Building Guide for Garden Fences, the Professional Way

Here are guidelines and suggestions on how to build wood fences. These tips can save you time, money and effort. Read all suggestions watchfully before beginning the work.BuildFence15.jpg


As a rule, you should set fence posts about 6' to 8' apart. The spacing of the posts depends on the type of fence you build, the terrain, the purpose of the fence and other such factors.

BuildFence1.jpg Set the corner or end post first. Then draw out a line from each corner or end post to align all the posts in between.

Drive a stake every 6' to 8' at the exact position where the post hole is to be dug (see image 1).

Take time to measure and position the posts accurately. The appearance and the structural strength of your fence depend on the positioning of the fence posts.


Set all wood fence posts with about 1/3 of their total length buried in the ground. This is especially important on corner posts and any posts that will carry heavy weight or withstand high wind pressure.

Use a regular post hole digger to dig the post holes. Dig the holes straight to the proper depth at each stake marker.

You can anchor the posts more tightly by making the holes slightly larger at the bottom than at the top (see image 2). Place a large stone or two shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole. This provides drainage to avoid excessive moisture at the base of each post.

BuildFence2.jpg Use a wood stabilizer to treat the section of the post that will be underground. Allow the post to stand overnight in the stabilizer so it can become well-saturated.

You can set the posts with either dirt or concrete. In either case, place two or three shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole before the post is placed into place.

Be certain the posts are in an exact, vertical position (see image). You can check the alignment of each post with a regular level. You can also verify the alignment of the posts in one direction by sighting from one end of the row of posts to the other.


Clamp each post with stakes after it is properly aligned (see image). Keep the stakes in position until the concrete (if used) has thoroughly set. Remove the nails holding the clamps and readjust the post until it is in accurate alignment.

When the post is properly aligned, tamp it thoroughly to pack the dirt (if used) around the base of the post. Be sure you do not modify the configuration of the post during the tamping process.


Find all type of wooden design plans for your woodworking


BuildFence4.jpg When the post is tightly in position, build a mass around it to help eliminate water standing at the post base (see image). Slope the concrete slightly away from the post and round it off with a trowel. Tamp the concrete lightly to eliminate any air bubbles left in the mixture that can act as water pockets.

Provide extra bracing at all corners (see first image below). A corner post must carry the weight of fence stretched in two directions, so it should be set in both directions.

Permit the posts to stand several days and settle firmly in position before adding the fence.

The tops of posts should be rounded, capped or slanted to help remove accumulating water, which can cause rotting (see second image below). This is well-worth the effort since it allows the posts to last longer.

BuildFence5.jpg BuildFence6.jpg


BuildFence7.jpg Attach a top and bottom rail to the fence posts (see image). There are three basic ways to do this.

The center picture shows the top rail being nailed to the top of the post. This is a perfect installation for many types of fencing structures. The top rail can always be joined to another rail in the center of a post this way.

If the rail is added on the body of the post rather than at the top, attach it with a groove, a wood block or a metal bracket.

You can attach the bottom rail to the post by either of the two outside illustrations.

This image illustrates some other ways to attach a rail to a fence post. The type of joint you use to connect the fence supports to the post depends principally on the type of fence you are making.

BuildFence8.jpg The lap joint is one of the easiest to employ. The grooved joint does mainly the same job, but the rail is grooved into the post rather than being nailed to the post surface.

The butt joint is a slight more complicated to make but is often better. The mortised joint is even neater than the butt joint, but you must cut a mortise into the post for this joint. BuildFence9.jpg

The slotted joint is commonly used on decorative fences. Treat all slotted joints with preservative to avoid rotting in the grooved areas.

Take time to measure from the top rail to be sure the bottom rail on each is in perfect alignment (see image). After you have measured one post, cut a measuring stick to prevent having to make an actual measurement on each post. The stick can be used to apply the same measurement to each post.


There are plainly of variations in patio fences styles and construction materials. There is pre-assembled wood fencing sections as well as fencing materials made from recycled milk jugs. The type of fence you use depends mainly on the idea for your garden.

BuildFence10.jpg Fences like the type shown in this image are used principally for barriers. They are easy to build and give an adequate barrier. However, they are usually not very attractive and they provide very little, if any, privacy.

Consider your needs when selecting the style of your wooden fence. If you want a simple barrier, a wire fence or a simple style fence.

Study the design carefully. Decide which of these styles you prefer (images below), or use a little imagination and create your own fencing design to your garden patio.


BuildFence12.jpg BuildFence14.jpg BuildFence15.jpg


The siding fence can be covered on one side or both. Then, you can paint it to match or harmonize with the paint on your home and finished your lanscape idea for the backyard garden.


Find all type of wooden design plans for your woodworking


Other Articles:

Read previous post:
Birdhouse plan
Step by Step – Wooden BirdHouse Plan

This particular feeder and birdhouse plan is designed to take bird seed, rather than the more typical left-over food scraps....