Picket Fence

Picket Fence

Picket fences are a type of fence often used decoratively for domestic boundaries, distinguished by their evenly-spaced vertical boards, the pickets, attached to horizontal rails. Picket fences are particularly popular.

Why is it called a picket fence?

A picket fence is usually 0.91 m (3 ft) to 1.21 m (4 ft) tall. A horizontal top rail and bottom rail are attached to fence posts, which are installed upright into the ground. Evenly-spaced boards are affixed vertically to the rails. These boards with pointed tops are called “pickets” for their resemblance to the pointed stakes historically used by infantry to repel cavalry. Typically for enclosed picket fences, a gate is required to provide an entry point.

Picket fences can be made of several types of materials. Historically, wood has been the most popular material used for picket fences. It can be untreated, treated, or naturally insect- and rot-resistant. Other options include polyvinyl chloride and aluminium.

Using wooden pallets is an inexpensive and easy way to create an attractive picket fence for your yard. This is also a great great recycled-items project.

Installation

The first step in installing a picket fence is to insert the posts into the ground. Traditionally this is done by digging deep holes (usually 36in x 12in) either manually or with a power auger. The posts are then placed upright into the ground and concrete is poured to cement them into place. Once they are set, the horizontal rails are affixed to the posts using fasteners, and finally the pickets can be attached to the horizontal rails. By far the most time-consuming part of installing a picket fence is setting the posts.

There are some vinyl picket fence systems on the market that are installed without digging holes or pouring concrete. These are installed by driving pipe deep into the ground, which is how chain link fence has been installed for years. This is the most popular way to install vinyl fence in Western Canada, where the deep frost can heave concrete footings out of the ground.

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