What is a Shadow Box Fence?

Let’s explore the basics of what a shadow box fence is in this blog. Firstly, we’ll understand what makes a shadow box fence unique. Secondly, we’ll examine its advantages and disadvantages for your property. Lastly, we’ll discuss the expenses involved and explore alternative options.

What is a Shadow Box Fence

A shadow box fence is a type of fence that has pickets which alternate on each side of the rail. What sets it apart from other fences is its design to keep prying eyes at bay while maintaining a distinctive appearance. This fence can consist of treated lumber, cedar, and vinyl.

The unique design of the shadow box fence shares similarities with the classic picket fence but introduces a distinctive twist. Instead of aligning all pickets on one side of the rail, this fence alternates pickets on both sides, resulting in a semi-private barrier that stands out for its visual appeal among other privacy fencing options. Features such as arches, dog-eared pickets, flat tops, and decorative posts make this a great style for those who want customization.

Advantages of a Shadow Box Fence

If you decide to install a shadow box fence, there are plenty of advantages. Here are just a few:

Partial Privacy: The alternating boards of a shadow box fence offer partial privacy for your backyard, allowing glimpses through the gaps without completely blocking the view. This design ensures a sense of privacy without completely isolating your outdoor space.

Durability: The increased gap size between pickets in a shadow box fence allows for improved air circulation, making it less susceptible to wind damage for yards in windy locations and offering good ventilation during hot summer weather. Additionally, the fence’s reinforced structure, achieved by attaching pickets on both sides of the rail, ensures even weight distribution, minimizing the risk of sagging.

Customizability: This type of fence is versatile when it comes to customization. You can tailor the design of your shadow box fence from options such as arches, dog-eared pickets, flat tops, and decorative posts that add more curb appeal to your property.

Visual Appeal: The alternating pickets introduce a modern and visually appealing look. Moreover, these fences ensure that the appearance is the same on both sides, allowing you to appreciate the aesthetic from both inside and outside your property.

Disadvantages of a Shadow Box Fence

While this fence type has its advantages, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages below.

Expensive: A shadow box fence is more expensive  than a stockade-style privacy fence due to increased material and labor costs. The overlapping nature of the alternating boards requires a greater amount of material. Furthermore, the construction of shadow box fences demands more time and expertise.

High Maintenance: The spaces between each picket are more intricate, making cleaning more challenging. Applying stain becomes trickier due to the nooks and crannies. This implies a need for extra time and effort to stain the fence or consider the services of a fence staining professional.

Only Semi-Private: While a shadow box fence offers a degree of privacy, it falls short of being a total enclosure. Its semi-private nature allows outsiders to see through the fence at certain angles. If you want to conceal your backyard entirely, selecting a different type of privacy fence would be recommended.

How Much Does a Shadow Box Fence Cost?

On average, a shadow box fence costs around $33 per linear foot. On the other hand, the national average cost of this fence is $4500. The cost of your fence is not only determined by material and length but is influenced by factors such as height, style, and location.

If you’re looking for a basic shadow box fence made of treated lumber, you can expect to pay around $10 to $15 per linear foot. However, if you prefer a cedar shadow box fence, the cost will increase from $20 to $23 per linear foot. Lastly, if you want a vinyl shadow box fence, it will be the most expensive option, with prices ranging from $27 to $40 per linear foot.

The best way to get a more tailored quote is to contact your fencing company or contractor directly for your shadow box fence project.

What are Shadow Box Fence Alternatives?

If you want some privacy but want a different look or design other than a shadow box fence, there are other alternatives for your privacy fence.

Lattice Fence

Lattice Fence

Lattice fencing typically offers semi-privacy, resembling the see-through nature of chain link fences. The lattice fence incorporates thin slats arranged in a crisscross pattern, often using prebuilt lattice fence panels that function as a decorative fence.

Stockade Fence

The unique design of a stockade fence involves closely positioned wooden boards without any gaps, typically accompanied by pointed pickets. What sets it apart from ordinary picket or chain-link fences is its ability to offer heightened privacy.

More from Fence Design, Wood Fencing