This woodworking project is about how to build a wood fence. If you want to build a simple fence for your property, you should pay attention to the step by step instructions described in the article. Plan everything from the very beginning and read the local building codes with attention. In most of the cases, you need to get a building permit before starting assembling the wood fence.
Before starting the actual construction of the wooden wood fence, we recommend you to choose the right design and proper plans for your needs. In addition, invest in quality materials such as cedar, pine or redwood, as regular pressure-treated lumber might look a little too dull, although it is the most affordable choice. Choose the most appropriate fence design for your needs, making sure it matches the style of your property.
Projects made from these plans
How to Build a Wood Fence
- A – 4×4 lumber POSTS
- B – 2×4 lumber RAILS
- C – 1×8 lumber PICKET FENCING
- D – 1×1 lumber CLEATS
|Fence Height (feet)||Footing Diameter x Depth (inches)|
|4||8 x 24|
|5||8 x 24|
|6||8 x 30|
|7||9 x 36|
|8||10 x 42|
|9||11 x 48|
|10||12 x 48|
|11||14 x 48|
|12||14 x 48|
Building a wood fence
The first step of the woodworking project is to lay out the fence in a professional manner. If the fence runs straight or follows a corner shape, you need to plot it properly. Therefore, layout end, corner and gateposts.
Top Tip: Use batterboards and string to layout the wood fence accurately. Apply the 3-4-5 rule to the corners, to make sure the corners are right-angled, before fitting the posts.
Next you need to set the posts into place. There are several alternatives to choose from, such as setting them in concrete or using anchors. However, the best option is to dig holes, set tube forms and fit the posts with temporarily braces.
Top Tip: Fill the tube forms with concrete and let it dry out for several days, before removing the braces. In the second case, fit the anchors into concrete and fit the posts with spirit level.
The next step of the woodworking project is to set the posts into place using temporarily braces. Use a spirit level to make sure the posts are plumb, as well as if the top of the posts are horizontal. Usually the posts are 6′ or 8′ spaced one from another.
If the posts have decorative ends, you need to adjust their size prior to setting them into concrete. Otherwise, mark one end at the desired height and stretch a chalk line to the other end post and level it with a line level.
If the fence is long, you should work on just a few posts at a time. Use a guide to support the circular saw, while you trim each post. Finish the job with a crosscut handsaw and smooth the edge with fine-grit sandpaper.
The next step of the woodworking project is to attach the 2×4 rails to the posts. As you can easy notice on the diagram, you need to place the bottom rail between the posts and the top rail on top of the posts. Use a spirit level to make sure the rails are horizontal and check if the corners are right-angled.
In order to secure the bottom rails to the posts in a professional manner, we strongly recommend you to use 2×4 cleats. As you can easily notice in the diagram, we recommend you to cut the cleats out of 2×4 lumber and to attach them to the posts.
Place the rails to the cleats, drive pilot holes and insert the 3″ screws into the cleats and into the posts. Make sure there are no gaps between the posts and check if the corners are square.
As you can see in the plans, the top rails will protect the fencing from water damage. Moreover, you need to cut both ends of the components at 45 degrees, in order to create durable joints. Drill pilot holes and secure them rails to the posts using 2×4 lumber.
As you can see in the image, you need to attach the pickets between the 1×1 cleats. In order to get a professional manner, you need to fit 1×1 cleats on one side of the fence. Afterwards, attach the wooden boards to the cleats and secure them using 1 1/4″ screws. After installing the boards, you should fit the cleats on the other side of the fence and screws them together tightly.
One of the last steps of the woodworking project is to fit the 1×8 boards to the fence, as described in the diagram. In order to get the job done in a professional manner, we recommend you to place the boards equally-spaced.
Top Tip: Drill pilot holes through the cleats and insert 1 1/4″ screws into the wooden boards. Leave no gaps between the components and assemble everything tightly.
Last but not least, you have to take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, fill the holes and the cracks with wood filler and let it dry out for several hours, before sanding the surface with 120-grit sandpaper.
Top Tip: Protect the wooden components from rot by applying several coats of paint. Make sure the color matches the style of your property before applying the paint.
This woodworking project was about how to build a wood fence. If you want to see more outdoor plans, we recommend you to check out the rest of our step by step projects.