How to Install a Picket Fence

Lead Image for How to Install a Picket Fence
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
Wood pickets
String or plum line
Wood posts
Posthole digger
Quickset concrete
Deck screws
Work gloves
Work boots
Eye protection

A picket fence is a common wood structure used to enclose front or backyards. Picket fences are almost standard issue with most suburban and extra-urban homes because they are easy to install and maintain.

Step 1 - Dig Fence Posts

Use the post hole digger to dig a hole that will hold the wood fence posts. Place a fence post next to each hole that is needed to build the fence. Use your discretion as to how far apart to dig the fence posts. Place the posts in the holes and fill with gravel, using the level to set the posts correctly.

Pour in quickset cement and water according to the instructions on the package. If you are not familiar with using quickset cement, take a class at a local home improvement center or ask for assistance. Allow the cement to dry before continuing with the next step.

Step 2 - Fasten the Rails and Panels to the Fence Posts

Use the 2x4-inch wood to create fence rails for the top and bottom of the posts. Secure the wood pickets to the posts using wood screws. Once secure, fasten the panels to the rails using galvanized nails and a claw hammer.

Step 3 - Install Fence Post Caps

Install the premade fence post caps that come with the posts that you purchased. The caps give a finishing look to the panel fence. If you choose not to install the fence post caps, use sandpaper or a sander to even out the tops of the posts in order to create a uniform look.