Looks good BUT do you see what’s missing from this new fence? This part is NOT optional! The contractor considered this job “done” …. Not so fast! Answer: What’s missing is one of the most important pieces in any fence – The top rail.
Why is the top rail, sometimes called a cap so important? It prevents water from pouring into the end grain. The photo shows a little snow on top of the fence. Melting snow / water now drips into the end grain of the wooden slats and swells them. Freeze-melt cycles will really “work” the wood – As Is this fence is not going to last!
As this homeowner already did, most homeowners will stain or paint new fencing in the hope of preserving them longer – more money spent on a fence that is doomed to rot rapidly without a top rail! No matter what stains you use on the inside and outside of the fence, the most important element is to stop water from getting into the open end-grain at the top or vertical slats.
Homeowners: Home improvement is always in the details – Know what matters! It Pays for you to know! Do not just rely on your installers!