The 5 Most Popular Wood Privacy Fence Styles: Which Is Right For You?

Wood privacy fence style #220 tongue & groove privacy fence

So you’re looking for a wood privacy fence... Did you know you have options?

We don’t want to overwhelm you, but there are many fences you can choose that are made from wood and offer privacy.

In this post, we go through the 5 main categories of wood privacy fences so you know what your choices are. We also lay out the different ways we style these choices so you can have a fence that matches your artistic vision or existing property features.

Here are the 5 types of wood privacy fence:

  1. Stockade Fence
  2. Picket Fence
  3. Board-on-Board Fence (Shadowbox)
  4. Tongue & Groove Fence
  5. Horizontal Fence

1. Stockade Fence

101 Stockade wood fencing by Artistic Fence is flat on one side and rounded on the other side

The first type of privacy fence we build from wood is a stockade fence. A stockade fence is a privacy fence we built out of boards that are rounded on one side and pointed at the top. A lot of people think a lot of fences are stockade, but the really aren’t that popular in our area.

It’s only stockade if it’s rounded on one side and pointed at the top!

If you’re looking at our Wood Fence Style Sheet, our stockade fence option is style #101.

We think this is sort of a boring option if you’re in need for a privacy fence, so let’s keep it moving onto option number 2!

2. Picket Fence

Wood fence and gate installed in New Jersey by Artistic Fence Company style #111

A picket fence is a lot like a stockade fence. The only differences are that we built it with flat pickets (rather than rounded on one side) and there are more picket top styles.

These types of fences have a pretty clear “good” side. In most New Jersey towns, there are ordinances that say that “good” side of the fence must face out towards your neighbors’ properties. Most people still like the look of the back of this fence, but keep this in mind!

#110 Solid Wood with #04 Posts


The “back” side of a picket wood privacy fence

But do picket fences really offer privacy?

Of course! It all depends on the spacing.

When most people think of picket fence, they picture that Americana white picket fence with the spacing in between the pickets. That is not the type of fence we’re talking about here!

When we built a picket fence for privacy, we place the pickets right next to each other. That way, there is no space to see between the pickets! This gives you privacy from nosy neighbors, loud dogs, and anyone/anything else on the other side.

Solid wood picket fence


Solid wood picket fence, Style #111

Artistic Fence Picket Wood Privacy Fence Picket

If you take a look at our Wood Fence Style Sheet, you’ll see our picket privacy fences are styles #110 through #117.

3. Board-On-Board Fence

Board on Board wood fence style #120 with 02 posts installed by Artistic Fence in northern New Jersey

The third type of privacy fence we offer is a board-on-board wood fence. This type of fence is also known as a shadowbox fence.

Like the picket fence, we use pickets to construct this privacy fence. This style differs, though, because instead of nailing the pickets to one side of the rails, we nail them to both.

We alternate front and back so there is no “good” side of the fence. Instead, you have a wood privacy fence that looks the same from both sides because the horizontal rails are in the middle!

Do Board-On-Board Fences Offer Privacy?

The answer is yes, but only if they are built the right way!

Like picket fences, board-on-board fences can have spacing added so you can see through the cracks. We call this semi-privacy fencing.

But don’t worry – it is just as easy to construct them with no spacing so they can offer you privacy! These types of styles also meet pool codes in most New Jersey towns.

#121 Scalloped Board on Board pool fence in northern New Jersey

Artistic Fence Board-On-Board Styles

We build a variety of board-on-board wood fences. We change the style by changing the top of the pickets and the cut of the pickets.

If you look at our Wood Fence Style Sheet, the board-on-board privacy fence styles run from #118 through #123.

#118 and #120 are definitely the most popular styles, but it only matters which style you like best!

4. Tongue & Groove Fence

Style #221 solid wood fence with square lattice top

Next up are tongue & groove fences. This style fence consists of boards that fit into each other like puzzle pieces, granting you privacy.

We think this is the fence that most people picture when they hear the phrase “wood privacy fence”. They are popular, sturdy, and look good in basically every setting imaginable.

Tongue & Groove Privacy Fence Styles

Like most of the other styles we’ve mentioned (besides stockade) there are a few ways to customize this type of fence and make it your own.

Some popular customizations include adding lattice or pickets to the top. Our Wood Fence Style Sheet lists these types of fences from style #220 to #229 (besides #226, which is all lattice and does not offer any privacy).

5. Horizontal Fence

Finally, we also build and install horizontal privacy fences. Horizontal fences gain in popularity each year. These fences offer privacy when we build them with boards that touch or lock into one another.

It’s important to note that horizontal fences don’t work for every type of New Jersey property. They are especially difficult to place on hilly or unleveled yards since the pickets run horizontally rather than vertically.

If you are interested in a horizontal fence, be sure to ask your sales rep if your yard is a good fit during your free estimate appointment. Don’t have one scheduled yet? Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch shortly!

Other Privacy Fence Materials

If you’ve gotten through this list and don’t see anything you love, don’t worry.

Wood isn’t the only option when it comes to privacy fences!

PVC (otherwise known as vinyl) is another great option for privacy fences. Our PVC privacy fence styles look a lot like the wood tongue & groove styles we mentioned above. The most popular style is the Suburban privacy fence, which you can learn about on our blog.

Another alternative privacy fence option is a chain link fence with vinyl privacy slats. This looks completely different from the wood and vinyl options! 

No matter what type of privacy fence you go with, make sure you know your town’s codes and go with a reputable fence installer (like Artistic Fence)!

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