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Frequently Asked Questions Index

On which side of the fence does the poles go?

I prefer to call them posts. Generally they go on the inside of the area that is being enclosed. For residential use, they should be on the inside so the neighbor enjoys looking at the better of the two sides. In fact, according to some building codes, this is not optional. You must face the best looking side of a fence towards the road and your neighbor. Check your local code requirements always before buying and erecting a fence.

Even if not required by local building codes, it is more neighborly to keep the posts and rails on the inside of the fence, which is your side. Your property will look better when viewed from the road.

The side without the posts is also harder to climb. This is especially true of wood fences, where most styles with horizontal 2 x 4 rails are also on the same side as the posts. The combination of 2 x 4's and posts create a ladder for someone to climb.

On chain link fences, the posts and rails are on the same side of the chain link fabric. This side is easier to climb as stated earlier. In addition, the fence is weakest on the post side, if pressure was placed pushing outward on the fence. In one case the chain link fabric would be pushed away from the posts and rails and the tie wires could break. In the other case, the chain link fabric would be pushed against the posts with no threat of tearing the tie wires off.

For that reason, dog kennels and prison fences usually have the post side away from the enclosure, because the security is needed within the enclosure. In other words, if you want to keep something confined, put the posts on the outside.

There are some styles of wood and vinyl fences where both sides of the fence are the same. These styles generally cost a little more, but both sides look equally well.

The Fencer