What are the Best Tips for Building a Wooden Fence?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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The steps involved in building a wooden fence are not overly complicated, but there are some things the builder should keep in mind before starting the project. The choice of wood and hardware will have the biggest impact on the quality of the fence, so one should be sure to choose carefully and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type of wood available. Remember that wood will need maintenance, so when building a wooden fence, choose a wood that is resistant to damage from the elements. Choosing the style of fence will have a large impact on its functionality; research the different styles of fence and choose one that fits the intended purpose best.

Building a wooden fence from subpar materials will mean more maintenance and perhaps even a rebuild after a few years. The builder should choose pressure-treated lumber for his or her fence, or the builder may choose cedar, which is naturally resistant to water damage, mold, mildew, and bug infestation. Cedar is also a very attractive wood, but building a wooden fence with cedar will cost more than other types of wood. Pressure treated woods such as pine will resist damage from moisture and rot, though each type of wood chosen will need to be re-treated yearly or every other year.


Hardware is just as important as wood choice when building a wooden fence. The builder should be sure to choose hardware made from metals that are strong and resistant to corrosion and rust. Stainless steel is a good choice of hardware; some other types of metal come treated with chemicals that will prevent rust and corrosion, and galvanized steel hardware is coated with zinc to prevent the steel from rusting. Subpar hardware products can all but guarantee premature degradation of the fence, meaning the builder will need to do more maintenance and repairs sooner.

The style of the fence can have a big impact on its functionality. A picket fence with widely-spaced pickets, for example, may look very nice, but it will not offer much in the way of privacy. A privacy fencing style should be chosen instead. Building a wooden fence for privacy means building a taller fence with slats that are placed tightly together. This will prevent outsiders from looking in, and it will prevent animals and other unwanted guests from entering a yard. Privacy fencing will block more sunlight, however, so if the builder is building a garden fence, privacy fencing may not be the best option.



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