How To Build A Ranch Fence - In 3 Simple Steps

Published: 13th June 2011
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Ranch fencing is common sight in the country side. In this article I will provide to building a simple ranch style fence in 3 steps. Because of the simplicity of the style it is often used to enclose large spaces. It also uses less timber than other styles so as a consequence is often cheaper. Typically the ranch fence is 3-4 rails and is between 1.2m to 1.5m high. The rails run horizontally. Where greater strength is required to keep in livestock more rails maybe used. The steps for building a ranch fence are as follows.

1. Plot out the fence line and mark out the post locations. Marking out is covered in greater depth on specific articles on my fence building blog but for here the main point is to keep spacing between 2m and 2.4 metres. You then need to cement the fence posts in. Again this is covered in greater depth in my article on concreting posts.

2. Mark the posts where you want your rails to be. Mark out for the top of the post. Run a mason line between two points to give you a straight line. And mark off from the top of the string line. Cut off the top of the post before nailing on the boards. You can either have the top of the post flush to the top rail or protruding 100mm above it.

3. Nails the boards to the face of the posts. Alternate the boards so that the rails end on alternate posts. This is to give the fence greater strength. Drive the nails about 5- 10mm back from the edge of the rail so that the boards do not split. If splitting still occurs you can either blunt the end of the nails with your hammer or predrill the rails if you have access to a drill.

If you want to prevent post top decay, slope the top of the post when cutting this will to protect the top of the post. Also using a post cap will protect some of the damaging effects of rain and sun. A longer piece of capping will also provide strength. Capping does not need to be complicated and you can use the same type of timber you have used for the rails. If you wish to provide even greater strength and protection to the fence you can attach a vertical paling over the ends of the rails which will help to stop the rails from coming loose.


If you want step by step guides to building a variety of different fence styles plus articles on all aspects of fence design visit my site

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