Building a picket fence can be easy with the right tools and information.
Step 1: Lay out your posts and rails Decide where the end, corner, line, and gate posts will be located and place a stake in the ground at each of these points. Attach a line of string between each of these stakes.
TIP: Check all building codes, ordinances, and property lines to make sure your fence is legal and on your property.
Step 2: Dig the post holes Dig post holes in each of the staked spots about 2 feet deep. Make sure the holes are larger than the posts to allow for adjustment.
Step 3: Put in your posts Install your end posts first, and then install line posts every 6 to 8 feet. Put about 2 inches of gravel in the bottom of the post holes, make sure they're plumb, and then set your end and corner posts in concrete.
TIP: Line posts can be set in dirt unless you expect heavy use on the fence, but use gravel at the bottom.
Step 4: Cut the rails and measure the pickets Cut the rails to the length between the posts and determine how many pickets you will need.
TIP: You can buy pre-made pickets at most hardware or lumber stores.
Step 5: Stain or paint the rails and pickets Stain or paint the rails and pickets.
Step 6: Hang the rails Hang your rails with weatherproof fasteners. Put the bottom rail about 6 inches from the bottom and the top rail a couple inches below the top of the posts.
Step 7: Arrange the pickets Measure where each picket should go and mark the spot lightly with a pencil or tape. Then nail the pickets to the rails and posts.
FACT: In Seaside, Florida, picket fences are required for all houses.