How To Build A Cedar Privacy Fence

What You'll Need
Two 6-foot stakes
String or rope
Measuring tape
Three 8-foot-long cedar pieces of 4x4
Two 12-foot-long cedar pieces of 2x4
Twelve 12-foot-long cedar pieces of 1x6
Circular saw
Spray Paint
Safety glasses
Motorized posthole digger
Cement and Water
Galvanized screws, Drill

A cedar privacy fence is a common feature in many gardens. Other materials can also be used but cedar is rot resistant and enhances the look of the enclosed space. Although building your own fence is time consuming, it is much cheaper than having professionals do it for you. 

Follow these steps to build a cedar privacy fence that is 12 feet long and 6 feet high.  

Step 1: Determine Fence Location

First of all, determine where the corners of your fence will be and drive stakes there. Tie a string or rope to one stake about 3 feet above the ground and stretch it to the other stake. If your fence is long, drive additional stakes every 12 feet and wrap the string around them, or else the wind will blow it away and your fence may be bowed.

Step 2: Locate and Dig Postholes

Use a measuring tape to locate where the posts will be installed. Generally they are spaced 6 to 8 feet apart. Measure this distance and mark it on the ground with spray paint. Wear safety glasses and use a motorized posthole digger to dig holes that are 2 feet deep and about a foot wide.  

Step 3: Install the Posts

Place your 4x4 posts vertically into the holes. Pour a bag of cement in a wheelbarrow and add water, mixing with a hoe to make a slightly thick consistency. Pour the mixture around each post and tamp it with a stick to ensure it fills the holes well. Wait at least 24 hours to let the cement set before resuming your work.  

Step 4: Attach the Rails

Each post will have two rails attached to it horizontally, one at the top and the other at the bottom. Measure down 12 inches from the top of your post and nail a 2x4 to it using a drill and two galvanized screws.

Attach the lower rails to the posts about 6 inches above the ground, or even higher if the ground is uneven.  

Step 5: Attach Cedar Boards

Measure and cut your 1-by-6 boards and nail the first piece vertically between the upper and lower rails. Stretch some string from one end to the other above the boards. This will help keep the pickets straight along the top and keep them at the same level.

Keep attaching the boards by nailing them to the top and the bottom. Plumb the first board and check frequently if you want the edges of the boards to meet. On the other hand, if you want spaces between the boards, mark a ¾-inch spacing on the bottom rail before you begin to nail. 

Step 6: Finishing the Fence

Once complete, apply a few coats of any quality commercial sealant to protect your privacy fence.