How to put up a slatted wood fence

One of the simplest and most economical forms of exterior fencing is a slatted wood fence. Slatted wood fences consist of 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) square wood posts separated by two stud rails, covered by cedar slats. The process of designing and building a slatted wood fence may take a few days to complete properly, but the end result is well worth the time and effort.

Walk the perimeter you're planning for the fence with a measuring tape, calculating the total perimeter distance.

Order the materials. Divide the total perimeter distance in metres by 2.4; this is the total number of slatted sections for the project. Order one more post than the number of sections; if you have eight sections, you will need nine posts. Order two, 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) stud rails for each section; if you have eight sections, order 16 rails. Order 20 cedar slats for each section. Order 1 1/4 bags of post mix for each post.

String a construction line along the perimeter by driving a stake into each of the perimeter corners and tying the construction string to the stakes.

Dig the post holes every 2.4 m (8 feet). Remove the corner stakes and dig a post hole centred on each of the stakes' former location. The post holes should be 45 cm (18 inches) deep and 30 to 37.5 cm (12 to 15 inches) in diameter. Center each of the post holes beneath the perimeter string.

Set the corner posts. Set the posts in the holes and hold them level on all four sides. Pour the post mix in the hole mixing the water and cement incrementally; the mix should be thick enough to support the post in a levelled position but wet enough to mix thoroughly within the hole. Allow the corner posts to set overnight.

Restring the perimeter line around the corner posts. Set each of the remaining posts, aligning them with the perimeter string. Make sure each face of the post is level. Allow the posts to set overnight.

Attach the metal rail brackets to the posts 45 cm (18 inches) up from the bottom and 45 cm (18 inches) down from the top of the posts. Nail the brackets to the posts with galvanised nails. Cut the 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) stud rails with a skill saw to fit between the posts and attach them to the metal rail brackets with galvanised nails. Cut the cedar slats to length with a skill saw 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) shorter than the exposed posts. Attach the cedar slats to the stud rails, using 5 cm (2 inch) wood screws.


Order slightly more material than your calculations suggest are needed. This will provide enough extra material to allow for breakage and cutting errors.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) square, treated wood fence posts
  • 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) wood stud rails
  • 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) thick by 12.5 cm (5 inch) wide cedar wood slats
  • 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) metal stud brackets
  • 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inch) galvanised nails
  • 5 cm (2 inch) wood screws
  • Post mix cement
  • Skill saw
  • Post hole digger
  • Construction twine
  • 1.2 m (4 foot) level
  • Water hose
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About the Author

JL Wilson has worked in the construction industry for nearly 20 years. During that time, he labored as a carpenter, cabinetry door and millwork foreman, installer, designer, and account manager. He has designed, built, and installed projects as simple as a single jewelry box and as complicated as integrated swimming pool/waterfall complexes. Wilson primarily writes for eHow and Answerbag.