I am in the process of putting up a wooden privacy fence. All the
posts are set and am at the point of fastening the 2x4s in between.
My question now is, do I put in 2 or 3 horizontal 2x4s. Will using
two do the trick or is it necessary to use three? Thanks for any
What are your pickets? If you use cedar, you can use two
rails. If you are using treated pickets, I would use five or
more (seriously, you should use three). The difference is
that cedar is fairly stable while treated will warp and twist
all to hell if you don't fasten it down securely. It will
still warp and twist, but you probably won't have to replace
as many if you use three rails.
If you are using vinyl, three rails would be a good idea
because vinyl is fairly flimsy.
Just completed a fence using pressure treated posts and horizontal
supports with cedar pickets. If you are using Home Depot cedar 6' x6"
pickets they are so thin you definitely need three horizontal
supports. I spaced top & bottom supports four inches from the ends of
the slats and centered the middle one. I won't use pressure treated
4x4's again as they warped like crazy after a week in the ground.
Should have used cedar 4x4's.
I have a fence 7' tall with 4x4 posts every 7'6".
The horizontals are 2x4 on 3' centres.
Safest approach is horizontals on 3' centres.
If you want the wood to look good for a long time use stainless steel screws as they will not rust and cause bleeding around the screw holes. As well when it comes time to replace any uprights all one need do is back out the screws.
P D Q
am in the process of putting up a wooden privacy fence. All the<BR>posts
are set and am at the point of fastening the 2x4s in between.<BR>My question
now is, do I put in 2 or 3 horizontal 2x4s. Will using<BR>two do the
trick or is it necessary to use three? Thanks for
And they say there is no such thing as a dumb question.
Maybe not so much dumb as a total lack of information given. What is the
spacing of the posts? What are you putting on the fence? How high is it?
Having built more than my share of fences may I advise you to go the way
that I do.
3, 2x4 rails, the top rail, on top of the posts and the wide side parallel
to the ground. The 2 lower rails wide side perpendicular to the ground
between the posts. The bottom rail's bottom just below the top of the rot
board mentioned below. Attach the bottom rail with a nail or two to the rot
board and the posts
1, 1x6 or larger bottom against the ground rot board on the same plane as
the pickets. This board prevents the bottoms of the pickets from rotting
because of ground contact and this board when level will automatically give
you a surface to set the pickets on for fast and level installation.
All boards except the pickets should be pressure treated. Pressure treated
pickets are optional, I prefer Cedar.
Leon is so opinionated, I hate to agree with him, :-) But I do. . . .
I add one thing to Leon's suggestion.
Have you ever noticed long runs of wood fences move out of plumb at the top
as it approaches the middle of the run?
When in wind prone locales, after splicing the top rail at a post, I will
add a 42" long splice block on top of the splice, nailing it equally on both
sides of the splice. I miter the ends of the splice blocks with the long
side down to keep moisture from collecting. I prefer to use top rails that
are double the fence post spacing in length.
This will minimize the lateral sag if not eliminating it.
You didn't say what the pickets are made of or how tall they are. If
it's a short fence with a reasonably stable wood picket, you can get
away with 2. If it's tall or you're using a thinner/less stable wood
picket, go for 3. You really don't want the center of the fence
twisting, warping or being flexible so someone can just push the wood
out of the way and look through.
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