Houston Fence Facts: History of the White Picket Fence

picket Houston fence with bike in front of it.
A picket fence is a type of Houston fence that is incredibly popular throughout the U.S.

When you think of a white picket fence, you might immediately picture 1950s suburbs. Many associate the white picket fence with the American Dream. However, what really is the history of the white picket fence? Also, is this Houston fence a good option for your home? Let’s talk about picket fences and whether you should install one for your house. 

Houston Fence: What is a Picket Fence?

While some people immediately know what a picket fence is, picturing Mayfield from Leave it to Beaver or other old TV shows, others may not have a clear picture in their heads. This type of Houston fence is traditionally made of wood, though modern iterations may also be made of vinyl. Picket fences typically use wooden panels, called pickets. These pickets are anywhere from three to four feet high and have a few inches of space in between each picket. The pickets often have a slightly pointed top, but can be squared or rounded, depending on your preferences. 

What’s the Deal with the White Picket Fence?

For many, the white picket fence is synonymous with American family life, but how did that come to be? According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the traditional white picket fence likely dates back to Colonial America. Picket fences were commonly used to help keep chickens in the yard and also keep pests out of the garden. The more affluent families often used whitewash, a mixture of lime and water, to treat the wooden fence panels.

This fence style has gone in and out of style ever since, but it likely gained its status symbol in the late 1800s with the Colonial Revival design movement. This is also around the time where Mark Twain penned his famous novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which you may remember features a scene where Tom Sawyer tricks some other boys into whitewashing a picket fence for him. Also, as we mentioned a little earlier, many family-oriented television shows in the 1950s also featured the white picket fence, further popularizing the white picket fence. 

Pros and Cons of this Common Houston Wood Fence

Today, picket fences are still a popular option for many homes. This Houston fence comes with many advantages and disadvantages to consider. Picket fences are a great way to enhance the look of your home. Many people choose picket fences for homes that feature colonial architecture. If you have an ultra-modern home, however, this type of Houston wood fence may look a little out of place. So, it’s important to consider the look of your home when choosing a fence.

Another reason to consider a picket fence for your house is the many ways you can customize it. Picket fences can be any color, and you can also choose many different picket shapes to make the fence your own. In addition, you can lay out the pickets for additional detail, such as in a scalloped or arched pattern or even alternating shorter and longer pickets for a unique look. 

These fences also work well for keeping small pets and small children contained in your yard. However, at only four feet high or so, they are fairly easy to step or jump over and don’t offer a lot of privacy because of the gaps between the pickets. 

Summit Fence North – Quality Fence Installation

Our team at Summit Fence North delivers excellence for residential and commercial fences. We offer fence installation services throughout Greater Houston. Whether you need a fence in Houston proper, a fence in The Woodlands, TX, or fencing in Cypress, our team is here to help. We accept nothing less than your complete satisfaction and offer a wide range of fence materials and options to suit your home. Get in touch now for a free quote for your fence needs.