Today we are going to guide you through how to build a slatted fence. Slatted fences can be made out of either wood or composite wood. Composite wood is becoming more and more popular due to its durability and eco friendliness. Most companies will use recycled plastics such as bottles as the plastic part of the composition. This will often allow companies to be carbon neutral or even carbon negative.
Take a look at a previous blog post to learn more about the different types of hardwood as well as composite wood and see why you may decide to use one other another.
Whichever wood you decide to use, we highly recommend you finish and protect it with a high quality wood oil or paint.
Materials and tools
- 8-foot posts
- 6 or 12-foot wooden slats
- 40mm wood screws
- Spade/Post hole digger
- Spirit level
- String line
- Screwdriver (electric would be ideal)
- Post mix
Step 1: Plan and prepare the area
The first step will be to ready the area in which you will be installing your fence. You will want to make sure the area is clear and that the ground is level in all areas. This is a very important step as having the fence touching the ground will allow it to become moist and reduce its lifespan.
Once the area is clear you will want to make a plan as to how many posts you will require. The standard height for a garden fence is 6ft and posts should be set a maximum of 6ft apart from one another. Measure the area and calculate how many posts you will require.
Once you know how many posts you require, you can then calculate how many slats you will require. This will vary depending on how wide you want your slats to be.
Step 2: Dig the post holes
Once you have a plan of action and all your tools and materials, you can begin.
Using a spade or a post hole digger, dig out your post holes. These should be about the width of your spade on each side and 2 ft deep. It’s better to err on the side of caution and make your holes only as wide as they need to be, otherwise you will find you require a lot more post mix!
Step 3: Setting the fence posts
Once your post holes are all dugout, you can move your first post into the hole and set it. Be sure to have one of the corner posts be the first post as you will need to use the string line between that post and the others.
To set the post, have your spirit level on hand and place the post into the hole in a fairly straight position – it doesn’t have to be exact at this point. Empty a bag of post mix into the hole and add enough water as per instructions. Using a stick or something similar, move the post mix around to make sure it is evenly spread around the post.
After a minute or so you will want to get your spirit level and start making your final adjustments. Make sure it is completely level on the sides as well as on top before it sets. This will not take long so be sure to work fast.
Do the same again for the post hole in the opposite corner.
Once they are both set, fix a string line from one post to the other and use this as a guide (as well as your spirit level) to align the remaining fence posts in between.
Repeat this process for each side.
Step 4: Attaching the wooden slats
If you haven’t already, when you get to this stage, we recommend having someone give you a hand if possible. Begin at the top and place your first slat flush to one post end. Using a level, check to make sure the slat is level. Once you are happy with the position and level, screw the slat onto the post. If your slats are on the wider side, use two evenly spaced screws.
If you are using 12 foot slats that are long enough to cover three posts at a time, be sure to screw the slat to the central post too.
Continue doing this all the way around your posts until you have a complete slatted fence!
Step 5: Optional extras – double sided slatted fence
Whilst single sided slatted fences look great and will help with security, they’re not so great at offering privacy. If this is a problem for you, you could also slat the other side of the fence.
To do this you will require some additional timber. A good size is 40mm x 40mm as this will allow great support whilst also being a bit more discreet. We recommend using slat lengths that are around 10 – 20cm shorter than the posts.
Hold the timber tight against the slats and attach it to the post using a few 60mm screws. Try not to get too carried away and use too many as this could cause clashing issues with the screws you will be using next for attaching the second set of slats.
Next, cut the slats to the length of the gaps in between the posts. Then, starting from the top, simply screw the slats into position via the new piece of installed timber, filling in the spaces where the slats on the other side are missing.
So there you have it! We hope you found this guide on how to build a slatted fence interesting.
If you have any other advice or top tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!