When you build a wooden fence to define the boundaries of your property you enhance the value of your house and, through the natural beauty of wood, create a complementary backdrop to your garden. Once you have planned the layout and size of your fence there are a number of areas to consider before you begin building.


  • What level of treatment do the different timber components require? Timber in the ground, the fence posts for instance, needs a higher level of treatment than timber above ground.
  • What fixings will you use in the construction of your wooden fence? For fence palings, galvanised flat head nails with annular grooves provide the firmest hold.
  • What thickness of fence post will suit the style you’re after? 100mm x 75mm posts are adequate, but a more robust look can be achieved with 100mm x 100mm posts. 100mm x 100mm wooden fence posts should be used in any case for gate and corner posts.
  • How many rails will you use to build your fence? Generally, any wooden fence over 1.2 metres high will require 3 rail construction.

When these questions have been answered you can begin building your fence.

Getting Stuck In

  • Mark out your fence line with string and pegs.
  • Dig a 200mm diameter post hole at each end of the fence line. For a 1.2 metre high fence these holes should be 400mm deep. Gate posts should be sunk an extra 100mm.
  • Begin the construction of your fence by positioning your end posts in the post holes so that the front of each just touches your guide string. Adjust for height by adding scoria or gravel and use a spirit level to ensure the fence posts are vertical. Brace in position and fill the holes with concrete.
  • Allow two days for the concrete to set then drive two nails into each end post, 100mm from the top and 400mm from the bottom and run guide strings between them.
  • Use these string lines to guide the placement of intermediate fence posts, sink as before and allow the concrete to set. Intermediate fence posts should be spaced evenly, no more than 2.4 metres apart.
  • With all posts in place, fix your horizontal rails. This can be done in one of two ways: either by fixing the rails to the face of the fence posts, or by butting them between the posts.
  • The last step in building your wooden fence is to fix your palings to the rails. Use a spirit level and a guide string to achieve correct vertical alignment and uniform height. Fix palings with 60mm galvanised flat head nails.

Following these guidelines will help you successfully build a wooden fence that gives years of service, provides protection for your garden and enhances the value of your property.

How to Build a Wooden Fence, 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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  1. bilico says:

    thank you for sharing, but wooden fences are affected by the weather a lot?

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