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Structural Design of Wood Fences

Our wood fences are constructed on-site for each of our jobs. We strive to provide wood fences with the most structural integrity to last you many years. Panel fences are easily blown over or damaged by falling tree limbs, whereas our staggered runner design provides continuous stability throughout the length of your fence.

Backside of Wood Privacy Fence
Backside of Wood Privacy Fence

There are many differences between the structural design of a paneled and a staggered wood fence. Below is a comparison of the two types:


Staggered Structure


4" x 4" x 8'

4" x 4" x 8'


2" x 3" x 8'

2" x 4" x 16'

Number of Runners



Section Length

8' Sections have breaks at each post, causing each post to bear more weight

16' Staggered runners alternate breaks between posts evenly distributing the weight of the fence

Face Boards

1" x 4" x 6'

1" x 6" x 6'


None, leaving gaps under the fence and a jagged top line to the fence

Fully customizable with little to no gaps and seamless look on top


No, gaps at the bottom make it easy for dogs to dig out.


While paneled wood fences are made of similar, they are not as sturdy and are easily damaged by winds or falling tree limbs. Fence panels are often made with 2" x 3" x 8' runners, usually 2 per panel. Each 8' section of fence is considered a panel. The 4" x 4" post in between panels is bearing a lot more weight of the fence and is liable to incur damages, twist and bow, or fall over. Below is an illustration of the paneled framework.

Paneled Structure for Wood Fences

All of our wood fences use 4" x 4" posts as the uprights. Posts are spaced 8 feet apart. Each post is buried 2 foot in the ground and concreted in place. Post installation is similar to the paneled fence style.

The difference is in the runners. They are 2" x 4" x 16' boards and are staggered between the 8' sections to provide continuous support. There are also 3 runners instead of two, providing another point of attachment for face boards. The graphic below illustrates how the runners are staggered.

Staggered Runner Structure for Wood Fences

This framework design is used for all of our fencing options:

  • 6' & 8' Wood Privacy

  • 6' Arched Wood Privacy

  • 6' Wood Shadowbox

  • 4' & 5' Wood Picket

From this frame, the face boards are then attached to the runners. Unlike the paneled fences which have 1" x 4" x 6' face boards, our fences use 1"x 6" x 6' face boards and come in a variety of styles, including dog-earred, French Gothic, Gothic, and Virginia cuts.

Our framework is always constructed of pressure treated wood. Our face boards are also pressure-treated unless you are wanting a cedar fence.

For more information about wood options, visit our blog post here.

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call.


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