Go Horizontal For Custom Fences And Screens

by Ben Bowen

Modern Horizontal Slat Fence Design

Note: Updated 9/16/19

When I first wrote about horizontal fencing in 2012 it was fairly uncommon. Sure, it had been around in Portland for well over a decade, but you really had to look to find it. What a difference 7 years makes! Many of my clients request it now and you would be hard pressed to find a neighborhood (maybe even block) without some horizontal fencing.

The challenge now is not to convince clients to go with it, or for you as a homeowner to find a contractor familiar with it, but rather to get it done right. There may be a lot of horizontal slat fences in Portland now, but many of them are bad.

This style of fence needs to be done just right, with high quality materials and an eye for detail. Because the lines of the fence extend for a long distance your eye will pick up every mistake, every bad piece of wood.

My number one piece of advice to you now? Only consider horizontal slat fencing if you can afford to do it right!

Now for my original post from 2012:

A great magician uses a multitude of methods to control what you audience see. This allows him to control the experience and make you believe- or at least marvel.

Great landscape design is a little like magic. Control the eyes, direct the feet, and draw people towards focal points in the landscape. In most landscapes this means hiding less desirable elements. A/C units, house foundations, neighbors all threaten the illusion your landscape design is creating.

Screens and fences are a common solution to this problem.

We like to use horizontal elements to create custom fences and screens that are not just functional- but focal points themselves. Many of these screens draw inspiration from bamboo screening utilized in Japanese gardens. Here are some good examples of this element in action:


Custom Cedar Fences

Our fences is 100% cedar (thank you Lakeside Lumber!). Concrete set posts will keep your fence solid for decades. Thick pickets and tight-knot cedar slats will also pass the test of time. We use finish nails and trim wood so that very few fasteners show.


Custom Garden Screens

Our screens are made of cedar 1" material. They are hand assembled on site with only a few nails visible on each panel. Even though the material is very thin, these screens weather very well!


Contact us to discuss how a modern screen or fence could benefit your landscape design!

Portland Fence and Deck Contractors We Know and Trust:

  1. Cascade Fence and Deck. Quality work, plus excellent service at reasonable rates. What more could you want?

  2. Deck Masters LLC. This team, led by owner/operator Chris, does very high quality work. They also excel at customer service, and my clients have never been disappointed.

Other Highly Rated Portland Deck and Fence Companies:

  1. Campbell Fence Company.

  2. Embassy Enterprises.

  3. Above All.

Other Resources:

City of Portland Deck Design Guide

City of Portland Fence and Deck Permit Requirements