A great way to spend your time outdoors and spruce up your property is to install a new timber picket fence. A fence with timber pickets suits both traditional and modern properties and the fence can be customised to suit various styles and budgets. A timber fence not only adds to the security of your home or business, but offers an additional element of beauty to the property.
If you want to acquire fence supplies, purchase reliable and quality supplies from a timber manufacturer. Timber fences are an investment and should last a lifetime. Fence pickets Melbourne and fence posts in Melbourne are available at Australian Treated Pine. We stock timber posts, pickets, sleepers, pegs and other products to help you purchase all the supplies you will need for your next project.
Here is a guide to help you build a timber picket fence. The guide assumes you install the fence on a horizontal plane with no incline. If you are installing a fence on an incline, additional considerations are required in relation to the gradient of the slope so that the fence stands vertically. If you have any queries throughout the process, please call us to discuss.
Step 1 – Plan
Fences are built on the boundaries of properties. You must check the location of where you will construct the fence. You must ensure that you are not encroaching on someone else’s land, so remember to check the registered plan for the boundaries of your property. If you are unsure, you may need to engage a land surveyor who can recommend the exact location of the build.
The type (e.g. timber) and height of the fence (e.g. from natural ground level) must be approved by your local council or applicable statutory authority. Make sure that you consult with this government body to check that the plans for your fence conform to applicable legal requirements. It is common for local councils to impose height and overhang restrictions. You might also need to check the soil into which you will install the fence so that it can withstand the new construction.
In conjunction with these steps, engage an architect to plan the construction of the timber fence. While you might believe that nailing pieces of timber is straightforward, there is skill involved in making the design perfect so that no issues are experienced. The fence will need to support itself and be correctly installed so that it does not break under stress due to incorrect installation.
Step 2 – Materials and tools
You will need the right tools and materials to construct a fence with pickets made from timber. To construct a fence with timber pickets, you will need:
Step 3 – Installing the posts
The posts support the horizontal cross rails onto which the pickets will be affixed. To install the posts, you must use a string line to guide the fence length so that the posts will be inserted on a straight plane. Otherwise, your posts will not be inline, and the horizontal cross rails will not be fixed evenly.
Once you have marked a straight line, at equal intervals, make sure you can dig a hole to plant the posts. For a fence of an approximate height of 1.8 metres, a 600 mm deep and 300 mm wide hole should be sufficient. You will need a hole-digging device to remove the earth so that you can plant the posts in the concrete.
To ensure that the post you insert will stand upright and straight, you will need to temporarily support it with braces and a timber base plate. As you pour an approximate 50/50 mix of soil and concrete into the hole and around the post, make sure that before the concrete sets the post is vertical with a spirit leveller. Ensure the post remains in place as the concrete sets.
Step 4 – Fixing the cross rails
Once the posts have been installed, you must fix the cross rails. For a flush finish, you need to saw and chisel out the depth of the rail from the post. Typically, three cross rails are affixed. The top cross rail is usually 80 mm from the top of the post. The bottom cross rail is usually 170 mm above the plinth. The middle cross rail sits equally between the two.
Once you have carved the notches into the posts, you will insert the cross rails so that they sit flush. Use a nail gun with galvanised nails to affix the cross rails. Make sure you wear gloves, a safety hat and protective glasses when handling the nail gun. After the rails have been installed, affix the plinth at the base of the fence to seal it off.
Step 5 – Affixing the timber pickets
To install the timber pickets, you will need to cut them to size and measure how many you will need with an approximate spacing in between. The gap between each picket should be the thickness of the pickets which is 19mm approx so that the pickets don’t touch against each other due to expansion under certain temperatures. Install each picket equally apart and make sure that they stand vertically with a spirit leveller. Use a nail gun to secure the pickets into place.
Step 6 – Additional features
To finish of your timber picket fence, you might want to install a gate, ornamental features, a doorbell and a letterbox. Following this, make sure you treat and paint your fence to ensure a long lifespan.
At Australian Treated Pine, we stock quality timber products for various applications. If you are planning to install a new timber fence or upgrade your existing timber fence, buy fence post pickets online today. Contact us on (03) 9305 2000 or visit us in-store.
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