One of the most popular DIY projects in the garden is installing a new fence. The problem is that most people don’t know how to install a fence! Contractors do it every day, and they get stellar results from their installations – because they’re the experts. You have to consider the fence posts, as they have to be lined up correctly; otherwise, any difficulties will stick out and be noticeable. Before you do any works in your garden, you need to consider your neighbors and what they may think. Their land and garden space is going to be interrupted with your project, and you don’t want to have any conflict during the construction of your new fence – especially if the garden space is a shared one.
Preparation Before Building
There are a few steps that you need to take to plan and prepare for your new fence, and you must do this so that you don’t run into any issues along the way.
- Planning your fence before you start your build is vital to the success of the project. Carefully planning the fence will ensure that you limit your cutting and potential wastage. This can also help you to order the materials that you need with the right measurements for accuracy.
- Always check with a detector for any cables and pipes in your chosen fence location just in case you can’t dig the holes you need for fence posts.
- Most fences are around 6-9 feet high, so check with your local planning office as to whether you need any kind of planning permission for your fence choices.
- Talk through your plans with your neighbors whose land may be interrupted by your DIY. You want everyone to be comfortable and happy with the plans that you have in mind so that there are no conflicts as time presses forward.
- Try to avoid installation during too hot or too cold or too wet times of the year. You need the conditions to be suitable for a fence installation to be successful.
Doing It Right
There is a lot that can go wrong during your fence installation, so you need to pay careful attention to the following advice before you get started:
- Fence posts are pre-treated, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t resoak the base of the post in preservative before you install it.
- When you are making your list to buy fencing materials, make sure that you only look for treated wood and exterior screws. This will ensure that you avoid premature rotting and rust.
- Think about where you are installing your fence. Is the ground slopes? If so, raise the fence posts 50mm minimum above ground level to prevent any rotting from occurring.
- You can do this alone, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to. Rope in a friend to help and you’ll find the entire process much simpler.
Installing Your Fence
While the following steps apply to a basic wood fence, the concept is universal. Virtually all fences are set up this way, only the materials and alignment changes.
Set Your Corners
The main shape of your fence takes shape form the corner posts. These are the most essential part of any fence, and they dictate everything else that you do. With any jogs in the fence line, you’ll find it a problem if you haven’t set the corners. When you find these jobs, set pivotal posts as well. Mark out the position of these with a spade or a post-hole digger. It tends to be around 300mm square by 600mm deep.
Install The Posts
Corner posts take a lot of pressure, and this pressure comes in two different directions. Installation should take great care, as your first point of reference is then accurate. With these posts, you can tell where all the other posts should go.
Add Some Stringlines
Control posts are the first thing to be installed, and then you need to connect them with stringline to make sure that there is a straight line span.
Measure & Mark
Once your corner posts are done, and the stringlines are where they need to be, you need to determine then where all the other posts will go.
Treat Your Posts
The best thing to do before you put your posts into place is to treat them with the right preservative to prevent rot for as long as possible. Using a spade, dig the hole for each post in the places you have marked. Then, set your treated fence posts into the holes that you marked earlier so that you get the right distances between each one.
Your fence posts may be added with or without concrete, and most people choose to use concrete for extra strength. This can protect the wood and prevent the post from being directly in the soil, where it could rot faster. You should set each post into the concrete and brace it if necessary so that it doesn’t lean over. Sometimes, this is done a few days before you get to the next step so that it has time to set.
Add The Rails At The Bottom & Top
Before you do anything, make sure that the concrete has completely set so that you don’t have the problem of the fence leaning or falling over. You usually have two to three rails holding the boards of the fence, and these have to be leveled and set carefully. Use a spirit level to help, and attach them with nails or exterior screws to the posts.
Add Face Boards
The most significant variation in installing and building a fence is right now. The material choice is yours, but for a wooden board fence, you then add the planks to the face and attach to the rails. You can use nails or screws to fasten them at this point.
Seal & Paint (Or Stain)
Sealing the fence depends if you use wood or vinyl or any other material. Most places will advise you to use a waterproof sealant so that you can extend the lifespan of your fence. You want it to last as long as possible, so sealing it is a smart plan. It’s from here you can use a stain or a paint on the fence to make sure that you have a fence that looks good.