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How to Install a Vinyl Picket Fence? 

Vinyl fences are the perfect solution for homeowners who want a low-maintenance fence that looks great. They’re available in panels or as board-and-rail systems, and they won’t rot or need painting, saving you money over time. 

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How to Install a Vinyl Picket Fence?

The first step is to measure and mark the fence line, making sure that all of your posts are exactly the same distance apart. The simplest way to do this is by using stakes, but you can also use string. Drive the stakes into the ground and run a string from one end to the other to delineate the front and back of the fence. 

Once you’ve marked the fence line, dig a hole about 2.5′ to 3′ deep for each post. This will allow you to set the posts in a bell-shaped hole, which is more resistant to frost heave than a straight-sided hole. 

You can also use a power auger to make digging the holes easier and faster. Before you start digging, survey the area for obstacles such as underground cables, old fences, concrete from previous construction, or other special features that could interfere with the process. 

Next, you’ll need to decide how you want your fence to look. Depending on the style of your fence, you’ll need to cut your posts differently. If you’re putting up a straight-lined fence, you can either elongate the notches on the rails and insert them vertically or install pickets at an angle that nests into the rails. 

If you’re installing a racked or stair-step style fence, your pickets should be cut at the same height and set at an angle to avoid gaps between them. This can be a more complex procedure, but it is less expensive than assembling them individually. 

Assemble the Fence Sections

Once you’ve cut your fence sections to the right length, you can begin assembling them. Assemble the top and bottom rails first, then insert the middle rails into the posts. You can use a screwdriver to push them into the post, or you can buy a notching tool that lets you pre-cut the rails to the exact size you need for your fence. 

Attach the Rails and Caps

Once the rails are in place, snap the picket caps into the openings in the post. This is a similar process to snapping LEGO pieces together, and it’s easy enough to do with basic carpentry skills. Once you’ve completed all the sections, you can pour quick-set concrete around each post and add water to the top of each hole. The concrete should set and harden in about a weekend. 

After the concrete has set, you can re-stake your fence line to ensure it’s plumb and straight. Then, you can assemble the rest of your fence. 

The most important thing to remember about installing your new vinyl fence is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you’re using. If you don’t, your fence may not last long enough for your needs. In addition, your fence might not meet city regulations, so check with your local building inspector or contact the manufacturer to find out more.