There are many different wood fences types to choose from. Wood fencing in the west coast is primarily western red cedar, it's natural beauty shines in the privacy fences that adorn many residences. You can also find douglas fir becoming a bit more popular because it is much less expensive than cedar. In the midwest, wood fences are often installed with pre-made fence panels. Fence installers come to your house set the posts and then place the panels. In the Pacific Northwest it is more common for the fence to be built on site because the terrain is very uneven and hilly, making it difficult to use pre-fabricated panels.
The most ubiquitous wood fence is called the estate style fence. The estate fence is built with a 2 × 4 as the bottom rail of the fence panel and a 2 × 4 as the top rail. Most often wood fences are built with 6 foot tall fence boards that are approximately 1 inch think and 4 inches wide. Most large fence builders will use posts that measure 4 1/8 inch by 4 1/8's inch. These posts are much bigger than posts you will find at Lowe's or Home Depot which commonly measure only 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
Experienced fence builders know that you need to set your posts in concrete between 18 and 24 inches into the ground. For the sturdiest posts you should let them cure at least 24 hours before you come back and build the fence. Setting your posts is the most important step in building your fence, if you get off line the whole fence will be crooked, so make sure to take extra care on this step!
If you're looking for a fence that is more intricate than a basic estate style fence, try looking into a modified panel fence. A modified panel fence has a 2 × 4 that runs on top of the fence boards to give the fence a much cleaner, more sophisticated look. In addition, there is a 1 × 4 and a 2 × 4 that run just under the top 2 × 4. When you finish the fence off with custom post caps, it's easy to see why this fence is extremely popular.
If you want to go for the grand-daddy of them all wood fence, look into a full panel construction. This type of fence is similar to a modified panel, except that there is a 2 × 4 that runs parallel to the ground. If you ask your local fence builder about any of these types of fences, they should be able to build these for you. There are lots of extras you can add to these fences, such as: spacing between the fence boards, custom post caps, lattice, trellis, gate arbors and much more!