Installing a Wood Picket Fence

Wood picket fences have always been part of the American landscape and they are just as popular now as they have ever been. A picket fence is not as difficult to install as many other types of fencing but you should not skip any steps either. Here is an overview of how to install a wood picket fence:

  1. Call the Pipeline Association for Public Awareness’ national referral number at 1-888-258-0808. They will come out and mark any utility lines to prevent accidents.
  2. Mark the boundary of the fence using stakes and string. You will also need to mark the string every 8 feet to provide for placement of the fence poles.
  3. Start digging the fence post holes. They should go to a depth of one third the total length of the post. The hole should be 12 inches across and a layer of gravel should be placed at the bottom.
  4. Place the fence posts into the hole and use a level to ensure that they are straight. Fill the hole in with concrete mix and if needed, use stakes to keep the pole upright. Allow several days for the concrete to cure.
  5. Start attaching the top and bottom rails between the posts using hammer and nails. If you want to have some added stability, a third rail can be added in the middle of the pole between the other two.
  6. Start nailing the pickets onto the horizontal boards. An easy way to ensure an even spacing is to place a spare piece of wood between the fence pickets when you place them.
  7. Wait for a couple of weeks to allow the wood to dry before adding waterproofing and stain.