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Fence Picket Calculator

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What's a picket fence?Using the fence picket calculatorHow do I calculate how many pickets I need for my fence?Other fence-related toolsFAQs

With this fence picket calculator, you'll be able to quickly determine the number of pickets you need for a fence.

Whether you're planning to install a new fence, want to renovate the existing one in your yard, or just daydreaming about that perfect wooden picket fence for your home, you might be wondering, "hey, how many pickets do I need for this?" In this case, this tool is just the thing for you!

Keep reading to learn:

  • How to use this fence picket calculator;
  • Find out how many pickets you need for a fence;
  • What a picket fence is; and
  • How to calculate how many fence pickets you need by yourself

What's a picket fence?

A picket fence is a type of fence made of pointed wooden pickets that are placed vertically and evenly spaced and joined by two or more horizontal rails. Although wood is the traditional material of choice, some fences are made with vinyl, metal, and PVC. Aside from offering some security and privacy, picket fences also provide a decorative touch to homes.

Using the fence picket calculator

This picket fence calculator is a simple tool that can quickly help you estimate the number of pickets you need for that fence. Using this tool couldn't get easier:

  1. Begin by entering the total length of the fence you plan to build.

  2. In the fields right below, you can input the picket width and the picket spacing. Pickets' dimensions are often between 3 1/2" wide, 5 1/2", or up to 11 1/2".

  3. After entering these values, the calculator will show an estimate of how many pickets you need for your fence project in the "number of pickets" field.

🙋 Click on the hidden/collapsed options of this tool to determine other fence-related dimensions, such as the number of rails needed, the number and length of posts, and the required concrete for post footing.

How do I calculate how many pickets I need for my fence?

We can all agree on how simple and useful this tool is - but if you're a curious person, you're probably wondering how to calculate the number of pickets needed for your fence by yourself; we get it, as we're curious people too 🧐 Let's take a look at the total number of pickets formula we use in this tool:

Total numberof pickets=Fence lengthPicketwidth+Picketspacing\footnotesize \begin{split} \text{Total num} & \text{ber} \\ \text{of picket} & \text{s} \end{split} = \cfrac{\text{Fence length}}{\begin{split} & \text{Picket} \\ & \text{width} \end{split} + {\begin{split} & \text{Picket} \\ & \text{spacing} \end{split}}}

When employing this expression, ensure you're using the same unit of length for all the variables.

Let's check out how to use this formula with a quick example. Say you plan on building a fence of 11 feet in length and want to use 4-inch-wide pickets with a 2.5-inch spacing in between - how many pickets do you need? It's simple!

  1. Replace the values in the above formula:
Total numberof pickets=11 ft4 in+2.5 in\footnotesize \qquad \begin{split} \text{Total num} & \text{ber} \\ \text{of picket} & \text{s} \end{split} = \cfrac{11 \text{ ft}}{4 \text{ in} + 2.5 \text{ in}}
  1. Express all measurements in the same unit of length:
Total numberof pickets=11 ft12 in/ft4 in+2.5 in=132 in6.5 in=20.31\footnotesize \qquad \begin{split} \begin{split} \text{Total num} & \text{ber} \\ \text{of picket} & \text{s} \end{split} &= \cfrac{11 \text{ ft} \cdot 12 \text{ in/ft}}{4 \text{ in} + 2.5 \text{ in}} \\ &= \cfrac{132 \text{ in}}{6.5 \text{ in}} \\[1em] &= 20.31 \end{split}
  1. Finally, round up to the next whole value:
Total numberof pickets21\footnotesize \qquad \begin{split} \begin{split} \text{Total num} & \text{ber} \\ \text{of picket} & \text{s} \end{split} &\approx 21 \end{split}

What's the difference between a fence picket and a fence panel?

The main difference between a fence picket and a fence panel is that a picket is just one narrow pointed piece of wood, while a fence panel is a premade complete section of the fence that includes multiple pickets and a frame.

How many pickets do I need for a 200 feet fence?

For a 200 ft fence, you need 400 pickets of 5 in width and 1 in spacing. To obtain this result:

  1. Use the fence picket formula:

    TP = FL / (PW + PS)


    • TP — Total number of pickets;
    • FL — Fence length;
    • PW — Picket width; and
    • PS — Picket spacing.
  2. Substitute the known values:

    TP = 200 ft / (5 in + 1 in)

  3. Complete the numerical calculations, ensuring that all values are expressed in the same units:

    TP = 200 ft × (12 in/ft) / (5 in + 1 in)
    TP = 2400 in / 6 in
    TP = 400 pickets

parts of a picket fence

Number of pickets needed

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