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A Showcase of Fences and Gates (and Privacy Screens)
Top Projects from LC/DBM Readers


In his famous poem "Mending Wall," Robert Frost repeated a well-known proverb with the line "Good fences make good neighbors." And though fences have traditionally been used to mark property boundaries and provide privacy, the following pictorial shows that they also help with noise abatement, directing pedestrian traffic, keeping animals out of gardens, and enhancing the beauty and charm of a locale.


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Contractor: Vert Gardens
Designer: Gunn Landscape Architecture
Location: New York City
Materials: Cedar
Dimensions: 4'-6" - 8' tall x 93 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 4 people/1-2 weeks
Special Interest: As part of a contemporary, low maintenance common space, this fence covers over damaged brickwork and provides separation from a neighboring restaurant.


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Contractor: Waterfalls Fountains & Gardens
Designer: Matthew Giampietro, Waterfalls Fountains & Gardens
Location: Florida
Materials: Ipe, CMUs, Stucco
Dimensions: Gate (left of stucco wall) - 5' tall x 6' wide; Wall - 7' tall x 9' wide; Fence - 3' tall x 20 lineal feet
Special Interest: The gate is a service access to the backyard, and large lawnmowers need to fit through. The gate ended up weighing so much that to prevent it from sagging, a wheel that rolls on a concrete track was installed at the bottom of the gate. Everything had to meet the code requirements for child safety for swimming pools.


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Contractor: Southwest Fence and Deck
Designer: Archiverde
Landscape Architecture
Location: Texas
Materials: Bark-on cedar
Dimensions: Approximately 4' tall x 60 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 4 people/1.5 weeks
Special Interest: This rustic fence encloses an area for herbs and vegetables. Varying sized, round, galvanized steel troughs were used as above ground containers, so the owner can do her gardening without bending over.


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Contractor: Progressive Landscape Design
Designer: Jeff Allen Landscape Architecture
Location: North Carolina
Materials: Cedar with a solid stain and cast iron hardware
Dimensions: Fence - 3' tall x 34 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 2 people/1 week
Special Interest: The 8'-tall "moon" gate is on axis with the shade garden and establishes a view to the rear yard.


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Contractor: Pacific Style Landscape
Designer: Pacific Style Landscape and Todd Noice LLC
Location: Washington
Materials: Cedar, 8"x8" CMUs, cultured stone veneer
Dimensions: Wall/fence - 4' tall x 20
lineal feet; Arbor - 8' tall x 4' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: 2 people/1 month
Special Interest: The client was very specific about limiting straight lines. First the contractor set a foundation, mortared the blocks into a curve, put sleeves into them for the fence posts and veneered the blocks with cultured stone. The arbor was fitted together using dowels, and mortising round tenons through each post.


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Contractor: Thor Construction
Designer: Chris Gent Landscape Studio
Location: Chicago
Materials: Cedar
Dimensions: 75 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 2 people/7 days
Special Interest: This custom slat fence mimics the existing fence of the neighbor to the east, but provides the transparency-level requested by the neighbor to the west. A trellis canopy within the fence shades the patio area, and integrated lighting provides a nighttime accent.


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Contractor: Aesthetic Metals, LLC
Designer: Shedd Aquarium
Location: Illinois
Materials: 1/4"-thick aluminum panels powder coat finished in Tiger Drylac Super Durable Gold, fabricated steel posts
Dimensions: 100 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 4 people/ 8 weeks
Special Interest: This fence's purpose was to prevent foot traffic through the landscaping to and from the back entrance of the aquarium and the parking lot. The panels were cut with a water jet.


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Contractor: Morena Welding
Designer: Daedalus Design Group
Location: California
Materials: Rebar, stained glass
Dimensions: 36" tall and 20 lineal feet (L-shaped)
Crew Size/Project Length: 3 people (2 for fence, 1 for stained glass)/2 days (1 for fence, 1 for glass)
Special Interest: Randomly spaced circular art glass pieces, inspired by a toy from the late 50s early 60s called a Whee-Lo, were incorporated into this safety fencing. The rebar was left to rust naturally.


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Contractor: Bigelow Design
Designer: Bigelow Design
Location: New York
Materials: Fence panels in lengths of 8' and 16', 3"-round posts, 6" x 6" pressure-treated beams
Dimensions: 48 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 1 person/4 days
Special Interest: The fence panels are referred to as "hog fence." One 16' panel was shaped to create an arch. Solar light caps were added to the posts.


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Contractor: Texas Land Care
Designer: Archiverde Landscape Architecture
Location: Texas
Materials: Recycled concrete for base, vintage cast iron panels for fence
Dimensions: 8' tall x 90 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 5 people/ 3 weeks
Special Interest: During the construction, the neighborhood children were invited to come and insert mementos in the mortar joints of the wall. This included seashells, pottery and small toys. Some of the old concrete slabs were chiseled and used to create a handsome wall cap.


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Contractor: ERA Construction
Designer: Community Design + Architecture, Inc.
Location: California
Materials: Perforated and solid metal panels appliqued over a welded wire mesh fence
Dimensions: 8' tall x 210 lineal feet
Crew Size/Project Length: 5 people/4 weeks
Special Interest: This fence was meant to provide a private school bordering a multi-use pathway with security and some privacy while giving pedestrians and bicyclists adequate sight lines. Lockable gates are integrated into the fences to allow school personnel convenient access to a storage area on the other side of the pathway. The fencing uses standard city finishes and colors for ease of maintenance.


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Contractor: Gulf Stream Construction
Designer: George A. Z. Johnson, Jr., Inc.
Location: South Carolina
Materials: Concrete fence system in ashlar blend pattern
Dimensions: 36,000 sq. ft.
Crew Size: 12 people
Special Interest: This was the first sound wall constructed in the city of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Due to the tight schedule, the contractor decided to mass-produce the bond beams by precasting them off-site and trucking them to the site.


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Contractor: Gulf Stream Construction
Designer: George A. Z. Johnson, Jr., Inc.
Location: South Carolina
Materials: Concrete fence system in ashlar blend pattern
Dimensions: 36,000 sq. ft.
Crew Size: 12 people
Special Interest: This was the first sound wall constructed in the city of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Due to the tight schedule, the contractor decided to mass-produce the bond beams by precasting them off-site and trucking them to the site.


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Contractor: Phil May Landscape Architect
Designer: Phil May Landscape Architect
Location: California
Materials: Steel frame, Philippine mahogany
Dimensions: 5' tall x 30" wide
Project Length: 2 weeks


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Contractor: Barnum Gate Services
Designer/Fabricator: Barnum Gate Services
Location: Minnesota
Materials: Steel, knotty pine and hand-hewn logs
Dimensions: 6' tall x 14' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: 4 people/2.5 weeks
s Special Interest: The contractor also built the columns that support the gate, which were later veneered with natural river rock. The hydraulic gate operating system is the HySecurity Swing Smart.


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Designer: Archiverde Landscape Architecture
Location: Texas
Materials: Antique, steel, arched window custom-fitted into a new frame and converted into a sliding gate.
Dimensions: 6' tall x 5' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: 2 people/2 days.
Special Interest: Located in Fort Worth's eclectic west side, the client purchased the home and garage next door in order to expand her garden.


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Contractor: Barnum Gate Services
Designer/Sculptor: Skeeter Forge
Location: Minnesota
Materials: Hollowed out steel
Dimensions: 5' tall x 16' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: Fabrication - 1 person/4 months; installation - 1 person/1 week
Special Interest: This three dimensional gate was created with hand-forged steel. The hydraulic gate operating system is the Byan 900 Long.


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Contractor: Creative Steel Work
Designer/Sculptor: Jeff Kreitz of Creative Steel Work
Location: Minnesota
Materials: Copper, steel and stainless steel
Dimensions: 8' tall x 5' wide
Project Length: 8 weeks


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Designer: Phil May Landscape Architect
Location: California
Materials: Masonry columns, foam details, steel gate
Dimensions: 20' x 7'
Project Length: 3 weeks


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Contractor: Vert Gardens
Designer: Gunn Landscape Architecture
Location: New York City
Materials: Kiln-dried ash inside ipe frames
Dimensions: 3 gates - 7' tall x 3'-6" wide
Crew Size/Project Length: Pre-fabrication - 1 person/1 week; Installation - 3 people/1 week
Special Interest: For this rooftop project, the wooden gates along with planters filled with large Ilex crenata 'steeds' (boxwoods) provide screening, conceal a stairway, hide service areas and mechanicals while still providing access and egress. Regulations did not allow permanent structures that can be visible from the street so the gates are attached to the planters, which are secured together and filled with soil that is heavy enough to support the gate structure.


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Contractor: Waterfalls Fountains & Gardens
Designer: Matthew Giampietro, Waterfalls Fountains & Gardens
Location: Florida
Materials: Ipe
Dimensions: 5' tall x 42" wide
Project Length: 1-2 people, 4 days
Special Interest: This gate separates the driveway and parking court from the backyard pool area. All of the Ipe wood was custom cut on site. A mock up of the layout and dimensions were laid out on site to ensure the spacing and sizes work. The scale of the design patterns need to look good in the setting that the gate will be installed. Too wide or too narrow of the spacing or the size of the pieces will dramatically change the look and feeling of the gate and the space, which in turn can make or break the space. Careful consideration went into the weight of the gate as well. Solid walls make the division of spaces more definite.


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Contractor: Landfour Landscape & MD Construction
Designer: Landfour Landscape & Swartz Architecture
Location: Georgia
Materials: Gate - aluminum grating inside steel frames; Gabion column - McNichols heavy gauged, welded wire mesh
Dimensions: Gate - 6' tall x 42" wide; Column - 6' tall x 3' wide x 2' deep
Crew Size/Project Length: Gate - 2 people/3 days; Column - 2 people/ 1.5 days
Special Interest: The baskets for the gabion column were set and anchored to a concrete footing, then filled with stones from a local quarry. A retrofit project, the original gate's steel frame was painted and its wood grid was replaced with industrial aluminum grating also from McNichols. New hardware was added with push button mechanical access locks.


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Contractor: Hale Landscape
Designer: Phil May Landscape Architect
Location: California
Materials: Precast concrete, steel gate
Dimensions: 7' tall x 20' wide
Project Length: 3 weeks


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Contractor: Urban Oasis
Designer: Environmental Forms
Location: California
Materials: Cumaru hardwood
Dimensions: (4) 5' tall x 10' wide units, (1) 5' tall x 4' wide unit
Crew Size: 3-4 people
Special Interest: The wood walls were built to buffer a typical concrete block wall. Cumaru was selected to create a soft juxtaposition from the hard concrete pavers and concrete fountain, while its color contrasts the flora. A 5' tall x 8'-6" wide blue stucco wall (inset) was built to draw visitors into the space from the main gate.


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Contractor: Waterfalls Fountains & Gardens
Designer: Matthew Giampietro, Waterfalls Fountains & Gardens
Location: Florida
Materials: Ipe
Dimensions: 6' tall x 8' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: 2 people/3.5 days
Special Interest: This is a screen partition for design effect only. Its purpose is to provide a subtle distinction that you are entering the main entrance to the house from the front walkway. The landscape plants are partially visible behind the feature.


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Contractor: Confidence Landscaping
Designer: Landfour Landscape
Location: Georgia
Materials: S4S clear, all-heart redwood, matte black hardware
Dimensions: 5' tall x 5' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: 1 person/1.5 days
Special Interest: S4S means the wood was cut smooth on all four sides. The heart wood of the redwood tree has no sap.


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Contractor: The Garden Artist
Designer: Terry Sims
Location: Idaho
Materials: Trex composite fencing product
Dimensions: 6' tall x 15' wide
Crew Size/Project Length: Fabrication - 1 person/1 week; Installation - 1 person/ 1/2 day
Special Interest: Referred to by the contractor as the "Bendy-Board Fence," the goal was to create a screen for privacy off the master bedroom. They fabricated a powder-coated metal structure to attach the 12"-wide boards to. Decorative screws were attached to each side and lined up with the ribs of the frame to give the screen a finished look.


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Contractor: Mariani Landscaping
Designer: Barb Foster, Aesthetic Metals
Location: Illinois
Materials: 1/4"-thick weathering steel Dimensions: 6' high x 8' wide per panel
Special Interest: This residence adjacent to a public park wanted these decorative privacy screens, fabricated by Aesthetic Metals, to block some of the activity. The steel was allowed to rust naturally.


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Contractor: The Garden Artist
Designer: Terry Sims
Location: Idaho
Materials: Kiln dried cedar and the pre-fabricated lattice
Dimensions: 6' tall x 6' wide (5 separate panels)
Crew Size/Project Length: 2 people/5 days
Special Interest: The objective of this project was to screen a neighbor's roof and storage area without closing in the narrow width of this home's side yard. To do that, the fence panels were paired with broad leaf evergreen Laurels to complete the screening between the panels. The lattice was ordered from LatticeStix in San Francisco and then cut to fit.



As seen in LC/DBM magazine, January 2018.






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September 26, 2018, 6:35 am PDT

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