How to Build a Featherboard Fence


A featherboard fence, or closeboarded fence, is a durable fence constructed from slightly wedge-shaped vertical boards that have a thin edge and a thick edge. The thick edge slightly overlaps the adjacent board's thin edge and all the boards attach to horizontal arris rails mounted to sturdy posts. The fence offers a maximum amount of privacy and is perfect for swimming areas, backyard decks, and establishing boundaries between neighbors. A featherboard fence is easy to build, because you can purchase the wood pieces pre-cut. Constructing the fence on your own takes little time and can save you a lot of money.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer or wooden mallet
  • Stakes
  • Post hole digger
  • Cement
  • Fence posts
  • Nail gun
  • Nails
  • Arris boards
  • Gravel boards
  • Featherboards
  • Stain or paint
  • Mark on the ground where you will place your fence posts, using stakes. Pound each stake into the ground using a hammer or rubber mallet. Space the fence posts approximately the same distance apart as the length of your rails. If you are using 6-foot-long rails, the distance between the posts should be 4 inches less so the rails meet in the center of the posts where you will nail them in place.

  • Dig a hole 2 1/2 feet deep and 6 inches wide using post-hole diggers. Dig one hole for each post, removing the stake before you begin digging. Mix cement and pour it in the hole, filling the hole three quarters of the way up.

  • Insert the posts into the cement. Use a level to ensure each post is completely level. Let the posts sit overnight for the cement to set completely.

  • Nail the arris rails into place on the side of the posts next to your property. The posts for the featherboard fence will come notched. Nail the horizontal arris boards into place in the notched area. Each section will have two or three arris boards, depending on how tall the fence is.

  • Nail gravel boards horizontally on the bottom of the fence posts on the same side as the arris boards to prevent the lower portion of the featherboards from getting too wet when it rains. It also helps aid in erosion control. Gravel boards a specially treated lumber or cement boards.

  • Hand nail each feather-edged board vertically to the rails on the side facing public view, starting at a corner post and working your way around to the other side of the fence. Use a level to make sure each board is straight up and down. Lay the boards flush to one another, side-by-side, slightly overlapping.

  • Stain or paint the fence as desired.


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