How to Install a Vinyl Picket Fence

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

R. HAZELTON:  The Bickel's would like to try their hand at fencing.  Well, putting fencing around their yard, that is.  Next stop, Craintown Island, Ohio. 

CAROL BICKEL:  Hi, Ron.

R. HAZELTON:  Hey, Carol.  I'd know you anywhere.

CAROL BICKEL:  Welcome to Indian Lake, Ohio.  Ohio's best kept secret.

R. HAZELTON:  Oh, thanks very much.

BLAIR BICKEL:  How are you?  I'm Blair.

R. HAZELTON:  Hey, Blair, how are you?

BLAIR BICKEL:  Good to see you.

R. HAZELTON:  This must be the hottest day of the year here.

BLAIR BICKEL:  It's got to be a hot day, but we're excited to get started with this project.

R. HAZELTON:  Well, show me, will you?

CAROL BICKEL:  Okay. 


BLAIR BICKEL:  What we're thinking of is we're trying to get a cottage look, picket type fence.  And we just want an accent piece.

R. HAZELTON:  Blair and Carol show me where they want the corner of the fence, and we drive in a stake.  Okay.  Fifty-three and a half.  Then we stretch a string to show us the fence line and measure to make sure it's parallel to the curb.  Carol stretches a second string at right angles to the first.  And we measure to make sure that the fence is also parallel to the driveway.  Alright.  Carol, now we're going to be putting the fence posts every eight feet.

CAROL BICKEL:  Okay. 

R. HAZELTON:  So here's an eight foot mark.

CAROL BICKEL:  I see 96 inches.

R. HAZELTON:  If you would just put the stake, 96 inches, eight feet.  You're a math teacher?

CAROL BICKEL:  I'm a math teacher at a high school.


R. HAZELTON:  Quick, what's half of 96?

CAROL BICKEL:  48.

R. HAZELTON:  Didn't even hesitate a moment there.  Now, there are two ways to dig this hole -- the old fashioned way, like the post hole digger there.  Or my way.

CAROL BICKEL:  We vote for your way, Ron.

R. HAZELTON:  Hang on, ride that puppy.  Ride that puppy, come on.  My way is a power auger.  And as you can see, it makes short work of hole digging.  Gravel is added to the bottom of the holes for drainage.  Okay.  Little bit more.  Excellent.  Okay.  Good.  And it's time to mix some concrete now.  We'll want about one and a half to two of these 80 pound bags for each of those holes that we dug.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Alright. 

R. HAZELTON:  So Blair, if you wouldn't mind throwing one more in there.

CAROL BICKEL:  You need more water in there?

R. HAZELTON:  Yeah, keep going.  The water actually is going to react with the materials in this concrete and cause it to turn hard.  It's not a matter of the water evaporating.  It's actually a catalyst.

CAROL BICKEL:  Oh.  How long will it take to set up?

R. HAZELTON:  You know, in this heat today, I think we're going to see this start to stiffen up in probably less than a half hour.

CAROL BICKEL:  Wow.

R. HAZELTON:  Yeah.  Okay.  This is just about the right consistency.  Carol, just go ahead now and rake some of that out, right into the hole. 

CAROL BICKEL:  How am I doing?


R. HAZELTON:  You're doing great.  Fill her, fill that hole right up.  Good.  Now, you notice this post that we're going to be using here is hollow on the inside.  In most cases, with a solid post, you'd put the post in the hole and pour the concrete around it.  Not so with this one.  We fill the hole with concrete first.  And then we set this in, and work it like this, right down into the concrete.  What's happening right now is the concrete is filling up the inside of the post.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Okay. 

R. HAZELTON:  As well as surrounding the outside.  Here's a little post hole.  You can do this two ways.  You can just simply hold this up on the post.  It's got two levels.  We can sort of do a rough plumb on this.

CAROL BICKEL:  Okay. 

R. HAZELTON:  Or if you want your hands free, you can take the rubber band and just pop it around this way.  And you can kind of leave this on here.  You can kind of leave this on here and you've got both hands free to maneuver the post.  Alright, folks.  Here's your new fence.  Now, this is all plastic, PVC.  And the good news is you'll never have to paint this.

CAROL BICKEL:  That is good news.

R. HAZELTON:  And it will never rot.  Okay.  Alright, Carol.

CAROL BICKEL:  Um-hmm?

R. HAZELTON:  Now, take a look at the bottom of these pickets right here and decide how far you want these in the ground.  And we can move up or down.

CAROL BICKEL:  I think that looks pretty good right there.

R. HAZELTON:  Right here?  Then we'll just mark it right here.  The top rail and the bottom rail.  Alright.  Now, this is the bracket that's going to attach the fence to the actual post, guys.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Okay. 

R. HAZELTON:  So this is -- if you'd hold that for me right there.

BLAIR BICKEL:  I'll hold it firm there.

R. HAZELTON:  We use a drill with a screwdriver bit to attach the brackets. 

BLAIR BICKEL:  Bingo, here we go.

R. HAZELTON:  Okay?

BLAIR BICKEL:  All set.

R. HAZELTON:  Okay, Blair, if you can grab the fence section right there.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Alright. 

R. HAZELTON:  The picket section.  Carol, just kind of steady the post.

CAROL BICKEL:  Okay. 

R. HAZELTON:  Now, the ends of this fence are going to sit right in those brackets that we just put on.  There you go.  All the way down, right.  Now, all we have to do is secure those with another screw.  Now that Blair, Carol and I have completed our first post, we'll repeat the process for the other three.  Okay.  Good. 


CAROL BICKEL:  That last section.

R. HAZELTON:  Blair uses a circular saw to cut off the post to the right height.  Okay.  Stop right there.  Now, we've still got a little bit left, we're going to finish that off with a hand saw.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Okay. 

R. HAZELTON:  There we go.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Perfect.

R. HAZELTON:  A PVC adhesive is used to glue on the top of the post.

BLAIR BICKEL:  A little bit extra right here.

R. HAZELTON:  Okay. 

BLAIR BICKEL:  Work that down.  Pretty good.


R. HAZELTON:  Excellent.  Now, we start building the fence and gate that will be at the side of the house.  We make sure the distance between the bottom and the top of these posts is equal, since the gate will go in here.  Carol tries her hand at the power saw and looks like a seasoned pro.  Excellent.

CAROL BICKEL:  How's that?

R. HAZELTON:  Excellent.

BLAIR BICKEL:  You're a regular carpenter, there's no doubt about it.

R. HAZELTON:  Now, let's see how your hand saw skills are, if they're as good as your circular saw skills, you have a job.

CAROL BICKEL:  Alright. 

BLAIR BICKEL:  No, that won't work.

R. HAZELTON:  Okay. 


CAROL BICKEL:  Oops, oops.

BLAIR BICKEL:  You were teasing, I know that.

R. HAZELTON:  Alright.  Great job.

BLAIR BICKEL:  It fits right in here.  Get the bottom, get the top.

R. HAZELTON:  Very nice.  Nice fit.

BLAIR BICKEL:  It's a good fit.  Let's turn this right here.  And this will be just about the end of the fence.  Nice and tight.  There we go.

R. HAZELTON:  You're done. 

BLAIR BICKEL:  Check the latch, see if it works.

R. HAZELTON:  Hinges are on.  Latch is on.  Let's give it a test.

BLAIR BICKEL:  There it is.  Bingo.

CAROL BICKEL:  Oh, it's wonderful.  I love it.

R. HAZELTON:  I am boiling, you know.  Well, you're very welcome.

CAROL BICKEL:  Oh, let's go for a boat ride.

R. HAZELTON:  Let's go.  You know, I think it was Robert Frost that said, "Good fences make good neighbors."  Now I know what he meant.  Thanks, guys.

BLAIR BICKEL:  Ron, thanks a lot.

CAROL BICKEL:  It was a fun day.

Install a Vinyl Picket Fence to Accent or Surround Your Yard and Coordinate with the House and Porch Rails

Enclose the entire yard or accent special areas with vinyl picket fence that is easy to install and guaranteed to be rot-free and never need painting. Posts are set plumb in concrete to ensure the vinyl picket fence sections rest squarely in their brackets while the gate operates smoothly. After all, good fences make good neighbors!

Mark the Vinyl Picket Fence Line and Corners
Step 1

Mark the Vinyl Picket Fence Line and Corners

Drive stakes at the fence corners. Delineate the front and sides of the vinyl picket fence with string. Measure to ensure the strings are parallel to the curb and driveway or other landmarks in the yard.

Position and Dig Post Holes for the Vinyl Picket Fence
Step 2

Position and Dig Post Holes for the Vinyl Picket Fence

Position a fence post every eight feet along the proposed vinyl picket fence line and mark each location with a stake. Use a posthole digger or power auger to drill post holes.

Pour Gravel in the Vinyl Picket Fence Post Holes
Step 3

Pour Gravel in the Vinyl Picket Fence Post Holes

Add about six inches of gravel to the bottom of the vinyl picket fence post holes for drainage. Even though the posts are vinyl and rot-proof, water standing in the post holes can let the posts shift over time.

Pour Cement into the Vinyl Picket Fence Post Holes
Step 4

Pour Cement into the Vinyl Picket Fence Post Holes

Pour 1.5 to 2 80-pound bags of dry concrete mix into a wheelbarrow for each vinyl picket fence post, add water, and mix with a hoe. Fill post holes with wet cement leaving several inches of top margin.

Work the Vinyl Picket Fence Posts into the Cement
Step 5

Work the Vinyl Picket Fence Posts into the Cement

Work the hollow vinyl picket fence posts into the wet cement, forcing the mixture inside as well as around them. Use a post level to ensure each post is plumb while the cement sets into hardened concrete.

Determine Positions for Vinyl Picket Fence Sections on Posts
Step 6

Determine Positions for Vinyl Picket Fence Sections on Posts

Determine how far off the ground to mount the sections of vinyl picket fence. Mark locations for top and bottom rails on the posts. Position and screw the brackets to the posts and the picket sections to the brackets.

Mount and Level the Remaining Posts and Vinyl Picket Fence
Step 7

Mount and Level the Remaining Posts and Vinyl Picket Fence

Set the next post plumb in its hole with gravel and cement. Position and mount the brackets. Add the vinyl picket fence section and ensure it is level before securing it to the brackets with screws. Repeat as necessary.

Top the Vinyl Picket Fence Posts with Finials
Step 8

Top the Vinyl Picket Fence Posts with Finials

Cut the post tops to the correct height using a circular saw and a handsaw. Use PVC adhesive to glue the top decorative top, also called a finial, to the vinyl picket fence posts.

Mount the Gate in the Vinyl Picket Fence
Step 9

Mount the Gate in the Vinyl Picket Fence

Mount the remaining vinyl picket fence sections and posts on either side of the gate, ensuring posts are plumb and leave enough space for the gate section. Install provided hinge and latch hardware with bolts and screws.