Where should I use woven wire mesh?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ January 31, 2014 ~ No Comments

Should I use woven wire mesh on the inside or outside of a split rail fence?

Jeffrey Anderson

Chuck, in most cases when wire mesh is added to a wood fence, it's on the inside. There are two primary reasons for doing it in this fashion. The first is cosmetic - the fencing is more attractive from your neighbors' yards when the wire is on the inside as none of the edges or seams are visible. Depending on whether the fencing extends into your front yard, putting the wire on the outside could even affect your home's curb appeal.

The second reason for installing the wire on the inside is dependent on its purpose. If the wire is intended to keep larger animals contained in your yard, an inside installation should help prevent the fasteners from coming loose. Most wire mesh is fastened using staples. If the wire is on the exterior, dogs jumping against the fence or horses leaning into it could cause the staples to eventually loosen and possibly even fall out. When the wire mesh is on the inside, it could stretch a little, depending on the gauge, when any leaning or jumping occurs, but the fasteners shouldn't be affected.

One other issue that should be mentioned is that you might want to consider a different type of fence if the split rail isn't already installed. The rails and even the posts on many split rail fences have a lot of angles and rough edges that may make attaching wire mesh very difficult or even next to impossible. A common three or four rail board fence might make for a much easier and better looking job. That way you'll have plenty of flat surfaces on the horizontal fence boards and posts to attach the wire mesh. If the boards are nailed to the insides of the posts, the mesh can be installed in long runs which makes keeping it taunt and free of buckles much easier.

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