How to Build a Double Sided Wood Fence

Written by jen hale
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How to Build a Double Sided Wood Fence
Wood is a popular material for double-sided fences. (wood image by tomcat2170 from

Fences are a barriers to either keep things in or keep things out. A wooden fence requires certain tools and materials to complete a successful fence. The double-sided fence is also known as the "neighbor-friendly" fence due to its construction. Its appearance is the same on both sides, unlike more traditional fences that a "front" side facing away from the owner's property and a "back" facing toward the property.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 4-by-4, 8-foot posts
  • 2-by-4 8 or 16 feet long
  • 1-by-6 or 1-by-8 pickets
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Wheel barrow
  • Cement
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • 1/2-inch nails
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Chalk line

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  1. 1

    Organise all materials at the building site. Using a chalk line, mark where each 4-by-4 post will be placed; it will be every 6 or 8 feet.

  2. 2

    Dig 2-foot-deep holes for the 4-by-4 posts to fit into, leaving adequate space for the cement to hold the post in place. The post should be level and then left for the cement to set before continuing the building process.

  3. 3

    Attach 2-by-4s to the tops of each post. Nail the remaining 2-by-4s 8 inches off the ground, on alternating sides of the posts, such as one on the left side and the next 2-by-4 on the right side.

  4. 4

    Nail a string 10 inches above the top of the 4-by-4 posts on both sides. This is used as a guide to be sure the picket height remains correct.

  5. 5

    Place a picket on the 2-by-4 support boards, lining up the top of the picket with the string. Nail in place using a hammer or a nail gun.

    How to Build a Double Sided Wood Fence
    Example of pickets. (rustic fence image by Aaron Kohr from
  6. 6

    Mark and then cut any picket that reaches above the string. Be sure to check that the pickets are level every five boards.

  7. 7

    Attach pickets along the supporting 2-by-4s on the right, then left side of the posts, alternating until complete.

    How to Build a Double Sided Wood Fence
    One side of a double-sided fence (Fence image by Grigorii Potapen from

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure that the pickets are cut and attached level.
  • It should take about two 60-pound bags of concrete to fill each 4-by-4 post hole.
  • About a nail's width between boards is recommend to prevent swelling.
  • It is highly recommend to tackle this project with another person.
  • If the cement is not given adequate time to set, the post might not remain level, thus affecting the entire fence.
  • Double-check string height for picket placement so the fence will remain level the entire length.
  • Measuring accurately the distance between the posts will prevent the fence from becoming crooked or off level.
  • To prevent injuries, it is essential to wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses.

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