How to Build a Post-and-Rail Fence

Posted by Nick  | 11 Oct 2021  | 3 comments

We’ve had a lot of questions about the post-and-rail fences we build here on the homestead — probably because there’s not that much info out there! So we thought we’d record the whole process. How we do it, at least.

Whilst not as common as the ubiquitous wire fences found throughout New Zealand, post-and-rail is a sturdy fence with a little more pizzazz. It’s also fairly common in NZ, especially on homesteads, lifestyle blocks, and most stockyards.

We’ve built over 300 meters of post-and-rail over the past five years or so, but we’re still learning. Ask us any questions you might have about the process, or comment if you have a better way of doing things!

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Hi There love the fence and rail.
What is the height of your post from the ground to the top?
Also what width are your rails? 150mm?
Also what is the measurement between your rails, the gap between each rail?
We are doing the same very soon but not sure of measurements?

Thank you.

August A


Hi August!

Height from ground to top varies, if it makes sense you don’t want to follow the ground contour exactly or you’ll get a bumpy fence, you want to kind of smooth over the lumps in the ground so your fence ends up more flowing with gradual curves. I think on the flat areas the top is roughly 1.1m from the ground, this paddock has sheep only though. 1.2m is a standard fence height so you may want to go with that if you’ve got cattle in there, but could consider increasing the space between rails so you don’t end up with a massive gap at the bottom. Of course the fence will be closer to the ground in some areas (e.g. top of hills) and further away in others (e.g. bottom of valleys) as it sweeps over the contour of the ground.

Rails are 150mm wide, the ones in the orchard are 40mm thick, the ones in the paddock in the post below are 50mm thick. 40mm is plenty suitable though.

The gap between each rail is 210mm for a 3 rail fence, and 120mm for a 4 rail fence.

You can also check out this post for more info:

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Is 3m too far apart for the posts when using 150 x 40 3 rail?

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