How To Build An 8-Foot Wood Fence

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A wooden fence will introduce a certain charm to your property and add privacy to your household, allowing you to enjoy staying at your home without having to see or be seen by others.

But what if the fences already look terrible and worn down? What if there isn’t a fence at all? In this article, we will guide you step-by-step in building an 8-foot wooden fence and what specs you need to look out for, in order to build your own wooden fence. 

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Building An 8ft Wooden Fence Steps By Step Process

If you plan on setting up a wooden fence, make sure you have the required materials before starting. These will be needed to make your life easier:

  1. Cordless Drill/Driver or Nail Gun– Our Recommended Cordless Drill here
  2. 3.5-inch Deck Screws– Our Recommended Screw here
  3. Wood or Power Saw– Our Recommended Wood Saw here
  4. Any string-like material (as long as the perimeter of your future fence)
  5. Wooden Stakes
  6. Cement mix– Our Recommended Wood Cement Mix here

Setting Up the Posts

The first step is to survey the perimeter of where the new fence will be built and mark it with a string tied around some stakes. 

  • Mark the spots where the posts will be erected. The space between the marker and string outlining the perimeter should be ½ the width of the wood used, so an allowance of 2 inches should be made between the marked spot and string if using 4x4s. 
  • Dig a hole 2 feet deep and with a diameter 3 times that of the post’s width. Since we are using 4x4s, a hole of 12 inches in diameter should suffice. 
  • Fill the holes up to 6 inches with cement mix before placing the wooden post, then fill the remaining space in the hole with cement mixed with water, or any concrete formula you want to use. 

Attach the Railings

Now that all fence posts are in position, mark the position where the fence railings will go either with string or whatever you have. Usually, 2 x 4” wood boards are used as railings for 8ft tall fences.

  • Use 16 foot 2 x 4”  wooden boards as the outer railings. This will span 3 posts while using 8 foot  2 x 4” boards for the inner railings, which will span 2 posts.
  • Drive in the screws to hold the rails in place. 
  • Leave a gap between two fence posts for the gate. 

Remember that you can shorten the length of the board if approaching the end of the fence and where you can’t use a whole 8 or 16-foot board. 

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Prepare the Gate

  • Cut 2×4 boards into a length that will fit in between the rails. These will serve as the support rails for the fence. 
  • Place the cut-up 2x4s in between the rails and drive in the screws to hold them in place

Attach the Picket

For this stage, it is up to you if you want to use an 8 feet tall fence panel or wooden boards. The thickness will also depend on what you want and this will affect the durability and costs of your fence.

Thicker pickets will mean higher costs. We also recommend you use a spacer to get an even 3.5-inch spacing between the pickets.

  • Get the boards and position them upright on the exterior side of the fence
  • Drill it in and set up the next one 3.5 inches away from the previous board. 
  • Repeat Step 1 but on the interior side of the fence this time. 
  • If using fence panels, just follow the installation guide. 

Installing the Gate

There are two options for adding a gate to a wooden fence, either buy a prefabricated one that fits the dimensions of the gap you left for the gate or make one yourself.

In the case of this 8ft fence, the gap will be 6 to 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall so the prefabricated or homemade gate should be able to fit into this gap. 

  • Drill in the hinges to the gate. 
  • Line the free hinge against the support rail, and align it towards the desired spot. Drill in the hinges onto the support rail. 
  • Attach a latch on the interior side of the post, followed by attaching the gate-side latch. 

For those who decide to make a homemade gate, it is better to attach the frame first onto the fence, before adding the pickets because this will make moving and attaching the frame lighter and easier. 

Once it is all done, wait for at least 1 month, or until a year, before painting or staining a wooden fence. 

What Size Post Do You Use For An 8-Foot Fence?

A 4×4” by 10ft wooden post is standard for a fence that is 8 feet tall because a length of at least 2 feet will be buried underground. It is better to buy wooden posts that were treated with wood preservatives for them to last longer and protect against rot, like this one from MENARDS, pressure treated and priced at just $21.65.

Recommended: PreAC2® 4 x 4 #2 Ground Contact Green Pressure Treated Timber at Menards®

How Far Apart Should Wooden Fence Posts Be?

The fence posts should be 6 to 8 feet away from each other, starting from the center point of the lumber.

If you will be using fence panels, this distance will depend on how long the fence panels are, because some are 6ft in length while others are 8ft in length, if you plan on having individual wooden pickets then anything between 6 to 8 feet will do.

How Far Apart Should Railings On An 8ft Fence Be?

An 8ft fence will need 4 railings with the bottom and top railings at least 6 inches away from the edge.

If the outer railings were made to be 6 inches away from the edge, the 2 inner railings should be 28 inches away from the outer railings and from each other.

How Much Is A 8-Ft Wooden Fence?

An 8 ft tall wooden fence, on average, costs at least $10 and upwards of $45 per linear foot. This will largely depend on what kind of wood the fence will be made out of, popular choices include redwood, pine, cedar, and oak.

The average cost also does not include the finishing materials, like wood stains and sealers. Additional regulations and fees to secure permits will also add to the total costs. 

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Final Thoughts

Building a wooden fence is a great idea to increase property value, add charm, and increase privacy to your home. With just a few trips to a hardware store, some time, and effort, you too can have a fence that will suit your tastes. All that’s left now is to choose the wood species you want and go start your fence-building project. 

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