How to Install Picket Fence Panels

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Picket fences are functional and decorative ways to enclose a space. While you can build a picket fence out of wood, you can also install a vinyl picket fence that comes with pre-assembled panels that you place between the fence posts. Picket fence panels come with either fence rails assembled to the panel or with slots for the rails connected to the panel.

Things You'll Need

  • Rail brackets Screws, 3/4 inch Spacer blocks, 2 inch Pen Drill

Separate Panel and Rails

  • Place three or four spacer blocks on the ground where the fence panel will be secured. Place the panel on the blocks and align it between the fence posts. The rail hanger bracket on the back of the panel should rest against or within a 1/4 inch of the posts. Mark the posts where the bottom of each rail hanger bracket meets it.

  • Place a rail bracket against the post so the bottom of the bracket is against one of the lines you made. Drill two 3/4 inch screws into the bracket to hold it to the post. Connect a bracket for each line drawn.

  • Slide the rails into the brackets on the picket fence panel. Lift the panel up and lower it so that the rails fit into the rail brackets installed on the posts. Drill 3/4 inch screws through the side of the bracket and through the rail to secure the panel. Remove the spacers unless you have set the posts in concrete, in which case you should leave the spacers in for two or three more days.

Combined Panel and Rails

  • Place a few spacer blocks on the ground where the picket fence panel will be secured. Place the panel on top of the spacers so that the rails are butting against the sides of the two posts. Use a pen to draw a line under rails where they meet the posts. Draw one line for each end of the rail.

  • Align the bottom of a rail bracket against one of the lines drawn. Use two 3/4 inch screws to connect the bracket to the post. Connect one bracket for every line.

  • Slide the panel between the fence posts and into the rail brackets. Drill 3/4 inch screws through the openings in the side of the rail bracket and into the rail. Once all the rails are secure remove the spacer blocks unless you have set the posts in concrete, in which case keep the spacers in for two or three days.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you leave the correct distance between the fence posts, since picket fence panels are difficult to cut.

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References

  • Photo Credit picket fence detail image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com
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