How to Install a Rot Board on a Privacy Fence


Privacy fences can add beauty and value to your landscape. They keep out unwanted pests, protect your kids and the family dog. They are also quite expensive, and maintaining them to get the most out of your investment is something that every homeowner thinks about. Adding a rot board to any new or existing fence adds life and protects it from moisture, weed eaters and lawn mowers. If you can cut a two-by-six and drive a few nails or screws, you can add years to your privacy fence's life in a few short hours.

Installing a rot board

Step 1

Figure out how much material you need. A rot board is a piece of two-by-six, treated lumber attached horizontally to the bottom edge of your fence to defend it from moisture and abuse. Measure your fence from end to end. Add 10 percent to allow for waste. Purchase enough treated lumber to run the length and enough screws or nails to attach it securely.

Step 2

Begin on the inside at one corner of the fence and lay a piece of two-by-six on edge along the bottom of the fence at ground level. Making sure to keep it pressed against the fence, begin at the corner and screw or nail one to two inches from the top edge about every 16 inches. Make sure to pierce the two-by-six and grip well into the bottom end of the fence board. Check by pulling it to make sure it's secure.

Step 3

Butt the second section to the first one and and repeat as far as you can go, using full lengths of lumber. Measure from your last full length to the next corner, or fence end, and cut a piece to fit. Proceed around the fence until every section is firmly attached. Any sections that require it can be mitered at the end to meet any changes in pitch.

Step 4

Check your rot board periodically for loose or damaged sections. Using a screw driver to poke or prod any suspected rot may help alert you to soft spots. Remove and replace any such sections using the same installation procedure. Yearly inspections and timely repairs should keep your rot board in good shape and add years to the life of your privacy fence.

Tips and Warnings

  • When using treated lumber, wear gloves and be careful of splinters that may fester worse than raw wood splinters. Use pressure-treated deck screws, or the equivalent, to avoid broken screws and unsightly rust stains.

Things You'll Need

  • Enough two-by-six treated lumber to run the length of your fence
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer and nails or drill and pressure treated deck screws
  • Carpenter's square
  • Circular or handsaw


  • Several styles of fence with rot board
  • Rot board information

Who Can Help

  • Pressure-treated deck screws
Keywords: installing a rot board, how to install a rot board, how to install a rot board on a privacy fence

About this Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published one novel and four stage plays with SEEDS studio. Mark specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.

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