How to erect a ranch-style fence

Written by richard sweeney | 13/05/2017
How to erect a ranch-style fence
Mimic the fences on an American cattle ranch. (DougLemke/iStock/Getty Images)

Sometime a fence needs to be functional, to keep pets and children safely in the yard, and sometimes it can be strictly for ascetics. When you don't need a more restrictive fencing, consider the rustic charm of a ranch-style fence. A ranch-style fence can serve as a boundary without creating the sense of confinement that a conventional fence might create.

Check regulations. Before beginning any building project, it is important to check with the the local council's planning requirements and neighbourhood homeowner's association, if necessary. They may have restrictions on materials or on the maximum height for fences.

Determine where the first post or gate will be installed. Using the post hole diggers, dig a whole about 45 cm (18 inches) deep. Place the post in the hole.

Secure the post. Although ranch-style fences are easy to erect, the posts must be well-secured in the ground. Make sure the posts go at least 45 cm (18 inches) into the ground. Concrete the posts into position.

Measure a 1.8 m (6 foot) distance. Using the same method, install a second post. Screw or nail the planks in position, making sure fixings are rustproof.

Repeat the process for every 1.8 m (6 feet) of length the fence needs to run. If the fence runs on a slope, then you must make the ascetic choice, keeping the planks in a level plane, or allowing them to slant. Regardless of the planks' angle, always try to keep the tops of the post on the same eye level plane.

Make it more formal. For a less rustic, more formal look, you will want to fit a post cap. This improves the appearance and also protects the posts. Paint with a good-quality paint recommended for outdoor use.


If you have neighbours, it is a good idea to tell them what you are planning to build.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have neighbours, it is a good idea to tell them what you are planning to build.

Things you need

  • Post-hole diggers
  • Timber 12.5 by 10 cm (5 by 4 inch) posts
  • Screws or nails
  • Hammer
  • Concrete
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure -- at least 3 m (10 feet)
  • Post caps (optional)
  • Paint (optional)

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