fences, also called ranch fences, are generally installed to fence animals. You can opt for a two rail fence, a three-rail fence, or even a four-rail fence.
Though the most common fences are with three horizontal rails, one must opt for four rails if they have to fence smaller animals such as goats or sheep.
Vinyl fencing, as it requires little maintenance in comparison to wood ones and is more cost-effective, is becoming increasingly popular. Be it to surround swimming pools, fence properties, or for ranch purposes, this PVC fencing is apt for every occasion.
Moreover, the properties of vinyl fencing, namely ease of installation and water resistance, also make this fencing system much attractive relatively. So, if you’ve decided to fence your property using vinyl fences, we’d commend you for making the right decision.
And, now that you know all types as well as parts of a vinyl fence, what are you waiting for? Order the vinyl set, peruse the installation manual, and DIY a fantastic fence by yourself!