Design and Build a Wood Fence

Learn how to plan, design, build and finish a wood fence that will add function and appearance to your home.



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Designed and built correctly, a wood fence looks as if it grew in the right place.
PHOTOS: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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FENCE BUILDING: Nail the fence pickets onto the horizontal pre-cut rails, checking to make sure that the pickets and rails are square and plumb in all dimensions.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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STRING GUIDANCE: Running a string across the fence posts will help you make sure they're aligned.
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POST DIGGING: Use a clamshell posthole digger to dig holes for the fence posts. If you don't own a posthole digger, you can either rent one or buy one at a hardware store.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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TRICK OF THE TRADE: To make installation easier, pre-measure your posts and draw a line at the three-foot measurement in red marker. One last check with the level and tamping bar and you'll be ready to start adding and tamping the soil in thin layers.
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ATTACH RAILS: To set your back rail onto the post, make sure the rail runs straight across horizontally and then hammer in hot-dipped galvanized nails.
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