Ranch Rail Fences: Blending Beauty and Functionality

Distinguish your property lines with recognizable, rustic fencing.

When it comes to selecting the right fence, it's important to consider aesthetics as well as your fence’s desired function. After all, clients needing security and privacy require different fencing than those who simply want to delineate property lines. For this reason, homeowners in rural and suburban areas often choose fences simple in design and inviting in appearance. Not to mention clients with livestock only require a simple barrier to prevent these large animals from wandering off. A dense, impervious privacy fence isn’t the top choice for these scenarios; ranch rail fencing, on the other hand, is.

What is a Ranch Rail Fence?

Ranch rail fencing has been a landscaping staple since the early days of settlement in the Americas. Back then, landowners mostly concerned themselves with marking boundaries and wanted to save lumber for other construction projects (houses, barns, sheds, etc.). Thus, there was little need or demand for solid privacy fencing. Because of the spacious gaps between their long rails, ranch rail was the perfect solution. They required less timber, effectively contained cattle and sheep, and clearly distinguished where one plot began and/or ended.

Nowadays, ranch rail fences are available in PVC as well as wood. PVC, better known as vinyl, tends to be more popular due to lower and less frequent maintenance needs. Wood requires occasional paint and stain jobs in order to prevent water from soaking into its surface and causing damage after freezing into ice. Vinyl, on the other hand, simply sheds water off its clean, attractive surface. And it doesn’t rust!

What are the Benefits of a Ranch Rail Fence?

Ranch rail fences are popular among property owners for several reasons, including:

  1. Beautiful aesthetics. Because of their old-fashioned (and thus recognizable) design, ranch rails are commonly installed to enhance curb appeal. A home with these panels stands out from those with no fence at all. The rails and posts can be stained or painted to match building envelopes.
  2. Increased home value. Buyers wanting a fence around their new house are more likely to notice—and remember—a home with a ranch rail fence. Most would rather purchase a house with a pre-existing fence than go to the time, effort, and expense of building a new one.
  3. Low maintenance. Ranch rail fences are easy to maintain, requiring only occasional cleaning. Vinyl fences are particularly easy to clean, usually requiring no more than soap and water.
  4. Practicality. Ranch rail fences are effective for containing livestock. Chain link fences, by contrast, are not so practical, as animals sometimes get their hooves stuck in the infill “knuckles”.

With their durability, aesthetic appeal, ease of installation, low maintenance, and safety and security benefits, it's easy to explain ranch rail fences’ lasting popularity among property owners. Here at America’s Fence Store, we stock and sell all the necessary supplies for constructing one of these time-tested beauties. What’s more, our website allows you to calculate in advance—and in just a few minutes—all the necessary materials to build one of these for your specific home. Our free-to-use fence drawing tool allows you to select the kind of fence you want and draw an outline on a Google Maps view of your home. All necessary materials to build your fence will go straight into your cart!