steal this idea: fence with alternating board lengths and colors

This fence in our neighborhood just knocked us out the first time we saw it. The uneven lengths of wood and randomly stained boards add interest to the property without being over-the-top wacky. We took a closer look, and it appears that they achieved the look with a combination of recycled boards — you can see ghosts of previous house numbers on some of them — and by allowing boards to weather for different lengths of time before staining. A really cool look that may be a little time-consuming, but worth the effort as far as we’re concerned. –Mary T. Click the link to see a few more details and angles!

From our partners

I feel like a broken record because I’ve said this 3 times now in as many days, but I really hate this. I applaud the conservation route, and even the different heights for interest. But the many colored look is much too junk yard for me. They’ve obviously taken a lot of time to put this together, but it looks like someone just drug a bunch of shipping palates out and leaned them up. If I were a neighbor I wouldn’t be happy about the decrease in my property value due to this look.


In general, I’m not a fan of fences at the front of a property as they close things off too much.

But for a side or back yard, I love it. It’s definitely a departure (and a step-up creativity-wise) from the plethora of shiny, white, vinyl fences that are dominating suburbia.

Go for it, but tell your neighbor to paint their side if they don’t like it!

That’s okay j — we can agree to disagree. This fence actually fits in perfectly with the neighborhood, which is a stone’s throw from a beach. But I didn’t really want to make it obvious where the owner lived. : )


Oh Fence woe! I really like the fence in that space but am so glad it wouldn’t work in mine, same goes for the modern conduit fence I loved. Please don’t feature a “steal this look” fence for a 1920s urban colonial because I couldn’t take another choice.

Mary T

riff, yes, I agree with you about the closed-off feeling. Real estate is kind of at a premium here, so a lot of people do fence the entire yard — we do as well to give our dogs more room to run, but we’re way at the top of a hill from our sidewalk so it looks fine. This particular house had almost no backyard so I could understand why they did it this way. They also front a rather busy street.

I just imagined Monk from the tv show going crazy from this fence ;)

Angela M.

I love it. I think there’s a nice organic quality to it.. and I bet it will get more interesting with age.

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[…] font-weight:bold; color:#666666; } .recentCommentsPostTitle a{ color:#666666; } Angela M.: I love it. I think there’s a nice organic quality… QueenVelveeta: That rug is way too small for that table. Martha: I am in my 2nd week back at school […]


I agree with J. While I appreciate re-using the wood, the fence is just ick.

Agreed. There is not much to like about the fence other than the fact that it is recycled. At any time, a skill-saw can eliminate the alternating tops and a fascia board or two will bring it back together. Lastly a good choice of stain can really salvage the look of this fence. I will note that although I do not like the alternation picket height or color, the difference in board width is not so bad.

I LOVE THIS FENCE. I’m trying to talk my husband into a fence like this……it’s going to be a tough sell….;o)