How to Install a Wood Fence without Posts

When you think of a fence, you might immediately imagine one built with posts that are buried in the ground. However, it's possible to build fences with a variety of materials that rest upon the ground rather than rely on buried posts. These fences can be simple and inexpensive to build and can achieve the same effect as a traditional fence with buried posts.

hardwood texture background
credit: SasinParaksa/iStock/GettyImages
How to Install a Wood Fence without Posts

Zigzag Fences

A zigzag fence requires more wood than a traditional split-rail fence but is easier to create without tools and gives your property a charming look. Use chestnut, oak, cedar or juniper rails for a fence that can last as long as 100 years. You can split rails yourself or purchase precut wood.

Start with a fence bed that's at least 5 feet wide. This will help to steady your fence against the wind. If you wish, use small spikes and yarn to mark the pattern your fence will follow on the ground before you begin.

Use a rock or brick to keep your fence off the ground by laying one down at the intersection of each fence angle. Then, lay down every other rail so that they're parallel to each other, connecting between stones. You'll be left with rows of rails that look like angled parking spaces.

Next, go back the other way, laying rails in the opposite direction, but still parallel to one another. This time, the rails will rest on your first row. You can use twine or large bolts to secure the two rows of rails to one another at their points of intersection. Continue in this way until your fence has reached the height you prefer. You can lean rails at an angle against the fence to support it if you wish. Be sure to remove the spikes and yarn if you used them to mark the area of your fence.

Rail Fences

For another look, you could try a rail fence with stacked stone columns. You can purchase prefabricated stone post covers that fit around fence posts if you already have a rail fence that's made of wood.

To build, start with a strong base of stone or brick for each column. Since you won't be burying the posts in the ground, the base of each stone pillar must be large enough to support the weight of the rails and sturdy enough not to move in the wind.

Lay your rails upon the base and surround the ends with more brick and stone to secure them. Using concrete or mortar as a filler is ideal. Continue this process at equal intervals until your fence has reached its desired height.

Pallet Fence

It's possible to build a fence out of pallets. Standard pallets are 40 inches by 48 inches, so if you're able to collect a number of them, you can actually construct a fence without disassembling them.

To construct a pallet fence, simply line up the pallets and attach the ends with large roofing nails or bolts of about three inches in length. This type of fence works best on even ground. Using diagonal support pieces can be useful, as a strong wind could otherwise knock your entire fence over.