Project Overview

Learn how to install posts for a picket fence. We’ll show you how to run a string line so your posts are in a straight line. Learn how to level and brace your posts. You’ll also get some tips on using concrete to secure your posts in place. Make sure you check with Council first in case you need a permit for your fence.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to build a picket fence

Step by Step Instructions

1 Run a string line so your posts are in a straight line
2 Dig your post holes
3 Level and brace your posts
4 Concrete your posts in place
  • Step 1. Run a string line so your posts are in a straight line

    Fix a screw into your corner post and run a string line back to the house. This gives you a straight line to measure your posts against. Mark on the wall where your fence will finish and insert another screw to tie the string line to. The easiest way to fix off a string line is to twist it onto itself a couple of times then put it over the screw. Make another half twist and loop it over the screw to lock it in place.

  • Step 2. Dig your post holes

    Measure and mark where your posts are going to go. Use spray paint to mark the centre of your holes. Also spray down your string line so you can check your holes are centred. Before you dig, check with your local council to find out how deep your holes should be. Also check there are no cables for telephone, power, gas or water before you dig.  

  • Step 3. Level and brace your posts

    Place your posts into the holes and use timber to brace them in place. It’s important to get them in the ground plumb and straight. Use your spirit level to check they are straight. Use plenty of timber bracing to hold each post in position.
  • Step 4. Concrete your posts in place

    Use the concrete mixer to mix the concrete for the holes. Follow the instructions on the bag.  Make sure you wear a mask, gloves and glasses. Shovel the wet concrete into the hole and fill to just below ground level. Push your shovel into the concrete to make sure there are no bubbles. Leave it to set for at least 24 hours.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Nail gun
  • Saw
  • Set square
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Outdoor screws
  • Pickets
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