Shadowbox fences offers aesthetics that are more interesting than standard privacy fences though without providing quite the same level of seclusion from the world beyond. They’re available in a variety of materials in a range of styles and prices.
You’ve got a selection of material options to meet your budget or give you the look you want. They range from affordable wood that requires moderate maintenance to low-maintenance vinyl shadowbox fencing that costs a bit more. A nice selection of styles is available too.
This shadowbox fence guide allows you to compare your fence options for style, features and price with all the popular types we’ve covered in our guides.
Shadowbox Fence Prices for Supply and Installation
This fencing ranges from affordable to moderate in cost based mostly on the material. Here are costs per linear foot for the most common grades of shadowbox fencing:
- Pressure treated pine and basic cedar shadowbox fence price: $6-$11
- Quality cedar shadowbox fence: $15-$24
- Vinyl shadowbox fence: $22-$32
When you receive fence estimates, they should be broken down into costs for material, supplies and installation. This will let you know what you can save by installing the fence yourself. Here are approximate estimates for what you can expect. We use a standard 164’ installation in all our guides for easy comparison of prices.
|Fence Type||Cost Of Materials||Installation Cost||Total Project Cost||Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Basic Shadowbox Fence||$984-$1804||$328-$648||$1312-$2452||$8.00-$14.85|
|Quality Cedar Shadowbox Fence||$2460-$3936||$615-$820||$3075-$3756||$18.75-$22.90|
|Vinyl Shadowbox Fence||$3608-$5248||$768-$984||$4376-$6232||$26.70-$38.20|
|Note: Our pricing data are carefully calculated from industry averages as well as submissions from our own readers. This allows us to provide you with the best idea of the likely cost for your fence project. The above data is costed on an average of 164 linear foot.|
Considerations for Installation
Installation requires sinking 4”x4” pressure treated or cedar posts into the ground anchored with concrete for strength. This is done even with vinyl. The vinyl posts fit over wood or steel posts and remain flush with the ground. A manual or powered post hole digger is an essential tool. If you have clay in your soil, the ground can be very hard during months with little rain, so you may want to plan installation for wetter months, typically spring or fall.
Where the terrain is slightly rolling, a stick-built fence will allow you to maintain a uniform, level top even as the ground dips and rises slightly. This is not possible when installing pre-made fence panels or when there is significant change in elevation. Onsite, stick-build fences cost more, but they can be tailored to your exact requirements.
If you’ve had experience with fence installation or are comfortable using a level and doing the hard dirt work required, then installing your own fence can be a money-saving option.
Bare cedar should be stained within a month of installation unless you plan to allow it to weather naturally which will reduce its lifespan. Pressure treated wood should be given 4-6 weeks to completely dry from the process of forcing preservative into it before staining or painting. Wait until the forecast for the next several days is dry before staining or painting your shadowbox fence.
Both wood and vinyl shadowbox fencing is produced in various styles. They include:
- Straight or dog-eared planks
- Straight top
- Straight top framed with a top fascia board
- Cut arch top (slight rise and fall)
- Rolling arch top (more pronounced rise and fall)
- Scallop top (slight fall and rise/reverse cut-arch)
Most styles feature matching gates. Accessories include decorative post tops, gate hardware and attractive top rails.
The most common fence heights are 6’ and 8’, though any height can be custom made. Panels are typically 6’ to 8’ wide when used in place of a stick-built fence where every plank is installed individually on site.
Wood fencing is usually unfinished, but prefinished cedar is available from some suppliers. Choosing prefinished fencing costs more upfront, but since the stain is applied at the factory before panels are assembled or the fence is stick-built, the stain goes on more uniformly in much less time and with fewer runs. You might save time and money in the long-run with prefinished wood.
Shadowbox fences offer semi-privacy. You can get a limited view through the fencing at an angle but not when looking straight at it. The space also allows wind to pass through, so shadowbox fences are less susceptible to wind damage then full-privacy fences.
Most commonly, a shadowbox fence is used to enclose an entire back yard, but they’re sometimes used for smaller areas such as around a pool, garden, patio or play area within a larger space.
Children and large dogs can be easily kept within an area enclosed with a shadowbox fence. Small dogs, cats and critters like squirrels or raccoons may be able to get through the spaces between fence slats.
Vinyl fencing is quite easy to maintain. Wash it as needed using a mild, neutral detergent and soft brush. Use the garden hose to rinse it. If your water has iron, and the sprinkler leaves rust spots, they should be promptly removed with a gentle cleaner.
Wood fences require moderate maintenance for the best long-term durability. Remove dirt, bird droppings and other debris first. Use mild detergent and a soft brush to wash the fence. A hose or a power sprayer on 1300psi or lower pressure can be used to rinse it. Use a stain with a sealer. The inclusion of UV inhibitors and algaecide can help maintain the looks of your fence too. Spraying on the stain or paint offers better coverage and saves time versus applying it with a brush.
Check for loose fence parts on a yearly basis and make repairs for safety and aesthetic purposes.