Introduction

Completed outdoor wood fence
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Any old fence will cordon off a space. But a handsome design built from cedar parts also boosts curb appeal, which can’t be said of even the finest chain link. And though cedar is pricey, sleeving pressure-treated 4×4 posts in 1× cedar instead of paying for solid 6×6 cedar posts cuts costs. Save even more by reserving clear cedar for prominent areas and using common cedar in places where its imperfections won’t show.

"Just be sure to call 811 to have utility lines marked before you dig," says This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers. Read on to see how he put this beauty together.

Download the cut list to build a wood lattice fence.

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    Tools List

    • nylon mason's line and stakes
      Mason line and stakes
    • post hole digger
      Posthole digger
    • hand clamps
      Clamps
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nail gun
    • circular saw
      Circular saw (fitted with a rip fence)
    • drill
      Drill/driver (fitted with -inch paddle bit)

    Shopping List

    1. 4×4 pressure-treated posts
    Get them long enough to go below the frost line; at least one-third of each post must be buried.

    2. Cedar 1×6 lumber
    To be ripped to make the post sleeves, stops, and cap rail.

    3. Cedar square lattice
    Get 4-by-8 sheets that can be cut into two panels each.

    4. Self-adhesive flashing to protect the portion of the post set in concrete.

    5. ¾-inch drainage stone

    6. Concrete
    Choose a fast-setting mix.

    7. 1¼-inch exterior grade brad nails

    8. 1-inch trim-head stainless-steel deck screws

    9. 3-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    10. Polyurethane glue

    11. Polyurethane construction adhesive

    12. Painter's tape

    13. Post caps
    Get 5¼-inch post caps to fit over the sleeved 4×4 posts.