Introduction: Horizontal Privacy Fence
Our first ever project at our new home is happening! We are building a Horizontal Privacy Fence off our back patio to help with privacy from the neighbors. We are super lucky and these are our only neighbors, so we are building a small privacy fence with just 4 panels, if you want to look at it that way. We went with a horizontal style choice because one, it looks pretty cool, and two our home is pretty modern with the peaked roof line, so we wanted to continue that style with the projects we do around here.
We have a FULL build video here: https://youtu.be/EoMfCGVb2tU
And full blog video here: https://youtu.be/w_8fC0RLm0g
Step 1: Prep Area
I'll admit, we are lucky enough to have the tractor's help with this. We have plans to do more in this area than just the fence, so that's the main reason we put so much time in prepping this area for water drainage away from this spot.
When building a fence, make SURE you know where your utility lines are. We dug around and found ours before we even went into the design process.
Step 2: Dig Post Holes and Brace
The very first post you should dig is a corner post. These posts need to be strong and you need to make sure there aren't any roots or anything else interfering. The next thing when digging holes to is to make the hole 2-3 inches more than your post size and around 24" in the ground. Our posts are 8', so when they are in the ground that'll give us a 6' fence. Check with your HOA if you need to have a specific height for your fence first if you're in a neighborhood.
After your holes are dug, grab an extra hand and set your post in, and add dry concrete slowly. As you add a little, pack it with a stick and get the post fairly level, add and pack some more, get the post perfectly level and brace it off. This expedites the build process so much. If you went ahead and added water, you'll be waiting around for a while to add fence boards.
Step 3: Add Fence Boards
We actually used deck boards for fence boards to beef up the fence, if that makes sense. We started at the top and lined up the edge of the board to the middle of the post. After that whole "panel" is done we can come back and trim off the ends if they are hanging over. We also started at the lowest post because this area is graded. If we didn't start here, our fence boards would be super unlevel. More info on this in the video starting at 19:50.
Step 4: Set Posts in Concrete
We have an entire side done at this point and we can set these posts now! So, start at one post and add a little bit of water and let that soak. Then add a little bit more water, let it soak, add a little more and then start using that stick again to mix it up. Do all that until some water is sitting at the top of your hole for an extended amount of time. That means water is fully soaked all the way down.
After that, you might have posts sticking up higher than the fence boards, so take a circular saw or reciprocating saw to even those out.
Step 5: Brace Fence From Behind
Right now, all the fence boards are butted up next to each other and are soaking wet from them being treated lumber. When they dry out, the boards will have a 1/4" to 1/2" gap in between them and this is when they will want to start bowing out and potentially sag. We are adding 2x4 braces on the back side and in the middle of the "panel" to counteract that.
At this point you can trim off any access boards you have all around!
Step 6: Protection
A few months later after the wood was dried out, we came in with YellaWood Protector Semi-Transparent Stain in American Classic Cedar. This has UV protection so we can enjoy this privacy fence for as long as possible!
Step 7: DONE
We LOVE how this fence turned out! Even after the wood was dry and gaps came up, they never got big enough to truly see through the fence well. Check out the full YouTube video for more details!