How To Build a Fence

If you want to build a fence, you may be surprised to find that almost all fencing styles start from the basic framework. Once the basic framework is up, everything from a picket fence to a large traditional wood fence can be constructed. The two main components of all fences are fence posts and rails.

You will need a post hole digger, quick set cement and a bucket to mix it in, a building level, wooden stakes, string, nails, and a hammer.

  1. Begin by marking where your corner post will go with wooden stakes. Using the post hole digger, dig a hole at each marker at least 18 inches deep. Try and make sure the depth is equal for each post.
  2. Set your corner posts into their holes. Mix the concrete and fill the holes around each post. Using a trowel, tamp the concrete down to get rid of any air pockets and then shape the cement so it slopes away from the posts. Use the level to ensure each post is straight. Allow the concrete to cure for at least 24 hours.
  3. Use the string to mark your fence line by tying it on to the corner posts. At regular intervals of about 6-8 feet, drive a stake into the ground. Once done, you can erect the rest of the fence posts the same as the corner posts at each stake mark.
  4. You will need at least two rails on your fence at the top and bottom. The easiest way to attach rails is with a lap joint. Measure from the top of each post down six inches. You will then nail your rail across these points. For the bottom rail, measure down from the bottom of the top rail an equal length on each post. For a standard six foot fence there will be four feet between each rail. Nail the bottom rail on the same as the top.
  5. You can now add your fencing material by nailing it on to the rails. Leave a small 1/4” space between each rail or picket to give the wood room to swell with the elements. If you are building your fence with vertical rails or pickets, the tops need to be angled or capped. A flat top will collect water and eventually rot, which can cost money and be time consuming to replace.

Once you are finished building the fence you can stain, seal, or paint it to match your home and protect it from weathering.


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