It is easy to suppose that fences are a relatively simple type of project that just about anybody with a hammer can install, but this is not always the case. In particular, matching a fence the builder installed is a way of discovering just how much variety there is in the fence industry and how difficult it can be to successfully copy someone else’s stylistic preferences and choice of materials.
Matching up the materials may indeed be the hardest part of all. Different companies manufacture fence products and they have been known to use different types and colors of wood, depending on which part of the forest they are harvesting. Timber producers have also been known to use different mill settings that can lead to variations in the width and thickness of the boards they produce, as well as slight changes in the shape of the dog ears they cut on the tops of the pickets.
As a result, one of the most difficult challenges of matching someone else’s fence is to be able to recognize what type of lumber is actually used and where a matching product can be found. The local indoor lumber warehouse may or may not have what is needed, which leads one to wonder where to look if they do not have it.
Since there is no one absolutely accepted method of fence construction, it is also necessary to discern what sort of construction practices were used in the original section being copied. The real trick to this is that the original may not have been built to a very practical standard, engineering-wise, and will require some degree of alteration or reinforcement without altering the physical appearance of the finished product.
As can be seen by the above, there is almost as much art in fence construction as there is skill. Successfully replacing or extending an existing fence built by someone else requires both exceptional craftsmanship and long familiarity with the nuts-and-bolts of the fence industry and its supply sources. There is nothing so pleasing as a perfect match and nothing quite so glaring as an eye-grabbing near-miss.
If you’re not an experienced DIY’er it’s best to hire a fencing contractor in your area.