If you are looking to freshen up and/or replace a fence, a question that you may ask is if deck boards can be used as fencing?
Deck boards can be used to build a fence. They create a sturdier fence than normal fencing boards since they are thicker. Deck boards also tend to last longer than fence boards. The one downside is that the total cost to install a fence using deck boards is, on average, much higher than fence boards.
Deck boards are much different than fence boards, so you may be wondering what the differences result in, or if using deck boards would even work since they are thicker and therefore heavier than fence boards. However, deck boards do work as fencing.
Can You Build A Fence With Deck Boards?
You can build a fence with deck boards. This will give a different result regarding the way it looks, but deck boards are commonly used in place of fence boards. They can either be placed vertically or horizontally.
It is most common for a person to use deck boards when they are putting in a privacy fence. In this case, the boards will be put together horizontally, not vertically.
It is possible to have a horizontal fence with decking boards that is not a privacy fence. Privacy fences just have to have horizontal boards to ensure there are no gaps between each board. The boards are closer together than normal fence boards, allowing for complete privacy from next-door neighbors or other people walking through the neighborhood.
This can also have a nice aesthetic appeal since the deck boards last longer before they have to be replaced. Normal fence boards, if they are not taken care of properly can splinter and become almost rugged because of the weather.
The Difference Between Fence And Deck Boards
Fence boards are often between 1/2″ to 1″ wide, but deck boards are much thicker with a starting thickness of 3/4″. Deck boards are less flimsy than fence boards. For this reason, deck boards are most commonly used for, you guessed it, decking (Just to clarify, I mean decking, as in putting in a deck, not hitting another person.). They can better hold weight and do not fall as easy prey as fence boards do to wear and tear.
Deck boards also are more durable in terms of how long they last. They are less likely to dry-rot than fence boards are. While certain types of fencing seem to last longer than others, none of these types stand a chance against deck boards.
Deck boards even have a different appearance than fence boards. Deck boards are finished and are often much smoother than fence boards. My family has a wooden fence in our backyard that gives out splinters like candy whenever we try to open the gate.
Benefits Of Building A Fence With Deck Boards
Some benefits of a fence with deck boards include the sturdiness of the fence itself and the overall aesthetic look of the finished product.
A fence with deck boards is much stronger than a normal wooden fence because deck boards are thicker overall. The average fence board is 1/2″-1″ thick, while deck boards can be anywhere from 3/4″-2″ thick. Since the boards are thicker, they can better withstand wind and will call for less overall maintenance.
While fence boards can be destroyed in a storm, good deck boards will stand much better against wind, rain, and snow. With the proper sealant, deck boards can last from 10-30 years if they are made of untreated wood, but treated wood deck boards can last up to 50 years!
Deck boards are also cost-effective in the long term because they can last so long. On average, fence boards will last about 15 years. This is not a bad number, but it is possible to lengthen the stay of a fence by using deck boards.
Drawbacks Of Building A Fence With Deck Boards
Some drawbacks of building a fence with deck boards include having to use extra supporters to hold the deck boards properly and the overall money it will cost upfront. Most people will stick to using fence boards when they have to replace the fence for these reasons.
Cost Of Deck Boards
The average deck board costs between $4.50 and $5.75 per square foot. This does cost more than the average wood fence board. On average, a fence board costs between $5 to $16 per linear foot. Because the measurement is linear feet compared to square feet, the difference in the number of fence boards you can get is much more than the number of deck boards you can get with the same amount of money.
Aside from the cost of the boards themselves, you will also have to pay extra for the number of posts used to hold up the fence. Posts will need to be spaced out evenly but no more than 6 feet between each. For the average fence made of wood, posts will need to be separated with about 8 feet in between each.
If you are counting, a 200-ft fence with four equal sides that are made of fence boards will need around 6 posts per side, while a fence of the same size made with deck boards will need around 8 posts per side.
Weight Of The Deck Boards
The overall weight of the deck boards is heavier than normal fence boards. This is why the number of posts needed will increase. The type of posts you use to hold up the deck boards will need to be strong because of all the weight they will have to hold up.
This is why you will need more posts for a fence with deck boards than you will for a fence with normal fence boards.
It is possible to build a fence with deck boards as it is common practice. It will cost more in the very beginning, but the investment that is made is worth it. Having fencing you do not have to replace so quickly will cost less over time.