Front Range Lumber is your source for quality, long-lasting fencing lumber and accessories.
We offer a wide range of fence lumber styles in a selection of different materials, including western red cedar and maintenance-free vinyl. Available accessories include a variety of gate and hardware options, caps, finials, specialty parts and more.
Let us help you explore all the options available when you start planning your fence project.
Fencing Lumber Grades/Quality
The market has responded to the public’s wish for inexpensive cedar. While fencing is a valued item to add to your home, it certainly doesn’t carry the “glamour” value like a deck or home theater room. Cedar is the predominant wood used in fencing today because it has the combination of low cost and long lasting characteristics needed for an exterior product. Front Range Lumber provides a generally higher grade/quality than most suppliers.
We strongly encourage customers to look at the material that they are planning to purchase prior to purchase.
Simply put, there are many different fence lumber qualities, along with vastly different prices. By judging your buying decision on price alone, you’ll get the cheapest fencing lumber quality available.
It is important to realize that there are no grading specifications generally accepted in the nation regarding cedar, specifically fencing products. Labels such as “premium” or “#1” or “select” are subjective and placed on products by the mills, distributors or retailers to market their products. Note that unlike most other lumber, cedar boards do NOT have a grade stamp printed on every stick.
Splits, bark, missing edges and other flaws are inherent in cedar fencing products. These cannot be considered reasons for returns or exchanges. We will work with you on exchanging unacceptable boards within reason, but please plan on the fact that every board will not be perfect
All these boards are graded on the rough sawn side ONLY.
There are two major differences you’ll find in cedar fence pickets. The 2×4 and 4×4 will generally always be of Western Red Cedar and cut from “green” rough sawn logs. “Green” lumber is harvested, and promptly machined and shipped – the wood has not been seasoned or dried. Remember that rough sawn lumber will be of varying dimension, but closer to full measurements (4×4 will be close to 4”x 4”). Pickets can be either be “dry” or “green”. This refers to the wood being dried before machining and/or shipment. A dried product will be more stable with less splitting, knot-popping and warpage. Green pickets are mostly ¾” or thinner. Dry fence pickets will be ¾” or thicker (primarily 7/8” thick). Obviously a thicker, more substantial picket brings much more value to you. The species or type of cedar available in pickets will vary.
Front Range suggests the following tips in installing a fence (residential applications):
- At least 24” should be below ground level. Cut all the posts after the concrete is dry to a uniform height.
- You CAN just pour the dry concrete into the hole and add water without mixing. This will result in a poor mix. WE strongly recommend that you mix the concrete prior to pouring it into the hole. We advise that the concrete go in first, filling the remaining portion of the hole with dirt – this will aid in stabilizing the post until the concrete dries – allow at least 24 hours before nailing on the rails/pickets.
- Check carefully that your posts are installed plumb before the concrete dries completely.
- Use between 2/3 and one full bag of concrete per post. Shoot for 1-1/2 bags on corner posts or posts bracketing gates.
- Place posts a little less than 96” on center apart. It will be much easier to cut a little off the horizontal rails than work hard at achieving exact spacing between posts.
- For posts in low-lying locations, we recommend using a treated post for additional rot-resistance.
- Generally cross rails should not exceed 8’ in length due to the sail effect that the fence panel will have once constructed. Due to the winds we experience at times, wider panels will blow off the posts much more easily. Attach rails using 16d galvanized nails or other 3” fasteners. Check for consistent gapping between the rails.
- It’s suggested that you use three rails between posts.
- ALL nails/screws will eventually “stain” cedar or redwood except stainless steel fasteners.
- Fasten each picket with two fasteners at each rail using a 7d nail (or other fastener – no longer than 2”).
- Figure 3.5 pickets per lineal foot of fencing when using 1×4 pickets. Use 2.2 pickets per foot using 1×6 pickets. 4” pickets are ALWAYS less expensive (on a per each AND a per foot of fencing basis) although they will require more nailing effort.
- Remember that while aesthetically pleasing, staining or painting your fence will set up a maintenance cycle.
- Pickets should be gapped slightly to allow for expansion. Unfortunately, a lower quality picket will “shine” through here with time; as they will experience far more shrinkage. This will mean a privacy fence suddenly isn’t so private with large gaps in between pickets as they dry out during the hot summer.
- Check for plumbness every dozen or so pickets to ensure the best appearance – do not rely on the posts to guide you.
A picket-type fence is most common, but a good alternative where privacy is not an issue is a split rail type fence. These are available in 2 or 3 rail versions. Rails are 10’ in length – cheaper versions available elsewhere are only 8’ long . Front Range Lumber recommends that you do NOT install these posts in concrete to allow for easy replacement. Metal netting can be affixed to this type of fence to contain smaller pets.
Pre-made Fence Panels:
Pre-made sections are available through some suppliers, although extra thought should be taken before using these panels:
- They require exact placement of posts
- These products are of generally lower quality materials
Please refer to the size chart below for rough sawn cedar sizes readily available. Other sizes are available with some lead time to be expected.
|1 X 4 Pickets|
|1 X 6 Pickets|
|2 X 4||(a)||(a)|
|2 X 6||(a)|
|2 X 8|
|2 X 10|
|2 X 12|
|1 X 4 (b)|
|1 X 6 (b)|
|1 X 8 (b)|
|1 X 10 (b)|
|1 X 12 (b)|
|2 X 2 (c)|
|4 X 4||(a)|
|4 X 6|
|6 X 6|
|a. Fence grade primarily.|
b. 1x boards are 7/8” thick, smooth two edges and one side, rough reverse side – graded to the rough side only.
c. Other lengths can be obtained by ripping 2x4 in half.
d. 18’ lengths may not be in stock at all times, but are readily available within 1-2 days.