Before we get into the photos, let it be known that this fence took almost three weeks of evenings and weekends to build. This series of photos makes it looks like it took two full days, but nope. Luckily we had a design to work with because we were matching our fence we had built in the back of the house a couple years ago.

Old photo of our fence in the back we’re trying to match.

Also, there was plenty of lovely cedar left over from that project that we used for this new fence, so materials cost was low. But the tools costs…well, let’s just say we had to pick up a few tools of the trade.

First things first, get the posts ready. I cut up pressure treated 4″ x 4″ x 8′ into 4′ tall posts and dug the posts holes. It’s risky to cut your posts before putting them in the ground, but we were planning on trimming off the top tips of the posts with a reciprocating saw to make the top of the fence level.

Then we mixed concrete in a wheelbarrow and set the posts. That’s the first time either of us had ever mixed concrete like that.

It was easier than we thought, but we did make the mixture a bit too wet for a few posts. This caused little hairline cracks in the bases. Luckily you can buy a bottle of concrete crack filler to fix that.

Next, we cut the top and bottom horizontal rails. One of the spans we tested out the stain to see if we wanted one or two coats. This is one coat, we decided to do one more.

After the stain test, we focused on the vertical slats. It was a weekend of ripping 50 1″ x 6″ x 6′ cedar planks into 4 different widths, measuring, cutting to size, sanding, pre-drilling, and putting up boards.

It was a lot of work. Lot’s of sawdust. It felt good to start putting up those slats and our old buddy Kevin stopped by to check out the progress.

Here’s a little tip: Build yourself a little spacer to hook on the top of the fence and hang in between the slats as your putting them up. As long as the first one is plumb, the rest will be perfect.

Ok, times that by 80 and you’ve got a 35′ fence.

We decided to stain all the horizontal rails before we put up all the slats because it would be easier than trying to maneuver the brush between the slats. Next up, finishing the stain and planting the dirt area in front of the fence.