DIY Cheap Fence

Used shipping pallets make great fence panels.

Fences serve a variety of purposes. Some homeowners need privacy while others just want to mark a border. Others use fences for decorative purposes while animal owners need a barrier to keep their livestock from escaping. Many resourceful options exist for anyone looking for an economical, do-it-yourself approach to building a wood fence. After setting milled fence posts in simple, gravel footings, choose from a variety of inexpensive materials to use as the actual fencing.

Step 1

Outline the desired fence path with stakes and string.

Step 2

Excavate 2-to 3-foot-deep, 10-inch-wide post holes with a post hole digger. Post hole spacing depends on the fencing material being used. Fill the holes with 6-inches of crushed rock. Tamp the rock with the butt of a 2-by-4.

Step 3

Set posts into the holes. Temporarily nail two legs of scrap wood to the centers of the posts to prop them up. Place a level vertically along the sides of posts to ensure they are plumb. Measure between posts to make sure the center-to-center distance measurements are the same. Fill crushed rock around the fence posts. Double-check for plumb, remove the legs and pack the gravel with the board. Cover the gravel with a layer of packed soil.

Step 4

Make marks at the tops of the posts at the desired height. Stretch and snap a chalk line across the marks. Cut of the tops of the posts, along the chalk line, using a circular saw.

Step 5

Screw found or inexpensive fencing material between the posts. Fencing options include wooden pallets, dried branches, split rails, old barn boards, bamboo, reclaimed lumber from a construction site, cut strips of plywood or lath strips. Attach wooden pallets between posts with the boards positioned vertically, to mimic a picket fence. Attach branches, rails, boards or strips horizontally, screwing the ends to the posts. Space these items far apart for an open, post and rail-style fence, or put them close together or double them up by screwing them on both sides of posts for added privacy or protection.

Step 6

Paint any unfinished wood with wood sealer or primer and paint to protect the wood from weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood sealer or primer and paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Wooden stakes

  • String

  • Posthole digger

  • Crushed rock

  • 2-by-4 inch board

  • 4-by-4 inch rot resistant fence posts

  • Scrap boards

  • Hammer

  • Nails

  • Snap chalk line

  • Circular saw

  • Drill

  • Corrosion resistant wood screws