How to Build a Picket Fence with Only 5 Steps | Fun DIY Project

One of the main functions of a fence is to give a more decorative touch to the overall look of your outdoor living space. It’s a part of the yard decor that has to be able to enhance the beauty of your home.

When we’re talking about the decorative fence, the one with picket design is always a good option to keep in mind. This kind of fence will give a beautiful vintage touch which everyone will surely adore.

The picket fence doesn’t provide full privacy and security, but it’s enough to prevent the kids and pets from running out of the border of the house. Therefore, it’s mostly installed on the front yard instead of the backyard.

Another reason why the picket fence is so popular is that you can install it easily all by yourself without hiring any pro. Of course, it can be a good alternative for you who want to decorate your backyard without spending a lot.

With the right tools and materials, you can finish installing a picket fence in no time. Especially if you are familiar with woodworking projects, it’s such a piece-of-cake job.

(You may also like: 7 Simple Steps on How to Install Wood Fence Panels Quickly and Easily)

To guide you to install a picket fence, below we share the simple tutorial on How To Build a Picket Fence that you can follow easily.

How To Build a Picket Fence Tutorial

How To Build a Picket Fence 1

To build a picket fence, you can either purchase the fence panels which come with the rails or purchase the pickets and rails separately. In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to build your very own picket fence. If you are planning to paint your picket fence, do the steps before you start installing it.

Prepare these supplies:

  • Fence pickets
  • Fence posts
  • Rails
  • Stakes
  • Concrete mix
  • All-purpose gravel
  • Exterior-grade or stainless steel nails
  • String or mason’s line
  • Spray paint or tape

Prepare these tools:

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Post digger
  • Post level
  • Carpenter’s square (if necessary)
  • Carpenter’s pencil
  • Cordless drill
  • Circular saw
  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Eye goggles

Those are the supplies and tools that you need to build a picket fence. The amount of each supply that you need will be determined after you measure the area where you want to install your picket fence.

(Check this out: How to Fix Leaning Fence Easily and Cheaply with 5 Quick Steps)

Check the Local Code

How To Build a Picket Fence 2

The very first thing you have to do is checking the local code to find the regulation for building a fence.

  • Find out the recommended height of the fence and the depth of the holes that you can use.

Measure the Area

As mentioned above, you have to measure the area where you want to install your fence to find out the number of pickets and posts that you have to purchase.

  • Drive two stakes into the ground with the hammer from one side of the area to another.
  • Tie the mason line from one stake to another.
  • Use a line level to ensure that the mason’s line is perfectly straight if necessary.
  • Mark the spot for the first line post by using spray paint, the distance between one post to another is commonly 4, 6, and 8 feet, depending on the size of each panel section that you want.

Dig Post Holes

After you have known the measurement of the fence that you need and get the fence supplies on hands, you can start digging the hole.

  • If you need a lot of posts, it’s better for you to rent a power auger instead of a manual post digger.
  • Check out this post How to Install Fence Post Quickly all By Yourself with 6 Simple Steps that will guide you to install the post easily.
  • Install each post inside the mason’s line.
  • You may need to cut the posts to suit the height of the picket. Use the carpenter’s square and circular saw and properly cut the posts into your desired height.

Attach the Rails

Once you are sure enough that the posts are installed properly and the concrete is hardened, you can start attaching the rails. You will need for about 2 rails to build a traditional picket fence.

  • Measure the distance between the inside edge of the fence posts
  • Mark the location to attach the lower rail 3 inches above the mason line.
  • Attach the lower rail using the exterior-grade nails and drill.
  • Attach the upper rail about 5 inches below the top of the posts.
  • It’s best for you to attach all the rails for the whole section of the fence before attaching the rails.

Attach the Pickets

Now, let’s start attaching the picket to finish the construction of the fence.

  • Attach the first picket to the first end post of the fence with 2-2.5 galvanized screws
  • To create a proper space between the pickets, you can use a spacer. Make your own spacer by using a wood bar then attach a level to the space to ensure whether the pickets are plumb enough or not.
  • Place the spacer between the pickets when you continue attaching the other pickets.
  • Make sure that all the pickets are in alignment position.

(Recommended to read: How to Install Fence Post Quickly all By Yourself with 6 Simple Steps)

Well, that is the tutorial on How To Build a Picket Fence that you can follow. Though you need a lot of elbow grease, the project is so doable all by yourself (some help from a friend will make the job much easier though). You can save the money to pay the pros when you build the fence in a DIY way.

A picket fence is always a good option for you who want to give a more curb appeal to your outdoor living space. With proper maintenance, the fence will last for years in beautifying your home sweet home.

So, have a nice try on building your very own picket fence!

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