If you are looking for a creative or rugged look to an ordinary fence, you might want to think about railroad ties. Using these old (or new) sleepers leftover from the countryside's railways is an affordable, fairly simple and unique solution for enclosing a lawn or creating a border along a piece of property.
Creating a fence out of railroad ties requires far fewer resources, including money, time and sweat, than having someone build a fence for you or installing your own fence kit.
When it comes to using railroad ties for fences, your options are as expansive as your imagination. Because of their rustic look and often un-uniform appearance, you can preserve or even play up this look through the selection of planks you choose, their size, and their color.
Railroad fences should be implanted in the ground upright and spaced anywhere for 3" to 8 " apart from one another. If a distinct look is what you are after, you can stand them upright and position them at a diagonal. When you place your railroad tie fence on an angle, from one view the fence will appear as a solid wall, but from another angle, the fence will look like a graded line.
You can also stack the ties on top of one another in an alternating or staggered pattern, by leaving a gap in between planks. Where the two ends meet, simply secure them with spikes. You can build this kind of a low-reaching staggering fence to reach one to three feet high.
You can also supplement a low linear fence by staggering railroad ties within the structure. This will create more stability as well as add texture to the appearance of your fence. Rather than a high fence, you can also use railway ties as a way to create a low-running border along a garden or small area of property. In this sense, a low-running border can serve as enclosure to a garden or small area within a lawn.
Railway ties can also be used a fence surrounding a corral. In fact, this enclosure option is quite popular among horse owners. Building a paddock with railroad ties requires using planks as posts and cross pieces. Corral fences should be anywhere from 4' to 6' high, depending upon the breeds of horses that will kept within the enclosed area. Choosing a hard and sturdy wood, which will ensure that the horse cannot break through the fence, is essential.
Keep in mind that railroad ties come in a variety of shapes, sizes and quality. Not only will these factors influence the price of your of your project, but it will also influence the look and appearance of the decorative landscaping scenery you are creating.
When choosing railroad ties for your fence, it is important to select those based on the accurate height, depth and length measurements so that your fence, while looking rustic, will also be consistent and functional. Most of the railroad ties best suited for fences will be wooden, particularly hardwoods, like oak or maple. Pine and birch can also be used.
It is best to purchase your railroad ties "as is" for fences, rather than cutting them. Cutting the ties may lessen their longevity and may also make them more prone to weathering or a potential insect infestation. If you are going to use your railroad tie as a fence post, rather than cutting them, simply dig a hole deeper so that the heights remain consistent throughout the fence.
Railroad ties create a raw and natural beauty to your outdoor landscape. R+R's railroad ties are lightweight, can be nailed without drilling and can be painted or stained to compliment the color scheme of your outside scenery. Once they are installed, they require virtually no maintenance.
Whether they are used as a fence, low border, flower boxes or retaining walls, railroad ties are a cost-effective and beautiful solution to your outdoor decorative projects.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact R+R. Our timber and landscaping experts can help you select the best ties for your fencing needs.