How To Correctly Install A Fence

Installing a wooden fence on your property is a great way to improve the value of your property, while simultaneously keeping out any unwanted visitors. However, special steps must be taken to ensure complete success with the installation process. These steps will be outlined below in order to provide you with the best course of action when installing a new fence on your property.

Know Your Limits

While you may be eager to erect the fence as soon as possible, don’t do so without first obtaining your legal property lines as defined by your city or county. Building a fence beyond your property lines can lead to petty squabbles and disagreements among neighbors, and should be avoided at all costs. To obtain your correct property lines, schedule an appointment with a realtor or head down to your county assessor’s office.

Get It In Writing

Many home renovation projects require the right permits before any work can begin, and in most cases, fence installation is one of them. Permits can be obtained from your city’s zoning or planning committee, and will make your life a lot easier if a building inspector happens to stop by during the construction of the fence. These permits will also inform you as to which types of fences you are allowed to erect, such as wood, chain-link, or vinyl.

Plan It Out

Now that you know your property lines and have obtained all necessary permits for the job, you can begin the planning phase.

To plan your fence:

  • Draw a rough sketch of your property.
    • This doesn’t need to be exact, so long as you know the general shape of your property lines and any nearby structures such as your house, garage, or backyard shed.
    • Trees, large shrubbery, and other natural obstacles will need to be taken into account.
    • The sketch should be drawn from a bird’s-eye, top-down perspective of your home, and is mostly used to get a good visual of the job in your mind before moving on.
  • Determine the spacing of your posts.
    • For most fences, a spacing of 6 to 8 feet is typically correct. Mark your fence posts on your sketch to gain a visual of these posts.
  • Plan all entry gates ahead of time.
    • Mark the areas on your sketch where you will want access through the fence. This is where your gates will be placed.

Gather Your Tools

You will need the following tools to install a wooden fence:

  • A shovel
  • An electric drill
  • Wood screws
  • A measuring wheel
  • A level
  • Concrete mix

Of course, you will also need your fence material. Your local hardware store will carry pre-cut wooden fencing material which you can purchase in bulk. Use your property line information, as well as some basic arithmetic, to determine exactly how much fencing material is needed to fence off the entire area.

Erecting The Fence

Finally, to build the fence:

  1. Using your measuring wheel to ensure accuracy, dig holes for the fence posts 6 to 8 feet apart.
    • The actual spacing is up to you, but it will need to remain consistent to provide adequate support for the fencing material.
  2. Place the fence posts in the post holes, and fill the remaining space in each hole with concrete.
    • Using your level, ensure that the posts are perfectly straight while the concrete sets. This will keep the fence posts clean and straight.
    • You will need to wait to move on from this step until all of the concrete has fully dried.
  3. Screw the horizontal fence rails in place with your electric drill.
    • These pieces are positioned horizontally between the fence posts, at the top and bottom of each post.
    • These rails provide support for the fence panels.
  4. Place your entry gates.
    • Install your gates between two fence posts, securing them in place with screws.
  5. Install the fence panels.
    • The panels are screwed into place along the horizontal fence rails. As long as your spacing between fence posts is consistent, this step will be fairly simple. The same number of fence panels will fit between each fence post.

A Job Well Done

As you can see, fence installation can be a difficult job that will take some time. As with any job around the house, you may wish to enlist the assistance of some friends or family members to make the job a bit easier. However, once the fence is complete, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did the job right, and now have a strong, sturdy fence to keep your home safe from any unwanted visitors. For additional help with fence installation, click here.

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