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What is a Masonry Fence?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A masonry fence is an outdoor wall made with blocks or bricks of materials such as cement or natural stone. Masonry fences are commonly used as a residential fence and they may include a large, double metal gate to allow vehicle access onto a property. A masonry column fence has panels of metal bars and only the posts or columns are made of stone or concrete. There are many different techniques and materials that can be used to create a masonry fence that coordinates with the exterior look of a house.

Blocks of rough-textured concrete or cement are commonly used in masonry fences. A splitface technique features the look of empty grooves between concrete blocks rather than mortar filling. The cement blocks are molded in sections and then run through a machine to create the splits or grooves to accentuate each block in the masonry fence. Splitface walls form fences that can run the perimeter of a property. Posts or columns separate sections of the splitface fence walls and these may also use concrete splitfacing or they could be made using an entirely different masonry material and technique to create an appealing contrast.

Many masonry fences are designed with contrasting features since a plain brick or cement wall can be too plain. An exception is a masonry fence made with assorted natural stone slabs since the color of each slab can be strikingly different and range from pink to black. Large round boulders, rather than square or rectangular pieces of stone, can also add interest to a masonry fence. Some concrete block masonry fences include a stripe of different colored blocks continuing along the top. Other masonry walls may feature panels of different heights that help add visual interest.

A masonry fence is usually tall enough to provide privacy as well as wind protection. In some areas, height limits may apply to masonry fences and building permits may be needed. These height limits may apply to all types of masonry fences used for front or backyard walls. A masonry retaining wall is commonly used in backyards, but it isn't a freestanding fence as retaining walls hold back natural areas of earth.

Freestanding masonry fences sit on a foundation that may be a concrete slab. The corners of a masonry fence are made first. Brick, concrete or stone corner work serves as a framework for setting in the block or brick wall sections that make up the masonry fence.

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Discussion Comments
By summing — On Dec 16, 2011

My husband tried to build a retaining wall in our backyard a few years ago. It was going to be a masonry block fence to keep our new dog from running out into the neighbors yard.

It ended up being kind of a fiasco. My husband is not a particularly handy guy but he thought he could tackle the job by himself with only a library book guiding him.

I can't tell you exactly what went wrong but before long the fence was lopsided and crooked and barely spanning the distance it had to cover up. He tried to fix it over and over for days but it just seemed to get bigger and messier. Finally, after throwing a huge fit, he decided to call in a contractor. Best decision he ever made.

By gravois — On Dec 15, 2011

I've always loved the look of masonry fences and I have seen a few homes that have taken the idea in some really artistic directions.

I saw one home in Scotland that had done elaborate mosaics on the sides of all their masonry fences. They were very colorful and visually arresting and a wonderful counterpoint to the grey and often gloomy Scottish weather.

I saw another one that did not have smooth walls but had all kinds of geometric pieces and points jutting out the sides of the wall. It was kind of like a long sculpture. This was in Brazil. I have never seen a fence like it. It must have taken forever to build because the masonry work was really nice

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