Wooden fencing is generally used where attractive appearance and durability are important. Close-boarded fencing is used for privacy and security.
Wooden fencing compares to strained wire fencing in the following ways:
- Wooden fencing is considerably more expensive in materials than strained wire fencing, and takes longer to erect.
- The strength of a wooden fence is in its rigidity, formed by the strength of the posts and rails, the method of jointing, and the firmness of each post in the ground. In contrast, strained fencing is flexible, and its strength comes from the elasticity of the wire, and the strength of the straining posts. Any extra load on a strained fence is spread along its length. Extra load on a wooden fence is borne by that section with its adjacent posts.
- Most types of wooden fencing require posts to be set in dug holes, at pre-determined distances. This can be awkward in difficult ground conditions. The positioning of posts for strained fencing can be altered to suit the ground conditions.
- The erection of wooden fencing requires no specialist tools, and has no particular hazards associated with it. The erection of strained wire fencing requires the use of wire strainers and other specialist tools, and is potentially hazardous because of the danger of wires breaking if overtensioned.
- Well maintained wooden fencing presents almost no hazard to the animals enclosed, and is used for the most valuable stock, such as horses. Wire fencing can be hazardous to stock, especially if slack or not properly attached.
- Cleft or riven post and rail and other wooden fencing made of locally grown oak or sweet chestnut is a sustainable product. It requires no preservative, and can be erected without the use of nails or other fittings.