How To Install a Picket Fence

How To Install a Picket Fence

How much fencing is required?

Picket Fencing can either be bought in 1.8m panels, or you can buy the individual pales and fence rails to put together yourself. If you would like to put it together using ready made panels, just divide the distance you would like to cover by 1.8m. Panels can be cut to size if required. If you are using individual picket pales, then you will need to decide how much gap you would like to leave between each pale. Our pickets are 75mm in width and the most common choice is to leave a 75mm gap between each one. Therefore if you take the total distance in cm and divide by 15, that will give you the amount of pales you require. Fence rails are usually in 1.8m lengths and you will require 2 rails per panel. 

The Fence Posts

I would recommend erecting the picket fence on 75x75mm treated fence posts with 900mm high picket fencing and use a 2.4m long post cut into two. For the 1200mm high fencing use a 1.8m long post. When cutting the post make sure that the cut end is situated upper most and not buried in the ground and be sure to treat the tops of the posts with end coat so that the posts have a long life. 

When building the picket fence the posts are set behind the panels, the panels are butted up and nailed or screwed to the front face of the post, I found that sitemate decking screws were an ideal product to fix the picket fencing panels to the fence posts; allow 8 screws per panel.

To cut or not to cut?

If the panels are used without cutting and are butted together it leaves just the right amount of room for one individual pailing to be fixed over the top of the joint in front of the post. While Ruby don’t currently sell matching additional loose fence pailings, you may well have some available from cutting down a panel or choose to purchase an extra panel. However if this is not the case don’t worry because the fencing works just as well when the ends of the picket fence panels rails are trimmed back by approximately 35mm each. This will ensure that the spacings between the panels are just right.

How far out of the ground will the posts be?

It is recommended that you allow 50mm between the ground and the underside of the picket fence panel and is also recommended you stop the post well short of the top of the panel in fact just above the top rail this will mean that for a 900mm high picket fencing panel the posts are approximately 800mm above the ground.

The steps to erect a picket fence

Decide if you will be using the picket fencing panels at full length or trimmed back.

Lay the panels on the ground adjacent to the fence line to establish the positions for the posts.

Set up a string line if required to get the fencing straight.

Dig the post holes, concrete the first post into the ground using Post Mix

Fix the picket fencing panel to that first post, support the panel with a block of timber under to get the panel level and concrete in the next post in the right position for the panel and proceed along the fence line fixing one panel at a time.

Picket Fencing Gates

A matching gate for your picket fence can be purchased from the Ruby Group online shop. The picket fence gate kit comes complete with all the necessary hinges, latch and gate stop, it is recommended that you use a 100mm gate post. The gate post is unlike the fence posts to the full height of the fence so for a 900 high picket fence use a 1.5metre long 100x100 post. The adjacent picket fencing panels will fix to the front face of the gate post and the gate will fix to the rear face of the gate post. Don’t forget to fit the gate stop timber batten to prevent damage to the gate latch.

If you are still not sure, please contact us on 01409231763 or sales@ruby-group.co.uk and we will be able to advise you further. 

All picket fencing, gates and posts are available from Ruby Group's online store