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Wood Picket Fence Materials and Cost Sheet

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Wood Picket Fences

There are countless designs for wood picket fences. You can visit your local bookstore and jump on their in-store computer that houses Books in Print. I'll bet you come up with no less than 15 - 20 books on fences, designs, materials, etc. Just before writing this bulletin, I jumped on the Web and I came up with thousands of references to fences. Granted, some have nothing to do with wood picket fences, but I quickly found five sites that had photos of interesting designs!

Creating a material list for a picket fence is not that hard. You need to first decide upon your design and quite possibly build a one panel prototype or maybe a small scale model to see if you like the design. That is what I did.

Often you will buy certain materials in longer and wider quantities to create components. For example, I used 6 foot long fence posts. It makes sense to buy a 12 foot long post and cut it in half rather than buy 8 footers and waste 2 feet!

The same is true for the pickets. In my instance, I purchased 8 foot long pieces of 1x6 rough sawn cedar. Using my table saw and miter box saw, I was able to get six pickets per board. I had some very nice small kindling wood left over as well.

Here is a material list to construct an 8 foot long fence section at my house. Remember, each successive fence section requires exactly the same amount of material except you use one less 6 foot post. This list also leaves you with four extra pickets (you need only 38 pickets) for your next section. So, if you build a long fence like mine, you will need to keep this in mind as you could end up buying too many 1x6's or 4x4's!

Material List

You simply need the following materials:

  • One 4x4 x 12 feet CCA. This is cut in half to make two 6 foot posts
  • Two 2x4 x 8 feet CCA. These are the top and bottom fence rails
  • Seven 1x6 x 8 Rough Cedar. This will generate 42 pickets that measure 1.5 inches wide by 48 inches long

I priced out this package just before writing this column. The cost for the above materials is $58.77 plus tax here in Cincinnati. To construct a fence 48 feet long, you would spend just about $325.00 including tax. That isn't that bad, especially when you consider that you can build the fence with minimal skills!

Your neighbors will probably like you as did mine. In fact, we thought they would hate looking at their side of the fence. It turns out that they feel my wife and I are looking at the bad side!

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