How to Make a Timber Fence

Updated February 21, 2017

Timber fencing adds an element of western or rustic style to many home and properties. Timber fencing, which is either vertically or horizontally placed split-rail fencing, is an option for those who want to spruce up their yards to or as a way to keep animals in. Several contractors can be hired locally in your area that can build the fence for you, but if you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can build a satisfactory timber fence on your own.

Measure out the length of your fence on your property with the tape measure. If your fence will enclose an area such as backyard, you'll need to measure the length of each wall. Jot your measurements down. Decide what style of timber fence you'd like, either vertical or horizontal railing. For vertical rails: measure the width of one rail and calculate how many rails you'll need to complete each wall, using your measurement in feet as a guide. Horizontal rails will simply run the length of the fence that you measured.

Hammer stakes in the ground along the measured fence line to mark the positions of each fence post. Tie a nylon cord between the first and last stake to ensure your fence line runs straight. Dig each posthole at least 2 feet deep, removing the stakes as you work along the line. Mix the quick concrete according to the package directions.

Fill each hole with two shovelfuls of concrete and place each post vertically into each hole. Straighten the post in the hole, check its levelness across the top with a level, and fill the remainder of the hole with fill dirt. Allow the concrete and soil to settle, which may take a day or two. Wiggle each post after a couple of days to check to make sure that each post is stable.

Hammer the top rail horizontally across the top of the posts in one section of fencing. Check to make sure it's level. If you're building vertical rails, hammer a bottom rail about a foot from the ground in the same section. If you're building horizontal fencing, continue hammering rails, one underneath another, into each section. Space each rail anywhere from 5 to 12 inches, depending on how much yard you want visible from outside the fence.

Hammer rails vertically onto the horizontal rails between the posts. These rails act as support beams and attachment points for the vertical rails. Again, space the rails apart according to how much yard you want to reveal.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Paper pencil
  • Hammer
  • Wooden stakes
  • Nylon cord
  • Posthole diggers
  • Quick drying concrete
  • Shovel
  • Timber wood
  • Galvanised nails
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