> I have a pool in the back yard, and need to replace some
> fencing. The standard wood privacy fence isn't really
> private because as the pickets dry out, they shrink, and
> gaps develop between them, and you really don't have any
> privacy anymore.
> One possible solution is to cover over the gaps with
> some kind of batten board, but the stuff I found at Home
> Despot is almost as expensive as the pickets. I need to
> check at a real lumber yard to see what's available in
> the way of thin, narrow cedar strips.
> But it looks like the least expensive, and most
> effective, solution might be to overlap the pickets. So
> I would place the 3.5"-wide pickets 6" apart on centers,
> which would leave a 2.5" gap between them, and then nail
> another picket centered on the gap. I made a drawing
> and posted it here:
> So for my 80' fence, the standard fence would have:
> (80x12)/3.5 = 274 pickets
> The overlap fence would have: (80x12)/6 = 160 pickets in
> the back row, plus an equal number in the front row, or
> 320 pickets in total, or 46 pickets more than standard.
> That's roughly $70 additional cost, which isn't all that
> To match that cost, I'd have to find 6' batten strips
> for about 25 cents each, which I don't think is likely.
> So whadayathink? Also, exactly how would I nail the
> front pickets on? I think the nails shouldn't go
> through the back pickets, but directly into the rail.
> But should I have a small block of wood in the gap to
> nail through?
> Is there a better solution to this?
I wanted to report back on what I ended up doing with this
fence. Well I did do the overlapping pickets on the same
side of the rails, but with a 2-inch gap between the back
row pickets instead of 2.5 inches. So this used a few more
pickets than I originally planned. Pictures of the
completed fence are here:
The fence was built at the top of a concrete wall, and for
several reasons I wanted the pickets to be as close to that
wall as possible, but I still wanted the front of the fence.
So I put the posts right next to the wall, touching it, then
the rails behind the posts, but the pickets on the front of
the rails. So I ended up seeing the posts, but not the
rails. We ended up boxing in each post with pickets, so the
posts really just blend in quite well.
I suspect this fence, being heavier, may not last as long as
a typical privacy fence, but then I may not last that long
either. :-) In the meantime, the privacy fence is private.
If I had lots of time, and a nice table saw with a dado
head, the shiplap option would be the elegant way to go.
But even so, my calculations show the overlap method used
only about 9% more pickets than a shiplap fence built with
the same 3.5" wide pickets, and required no milling. So I
think it was a reasonable choice.
Thanks for everyone's comments.