My neighbor and I are putting up a fence between our properties. We will use either Cedar or Redwood. The fence will have vertical boards on both sides bc we want both of the fence surfaces to look nice from our respective properties.

My question is should we finish/treat the fence AFTER it is installed or treat the wood before it is installed?

Also after it ages how do I treat the wood? Note: There will be faces that are 'hidden'... the back sides of the faces that we see from our properties.

  • 2
    Building an "alternating board fence" (Google that) saves significantly on materials, allows some air thru and releaves wind pressure, and allows you to reach all surfaces with any treatments.
    – Tyson
    Jan 31, 2018 at 4:13
  • I've seen those designs. I'll revisit that design with the neighbor. But I think we are 95% decided in doing a tongue and groove fence on both sides.
    – milesmeow
    Jan 31, 2018 at 4:15
  • 1
    A double-faced fence makes a cavity which can harbor unwanted critters. Our next door neighbor put up an alternating board fence and it provides almost as much privacy as a single layer privacy fence. Jan 31, 2018 at 8:28
  • I have found if any sun hits cedar , it will need to be treated every 3 years. I let mine go natural grey. Feb 1, 2018 at 17:26
  • @blacksmith37 does treating it prevent it from going grey?
    – milesmeow
    Feb 3, 2018 at 6:09

2 Answers 2


Even if you treat before install and get all sides, later down you will have to just treat the visible portion, unless you plan to pull the fence down and retreat then put back up....in my opinion, too much work.


My opinion is that you should finish and treat before the installation of your fence, because before installation you can finish according to your needs, and you don't risk disturbance after installation.

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Thanks for your answer; I've edited it a bit for clarity. One note: you're obviously representing a commercial concern, so please be aware of our spam policy; this answer was fine, but you'd be amazed at what some companies post... Feb 13, 2018 at 17:30

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