How to Build a Wooden Fence

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How to Build a Wooden Fence

A wooden fence can provide privacy, keep animals in or out of a yard, and create a safe space for kids and pets to play. The following guide offers instructions on how to build a proper wooden fence for your property.


Mark Out the Fence’s Position

Start by placing stakes at the ends and corners of the fence. Tie a length of string to each stake, making sure that it is pulled tight between the stakes. This guiding string helps to make sure that the final fence is straight.

Next, divide each length of string in half, or into quarters or a smaller fraction, depending on the total length of the fence. Mark these fractions with more stakes, which will act as a guide for where the supporting posts should go. The supporting posts should be no more than 2.5 metres apart and should be evenly spaced.


Dig Holes for the Fence Posts

In each of the staked positions, dig a hole about one third as deep as the total height of the fence. For example, if the fence is going to be 1.8 metres tall, each hole needs to be about 60 centimetres deep. The easiest way to dig these holes is by using a tool called a post hole digger, which excavates narrow, vertical-sided holes. Each hole needs to be wide enough that there is plenty of space around the fence post when it is inserted.


Place the Fence Posts

Put a few centimetres of gravel at the bottom of each hole. Place the wooden fence post into the hole so that it sits on top of the gravel. Holding the post in place, pour instant concrete into the hole around the post to hold it firm. The instant mix concrete should come about two-thirds of the way up the hole. Fill the rest of the hole up with water and use a stick to stir it around. Use temporary wooden supports to hold the post in place while the concrete sets.


Install Horizontal Support Boards

Cut planks of two-by-four timber to the appropriate length to fit between fence posts. These horizontal support boards should be no more than 60 centimetres apart, so a fence that is 1.8 metres tall will need four of them - one close to the ground, one at the top of the fence, and two in the middle. Attach the support boards to the upright posts using decking screws.


Attach the Privacy Boards

To make a solid fence, add vertical boards to the supporting fence structure. One can buy pre-cut privacy boards or make them out of lengths of one-by-six timber. It is customary to round off the top of each board to create a pleasant ridged appearance at the top of the fence and prevent splinters or scratches from rough corners. The easiest way to attach privacy boards to the supporting horizontal boards is to use a nail gun, but you can also hammer the nails in by hand.


Treat the Fence

The outer boards of the fence need to be treated to protect them from weather damage. Pre-cut fence boards may already have been treated, but check with the seller to make sure. Paint, wood stain, and weatherproofing finish are all suitable treatments for a wooden fence.



All the tools needed to build a fence can be found on eBay. One can either buy pre-cut fence posts, or cut them from timber. Building a wooden fence is an ideal way to close off a garden and protect its privacy.

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