Building picket fences..

How to build a picket fence.

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Building picket fences.

 

Picket fences are probably most timeless and universal design of all fence styles. They look equally stylish in a wide variety of landscape, from Victorian picket fence to modern themes, augmenting the appeal of any landscape theme with their innate beauty.

Before you choose your picket fence style, take a tour through your home center. One of the items you’ll find is preassembled 8 foot panels ready for installation, but if you decide to save yourself some time with this kind of product, make sure it’s durable. Look for high quality lumber with few knots and smooth finishes and be wary of stapled frames. Cabinet shops will mill special orders and a lumberyard might cut pickets for you for a fee, and of course you can cut your own designs too.

It doesn’t matter whether you install the pickets on flush edge rail or flat rail frames, but if you like the looks of a flat design to minimize sagging. Most picket fences are installed on 4+4 posts and look best between 36 and 48 inches tall. Use 6+6 posts for fences taller than 5 feet tall.

Before you put up a picket fence, experiment with picket widths and spacing to get the look you want. Tradition 1+3 or 1+4 pickets spaced 2 ½ to 3 inches apart will give you a classic look, but there’s a lot of leeway within those guidelines.

First establish your bay width 6 to 8 feet is idea. Then, to figure the picket spacing, decide how many pickets you want to spread across the bay. Multiply that number by the actual picket width and subtract the result from the bay width to find the total amount of open space. Divide this figure by a number one more than the number of pickets to find the distance between them.

 

 

 

 

                      How to use picket fences

 

        1.     Defining spaces: Excellent, they clearly define any boundary with classic style.

        2.    Security: Moderate, they keep children and pets in or out, and pointed pickets can make difficult to hop over.

        3.     Privacy: None, open picket design permits open views.

        4.    Creating comfort zones: Minimal low height does not block wind, but Closely space pickets can block drifting snow.

 

 

 

 

            How to build a picket fence

 

1.      Lay out the picket fence line with 6 to 8 foot bays, dig the holes, and set the posts with their tops 36 to 48 inches above the ground. Build edge rail frames between the posts. Tack a batten 2 to 4 inches above the ground and use it to keep the bottom of the pickets on the same plane when you fasten them. Measure the distance between posts to compute the number of pickets you’ll need to fill the bay. Recheck your measurements after installing the first few pickets and adjust the spacing if necessary.

 

2.      You can customize the style of your pickets for a one of a kind fence line. All you need is a little time, a dash of creativity, and a jigsaw. Experiment on paper with the pattern until you like the result. Then outline the pattern on a cardboard template and use the template to transfer the pattern to the 1+4 inch picket stock. Clamp two to four pickets together and cut the pattern with a jigsaw. Smooth the cut with 80 grit sandpaper.

 

 

 

 

            Scalloping your picket fence.

 

1.    A scalloped picket fence usually looks better with pickets spaced closer than the traditional 2 ½ to 3 inches. Start experimenting on paper with your own design by spacing them about half a picket width apart.

 

2.    Lay out the curve with a length of heavy but flexible rope or decorator’s cord about 2 feet longer than the span. Tack one end of the rope to the center of the picket or post at which the scallop will begin. Drape the other end over a nail at the opposite end of the scallop. Move the free end of the rope to adjust the curve and when it’s right tack the free end with another nail. Tape the rope in place and pencil the curve on the face of the pickets. Mark the ends of the curve on the rope so you can duplicate the curve and remove the rope. Cut the pickets along the line with a jigsaw and sand the tops smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

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