If your home's wooden fence has a broken board, then you can easily fix the problem yourself with just a few basic tools and inexpensive supplies. This project can be completed in about an hour, by anyone with basic home improvement skills.

Tools and Materials List

The tools and materials needed to complete this project are:

  • replacement fence board
  • pry bar
  • hammer
  • exterior grade nails

Steps to Replace the Broken Fence Board

Step 1 – Locate the existing nails that are holding the broken board in place. Take your pry bar and hold it directly under the first nail on the board. Strike the hammer on the pry bar to loosen up the nail. Repeat this process for each nail that holds in the broken board.

Step 2 – Remove the broken board and recycle it. If you have a fireplace, then you can cut the old board into pieces and burn it in the winter time.

(Health Warning: You should never burn a board that has been pressure treated with copper solution. Pressure treated lumber gives off toxic fumes when it is burned!)

Step 3 – Place the new board into place where you removed the old board and attach it using the nails and your hammer. Do not nail the board in the same place as the one you removed because the nails will not bite into the board well enough. Creating fresh holes, at least one inch from the previous holes, will work the best. This will also keep the old board of the fence rail from splitting as you hammer a new nail into it.

Step 4 – Apply the same treatment to the new board that you have on the existing fence. You need to apply stain, or paint, in order to protect the new board from rotting when it rains. While the new board will have a different color at first, over time it will wear in the sun and fade to be a match for the rest of the fencing.


Replacing a broken fence board is a repair that most homeowners should know how to do. Animals and children often break fence boards, and knowing how to replace one can save you a lot of money over the life of your fence. If you do not want to try to tackle this job yourself, then any local home improvement contractor can assist you.