Also known as ‘neighbor fences,’ the shadowbox fences come with pickets on both of the wall ends. These pickets fill in the gap and curtail the view. As you walk past the fence, you might see a bit of grass or a part of your neighbor’s house, but a significant view is blocked to ensure privacy. You can use flat-top or dog-eared pickets for the fence. Here in this article, we will help you understand how to build shadow box fences and maintain them.
So, how to build shadow box fences? What are the materials needed? This part will tell you how to build shadow box fences and help you get the right materials when deciding to create one.
See, the first step on how to install a shadow box fence is gathering all the materials. If truth be told, there are a myriad of options that you can pick from for the material and design of the shadow box fence. You can find fence materials ranging from wood, metal to wood-plastic composites and vinyl. You could also opt for employing pre-assembled panels, it will dramatically reduce your time during the building phase.
If the yard is sloped, then to maintain the panel level, you will have to stagger the panel heights where you can tightly fasten them to the posts. If your yard has a significant grade, the staggered panels may create gaps at the fence’s bottom level. In that case, if you have a small pup, he may be able to escape through it. So, it may not be the best solution for you.
In this case, you should instead go with the wood privacy fence from the ground up. It would closely follow the yard’s grade and keep your dog safe from the suburbia perils. You can pick the shadow box design, which alternates the picket’s position from one side of the stringer to the other, something that will add more depth to your design.
For the framing lumber, you should pick up a load of 4-by-4 8-foot posts and 2-by-4 8-foot boards for stringers (also called fence rails). Please ensure that the lumber is pressure-treated for outdoor use and the bars are approved for ground contact.
One may opt for the wood species for the pickets or the fence board, which is usually ignored these days. You can shop for these materials from your local independent lumber supplier. If you want to get to the stage on how to build a horizontal shadow box fence, you should have all the quality materials handy.
Now, you mark off the fence layout with twine and stakes. You can fasten all the connections with hot-dipped galvanized nails along with ringed shanks. It will give it a better grip and holding power.
To understand how to build a shadow box privacy fence, you must first prepare to build a fence. Thus, it is the next step and certainly an important one. After this, we will help you with the steps on how to install a shadow box fence.
Shadowbox fences are stunning and have an incredible curb appeal from the street. They assure excellent privacy right behind the wall. See, for people who want to know how to build shadow box fences, we wish to tell you that you can construct a shadowbox fence from scratch. However, if you are running short of time and unable to understand how to build shadow box fence from scratch, you can find prefab shadowbox fence panels. It needs nothing more than some planning, and you will find the process of installation quite rewarding.
The first step on how to build a horizontal shadow box fence involves digging post holes eight feet apart and eighteen inches deep. You can use a hand post hole digger if there are not too many holes to drill. Otherwise, you can also rent an automatic auger from an equipment rental facility.
You are moving on to step 2 of how to build a shadow box privacy fence. Now, you have to shovel in approximately eight inches of gravel. Set the post and shovel in a wet ad quick-set concrete mix around the bar. You will then have to affix the carpenter’s level against a face of a four-by-four post to gauge for plumb, and then place the deck next to the adjoining face of the four-by-four post to again check for plumb. The concrete must start setting in a minute or two.
Now, let us move on to step 3 of how to build a shadow box fence gate. You currently have to measure up from the top of the set concrete to around 5 feet 10 inches. You can make a mark, and then lay the metal square across one face of the four-by-four and mark a line. Moving forward, take a small nail into the line, and tie a string enveloping it. You can unwind this thread while you walk down the posts line. Next, hook a line level, a small plastic level, which joins onto the string, and move the series up and down until the line level indicates that the column is level. Next, you need to mark a line on the post’s face. Further, tap a tiny nail into the bar and tie the string taut around the nail.
You are moving on to step 4 of how to build shadow box fence by yourself. Place the metal square against each post alongside the string and make a line. Now, you can turn on the power saw and cut each post off alongside the line. These posts will now be at the same height.
Taking the process forward, you now have to bring over the shadowbox fencing first panel and lean it against the first two posts. The three horizontal rail boards, which the pickets are nailed to, must overlap each post at either end by around two inches. Now, moving ahead with the process, you will have to lay down the six-by-six-inch block of wood with a board set at the right angle for creating a simple fulcrum and lever. Raise one end of the fence panel, so the picket’s top is approximately two inches above the first fence post height. Set a wood block under the panel’s bottom and repeat the same at the other end.
Now, in this step, you will have to pound the top rail to the first post’s face. We recommend you to use only a single nail. Now, you will have to lay a carpenter’s level alongside the horizontal top rail. Further, set up the fulcrum and lever at the panel’s opposite end and step on the board’s piece until the fence panel rises to level and nail the rail to the second fence post’s face. Herein, you will have to pound in two nails for every rail post.
Now, we are at the last step of how to build shadow box fence step. In this step, you will have to repeat steps 5 and 6. Further, check that every fence panel is leveled and that every subsequent fence panel is at level with the previous one by matching the rails’ end and then setting the level straddling the two rails where they meet.
We hope that with this, you have understood how to build shadow box fence.
Now that you are aware of how to install a shadow box fence, are there any advantages of doing so? Let us have a look.
Even though you now know to build a shadow box fence and we have given you the shadow box pros, there are still a few downsides of the shadow box you need to know before you begin implementing what you just learned in the ‘how to build shadow box fence’ section.
Some of the shadow box cons include:
|Wood||The price of lumber is considerably higher than other materials|
May rot & have problems with pests
|Between $13-$19 per linear foot||Depends on||Versatile – many design & style options|
|About 25 USD forever linear foot.|
Vinyl installation will be priced equal to the wood fencing, but the maintenance requirement is less.
|If the quality of vinyl isn’t good, it may turn bad with direct exposure to sunlight and high temperatures.||There is a bunch of variety in style & color in natural stone. It is, however, important to match the stone on existing architecture.|
|Wrought iron||Iron is the most commonly used product because of its durability. But it rusts fast if it is scratched.||A residential grade with 6 feet height will cost approximately 22 USD per linear foot.|
A residential grade with 3 feet height will cost approximately 14 USD per linear foot.
|Care should be taken to avoid deformity.||Primarily wrought iron finds use in traditional comes, such as Victorian or colonial homes.|
|Aluminum||Strength wise, it lags behind iron||Around $24-$32/ linear foot||Sometimes fences made from this metal may be more durable than steel. But it lacks in the stiffness|
|Bamboo||Between $9-$11/ linear foot||If maintained well, they last for years|
|Chain line||Around $12-$14/linear foot||If the galvanization is thick, it implies that the fence is strong, and more corrosion and rust-resistant||Ideal for gardens with play areas, dog areas etc.|
|Picket||Around $11-$14 per linear foot|
|It gives an ideal look for traditional countryside homes.|
Now that you know how to construct a shadow box fence, you should be aware of some maintenance tips that help ensure your built wall lasts for years. Please wait for a few months before painting or staining to ensure that the lumber has dried completely. The pressure treated lumber must be painted or stained every few years. Further, do follow the product manufacturer’s guidelines for preparation and application.
Ans. A kind of wood enclosure, a shadow box fence is primarily famous for its visual appeal. Treated pine and red cedar are the typical kinds used in creation. Cedar pickets and rails are widely recommended over time wood as they are less likely to bow or warp.
Minimum & Maximum Costs
For a fence that is 140 linear feet and 6 feet tall, the expected cost would be around:
Fencing Styles Costs
Ans. Shadowbox privacy fences are constructed with full 6″ pickets based on 3″ spacing. This creates approximately a 1-1/2″ overlap as the pickets alternate on each side of the 2×4 stringer.
Ans. See, the fence is not a small project to take. But it does not directly improve the property value before selling. However, that does not mean it is not worth anything. The fencing would be a plus if it is well maintained and the locality calls for an outdoor structure such as the fence.
Ans. There is a board between the pickets on the fence’s outside and the bar’s inside. This causes a shadow effect. Typically, the shadow box fences are around six or eight feet tall, but they are not 100% private. When you look straight at them, you cannot quite see what is on the other side.
Ans. For this, add the picket spacing or the slat to each of their widths and then divide the number into the fence’s total length to find the number of pickets or slats needed. For instance, to build a 200 ft fence, if you are using a 6-inch slat, which happens to be 5 1/2 inches wide while spacing them by 1/2 apart, you will require 400 of them.
Hope now you have enough knowledge on how to install a shadow box fence. Using cedar rails and treated posts when you carry out the shadowbox fence’s installation will give you a contrasting look. The difference in tone and color will be quite noticeable at first. But, over time, the cedar will have a gray tone. And finally, both the posts and rails will look of the same color.
Shadowbox fences do add to the appeal and beauty of the house and accentuate its resale value. Thus, knowing how to install a shadow box fence can be beneficial for you. Their privacy is assured, and they are not restricted from communicating with their neighbors. The wooden fences will cost you less than the chain link, brick material, or PVC fences. However, they will need more maintenance. Taking adequate care will help you preserve the materials to look good for several years to come.
Hopefully, with this article, we have cleared all your doubts about building and maintaining a shadow box fence.