Calculations 1Colonial (zig-zag) Style Split Rail Fence

The colonial (zig-zag) fence style, first used by early American settlers, is erected in a zig-zag pattern. It is easy to install and requires no holes to be dug for upright fence posts. The rails are crossed over one another to form the angles of the pattern. At the cross-over points a block is placed on the ground beneath the first course of rails for elevation and protection from ground moisture.

How Much Material Will I Need?

We’ll be glad to do all the calculating for you. Just call us: 715-856-6192.


If you’d like to figure it out for yourself, here’s how to do it.

Cedar Split Rail FenceColonial Style (zig-zag) Split Rail FenceTo calculate the number of rails needed to erect a colonial style (zig-zag) fence you need to determine the length of property to be fenced and the number of courses of rails to be used.

An 8 foot section of rails will cover about 6 ½ linear feet. Divide the linear distance of your fence project by 6.5 to determine the number of 8 foot rail sections you’ll need. Multiply by the number of courses of rails you plan to use to determine the total number of rails you’ll need to purchase.

Colonial Style (zig-zag) Split Rail FenceFor example, if the fence above is to be around 50 feet long, here’s how to determine the number of rails needed:


50 ÷ 6.5 = 7.7 Round the quotient up: 7.7 rounds up to 8. You’ll use 8 sections of rails. For a 4 rail high fence like the ones in these photos, multipy the number of rail sections by the number of rail courses: 8 sections X 4 courses = 32 rails needed.

Our rails are available in 8 ft and 10 ft lengths. You can adjust your calculations for the length of rail you intend to use.