How to Build an Inexpensive Privacy Fence

Wooden stockade fencing serves as one of the best privacy fences available today. While most homeowners will opt to purchase the best fence they can afford, cheaper options do exist. By selecting number two "white wood" fence panels that have been nailed, rather than screwed, with 2-by-3 horizontal white wood runners, versus fully treated 2-by-4 runners, you can cut the cost of your fence panels in half. Use landscape timber posts instead of 4-by-4s to add to the savings.

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Cheap prefab panels are the easy way to build an inexpensive privacy fence.

Installing Posts

Step 1

Measure from one end of your fence line to the other. Shorten the distance, if needed, so that it is divisible by 8 feet, to prevent wasting a partial panel. Dig a post hole at each end of this line, 10 to 12 inches across and 24 inches deep.

Step 2

Stand a post in each of the two holes and use a level to stand them upright, right to left and front to back, adjusting until the bubble is centered in the indicator. Back-fill the holes with plain dirt and pack it with a post by dropping the end onto the dirt (this saves several dollars per hole on concrete).

Step 3

Tie a piece of string between the two posts snugly and measure along it. Dig a post hole under the string every 8 feet, as you did at the fence ends. Stand an 8-foot landscape timber, flat face out, in each hole.

Adding Panels

Step 1

Stand the first panel up, so that its edge is even with the outside face of the first post. Nail through the horizontal runners with 3-inch galvanized nails, which are cheaper than deck screws, two in each runner.

Step 2

Stand the second post upright, flat face out, and align it to the end of the panel so that the runners end in the center of the post. Pack dirt around the post and tamp it in place. Nail the panel to the post as you did the first end.

Step 3

Add the next panel butted up to the firs, and nailed to the second post. Continue adding panels and tamping the earth in around the posts to the end of the fence line.

Step 4

Align the last post so that the outside face is flush with the end of the panel. Nail it in place as you did the others.