Build a Classic Border Fence

This decorative garden element constructed from treated lumber can serve as a handsome backdrop for a flower border, a trellis for vining plants like honeysuckle or clematis, or a screen from unsightly objects. Each 8-foot, 10-inch section stands 6 feet 8 inches high. Add as many sections as you need to line a border or to define part of a patio or secret garden. The distinctive tops on the posts are easily cut using a circular saw.

How to Build

Using a combination square, inscribe horizontal lines at 7½, 9½, 10, and 12 inches from the top end of each 6-by-6-foot post. Extend the lines around all four sides. With your skill saw blade set at 45 degrees and a depth of 1½ inches, cut out V-shaped sections on all four sides.

To make the pointed top, inscribe lines from the ends of the top line to the midpoint of the top. Then cut off with the skill saw.

With a post hole digger or auger, dig two 3-foot-4-inch deep holes and place the posts exactly 8 feet apart. Use a level to keep posts perfectly vertical. Backfill with soil and tamp down. For more permanence, fill the bottom half of the hole with dry cement mix and the remainder with soil.

To make the top rail, cut a 3∕4-inch notch ½ inch deep down the center of one side of the two-by-four. Make sure the notch is just wide enough for the lattice to slip into it snugly. Cut a 2-by-½-inch rabbet at each end.


Screw two one-by-twos, 3∕4 inch apart, to the center of one post, 16 inches from the top of the post. Slide the lattice panel into place and affix the other two one-by-twos at the opposite post and screw in. Leave the lattice panel sticking up ½ inch above the top of the one-by-twos. Fit the top rail into place and screw at both ends.

Supplies for One Section
2 10-foot treated six-by-sixes
2 8-foot one-by-twos
1 4-by-8-foot lattice panel
2 ½-inch outdoor decking screws