Projects & Inspiration

5 steps to build a privacy fence

June 11, 2018


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There are many benefits of putting up a privacy fence, from making your home more attractive to making your outdoor space more enjoyable. And, believe it or not, building one is a job you can do yourself.

Once you’ve taken the time to properly plan your new wood fence, all you have left is the grunt work. That might not sound easy. But if you have the right tools and materials on hand, a DIY privacy fence installation is actually a pretty straightforward job.

In fact, you can put up each fence panel in just 5 steps:

  1. Dig the post holes. The posts form the backbone of your fence, so it’s important to get this right. Use a post-hole digger or power auger to make holes that are 10 to 12 inches wide, and deep enough to go 6 inches past the frost line in your area. Be sure to plan how you’re going to attach the fence panels to the posts – on the side or face-mounted – because the method you choose will determine how far apart the posts should be. If you are going to attach the panels on the side (between the posts), there is a smaller margin of error. In that case, it’s best to dig the post holes as you go in case you need to adjust post spacing along the way. We recommend starting in the corner.


  2. Put a few inches of gravel in the bottom of each hole to help water drain away from the base of the post. Then set the post into the hole, making sure about one-third of the post goes underground. That will give the posts the stability needed to support your fence.


  3. Before you set the post in concrete, it’s important to stand it up straight and brace it. Use a level to make sure the post is plumb, then attach 2-by-4s to the post on two sides. You can use a single screw to put one end of a 2-by-4 on one side of the post, then use another screw to put a second 2-by-4 on an adjacent side.


  4. With the post braced and level, pour ready-mix concrete into each hole. This is what will give the post the strength to withstand the test of time. You can mix it with water right in the hole, and that will eliminate any air pockets that could compromise the strength of the concrete. Overfill the holes a little at the top and slope the concrete away from the post to keep water from pooling around it.


  5. Once the concrete has cured and your posts are secured in place, all you have to do is remove the 2-by-4s and install the fence panels. This is where pre-assembled panels come in handy. Fit the entire panel between two posts, screw it in place and one section of fence is done! Then, repeat for the remaining sections of your fence.

A new fence is one of those projects that transforms your outdoor space, whether it’s a cute little spaced picket fence that boosts your home’s curb appeal, a full privacy fence that gives your property security and a sense of seclusion, or a semi-privacy fence that creates a visual barrier yet still lets air and light pass through.

With our pre-assembled panels that come in many wood species and fencing styles, picking out the look you want might be the hardest part of installing your fence!

Here are some tips on how to choose the right fence style, and here are the planning steps you need to take before digging that first post hole.