Build a Fence Like a Pro – Follow These Tips
If you plan to build a fence, it’s easy to find plans and directions online that will guide you through the project. But here are some key points you should be aware of before you put your shovel into the ground to plant your first fence post.
Check to see if your town requires you to get a permit to install a fence on your property. And, certainly, if you belong to a homeowners’ association, get permission to put up a fence.
When you track down a set of building plans for the type of fence that meets your needs and matches the look and style of your home, make sure those plans include a list of building materials — and their quantities — required to build the fence.
Without a high quality set of DIY fence plans that includes such a list, all you can do is make rough estimate of the materials you’ll need. You may wind up short of materials and money before you finish the project.
Next, ask at your lumber yard, hardware store or any other knowledgeable resource how deep the frost line goes in your area. You’ll want to dig your post holes well below this level so your fence posts don’t heave up or loosen when the ground repeatedly freezes and thaws.
Also, when it comes to putting the fence posts into the ground, make sure you align the post holes properly and position them accurately on one another so your fence runs true. You don’t want your installed fence posts to come out looking like a row of crooked teeth.
Post installation should start with the end posts. Set the end posts into concrete and wait until they’re secure in the ground. Then run a tight string from the top of one post to the other to create a perfectly straight line.
Follow your fence building plan and put a series of properly-spaced stakes in the ground along this line. Space the stakes equally according to your building plan, then use these stakes to determine where you’ll dig your post holes.
• Fill each hole with concrete
• Set each pole into the concrete
• Align the top of each pole with the string so they’re all level with each other and perpendicular to the ground
• Brace each post in position while the cement sets up
• Let the concrete cure for a day or two before attaching the actual fencing.
It’s best to use rust-proof screws rather than nails to secure your fencing to the posts. Hammering nails into the posts could loosen them in the concrete.
Prime, seal and paint your fence to make it attractive and weatherproof.
By following the directions that come with a good set of fence building plans, your DIY fence will look professionally built and remain sturdy and secure for many years.