Building Your Own Fence Sections
The most popular fence types are picket, alternate board, solid board, louver, and basket weave. Building any of these fences is a three-step process: install the posts, install the rails, and screw on the fencing. Intervals of 4,6, and 8 feet between posts are typical. Choose one and adjust the spacing of the fence boards so they are spaced evenly usually 4-6 inches. Factor in the type of fence style, too, when you put up rails. The rails of some styles, such as louvered fencing, must be installled with the wide face up. Others such as the basket weave require the addition of a cap rail. Fences 48 inches or taller require a middle rail.
LAY OUT AND CUT THE PICKETS
Many pickets are flattop, but you can also lay out your own custom shapes. For customized pickets, make a pattern, trace the shape onto the boards, and cut outside curves with a saber saw. Cut inside curves with a drill bit, if possible. To speed up the job, clamp a couple of boards together and cut them at the same time. Make a spacer that is as wide as the space between pickets. Screw a 2x2 block to the top of the spacer so when you hang it from the rail, the top of the spacer is level with the top of the pickets. Screw a small torpedo level to the spacer to tell if the pickets are plumb.
ATTACH THE FIRST PICKET
Butt the spacer against the post and butt a picket against the spacer. Use a level to make sure the picket is plumb, then screw the picket to the rails with #8 2-inch deck screws. Butt the spacer against the first picket, position the next picket against it, and screw the picket to the rails. Continue installing pickets the same way, checking for plumb as you go and making any necessary adjustments.
BUILD A FRAME FOR THE PICKETS
You can dress up ordinary pickets by cutting a curve along the top of each section. First assemble a frame of 2x4s that fits snugly between the posts. Fasten the rails together with #8 2 1/2-inch deck screws, then screw or nail the pickets to the frame.
LAY OUT AND CUT THE CURVE WITH A SABER SAW
Drive a nail into the pickets, marking each end of the curve. Drive a third nail into the center picket, marking the center point of the curve. Have a helper flex a thin piece of wood—roughly 1/4 inch thick—between the end and center nail while you use it as a guide to trace along the panel. (Lattice or doorstop molding also works well.) Repeat, flexing the wood between the center nail and other end. Put the completed panel between the posts, propping it on blocks at the desired height above the ground. Fasten the panel to the posts with #8 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
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Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 3 hours
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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