Whether your goal is to keep children safely confined in the yard or to keep intruders from easily gaining access, your fence design decisions will have an impact. The following will help you design a hard to climb fence for your yard.


Height is a major factor in keeping people out. A fence as tall as or taller than the average adult works well for the exclusion of all but the most determined people, so a 6-foot fence is typically the height chosen for a residential back yard. If you really want to make sure your fence is too tall for most people to climb, then make it so it's tall enough that a fully grown adult can't easily grab the top, which may mean upgrading to an 8-foot tall fence. Just keep in mind that some municipal codes limit fence height.

Closed Pickets

Closed pickets are the best choices for limited climbability. Some children and even a few adults can squeeze through an open fence design. Closed pickets also reveal the crossbars, also called the rails, which provide a handy ladder for climbing. A closed picket wood or vinyl fence is smooth enough to make climbing difficult without some sort of food hold. Chainlink and some metal fence designs tend to be open, which makes them much easier to climb.

No Crossbars

Every wood fence has at least two crossbars, one at the top and one at the bottom, and a few have an additional center rail. Vinyl fences are flat panels connected to posts, so they have no crossbars. If you want a wood fence, you have to decide whether to put the crossbars on the outside or the inside of the fence. In other words, are you more concerned with intruders climbing in or children climbing out? Another option is a double panel fence, which has pickets placed on both sides of the crossbars so that they are sandwiched inside and unclimbable.

Anti-Climb Accessories

Anti-climb accessories can be especially helpful since they can be added to an existing fence as well as to a new one. Coyote bars, also known as roll bars, are typically used to prevent a dog from getting over a fence but they can also be used to keep intruders out. These discreet bars fit to the top of the fence. When someone grabs one to pull themselves over, it rolls and drops them back on the ground. You can also have a panel added to the top that tilts outward in the direction you want to prevent climbing, which makes the fence harder to get over.

Contact a fencing company in your area for more help.