How To Build A Picket Fence
When you are a homeowner there may come a time when you have to replace your fence or build a new once. You may be after a bit more privacy, to keep the kids and the pets in or maybe you want to add a nice feature to the front of your house
Before you start come down to Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies to pick up the following items:
- Shovel or post hole digger
- Fence posts
- Spirit level
- Timber pickets
- Paint or stain
- Galvanised nails
- Senco fusion finish nailer
Before you begin you need to figure out where your end corner and line posts need to be located and mark them with stakes. If you attached string between each post you will get a good sense of the space.
You need to dig holes where each post goes to about half a meter in depth. It’s a good idea to make sure your holes are about double the width of your post to allow for adjustment.
To avoid your post rotting prematurely cut the top of your posts at a slight angle. To allow water to flow off or you could choose to cap your post.
It’s easiest to install the end posts first followed by the line posts which should be spaced evenly at approximately 2-metre intervals.
Before you concrete your posts into position add about 50ml of gravel to the bottom of each hole. Make sure each post is plumb (perfectly vertical) and then pour in your concrete.
Line posts can be set the same way as your end posts
The next step is to measure and cut the rails to the length between the posts. Remember to measure twice and cut once.
You will need to work out how many pickets you will need also
A great way to save time is to paint or stain your posts rails and pickets before you start assembling your fence. This saves you trying to get in between all the posts and railings or sitting in uncomfortable positions.
When installing the rails its important to remember to choose galvanized nails or screws. This will help stop your fasteners from rusting out.The bottom rail should be about 150ml from the bottom and the top rail should sit about 50 ml from the top of the post.
For extra strength you can check the rails into the post using a housing joint. Simply measure the height and width of the rail and then cut into the post with a hand saw or a power saw and chisel out the middle.
To help you avoid your pickets from rotting or moisture damage its a good idea to use a plinth.
If you’re not using a plinth at the bottom to keep your pickets nice and level put your outside ones on first run a string line over the top and that way all your pickets will be nice and level.
Measure out where each of the pickets should go along the rail at even intervals and mark with a pencil line. Alternatively, a good tip is to use a small block of wood as a spacer to ensure all of your pickets are perfectly even. Nail each picket to the rails
Face your fence the right way
The Smooth Finished Side of the fence should face the street. The side with the rails and posts showing should be on the inside.
Do Your Research
Know your boundary lines and consult your local council to ensure your fence is permitted and meets their requirements.
Will your fence block out light from your house and create dark rooms? If you have dark rooms already a white or light coloured fence could bounce light back into your house.
Nature Strip Gardens
Want to have plants, trees or hedges in front of your fence? Factor this space in before building your fence as most councils won’t allow you to plant a garden on the nature strip.
Consider items that you will need to take through the gate such as lawn mowers and large bulky household items such as couches.
Replacing a fence
When replacing a fence its a good idea to make sure it was installed in the right place to begin with.
Consult your neighbours
When replacing a fence that runs against your neighbour’s property it’s always a good idea to keep the peace and consult your neighbour to ensure they are happy with the style. You might even be able to ask them to split the bill with you.