Building a cedar picket fence

A cedar picket fence is the best option for someone who wants a sturdy fence that can last in time without any pressure treatment. A cedar picket fence is earth friendly and it can also boost your home’s value besides the fact that it offers the privacy and security you need.


  1. Verify at the city office if there are any type of restrictions for building the fence you want.
    There may be areas where you need a building permit. If the picket fence is going to be exactly on the property lines, then you should have a survey done in order to determine the property lines. If you do all these now, you can save some time and money later.
  2. Use twine and wooden stakes to mark the location for the fence and then calculate the supplies you will need. Some measurements that are very important to do are the width of the pickets and the distance between them. Normally, they are 2 to 5 inches wide and the distance between pickets is somewhere between 1 to 4 inches.
  3. Using a handheld post hole digger and a shovel, you have to make holes for every post with 2 to 3 feet depth. A third of the post’s length should be underground for maximum strength. After you insert the post in the hole, use a tamping rod to pack the dirt all over it. Then, insert the second post in the ground but only after you have verified if its center is 8 feet from the center of the first post.
  4. The bottom rail will be attached with galvanized screws from the first two posts, at 6 to 9 inches from the ground. Do the same for the top rail, keeping a distance of 6 to 9 inches from the top. This way you will create a fence structure with 2 horizontal rails and two vertical posts.
  5. The pickets will be attached to the horizontal rails, using a piece of scrap lumber between them to be sure they are at the same distance. Their bottoms should be 2 inches from the ground so that you can mow along the bottom the fence.
  6. Each section of the fence will have 8-foot and you have to repeat steps 3 to 5 for each one. This will give the certainty that the posts are spaced correctly.


  • To save money, you should use rough-cut lumber for all the necessary pickets.
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