How to Build a Post and Rail Colorbond Fence – A Step-by-Step Guide

Building a post and rail Colorbond fence is a great way to enhance the aesthetic appeal and security of your property. Whether you're looking to add privacy to your backyard or create a boundary for your front yard, this step-by-step guide will provide you with all the information you need to construct a sturdy and visually appealing fence. From selecting the materials to marking out the posts, digging the holes, and installing the Colorbond panels, this comprehensive guide will take you through each stage of the construction process, ensuring that you’ve a clear understanding of what needs to be done. So, gather your tools, put on your DIY hat, and get ready to transform your property with a beautiful post and rail Colorbond fence.

How High Should Fence Rails Be Off the Ground?

When it comes to building a post and rail Colorbond fence, one important factor to consider is the height at which the fence rails should be installed off the ground. This step is crucial in ensuring the stability and functionality of the fence.

To determine the appropriate height for the fence rails, you’ll need to take into account the height of the pickets. In this particular fence with 6-foot pickets, the lower edge of the top rails should be positioned at 5 feet, 4-1/2 inches above the ground. This measurement ensures that the pickets are properly secured while providing a visually appealing look for the fence.

To mark the rail locations on the posts, you can use a tape measure and a pencil. Start by measuring and marking the height for the lower edge of the top rails on each post. This will ensure that all the rails are positioned consistently throughout the fence.

Again, consistency is key to ensure a uniform appearance for the fence. It’s important to take the time to accurately measure and mark these heights to avoid any potential issues or inconsistencies during the installation process.

By following this step-by-step guide and considering the recommended heights for the fence rails, you can confidently build a sturdy and visually appealing fence for your property.

One important aspect to consider when installing a privacy fence is the placement of the fence rails. Typically, fence rails are positioned between or across the posts and serve as a support for the fence boards. In most cases, a privacy fence will have both a top and bottom rail. To ensure stability and durability, it’s recommended to have a horizontal rail for every 24 inches of fence height. For instance, if you’ve a six-foot-high fence, it would be ideal to have three rails evenly spaced throughout the structure.

Where Do You Put Rails on a Privacy Fence?

When it comes to building a privacy fence, the placement of the rails is crucial. Fence rails, usually made of two-by-fours, serve as the support for the fence boards and play a significant role in the overall stability and strength of the structure. Therefore, it’s essential to know where exactly to place these rails for optimum functionality.

In most cases, all fences, including privacy fences, will have a top and bottom rail. This top and bottom rail configuration offers added stability and ensures that the fence boards are securely attached. These rails typically run horizontally across the fence, connecting the posts and providing additional support.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to determining the number of rails needed is to have a horizontal rail for every 24 inches in height. This means that for a six-foot-high privacy fence, three rails would be required. These rails evenly spaced throughout the length of the fence will prevent the boards from sagging or warping over time.

When installing the rails, it’s crucial to ensure proper alignment and attachment to the fence posts. The rails should be secured firmly, so they can bear the weight of the fence boards without bending or breaking. It’s recommended to use screws or nails specifically designed for outdoor use to attach the rails to the posts.

Additionally, it’s essential to consider the type of material used for the fence rails. While pressure-treated wood is commonly used due to it’s durability and resistance to rot, another popular option is colorbond, a coated steel material. Colorbond fence rails offer excellent strength and require minimal maintenance, making them a popular choice among homeowners.

By following the general rule of having a horizontal rail for every 24 inches in height, you can ensure that your fence is adequately supported. Proper alignment and attachment of the rails to the fence posts, as well as selecting durable materials such as pressure-treated wood or colorbond steel, will further enhance the strength and durability of your fence.

Source: How to install fence rails – Co-op Home

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To ensure stability and durability, it’s important to determine the appropriate number of rails for your fence. For a seven-foot fence, it’s recommended to have three horizontal rails between posts.

How Many Rails Do I Need for a 7 Foot Fence?

When it comes to building a post and rail Colorbond fence, it’s essential to consider the number of rails needed for various fence heights. This step-by-step guide will help you determine the appropriate number of rails for a 7-foot fence.

The key factor in deciding the number of rails is the fences height. For fences that are less than 5 feet high, it’s recommended to use a minimum of 2 horizontal rails between the posts. These rails provide stability and support to the fence structure.

The additional rail ensures that the fence can withstand the extra pressure and prevents sagging or bending over time. This is particularly important for maintaining the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the fence.

Factors That May Affect the Number of Rails Needed, Such as Wind Exposure or Slope of the Terrain

  • Wind exposure
  • Slope of the terrain

Properly positioning fence rails is crucial for ensuring the stability and structural integrity of the fence. Typically, the top rail is positioned around 7-8” from the top of the fence, while the bottom rail is placed at a similar distance from the ground. The middle rail, on the other hand, should be evenly placed between the top and bottom rails. It’s important not to deviate too far from these measurement guidelines to maintain a balanced and secure fence structure.

How Do You Position Fence Rails?

When it comes to positioning fence rails, there are some general guidelines to follow. The top rail is usually placed around 7-8 inches from the top of the fence. This provides a sturdy support for the entire structure and ensures that the fence is structurally sound. Placing the top rail at this height also allows for easy installation of any additional features, such as wire mesh or pickets.

The middle rail, on the other hand, is usually placed evenly between the top and bottom rails. This creates a symmetrical look and distributes the weight evenly across the fence, further enhancing it’s stability. By evenly spacing the rails, you can also prevent any unwanted sagging or warping over time.

In summary, positioning fence rails requires careful consideration and adherence to industry standards. By following these guidelines, you can build a post and rail Colorbond fence that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Furthermore, a fence that isn’t properly leveled may not only compromise it’s structural integrity but also affect it’s overall appearance. Uneven fence rails can detract from the aesthetic appeal of a property and may even reduce it’s value. In addition, maintaining a level fence makes it easier to ensure proper function, such as gates opening and closing smoothly. Therefore, it’s crucial to take the time and effort to build a fence that follows the contours of the ground while maintaining a level and secure foundation.

Should Fence Rails Be Level or Follow the Ground?

When it comes to building a post and rail Colorbond fence, one of the crucial factors to consider is whether the fence rails should be level or follow the ground. While some might argue that following the natural contour of the ground may seem visually appealing, it’s essential to prioritize safety and structural integrity.

To begin with, constructing a fence on level ground ensures a stronger foundation for the entire structure. Uneven or sloping ground can cause imbalances and put undue stress on the fence posts and rails, making them more susceptible to damage and weakening the overall structure. By ensuring levelness, the weight distribution is more evenly distributed, providing a firm and stable framework that can withstand external pressures.

Moreover, stability is paramount when it comes to fencing. An uneven fence has a higher likelihood of toppling over, especially during adverse weather conditions like strong winds or heavy rain. This poses a significant risk to anyone in close proximity to the fence, as a collapsing fence can cause serious injury or damage nearby property.

Additionally, a level fence allows for easy and consistent installation of the Colorbond panels. Trying to follow the grounds contour can lead to gaps or inconsistencies between panel heights, compromising the privacy and security that a Colorbond fence provides. Achieving a level rail alignment ensures that each panel fits snugly with no unsightly gaps or variations in height.

The structural strength, stability, safety, visual appeal, and ease of maintenance are all factors that contribute to the overall quality and longevity of a fence. By prioritizing levelness, you can ensure that your Colorbond fence stands strong and secure for years to come.

Different Methods for Leveling a Fence on Uneven Ground

  • Using adjustable metal brackets
  • Creating stepped sections
  • Installing horizontal supports
  • Using gravel for leveling
  • Building retaining walls
  • Utilizing concrete footings
  • Using a string line and stakes
  • Using a post level tool
  • Using wooden shims


It’s important to start by understanding the desired layout and dimensions of the fence, as well as obtaining the necessary materials and tools. Adhering to a step-by-step guide will ensure that each stage of the construction process is completed correctly, from setting the posts to installing the rails and attaching the Colorbond sheets. Additionally, taking the time to properly secure the fence and consider any additional features, such as gates or decorative elements, will enhance both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the final result.

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