Putting up a wood picket fence

A wood picket fence can improve the curb appeal of your home but it can also provide a safe environment for your children and pets. You can save a lot of money by installing the fence on your own and it can also increase your home’s value. A white color for the wood picket fence will make it the one that you’ve always dreamed off.


  1. Verify closely all zoning laws because some may require a building permit and others may prohibit picket fences. A property survey is also necessary to determine exactly the property lines. These steps will help you in the future to avoid any disappointment during the process.
  2. Use some wooden stakes and string to mark the location of the new fence. Make a plan of the entire fence, showing where exactly the fence line is and other features like gates.
  3. The posts should be made from a 4-by-4 inch pressure-treated wood. A post hole digger is necessary to make holes for every post which should be 24 inches underground. After you insert the post in the hole, make sure if it’s plumb and then tamp some dirt around it. Using the string, you will mark the location of every line and gate post. The line posts should be placed at 6 to 8 feet apart and buried in the ground approximately 24 inches deep. The gate posts have to be buried 30 to 36 inches deep and anchored with concrete. This is necessary because a gate post has to resist to a higher stress than a regular post.
  4. Two rails are needed between the corner post and the line post. The rails should be on the outside of the posts at a distance of 6 inches from the ground and six inches from the top of the picket. Their ends should be centered on each post to fully maximize the strength of the entire fence. The process has to be repeated for each set of the posts in order to make sure they are level.
  5. Pickets should be installed on the outside of the rails, using galvanized wood screws. They can either be flush against one another or you can leave a space between them. Their bottoms should be 2 inches apart from the ground to prevent fence rotting. In the end, apply a stain or wood preserver.


  • The distance between the pickets should be kept the same with a spare block of wood.
  • The pickets should be close to one another so that the kids or pets will not get entrapped in the fence.
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