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Important Fence Terms to Know

Whether you’re installing cedar fence materials yourself or hiring a fencing contractor to do the work, it helps to be conversant in some basic fence installation terminology. Knowing what the different parts of a fence are called will make it easier to ask questions of your contractor or understand your fence installation instructions. Before embarking upon a fence installation, Salem homeowners should brush up on the following terms:

Corner post: A post at the corner where two sections of fencing meet, usually at a 90-degree angle.

End post: A post that marks the end of a fence line, with holes on only one side for attaching rails. End posts are typically used as gate posts or terminal posts, such as where the fence abuts a house.

Terminal post: The load-bearing post for a line of fencing. The terminal post can be a corner, end or gate post.

Line post: A post located between terminal or end posts to provide support for the fence.

Gate post: The post to which a gate is attached via hinges or latches.

Post cap: A cap that covers the top of a fence post. Post caps are usually used as decorative elements in chain link and vinyl fencing but can also be used on cedar fence materials.

Rail: A horizontal support element to which fence boards or pickets are attached. The distance between rails is known as rail spacing.

Picket: A vertical fence board or element that attaches to the rails. Pickets can be made from any material but are most commonly used in aluminum fences, vinyl fencing and cedar fence materials.

Galvanized: Typically refers to steel fasteners, such as nails or screws, that have been coated in zinc to prevent corrosion. Galvanized fasteners help prevent rust stains on vinyl fencing and cedar fence materials.

Raking: A method for installing sections of fencing on property with a mild grade.

Stair stepping: A method for installing cedar fence materials on a steep grade, with sections installed at different heights to create a stair-step appearance.

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