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Joe028 05-11-2010 07:22 PM

shadowbox fence
Hi there. I'm in the planning stages of building a 6ft. shadowbox fence in our back yard along one side. It will be a straight run with very minimal slope. It will be 70 ft. long, made of treated pine. Here are several questions I have.

1. City code requires 1/6th light passage through the fence. Shadowbox is approved. I was planning to space the 5 1/2 x 5/8 boards apart by 3 1/2 inches. I thought that was somewhat of a standard, is it? Would that still allow you to see through the fence on an angle to comply with the city code of light passage?

2. I assumed I would dig 36 inch holes and set each post in concrete. With my measurements I was going to set a post every 6ft. This would be 13 posts set in concrete. Would this look unusual seeing the concrete at every post? Is it normal to set each post in concrete or do people usually just do that at gates and ends, and use tamped dirt at posts in the middle of the fence? I really want to avoid having un-plumb posts, or a leaning fence after only a year or two. Also every 6ft sound good or would 8ft distance between posts be better?

3. With very minimal slope in my yard, would you suggest a completely level top of fence and any slope being adjusted for by shortening pickets at the bottom if the ground does slope up?

I may have more questions but that does it for now I think. Thanks a lot for any discussion on these topics. I'm putting the fence up to gain privacy in our back yard and keep a small dog in. We have a small lot and currently we feel like we are on display to all the neighbors. Our next door neighbor say's she doesn't mind us putting up the fence, but I feel that she really doesn't like the idea. I just want it to look the best so that she doesn't get upset about anything small down the line.


SNC 05-12-2010 08:40 PM

I have never heard of any light passage code

6 foot spacing is good

i would use concrete on every post, if money is tight at laest every other post and corners.

keep the fence same height above grond, follow the conture or it will look like an amature built it.

william duffer 05-12-2010 08:40 PM

Usual spacing is half the width of the plank, but can be adjusted for equal spacing and the use of less planks.

If you are using 8 foot 4x4s I would put them in the ground about 24 inches. Otherwise you will need to get 10 footers.

I would use concrete every other post and than use compacted gravel on the others. Do not use soil. As well I would put a few inches of compacted gravel in the hole prior to putting the concrete in for better drainage. You can cover the concrete and gravel with a few inches of dirt and even cover with grass to hide.

8 foot is the usual distance between posts.

Really the slope will dictate the necessity for adjusting the height of your fence. If it if too much than I would definitely adjust the height, and if not than go a head and trim the planks. But IMO if you have to cut them more than a couple of inches it would just be easier to adjust the posts. You can also throw a string line out measure your slope and make an educated decision off your measurements.

That all being said, I would build every other section complete, set those in place, and than finish building the open sections. As well you can adjust just about everything to make a better fit and more stable.

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