What Are Cap And Trim Fences

Choosing the right fence for your garden takes some serious consideration. You need to think about what materials to go for, how high you’d like the fence, the design, durability and many other factors. 

If you’re looking for a fence that’s durable and looks the part then you might consider installing a cap and trim fence. They’re a little more expensive but the benefits make them a worthwhile investment. 

So, What Is A Cap And Trim Fence?

A cap and trim fence isn’t all that dissimilar to a regular wooden privacy fence. However, they have a capped top so that the pickets cannot be seen and the fence looks a little more finished and aesthetically pleasing. 

With a normal wooden fence, you’ll notice that the pickets can be seen at the top but cap and trim fences have trim on both sides as well as that cap at the top, enclosing everything. That said, there are some cap and trim fences that only have trim on one side, in which case, you then have to consider who gets the good side of the fence; you or your neighbour?

What Are The Benefits Of A Cap And Trim Fence?

One of the most obvious benefits of a cap and trim fence is the curb appeal. These fences are so much better looking, especially where there is trim on both sides. If you want something that’s going to look good on either side and help to keep neighbour disputes away then these fences are worth considering. 

But they’re much more than just decorative features, cap and trim fences are also a lot more durable. That’s largely because the pickets are not exposed and the cap and trim elements will keep moisture and rainwater out. The pickets normally soak up moisture more easily than the fence panels so this added protection increases their lifespan.

In most cases, your cap and trim fence will also have a bottom piece that looks the same as the cap at the top. Not only does this further improve the look of the fence but it also makes it much more stable. If you live in an area where things can get particularly windy, this is very good news.

Where aesthetics are concerned, there are also a lot of options to spruce up your cap and trim fence all the more. This can include adding cap accents, post caps and decorative trims so it’s really easy to get a fence that fits the style of your garden. 

It is worth noting that a cap and trim fence will set you back a little more than a normal wooden privacy fence. But with how long lasting they and and how wonderful they look, most homeowners are happy to pay a little extra. 

Easy Guide On Building A Cap And Trim Fence

In a lot of cases, I would recommend hiring a professional to install your fences as this guarantees stability, longevity and correct installation. However, if you’re handy with the tools and have some DIY experience then there’s no reason that you shouldn’t give it a go yourself. Here are my simple tips on installing a cap and trim fence. 


The key to any construction project is to be prepared and in this case, it means marking out the area where your fence will go. You can do this using twine and stakes; using a hammer to drive the stakes into the soil to mark where the corners of the fence will sit. 

Then take your twine and tie this between the stakes, marking every eight feet using masking tape along the twine. You can then use these eight foot markers to determine where you dig your post holes.

Each post hole should be dug before you start installing the fence and you’ll want it to be around two feet deep and about 12 inches in width. When you initially insert the posts, add some dry concrete mix but hold off adding any water at this point.

Attaching The Fence Panels

Start by taking your first panel and standing this up on a 1 x4 that you’ve placed between your first two posts. Start at the corner post, making sure that the post is upright and level. When you’re sure of this, you can use 3 inch deck screws to secure everything together.

Only when the panels and posts are securely fastened together, should you add the water to your concrete mix in the ground. The consistency of the mix should be similar to porridge.

Make sure that you use your spirit level to check the posts and adjust these as required. You can then add some dirt to the holes to fill them up and tamp everything down. Continue this process until you have installed all of the posts and panels.

Installing The Cap And Trim

When your fence is finished, you’re now ready to add the cap and trim. If you’ve purchased a fence kit then you’ll already have the correct materials. If you’re building the fence from scratch then you’ll need an 8 foot 1 x 2 in the same material you used for the pickets. This can then be placed horizontally along the top of the fence on the outside. Make sure that it remains flush with the pickets. 

To secure the trim, you will need to use ⅝ “ screws about every 12 inches and then secure a 2 x 4 piece along the top of the fence ensuring that there is a ¾ “ overhang. Again, you’ll need some 3 “ deck screws to hold everything together.

Final Thoughts

Cap and trim fences are ideal for properties where durability and aesthetics are as important as one another. These fences can look great from both sides and since the framework is contained within the trim, the fence isn’t exposed to as much moisture and will therefore last longer. 

Building a cap and trim fence can be done as a DIY project. But if you’re at all unsure then there are plenty of professional installers out there that would be more than happy to help.

Driveway Expert