A split rail fence is a great way to give any outdoor space a distinctive look. Homeowners choose a split rail fence to create a picturesque view that recalls the wide open spaces of the Old West or Great Plains. Split rail fences can even be less pricey than other options because their unusual construction generally means less wood is used.
A split rail fence can be an interesting way to beautify and protect your land. However, some property owners might find they don’t have quite the level of security they would prefer from their fence.Luckily, there’s a way to enhance the fence further.
A Split Rail Fence With Wire Backing Can Be a Great Choice
Updating a split rail fence with wire mesh or backing is an easy way to make your fence more sturdy and secure: Just add wire mesh right on to your existing fence. Securing the wire to the fence is a simple matter of using staples or stakes. You may find that you don’t even need to secure the wires around the bottom of the fence.
Aside from their keen aesthetic appeal, a split rail fence is generally used for keeping large animals like horses, sheep, cows or even pigs properly fenced in. They are usually fine for that purpose just the way they are. However, there are several advantages of a split rail fence with wire that might make it an attractive option.
Let’s look at exactly how wires can make your existing fence better:
1) Wires Help Prevent Smaller Varmints From Intruding
If you’re in an area where animals such as raccoons, moles and badgers wander free, then you know that a split rail fence will do very little to deter these little creatures. They can easily climb up the fence or make their way between the posts if the spaces are wide enough. They may even be able to dig underneath the fence. Wire backing makes this much more difficult.
2) Wires Deter Larger Predators — At Least Temporarily
A split rail fence doesn’t have a lot of stopping power when it comes to large predators such as coyotes, wolves and bears. However, adding a little bit of wire can deter these creatures for a few precious minutes, which may make the difference when it comes to fending them off without losing any of your animals. Thicker, stronger wire with barbs may be a good investment if this is an issue.
3) Wires Help Keep Your Pets from Wandering Away
Of course, cattle and other large creatures aren’t the only ones who could benefit from a fence with added wire. When you add wire to your split rail fence, you make it much less likely that Fido will be able to dig out and slip under the fence. No pet owner wants to deal with the potentially tragic aftermath of a lost animal, so some good wire can help you achieve peace of mind.
4) Wires Provide More Steady Growth for Plants and Flowers
Although a split rail fence is beautiful on its own, it can be even more striking when native plants and flowers are allowed to grow nearby. With the additional surface area provided by your wires, you can achieve a more “draped” and even growth. When you have a split rail fence all on its own, growth can become focused around the fence posts and may appear patchy.
5) Wires Provide a Little More Stability
Your fence may still be in trouble if you’re in a situation where someone intentionally gives it a good, hard whack. Likewise, it may or may not stand up against a sustained, violent storm. Still, wires can sometimes prevent storm debris from flying right through your fence. Wires do give the fence a bit more bracing, which can help it endure in the event of an accidental collision.
All in all, it doesn’t take long to update your split rail fence with wire. Try it out with a small section of the fence to decide whether or not it’s right for you. If not, removing the wire is relatively straightforward early on.