I need to replace several sections of "stockade" type wood privacy
fence. They are rotted and falling apart. I've tried temp fixes, but
they're so bad there's nothing for screw or nails to grab onto.
The posts seem okay, I can't rock them at all, and they are solid at
ground level (tried stabbing them with a screwdriver). So it seems to
be just the picket sections that are bad.
Is this something a lone female can accomplish? I can handle tools,
repairs, etc, but my main problem with projects is having the muscle.
Or would this be a two person job?
Also, would it be better to use screws to attach the new sections, or
is that overkill, and nails are enough?
I would like to say thanks for all the good folks that take time to
answer here. This group has helped me in many ways since becoming a
single homeowner four years ago. When I was married, my ex and I
worked on many projects together. However of course I've come across
projects on my older house that were never an issue when married. This
group is a great source of info.
Are you going to rebuild from scratch or put in pre-fabricated sections?
Either way, it would be hand to have a helper to hodl things. If yo are
putting in sections, I'd definitly want someone to give a hand. The size
adn weight makes it awkward to handle for one person. Propping up on blocks
may help though.
I'm still undecided about buying prefab sections or not. If I go with
sections, they cost more & I'll have to pay for delivery. If I buy the
pieces, can probably get them home in my car, even if I have to make 2
trips.....there's 2 home stores within 3 miles of my house. But then,
I'm out of work at the moment, so I have more time than money right
Just for the heck of it, here's some pix. First the entire fence:
The big old tree causes the most problems. It loses dead
branches/limbs during every t-storm, and many times the branches take
out a piece of the fence. If the fence wasn't rotted, it would prolly
hold up better. Also, it clogs the garage gutters and the shade lets
moss grow on north-facing side of garage roof. Ideally, it's time to
take out the tree, but that's way beyond my budget.
Close-up example of rot:
All the pickets are soft like this. I am guessing the original wood
was not pressure treated. I have no idea of fence age; the city has no
permit records showing a fence. Last permit issued was 1964, to build
the garage.....I checked into this before I bought the place. These
days, fences require a permit.
For a laugh, here's one of my ugly temp fixes. I used some scrap house
trim left in garage by previous owner. I broke it into small pieces
along the finger joints. Now I know why guys like to save leftover
wood....these spare pieces are a lifesaver!
This fix is ugly, but it works and it's on my side, so my neighbors
don't have to look at it. Also, I learned frrom my ex and other men I
know...when I became single and bought this place, on speculation I
kept most of the wood scraps that were left here.
Now I understand there's a "method to the madness". I've used scrap
wood, wire & metal for all sorts of things in the last few years. So
all you hoarders have a convert, ha ha.
This will be quicker with another person to help but it can be done
solo using screws and nails. Use short blocks of 2x4 in place of the
Working one section at a time, screw the blocks to the posts just
below the horizontal stringer boards. Remove everything except the
Obtain new stringer boards to span the gap between the posts and rest
on the blocks. Screw the boards to the posts and remove the blocks.
For an 8' gap, you need about 25 1x4x6 pickets. Have these delivered.
Using a level, re-install the pickets with 5-penny galvanized,
ring-shank nails. Done
Great idea, using the chunks of 2x4 to mark the spot and support new
You also made me realize that 4" wide pickets would go up faster,
versus the 2.5 inch pickets that are there now. Since I'm replacing
the entire fence, no reason to stay with same size.
Any opinions on plastic lumber/vinyl fence products? I realize they
cost more, are they worth it compared to pressure-treated standard
I wouldn't want a 6' plastic privacy fence
too much plastic you know...it would become an elephant standing around
that's alot of recycled milk jugs to look at
with wood you get the warmth and inner fuzzy feeling that wood offers
wood can be made to last a lifetime if you keep it treated
after you install the treated lumber, let it dry for a season
catch it on a nice dry period, where you feel sure no moisture is in
spray a wood preservative on it... it will maintain it's natural color
and not turn brown.
do this once a year.. this is also going to add beauty and value your
(I like using deck boards for the fabric or pickets)
I like using the better cuts lumber suppliers offer, most offer 2
grades of lumber
, so for a few dimes more you get a much nicer looking board, which is
less work installing.. every board you put your hand on is useable..
you're not ducking twisted and warped boards see... it's all good.
I enjoy working with the finest materials I can get.
I also like being selective as to which side of the board will face
out, as well as where the board will go in the whole scheme, in other
words, you wouldnt' want a big black knot on the front side
neccessarily. but with better cuts, you won't see very much of that.
Im sure you know.. spray/brush on preservatives come in colors too woo
why not consider this.. use a 1 5/4" x 6" deck board for each picket,
use coated or vinyl coated screws... 2 per stringer, consider a 4th
stringer... (tighter to the top, tighter to the bottom) or not!
around here, it's cheaper to buy a 12 foot, 1 5/4" x 6" treated deck
board, and cut it in half, than it is to buy one 3/4" a 6" dog eared
fence board.. which is more than fine and can still last a life time,
but do expect some of them to curl and pull in about 4 years.
a deckboard is going to look robust... with preservatives it's going to
last a lifetime..
don't forget to waste money on screw in finials for each post!
figure about 50 - 60 bux for nice gate or drive-gate hardware.
Here's a money-saving idea:
Replace ONLY the horizontal boards.
Most of the cost of a fence is the vertical pickets. The posts,
concrete and horizontal boards are a much smaller percentage of the
cost. You may have to replace a few complete pickets, but the rotten
back side of the existing pickets need not be an issue.
You have 3 horizontal boards - top, middle, bottom. For middle and
bottom, ADD a treated 2x4 ABOVE the existing horizontal board. For the
top board, add it BELOW the existing board.
I recommend that you attach pickets to the new boards using screws OR
a pneumatic nailer. NOT a hammer. There is still some life in the
pickets - there is NO life in the horizontal stringers. Use 4" deck
screws to drive through the picket, new stringer and into the post.
Once the new stringers are in place and the pickets attached to them,
GENTLY remove the old dead stringers without breaking the pickets.
Save you a bundle it will.
I use 1-7/8" RS EG gun nails for the pickets and 3" RS HDG framing
nailer nails going into the posts. Deck screws rated for PT lumber
into the posts and stringers can be substituted if you do not have
access to pneumatic nailing equipment. DO NOT use too long a fastener
through the pickets, otherwise you will need to grind off protruding
nail/screw points on the back side. DAMHIKT.
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