Sharing all the tips & tricks about how to make a fence yourself, a beautiful cedar post and rail fence on a budget to keep our kids & dog safe on our acre property with pictures.
Soon after we moved into our old farmhouse we put up a cedar privacy fence along the front of our property on our very busy street & now it is finally time to share how to make a fence for the back of the house.
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How to Make a Fence – Cedar Post and Rail Fence
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We had hoped to some day have the whole property fenced in but because our house backs up to a col de sac & a park so it wasn’t a big priority until now.
Moose our newest four legged furry family member is the most outgoing guy in our house. He insists on greeting everyone he sees regardless of whether they are in our yard or not.
So after Moose crashed the neighbors teenage girls pool party Thursday night we decided to move the fence back to the top of the to do list.
Why We Chose to Make a Cedar Post and Rail Fence
While we have an amazingly large front & side yard we have a very funky back yard where in some spots we only own about 5 -6 feet behind the house so we also didn’t want to completely destroy our view with a big fence.
Since we used cedar in the front we wanted to stay consistent but we didn’t want to spend the money to make privacy fence panels again or completely close off the back… plus there was already a ton of privacy bushes that I definitely need to trim 🙂 from our neighbors so we decided to try & share how to make a fence, a cedar post and rail fence.
So… we chose to make a cedar post & rail fence because we didn’t want to ruin our view, it is more cost effective than privacy panels & the cedar still matches our privacy fence.
Supplies & Tools Needed for How to Make a Fence – Cedar Post and Rail Fence
- String for Property Line
- Post Hole Digger
- Fence Post (Cedar or Pressure Treated)
- Concrete Mix
- Miter or Circular Saw to Cut Cedar Boards
- 5/4″ thick x 6″ wide 8 foot long cedar decking for fence boards
- Exterior Screws
- Cordless Drill
- Green Wire Fencing
- Galvanized U Shaped Nails
Instructions for How to Make a Fence – Cedar Post and Rail Fence – Step by Step
Step ONE – String a Line across your Property Markers
After finding the property markers we strung a line from one side to another.
Step TWO – Dig & Place your Fence Posts
Jason hand dug the holes for the posts & cemented all of them in.
How to Make a Fence Post Tip…Cedar Verses Pressure Treated Fence Posts
There is a lot of controversy over what kind of posts to use… cedar or pressure treated. I wanted to use pressure treated because it’s cheaper but we stayed with cedar because Jason really likes the look & the pressure treated ones available at Home Depot were very green.
Some people say pressure treated will last longer in the dirt so we cemented each post in to keep the moisture away from the wood.
*4/2020 update, we have had 2 posts rot after almost 7 years & switched them for pressure treated*
We dug down as far below the frost line as we could. I have never had such rocky soil in my life!!! Every shovel full of dirt is equally full of rocks.
Step THREE – Cutting & Attaching Cedar Fence Boards
We had the older two boys help with measuring the posts & pre-drilling the boards.
Even Moose tried to help…little did he know he would soon be losing his freedom, ha!
Tip for Spacing for How to Make a Fence, a Post and Rail Fence with 3 Rails
We placed the posts 8 feet apart.
We then ran (3) 8 foot cedar boards across each post every 16″ & screwed the boards in with exterior screws.
Tip for How to Make a Fence on Uneven Ground
We went back & straightened out a few of the boards so they didn’t look so up & down with our yard being so uneven.
Step FOUR – Cutting Down the Tops to the Fence Posts
Jason went back & trim down the posts to 3 inches above the top cedar board so they looked better & were more even.
We still have to fence in the other side of our yard next but for now it is nice to have almost a whole acre fenced.
I can’t wait to tackle landscaping the back of our house too.
We want to put a door in, take our a few of the overgrown bushes so they are not covering the windows and add some trees & a stone path back there.
What do you guys think of the cedar post & rail fence?
Moose isn’t so sure he likes it yet.
It’s definitely hurting his social calendar but for now anyway it’s keeping him contained!
Step FIVE – Adding Green Wire Fencing to Make the Post and Rail Fence Dog Proof
As you can see from this picture, we added green wire fencing to help keep Moose in.
We attached the green wire to the cedar post and rail fence with galvanized U shaped Nails,
I hope this inspires you & answers all your questions about how to make a fence, a cedar post and rail one.