8 Steps to Building Beautiful Custom Built Wooden Picket Fences

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Apr 2, 2015 3:53:00 PM

Fence FastenersThere are a large variety of fence types available based upon the purpose of the fence.  Whether you are looking for increased security, decoration, privacy, industrial or agriculture use, your choice of fencing material will vary from wire, wood, vinyl, aluminum or wrought iron. And while each type has its distinct advantages and disadvantages, and require different types of fencing tools and fasteners, many contractors today are called on to install the ever popular wooden picket decorative fence.





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Building a custom fence for a homeowner gives contractors the unique opportunity to showcase their work for all passers-by to see. In this post, we are going to review the 8 steps to building a custom wooden picket fence, taken in part from DIY Network:

•  STEP 1:  Mark Fence Location
Once you have determined the property line and legal setback, mark out the location of the fence. Mark the locations of the corner post holes with spray paint. Mark the locations of the remaining line posts, keeping the distance between the posts evenly spaced and under 8'. If installing a gate, make sure to position two posts accordingly.

•  STEP 2:  Set Posts
Using a post hole digger or two-person auger, dig holes approximately 24" deep and 12" wide. Add a few inches of gravel to the bottom of the holes for drainage. Insert 6" x 6" posts in holes. Ensure the posts are level and plumb. Temporarily brace with 2" x 4" boards. Mix fast-drying cement according to manufacturer's directions and pour in holes. Let cure for 48 hours.

•  STEP 3: Cut Pickets
Pickets are cut from 1" x 4" pressure treated boards. Once the decorative shape is determined, make a template to ensure a consistent look from picket to picket. Use the template to mark the location of the cuts on the pickets, then use a jigsaw to cut the design. Cut the pickets to a length of 42".

•  STEP 4: Choose your Fasteners and Tools
Because a fence usually covers a large space and footprint, you will need to ensure that you have a good deal of fasteners on hand to complete the job.  Fences are exposed to the elements so choosing a fastener that is sturdy is key, but with the sheer volume of fasteners, having one that is easy to install and saves time is also crucial.  SCRAIL® fasteners from the BECK Fastener Group® have the superior strength of screws, while still offering the ease and speed of nails, allowing you to use a pneumatic nail gun to install.

•  STEP 5: Assemble Fence Panels and Attach Pickets with the Right Fastener
Measure and cut rails from 1" x 4" pressure treated boards to span the distance between posts. Each fence panel consists of an upper and lower rail and the pickets. Determine how far to space the rails apart, aiming for a distance of approximately 32". Space the pickets out evenly from side to side. To maintain a consistent space use a spacer block. Attach pickets to rails with SCRAIL® fasteners. Repeat for other panels.

•  STEP 6: Attach Panels to Posts
Attach the fence panels to the posts using galvanized "L" brackets. Fasten brackets with SCRAIL® to the bottom rails before attaching the panels to the post. Because the bottom rails are so low to the ground, it is difficult to do so once in place. Attach the upper rail to the post first, then the lower rail. Make sure the panels are level.

•  STEP 7: Assemble the Gate
The gate is made in the same manner as the fence panels but with cross bracing added for strength. The gate is installed the same way as the panels except with heavy-duty hinges instead of "L" brackets. Attach gate latch when installed.

•  STEP 8: Add the Decorative Touches
Add finials to each post using SCRAIL® fasteners. Seal, stain or paint the fence to protect it against the weather. Treated wood must season first before it can be stained.

Learn more about Scrail® Applications

Watch this video to see the benefits of SCRAIL® The Faster Fastener®  in action. See how simple things can become by using SCRAIL® for your application. 

View the SCRAIL: The Faster Fastener Video



Topics: Construction Fasteners, Fence


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SCRAIL®, Fast like a Nail, Strong like a Screw, are incredibly versatile collated fasteners that can be driven with a pneumatic nailer at a rate twice as fast as collated screws and eight times faster than bulk screws. You can rely upon SCRAIL® fasteners to hold strong, without callbacks to fix a squeak or a nail pop.

Give SCRAIL® a try, and enjoy 10% off your first order.

  • Use SCRAIL® almost anywhere ordinary screws are used
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  • Twice as fast as collated screws, eight times faster than bulk screws
  • Easily adjusted, quickly removed
  • Dramatically increased holding power vs. nails
  • Making projects easier since 1998

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