Here’s what I’ve learned while rebuilding my back yard fence.

You can pretty much do what you want because when your neighbors find out you’re replacing the fence they will make themselves scarce lest you ask them to share the costs.

You can probably reuse the old fenceposts. Push on them – if they fall over then you have to replace them.

You don’t have to dig out the old concrete lumps that the previous fenceposts were sunk into. If you do, you’ll be sorry because the garbage man will not take them and they weight a ton. Just move over a bit and dig a new hole.

Most fencing contractors will just put the pickets in contact with the ground which encourages rot and termites. I elevated mine slightly. Time will tell if that’s the right thing to do or not. Dogs are no more likely to dig under than if they were touching the ground; if a dog wants in or out he will dig no matter what.

A pneumatic nailer is 10 times faster but it’s pricey to rent one and the nails discolor soon.

If you choose screws don’t get philips head type. Get those kind with a specialized star shaped head – they come with a driver bit for your drill. These won’t pop out of the screw head and mess up the screw.

Buy all your material at once and pay for it to be delivered. It’s 60 bucks whether you have them deliver one picket or a semi truck load. Picking it up yourself is a great deal more work than you realize; you have to pick up each item three times. Once when you put it on the cart, once to lift it into the car, and once to get it out of the car. If you’re tired after lifting the stuff once then heaven help you when you get it home.

Invite friends to help and feed them a huge barbecue dinner. I didn’t but I think it would have been faster if I did.

It will turn gray soon if you don’t treat it. If you do treat it, it may not turn gray. I’ll let you know.

Most of your neighbors have crappy yards. Lots of them have random junk laying around. That’s where the weeds in your yard come from.

Use gloves. Splinters abound.

Don’t take the old fence apart by knocking all the pickets off; just pry the whole section loose from the posts. The intact section is much easier to deal with than a pile of loose pickets with nails sticking out everywhere.

I guess that’s about it. I may update as I think of things.