To build a picket fence, mark the location, set the posts, cut the pickets, assemble the fence panels and attach the panels to the posts. Building a picket fence takes roughly two days and requires gravel, 6-foot by 6-inch pressure-treated posts, 1-foot by 4-inch pressure-treated boards, 2-inch galvanized deck screws, galvanized L-brackets, premixed cement, spray paint, saws, drills, a shovel, post digger, tape measure and framing square.
- Mark the fence location
Check the legal property line before you begin construction. With that done, use spray paint to mark the location of the fence. Use an "X" to mark where the posts go. Posts should be evenly spaced every 8 feet.
- Sink the posts
Use the post digger to create holes 12-inches wide and 24-inches deep. Pour 2 inches of gravel into the bottom of the hole. Insert the posts into the holes, use a level to ensure they are plumb and brace with boards.
- Pour the cement
Mix the cement according to the manufacturer's directions. Pour enough cement into each hole to secure the post. Let the cement dry for 48 hours.
- Cut the pickets
Use a template with the boards to create pickets of equal length and shape. Pickets should be 42 inches high, and they typically taper at the top.
- Assemble the fence panels
Set two 8-foot boards on the ground 32 inches apart. These are the rails that hold the pickets in place. Use a spacer block to keep the space between the pickets consistent. Place the pickets across the rails, and use deck screws to attach them.
- Attach the panels to the posts
Attach the L-panels near the bottom of the posts. The lower edge of the L-bracket should be level with where the bottom of the pickets hit. Set the fence panel in place, and attach the top of the L-bracket to the bottom rail. Use another L-bracket to secure the panel via the top rail. Repeat this procedure for all the fence panels and posts.