DIY Network

How To Build a Cedar Safety Fence

Learn how to install an attractive fence that will also keep curious kids safe.

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Step-by-Step Instructions:

Dig the Post Holes

After removing the old fence, use a post-hole digger to dig holes for the new fence posts. Use a string line to align the holes and dig them to a uniform depth.

Place the Posts

Slip the posts into the holes, using a string line to keep them level with each other. Check the posts for plumb and adjust as needed; once the posts are level and plumb, backfill the holes with quick-setting concrete.

Build the Fence

Measure and cut pressure-treated 2x4s and secure to the posts with a nail gun to create a rectangular frame. Cut cedar slats to a uniform length and nail them to the frame. Use a piece of scrap lumber as a spacer to keep the slats even and get a uniform look. Wear safety glasses and use caution when using a power saw, nail gun or any power tool.

Scallop the Top Edge

For a scalloped top edge to the fence, loop a garden hose over the top of the fence. Drape the hose evenly and trace the curves onto the slats. Remove the hose and cut along the line with a jigsaw for a smooth, scalloped edge. Make sure not to cut into the fence frame when doing the decorative cuts.

Add Barrier Plants

To help keep kids away from the fence, especially near the steepest dropoff, add several firethorn bushes (Pyracantha, sp.) to the area to keep curious youngsters well back from the edge. Shrub roses, a less fierce deterrent, dress up the fence over the shallower dropoff.