Today, we’re going to show you how to build a horizontal slat fence with a super-modern look.

Horizontal fence design has quickly become one of the fastest growing fence trends in outdoor architecture.

And building a slat fence can be a great DIY fence project or a unique fence design contractors can offer to property owners.

So let’s get to it.

Horizontal Slat Fence With Metal Posts

What is a horizontal slat fence?

A horizontal slat fence is a fence that uses horizontal boards or planks that are usually spaced to provide some visibility through the fence.

Slatted fences can use wood planks or pickets of the same width or varying widths.

Or slat fences can use other types of slat materials like composite planks, painted metal slats, galvanized metal slats, or aluminum.

Check out these slat fences to get an idea of material options for your fence.

Unique Horizontal Fence Design - Painted Wood

Horizontal Painted Wood Fence

Unique Horizontal Fence Designs - Metal Slats

Horizontal Metal Slat Fence

Unique Horizontal Fence Designs - Dark Wood

Horizontal Wood Slat Fence

Corrugated Metal Fence Panel - Horizontal

Horizontal Pipe Slat Fence

Unique Horizontal Fence Design - Orange Metal Ribbed Panels

Horizontal Orange Slat Fence

Horizontal Fence Metal Louvers

Horizontal Fence Metal Louvers

About Fence Slat Materials

When selecting materials to build a slatted fence, keep in mind that some materials may warp.

Most woods will warp slightly over time.

That’s why we often recommend using tongue and groove planks when building a horizontal fence, as the planks will be nested together to help minimize warping.

However, when using wood to build a slatted fence…

There are things you can do to help minimize warping.

First, try to select a wood species that has some warp resistance, like cedar or redwood.

Tongue & Groove Red Cedar Fence

You should avoid pressure-treated pine or softer woods, as they are more prone to warping.

Next, try to minimize moisture absorption of wood prior to installation. Keep it covered and protected.

Then, it’s recommended that you stain or paint the wood. Also, sealing the ends of each plank can help prevent moisture from leaching out too quickly.

If you use slat material that does not absorb moisture, you’ll have less problems with warping.

Here is a fence using composite slats.

Horizontal Slat Fence With Composite Slats

How to Frame a Horizontal Slat Fence

While there are ways you can build a slat fence entirely out of wood…

We’d like to show you an innovative fence panel system that helps you build a slat fence that looks far better (and lasts much longer) than an all wood fence.

FenceTrac is a patented fence panel system…

…that utilizes a U-channel frame between posts to hold fence infill materials securely in place.

FenceTrac Fence Frame Panels

Side channels mount to each metal post with self-tapping screws, and top and bottom channels attach to the side channels with bolts.

Simple assembly… the FenceTrac system requires no nails and no screws to attach pickets.

Here’s how it works.

FenceTrac Assembly Diagram

The steel channel fence frame holds slats up to 1-inch thick.

Due to the side-channel design of FenceTrac, there is no need to attach each slat ends to the post with screws (although you could do it this way).

You simply slide the slats into place from top to bottom.

Watch this video. 

How to Add Space Between Slats


You might be wondering… how do you create space between horizontal slats?

You can use shim spacers at the end of each board.

Spacers can be created out of different types of materials – wood, metal brackets, rubber.

We offer a rubber spacer that can be attached to the end of each board for space.

Horizontal Slat Fence Idea Gallery

Here are several pictures of horizontal fences using the FenceTrac system. While not all of them are slatted with spaces, hopefully, you can get some good ideas from this gallery.

As you plan your horizontal slat fence… we wish you the best on your fence project!

If we can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to ask.

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