Project: Split Rail Fence
The split rail fence – sometimes summer home or property improvements end up being a far lager feat than you ever anticipated. This fence was just that – a huge feat! First, the drive way is more than 250 feet long and we wanted more than 220 feet of it fenced – both sides. That’s 44 post holes and more than 120 rails. The task of treating them all took about 8 hours, 4 hours twice. We treated the wood since we want it to retain it’s natural cedar colour, not grey or weather.
The next big part? Oh, clicking before we dig, of course. Guess what? The gas line runs down one side of the driveway while electricity runs down the other. Guess who gets to dig 44 post holes, 27 inches deep, I might add. Me – and Bryce, of course. The best part of building the fence was eating all those extra earned calories! Oh, and having pride in our property and the joy of getting the job done, and well at that!
Split Rail Fence
First – purchase you wood and treat it.
Second – you’ll want to lay out some rails where you want your fence to run, not because you’ll dig all the holes first, but rather so you can problem solve if there are any issues – and so you know where you’d like to start.
We measured between each post to ensure they were between 158 – 162 inches wide. No way did we want our driveway to feel enclosed, or have the fence look wonky.
We also got 14 yards of road crush delivered to even out some of the wear and tear, but also because we needed about 1 yard total for the bottom of the posts. You don’t set cedar posts into concrete – it’ll discolour the wood. Rather, you dig down 27 inches, add in 3 inches of road crush for drainage and then set your post and backfill. We used a spade shovel, a post hole digger and also a short handled tile shovel. The tile shovel was my best friend throughout this whole project.
Oh, and it should be noted that Bryce and I each had our own tools and we got so used to the way they worked when we accidentally picked up the other’s post hole digger we found it uncomfortable and wanted our own tool back – so funny!
One is done!
Third tip – you’ll leap frog each post hole since each post sits in the ground differently. Dig and then set the rails, then dig again.
We need to rake, too.
All done! Just need to level out the rest of the road crush.
Looks pretty good, eh? Now, time for a gate.
Thanks so much for visiting and I’ll see you again soon.
That looks beautiful , I want to put split rail fence on one side of my property that is about 120 feet long. How much did it cost you for your project?
Thanks for the note. We love it! The cost was reasonable (having a wholesaler within driving distance certainly helped) since we did all the labour ourselves. No idea what the cost would be now, though.
Happy fence building!
Can you send me some rough costs on the split rail?
Thanks for the info
Fort ripley Minnesota
That would be tough since it was about two years ago and we’re in Canada.
Your fencing looks very nice. Is the wood cedar or pine?
Love the look of split rail fencing. I have it in several areas on my property. Want to enclose my garden with 3 rail but can’t find in my area. What did you coat your wood in to preserve the color?
We use Sikkens PorLuxe – it’s Cetol 1 RE. The SKU is: SIK41077
The fence has been up for 3 years and we use the same product every 2 years at the very least to keep it looking it’s best. Hope that helps!