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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How We Put Up Our DIY Exposed Post Privacy Fence

From the day we bought this house we knew we wanted to put up a privacy fence in our back yard. We are on a corner lot and wanted some privacy. We also wanted to be able to let our dog, Dia, have a safe place to play!

(Isn't she a cutie?!)

First I got an estimate from a Fence Company...... Over $7,000 for a regular privacy fence! I think not! ..... So we got started. Since we did this fence on our own, working after work during the week and on weekends, I will say that I am sure when the neighbors were giving directions they often referred to us as "You know turn at that house on the corner that has been putting up that fence for years!" *Snicker* In reality, it took us about 4 months to get this project done.
So we went to Home Depot and ordered our wood. We used White Cedar 6 ft planks and used all 6x6 YellaWood posts. We did not use any 4x4 like most people use as we wanted a strong and durable fence.

Our wood was delivered on early Saturday morning. This was not all the wood we used in total on the fence this was just the first load to get us started. We used 44 eight ft 6x6 post, and approx 650 White Cedar Planks, 110 YellaWood 2x4's, and about 50 bags of concrete total on our fence.

This is the company that makes the White Cedar Planks we used.

We staked out where we wanted the fence to go. We then spray painted the spots for where every 6x6 would go then rented an Auger and predrilled all 44 holes into the nastiest Tennessee clay you have EVER seen! After all the holes were drilled, which by the way even in the nastiest mud only took us one day with the Auger. I highly suggest you got this route if you put up a fence verses hand digging! (Below is the Auger we rented)

So now it was time to start setting the posts. We started by setting the front two corner posts and running string to them and used a post level. The post level was such a wonderful tool! We put the 8ft 6x6 post in the ground 2 ft and used at least one bag of concrete on each post. Some posts got two bags depending on the hole. We made sure with the string that the posts were all the correct height as we did not want to have to cut them off to level them. Some people will cut them afterwards and not worry about them being level but we did not want to go that route. This way does take more time but worth it in the end.
(Also, like to give a big thank you to my father in law, Wilder, (Pictured above in plaid jacket) for all his wonderful help, advice, and expertise in helping us with our fence!)

You can see the "Template" on the back row that we made to ensure every 6x6 was the same distance apart. We just used 2x4 to make them. This kept our post perfectly spaced.

We braced every 6x6 over night while the concrete set.

This is my Very Happy Husband, Randy, after he got the last 6x6 in the ground! You can also see one of the "Templates" we made and used for the spacing of the 6x6 post. We also used wood on the bottom of the 6x6 post to keep them at the correct height. (See above pic) Our ground was so wet that the post would start to sink and throw off the height so this solved the problem. We learned a lot along the way.

I then Stained all the 6x6 posts as I knew it would be easier to do now before the planks go up. We chose to stain our posts and our planks two different stains.

So then it was time for the 2x4 runners to go up. We did four rows on each panel for extra stability and durability.

After all the 2x4 runners were up it was now time to start putting up the planks. We used Screws not nails on our fence. It was much expensive to use screws over nails however we wanted strong and durable and nails will back out over time. (My husband's Porter Cable Battery powered Drill got extensive usage but it worked great and is still kicking today!!

(Pic below is the screws we used. 1-5/8 on the planks and 3 inch on the 2x4's)

We "eyeballed" the planks for the most part to get them level but you can set a 2x4 on the top of your 6x6 post to give you a "Level."

Then it was time for stain!

We rolled the stain on with a 6 inch roller made for stain and cut it the edges with a brush.

Here's the Stain we used. It was on the expensive side but we went with a good quality stain. We bought it at Hoover Paint and Stain for around $46 a gallon. It took 10 gallons to stain entire fence. ( Have no clue what happened to the can! :)

Here's the inside of the gates. We have one small gate on the side yard and a larger 9 foot gate on the street side of the yard.

The cable was added to keep the gate from sagging. (Note: after two years our gates do not sag.)

The Copper Post caps were bought at Lowes for $16.00 each.

We hung a holder for the water hose on the 6x6 on each side of the house.

Ok Now here's the finished product. (With Before and after pictures)



Up close pic of big gate.


44 (8 ft) Yellawood 6x6
110 (8 Ft) YellaWood 2x4
650 White Cedar Planks
50 bags of Concrete
2 gallons Behr Stain on 6x6 posts
10 gallon Sickkens SDR Stain for Planks
5,000 Screws

Total of entire fence project was around $4,600 and took us about 4 months to complete it at our own pace.

I hope that if you are interested in building your own Exposed post fence this post will help you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!


Here are pictures of the corners of the fence per request. You can see in pictures that we stained the 2x4's the same color of the 6x6 posts so they would blend in and not stand out.

2x4's at Gate Post

Outside Corner Post. We notched out the cedar planks on the corners to allow for the 2x4's and the stained the part of the 2x4's that stuck out the same color as the 6x6 posts. 

Inside corner.... the 2x4's just look butted up together.

For Valentine's Day this year, 2014, I had fence signs made like companies sometime put on their fences. I had a local business make them for me. They turned out well! 

 If you have any questions please feel free to ask!


  1. Your property looks like a ranch now! And I mean that as a good thing. :) With tall and compressed fence, privacy wouldn't be too much of an issue. Keep it well-stained, so you can keep insects and other damaging elements at bay.

    1. Thanks for the nice comment Cristen! We used a high quailty stain on our fence and put it on heavy :) Cedar wood is a natural repellent for insects, which is the reason we went with it. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to write such a nice comment.

  2. That fence looks great. I was going to build a semi privacy fence, but after looking at this I'd like to do something similar (6x6 at the corners and gates and 4x4 everywhere else). The two different stains is a very nice touch. The one thing I'm not sure of is how did you guys tackle the corners with your rails being on the inside of the corners. Can you post a picture of the inside corner and/or tell me what you did?

    Reggie from S.C.

    1. Hi Reggie! Thanks! I posted pictures of how we did our corners. We had to notch out the cedar planks and then stained the part of the 2x4's that stuck out the same color as the 6x6 posts. They blended in nicely! Thanks for your interest and good luck on your fence!

  3. I agree with you, DIY is the way to go for a project like this. I was debating whether or not to hire a contractor, but it's so much more affordable this way! I've found that using a fence cost estimator is helpful in the planning process. Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks for commenting! It is much more cost effective to put your own fence up. However, it is labor intensive and time comsumming but well worth it in the end. We are pleased to have accomplished this fence with very little knowledge on fence building and after some bumps in the road we have a strong and durable fence that will last a long time. I hope this post has helped you and Good Luck on your fence project!

  4. The fence is one of the smart additions you've ever installed on your property. Now you can walk through your lawn and do anything you want without any worries that someone might be looking at you. To enjoy more your fenced outdoor space, adding a deck would be great too.
    Christian Renwick @ Altitude Fence and Deck

    1. Adding a deck is our next "Big" project! We are doing a large deck and a tiered Pergola. I will be adding a post on it as we get it done this Spring/Summer

  5. The privacy fence delineates the home or property and takes this package with decorative elements. Especially the privacy fence falls in the property to provide a business card and instead gives off an unchangeable impression.

    Privacy Fence

  6. I've got to get my fence up. I just moved into a new place and want my dog to be able to play outside. I'm looking forward to it.

  7. Excellent choice to diy being alone ...not sure I could make this happen... Was it a mainly two person job?

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  9. Definitely a professional diy !!! Would love to attempt this,however being alone ..not sure, was this mainly a two person project?

  10. Definitely a professional diy !!! Would love to attempt this,however being alone ..not sure, was this mainly a two person project?

    1. Hi Debbie! Thanks for your sweet comment. My husband and I did most all of the work by ourselves. We did have some help from my father in law as well. But for the most part it was just the two of us, with my husband doing most of the harder labor parts. It did take us awhile as we worked on it after our regular daily jobs and on weekends. I would think this would be tough on one person doing alone but definitely not impossible if you are a handy DIY'er! If you decide to do it yourself and have any questions please feel free to ask away. Good luck! Selena

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  12. Hi, Selena! How big is ya'll's yard?

  13. Well almost a month later I have finally started building the last section of fence, made from pallets. garden fence

  14. Here are a few of my favorites (click the numbers below for direct links): brown chain link fence

  15. Your fence is beautiful. You should be a fence designer.