How to Build a Privacy Fence

If you want to sit and sunbathe in your yard and feel some privacy and security, what you need is a tall fence. Just follow these instructions and you can build a privacy fence around your backyard.

Here's what you'll need for one 8-foot section of an 8-foot tall fence:


  • Two 12-foot (3.7-meter) 6-by-6-inch posts (You'll only need one additional post for each additional section.)
  • Three 8-foot (2.4-meter) 2-by-4-inch boards
  • Fourteen 8-foot (2.4-meter) 1-by-8-inch boards
  • Gravel
  • Wood preservative
  • Galvanized Nails
  • Paint or stain

Here's what to do:

  1. Check your local zoning laws and restrictions. There are rules about where and how high fences can be, what they can be made from, and which way they face [source: Carter].
  2. Decide where to build your fence. Plot out where the fence posts will go. Posts need to be 8 feet (2.4 meters) apart. They should be spaced evenly along the same plane [source: Millard Lumber].
  3. Dig an 8 to 10-inch (20 to 25-centimeter) diameter hole for each post. The holes need to be a minimum of one-third as deep as the total length of the post. For our 8-foot (2.4-meter) fence, we need a hole that's 3-feet (91.4-centimeters) deep and a 12-foot (3.7 meter) post [source: Rona].
  4. Treat the bottom of your posts with wood preservative so they don't rot. Put a little gravel at the bottom of the holes, and insert the posts. Fill the remaining area around the posts with more gravel [source: Millard Lumber].
  5. Connect your posts with three equally spaced 2-by-4 rails. Place one rail 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 centimeters) off the ground, one across the middle and one along the top. They will keep your fence straight and secure [source: Arch Chemicals].
  6. Use 1-by-8 boards to cover your fence. Start at one post and nail boards one next to the other to each of the rails [source: Millard Lumber].
  7. Paint or stain your finished fence to protect it from the elements [source: Millard Lumber].