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Wooden picket fence, cedar fence

Articles Abot Fences

Wooden Picket Fence

Wooden picket fence – a fence made of wooden planks (pickets) of relatively small width and thickness, fixed to the base in most cases with gaps. This option allows you to get original lightweight designs that differ in height, shape, and size of the strips. Also, you can play with the direction of pickets, the level of strength – and, therefore, the possibility of application for various purposes.

Despite the wide selection of other materials, a wooden picket fence is one of the most popular types of fences for rural private properties and courtyards in the urban private sector. It is merely an indispensable element for those who want to equip a site in a country-style. The wooden picket fence has several indisputable advantages, forcing to choose favor of this particular type of fencing; it also has some disadvantages.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wooden Picket Fence

There are few drawbacks of a wood picket, here are the main ones:

  • During the life of the wooden picket fence, careful quality maintenance is required. Otherwise, the fence life is significantly reduced. Planks need to be regularly cleaned (once a year or once every two years), sealed with special protective compounds, painted or stained.
  • The picket fence does not provide a good protection barrier.
  • Such constructions are easily ignited, are easy to destroy; they can not be built if you have large-sized guard dogs.

But the advantages of such fences are many:

  • Relatively low cost when compared with other materials (metal, vinyl, reinforced concrete, brick).
  • Simplicity and speed of installation – to assemble a wooden picket under the force of even one person who is not very knowledgeable in construction, the set of necessary tools is minimal.
  • Many design options – you can build a tall, strong structure, or you can make a low light picket fence for zoning a territory. At the same time, the fence can be painted in any color and have any shape.
  • When repairing a wooden picket fence, it is not at all necessary to demolish the whole fence; it will be enough to remove and replace the damaged pickets.
  • Small wooden picket fences are not obscure surrounding space; there are no “problems” with neighbors. Also, the picket can be used as a support for many climbing plants.

What are the primary purposes of building a picket fence?

Fences made of wooden pickets can be installed for various purposes. A wood fence made of slats, planks, bars will look great from the front side of the site, especially if a beautiful landscape opens from the windows, and there is no need to raise a massive fence. It is also great for laying the front garden – plants will receive the necessary amount of sunlight. If it is required to create a full-fledged fence, pickets can be mounted without gaps, close to each other.

Low lightweight options for picket fencing are suitable for zoning home gardens, for example, for fencing flower beds and beds with different crops, for separating the space of the yard directly from the garden.

Types of Wooden Picket Fence

Fences made of wooden pickets can be installed for various purposes. A wood fence made of slats, planks, bars will look great from the front side of the site, especially if a beautiful landscape opens from the windows, and there is no need to raise a massive fence. It is also great for laying the front garden – plants will receive the necessary amount of sunlight. If it is required to create a full-fledged fence, pickets can be mounted without gaps, close to each other.

Low lightweight options for picket fencing are suitable for zoning home gardens, for example, for fencing flower beds and beds with different crops, for separating the space of the yard directly from the garden.

Wooden fence building process

Material Selection

For the installation of wooden picket fences, it is essential to choose the right lumber that meets all the tasks. The ideal option is to purchase a brown pressure treated wood. The dimensions of the boards can be different – most often board with a thickness of 1 inch is used. For supporting posts, buy 4×4 boards. You can, of course, use more “powerful” size, but this is impractical. 2×4 boards are used for mounting sections. Decorative fences for flowerbeds are made of thin light boards. In any case, preference is given to quality lumber.

For the picket fence, the best lumber choice is brown pressure treated wood or bare pine. Such products are inexpensive, while the presence of essential oils in the wood makes them resistant to rot and pests, temperature extremes, and ultraviolet exposure. The cedar is also the perfect choice, but it is an expensive material. Buying a lumber of higher grades for a picket fence is not necessarily. In this case, products of the second grade will be a reasonable option for price/quality. Definitely, you should pay attention so that the board is not affected by wood bugs and fungi.

Installation Features

There may be many mounting options for a wooden picket, but the basic operations and implementation principles will be approximately the same.

The most commonly used algorithm for creating a medium-height fence:

  • perimeter preparation
  • holes digging
  • concrete works
  • frame assembly
  • installation of pickets

The place where it is planned to install the picket fence needs to be thoroughly cleaned of overgrown trees, shrubs, grasses, and, if necessary, to carry out some landscape alignment work. If the elevation differences are significant, you will need to build steps between the sections.

Assembly of the frame is the longest time and labor-intensive stage, which includes the following types of work:

Digging \ drilling of holes for installation of support posts – their depth should be 4 feet. Holes are made in increments of 8 feet. The sides of the posts deepening into the ground are coated with asphalt mastic, leveled, and poured with concrete. The time until sufficient solidification of the monolith is 2-3 days. During this period, the posts are securely fixed in the desired position.

Then, with the help of self-tapping screws (sometimes perforated fasteners and brackets are used), the railings are installed, the top rail is fastened one foot from the top edge of the fence, and the bottom is approximately the same distance from the ground. After the frame of the fence is fully assembled, all its parts are treated with specialized solutions that protect the tree from damage by fungus and insects, then cover with decorative compounds.

The main stage is the fastening of pickets to the frame. This is done with the powder-coated screws; in some cases, we can do with galvanized nails. The gaps between the pickets can be different, but the golden mean is a distance of 1.5 inches.  This way provides sufficient transparency in combination with normal protection feeling. The next stage is the cutting of the pickets over the top when a straight line or some waves can be formed on the top of the fence. Each picket is also treated with protective compounds and, if necessary, is painted in the desired color.

After the last board is screwed, a gate is installed – the wooden picket fence is ready. To increase the life of the fence, you should properly care for it – cut the grass (to prevent excessive moisture), paint (every two to three years), clean, and repair as necessary.

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