How to Build a Privacy Fence

New Privacy Fence
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Spray paint
Posthole digger
8-foot long 4x4 pre-treated wood posts
Standard sheets or pre-fabricated fencing
1x4 pre-treated boards
Post caps
Drill driver
Exterior screws
Exterior paint or sealant

A privacy fence is both functional and decorative, screening out your private areas from prying eyes of your neighbors or people on the street, while looking attractive at the same time. There are a number of options for privacy fences available in your local home center including pre-fabricated lattice or simple sheets. Using such a system, you can easily install a privacy fence yourself instead of hiring a professional. The fencing you choose will have specific directions, depending on the manufacturer and the model, but in general, here's how you do it.

Step 1 - Select and Clear Area

Select and measure the area where you want to install the fence so you know how many pre-fabricated panels and posts you need. Clear the area of any rocks, roots or debris and collect them in a wheelbarrow to dispose off later.

Step 2 - Measure, Mark and Dig Post Holes

Drive a stake at each end of where you want the fence to be and stretch a string between them, so you know you have a straight line. Depending on the size of the panels in your system, mark the location of each fencepost with spray paint, using the string as a guide to keep them lined up. Use a posthole digger or shovel to dig 2-foot deep and 1-foot wide holes in the marked area.

Step 3 - Set Support Posts

Carefully place the 4-by-4 posts into each hole vertically, making sure at least 6-feet of each is above ground. Check all the posts for level , and adjust the height of a particular one by adding or removing dirt in the hole.

Mix concrete with water in a wheelbarrow until it has the consistency of oatmeal and pour it around the posts so they are secure. Tamp it down with a shovel so it settles in place. Allow it to dry overnight.

Step 4 - Install Pre-Fabricated Panels

Standard pre-fabricated panelsare usually 4 feet to 8 feet high. Hold a sheet between two support posts, making sure their tops are in line with the top of the screen, and drill it into place with exterior screws. Repeat this process until all your panels are screwed in place between the posts.

Step 5 - Add Finishing Touches to the Fence

Some systems include trim pieces to cover all your screws or fasteners. Not only will this cover them, but will give your fence a neat and clean look. There are also a variety caps for your posts in a wide range or shapes and designs.

Step back to review your work. One advantage of a prefabricated system is you often don't need to apply any sealant or paint to extend its life and protect it from the elements. You can plant climbers such as rose vines that will grow and in time cover your privacy fence with colorful blooms.