Install a Picket Fence

Install a Picket Fence

Level: Experienced

If you're looking for a way to enhance your front yard, consider adding a picket fence. It not only improves the aesthetic appeal of your property, but also allows you to create a functional way to frame your yard and other landscaping features.

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  • A picket fence adds a touch of charm to your home. If you have children or pets, it can also protect them safely inside your property. Here's how to do it:

    • Step 1: Outline Fence

      Measure out the area to be fenced and drive stakes into the ground at the corners of the area. Stretch twine between the stakes to mark the area. Then mark locations for posts with spray paint about 7.5’ apart.

    • Step 2: Dig Postholes

      The size of the holes will depend on the height and weight of your fence. Generally, make each hole as deep as 1/3 the length of the post. Dig holes using a post-hole digger. Add about 3'' of gravel in the bottom of each hole to allow for proper drainage. Tamp the gravel down with the posts.

    • Step 3: Place Posts

      Place posts in each hole and make sure they are straight. Pour in fast-drying concrete or soil and gravel, tamping frequently as you add material to the hole. Make each post as sturdy as possible. Stretch strings between the posts to make sure they are in line with one another. After the posts are in place, spread soil around the base of the posts to create a more finished appearance.

      Helpful Tip

      Good post placement is essential for building a high-quality fence. If the posts are out of alignment, the entire fence will be crooked.

    • Step 4: Install Stringers
      measuring for stringers

      Long pieces of wood known as "stringers," get attached to picket fences horizontally near the top and bottom of the fence which support the pickets. Measure the space between posts and cut two 2x4s to that length. Fit the stringers between the posts and attach them using 2" galvanized nails and a nail gun.

    • Step 5: Attach Pickets
      wooden pickets

      Count the number of pickets you'll need and cut them to size. Cut out your own design or purchase pickets with a precut design. Use the nail gun to set the pickets in position and secure them with screws. Use a block of wood to make the spacing even.

      Safety Alert!

      Keep the pickets fairly close together so that children and pets cannot fit their legs or heads between them.

    • Step 6: Paint or Stain

      Once all the pickets have been attached and the fence has been constructed, apply True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Exterior Paint or Woodsman® stain with a paintbrush to beautify and protect your new fence.

      Congratulations! You've made your lawn and garden more attractive by adding a functional, attractive picket fence.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

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