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How to Build a Fence Stile

A stile is a device that allows people to cross through or over a fence without having to open a gate or climb through the fence. The stile originated in England when farmers found that people hiking over their farms were leaving the gates open and allowing livestock to escape or alternatively were destroying their fences. Stiles can go over or through the fence and can be made with a number of different designs.

"A"-Gate Stile

A stile may help prevent a farmer's fences being knocked down.

Step 1

Draw a plan on paper with the dimensions of two sturdy stepladders attached to one another in an "A" shape. The stepladders straddle the fence, and a person climbs over the fence via the stepladder stile. Saw 2-by-2-inch lumber to size, following your plan's dimensions. Notch the inside of the posts or side pieces of the ladder at 12-inch intervals for the rungs using a cold chisel and hammer. Drill and screw each rung inside the posts using two or three 2-inch galvanized screws into each end of each rung. Place the stepladders over the fence opposite one another.

Step 2

Use marking paint to mark just outside the place where each leg of each ladder will go. Remove the ladders and dig four 12-inch holes where you made the marks. Set an 18-inch-long 2-by-2 post upright into each hole. Mix concrete with water in a wheelbarrow and shovel it into the holes to secure the posts. Allow to dry for 48 hours. Set the stepladders in place and drill and bolt the bottom of each leg to the inside of a post using 6-inch carriage bolts. Tighten with a wrench. Cross the step ladders over one another at the top of the fence and bolt the tops together with 5-inch galvanized carriage bolts and tighten with a wrench.

Step 3

Make a step stile. For a low fence, a single step may be all that is needed. The step will go under the fence at right angles to it. Mark two spots 2 feet on each side of the fence and dig 12-inch-deep post holes on the marks. Bury a 2-foot-long 4-by-4 post in each hole. Use a level to get them both the same height and to ensure they are not leaning. Concrete them in and allow to dry for 48 hours.

Step 4

Hammer or screw a 4-foot-6-inch-by-1-foot plank on top of the posts to make a step. A person steps onto the step stile, steps over the fence and places his foot on the other side of the step stile. Add higher steps parallel to the first step if the fence is still too high to step over.

"V" Gate Stile

Step 1

Measure, mark and dig 12-inch holes, and concrete in two fence posts, posts "A" and "B" 2 feet apart in line with the existing fence.

Step 2

Remove the fence from between the posts and secure it to the new posts, leaving a 2-foot gap in the fence. Measure and mark a 4-foot line at right angles with the fence 1 foot back towards the existing fence from post "B."

Step 3

Dig a 12-inch hole at each end of this line and concrete in two more fence posts, each 2 feet from the fence and 4 feet apart.

Step 4

Install fence rails from the two external posts to post "A" to make a "V" shaped structure. Large livestock cannot bend their bodies through the stile, but humans can easily slip through.