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How to Build a Picket Fence

Abhijit Naik Nov 24, 2018
Picket fences are mostly seen in suburban middle-class homes in the United States. It doesn't take long to construct one, and the end result is a delight in itself.
Picket fence is constructed of upright pickets, i.e., wooden strips, and is most often used to demarcate domestic boundaries. It also facilitates security, while adding to the grace of the property. These white-washed fences are generally made of wood, though the trend of using plastic is also on rise these days.

DIY Guide to Build a Picket Fence

It's very important to draft a blueprint of fence design before you start the task. You can start by mapping your property with proper measurements and drawing a brief outline of the area to be fenced. Clear the area where you want to erect the fence and mark the point wherein your fence would begin with a wooden stake.
Take a string and tie it to the wooden stake and run it along the proposed line of construction. Take another wooden stake and mark the area where your fence should end. This line of string will help you to ensure that you are constructing the fence in a straight line.
Dig 2-feet deep holes to insert the corner posts. A piece of pressure-treated lumber measuring 4×4 would be ideal for these posts. You can decide the height of the fence by taking into consideration the fact that the post will be planted 2 feet inside the ground.
For instance, if you want to make a fence of 3 feet, the wooden piece you choose should be at least 5-feet long. Plant the post and cover the hole with soil and small stones. Use a tamping bar to tamp the ground and ensure that the post is securely planted.
As you are done erecting all the corner posts, take a string and run it in a straight line from one post to another covering all the posts. Then mark the points where you would like to erect the line posts and dig 2-feet deep holes to plant them. Distance of 6 feet between two posts is ideal. Plant the line posts the same way you planted corner posts.
When planting the gate posts, make sure that you dig a foot more than you dug to insert the corner posts and line posts. The frequent swinging of the gate is bound to put pressure on these posts and hence, they need to be more secure. You can also opt to use concrete to plant these posts in the ground, instead of soil and stones.
For the gate you can construct a rectangular frame and attach stripes of wood to it in a slanting manner. Once you attach the necessary hardware at one end of the gate, it will be ready to be attached to the fence.
After all the posts are erected, measure their height before continuing the construction. They should be of equal height, and if not, you can trim the taller posts with a saw. The next step is to attach the fence rails. You can fix wooden rails with the help of galvanized screws. The number of rails required will depend on the height of the fence.
After the rails have been attached, you can attach pickets on each post with the help of screws. The spacing between two pickets should be identical. Make sure that the pickets don't come in contact with the ground, as that will cause them to rot.
Although the task of building a fence on your own may require some physical efforts on your part, investing a little time and putting in these efforts will make sure you are rewarded with a beautiful landscape. Once your picket fence is ready, you can whitewash it or paint it to suit your home.