If you're thinking of assembling your own picket fence, then you have an important decision to make. Should you buy individual pickets and put them all together yourself, or should you purchase pre-assembled panels of pickets? Both options have their pros and cons. Here's a look.
If you are rather skilled in DIY construction, you should be able to construct a fence from individual pickets without too much struggle. In fact, this method may be preferred because you can trim individual pickets to give your fence a unique shape. For example, if there is an area where the fence goes up a hill, you can trim the pickets on the hill shorter to make the fence appear level. It also tends to be cheaper to buy individual pickets than to buy pre-assembled panels.
The downfall to buying individual pickets is that putting up the fence takes a lot more time. You'll have to make sure each picket is tacked on straight -- and this takes a bit of measuring and planning. You'll also need more equipment. A good saw will be required if you do plan on trimming any of the pickets.
Pre-made panels are easy to assemble. You can probably put up a standard fence within a weekend if you have a helper or two to assist you in holding up the panels. All you really need to do is put the fence posts in the ground and screw each of the panels into the fence posts. There's no need for a saw, sander, or advanced woodworking skills since everything is already cut to a predetermined height.
The downfall to buying pre-made panels is that you can't really customize them. They may be challenging to install and may look a bit awkward if your yard has a lot of hills and other structures that you cannot amend the fence around. While many companies sell pre-made panels in an array of heights and styles, mixing various styles does not always look great.
Putting up a fence, whether you use single pickets or pre-made panels, does take a lot of time and physical effort. You'll need at least one person to help you hold the posts straight, and you'll need braces to hold the fence posts in place until the concrete that surrounds them hardens. If this sounds like too much, consider having a professional fencing company install your picket fence for you. You can learn more here.