How to build a picket fence?

How to build a picket fence?

If you are looking for something natural for your garden, the perfect thing is the wooden fence. It can be cheaper than iron fencing, but your designing capability is limited. Picket fences are the most used because of their simplicity and it will adapt to any location. Depending on the terrain, you can adjust the space between pickets and posts.

Building it requires some basic gardening tools and you should have someone to help you out. You will need someone for measuring and similar jobs that require two people. To build a wood fencing can be difficult at some points, so it is always smart to ask for help from a professional. Just in case, make sure you have a higher budget than you think you will need.

What is a picket fence?

If you are building a traditional picket fence, you have two choices. You can install prefabricated panels that come with the pickets already attached to the rails, or you can attach the rails to post and attach the pickets individually.

You should start by building a post and rail skeleton. The posts are typically set to four, six or eight feet apart. If you are installing the fence on sloped terrain, you can either attach the rails following the slope or use a step-down technique. When building a fence using a step-down process, check that the rails are level when attaching them between the posts.

There are different kinds of wood you can use for this kind of fences like cedar, redwood or pressure-treated pine. If you plan to stain or paint the rails and pickets, it is best to do it before building your fence. There are also composite pickets available. These are more durable and require less maintenance, but they do cost a bit more.

There are different styles of pickets to choose from including Gothic, Dog Ear and French Gothic. Traditional French Gothic picket fences will keep small children and pets contained, but they don’t provide much privacy or security, however, do help define your property line and boost your home’s curb appeal which makes this type of fence a popular choice for front yards.

Post holes

As with all fence projects, the fence lines need to be planned out and market. Start by driving stakes into the ground at opposite ends of your planned fence line. Tie a line around one stake and unfurl it toward the other end stake. You should use a line level and make the necessary adjustments until the line is level. Next step is to mark the location of the first line post using spray and measure out six feet on center from that mark for the location of the next post.

If the fence won’t require many posts, dig them with a manual post hole digger and if you building a longer fence then you should rent a gas-powered auger. Each post should be set into a hole twice the width of the post and one-third of the length of the post.

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Setting the posts

To brace the post, drive a stake into the ground and attach a 2×4 to the stake using a single screw. This will allow you to pivot the 2×4 to the post and connect it with screws. You should repeat the process on an adjacent side of the post to hold it firmly in place. Next step is to fill the holes with concrete.

Mark each post three inches up from the line that keeps the fence straight. This will be the location for the bottom of the lower rail. Measure up from the mark for the lower rail and mark the position for the bottom of the upper rail. It is best to install all the rails for the fence before you begin to attach the pickets.

Attaching pickets

Begin by placing the first picket flush with the end post. Pickets should be attached to rails with a consistent spacing between each picket. Creating a spacer will help speed up the process. Attach a wood block so the spacer can hang on the upper rail freeing your both hands.

Attach a level to the spacer to check the pickets or plum when butted up against the spacer. Drive two or two and a half inch weatherproof screws through each picket into the rail. Align each picket with the line you made at the start to maintain level pickets. This can be done in one day if you know what you are doing and always make sure that safety is in the first place.