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Build a Privacy Fence

Project Overview

Build a Privacy Fence

Here's a fence that will have enormous impact in the garden. Lengths of lumber in two sizes are butt-jointed to fence posts. The grey stained planks are precisely placed in a linear pattern, creating a stunning contemporary wall that has just enough privacy without compromising the light. Note: This project assumes that you already have 4" x 4" fence posts installed.

12 Steps

  1. Measure for length
  2. Determine lumber required
  3. Cut to width
  4. Stain pieces
  5. Determine placement of first boards
  1. Attach first boards
  2. Make a spacer
  3. Attach boards
  4. Fit top boards
  5. Cover seams
  6. Add support
  7. Stain fence
Show all steps »
Measure for length

Step 1

Measure for length

Measure the distance between fence posts centres.

Step 2

Determine lumber required

For one fence section you will need 8 pieces of cedar: 5/4" x 6" x the distance between post centres, and 6 pieces: 5/4" x 2 1/2" x the distance between post centres.

Cut to width

Step 3

Cut to width

For each fence section you'll need to rip cut 3 pieces of 5/4" x 6" into 6 pieces of 5/4" x 2-1/2".

Step 4

Stain pieces

Stain all pieces on all sides with an exterior grade stain.

Determine placement of first boards

Step 5

Determine placement of first boards

Using a string line and a line level mark your starting point at the bottom where the first board will attach on each post (you need to keep the boards level so, if your landscape height fluctuates, add below the bottom boards as needed).

Step 6

Attach first boards

With a screw gun and 2" exterior grade screws fasten a 5/4" x 6" board to the bottom mark, centred on each post. Repeat for the length of the fence keeping the run level.

Make a spacer

Step 7

Make a spacer

Cut a 1-1/2" spacer block from scrap wood.

Attach boards

Step 8

Attach boards

Using the spacer block between the boards work your way up, screwing each board between posts and creating the two 6" and two 2 1/2" pattern (you can adjust the pattern to suit your taste).

Step 9

Fit top boards

When you reach the top board, mark the 4" x 4" post and cut it flush with a hand or circular saw.

Step 10

Cover seams

Measure the height along the seams and cut a 5/4" x 6" stained board and then fasten it centred on the seam using #8 x 3" exterior grade screws.

Step 11

Add support

On the back side of the fence fasten a 5/4" x 2-1/2" cedar board to the centre between the 4 x 4 posts using 1-1/2" exterior grade wood screws.

Step 12

Stain fence

Recoat the entire fence with stain.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 5 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

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