Installing a Fence

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated October 26, 2020)


Simply put, fences are a great addition to just about any landscape. They can add a little extra security, as well as add some extra elegance, or privacy depending on the type that you choose. Installing a fence though is a great weekend project, and one that anyone can do. In fact, if you are interested in having a fence around your property, installing it yourself can save a lot of money. However, be aware that it will take some effort on your part.

This article will not describe how to install every kind of fence imaginable. What it will do instead is discuss how to install many of the post style fences that are out there. Keep in mind that many fencing kits will come with their own instructions, so be sure that you have familiarized yourself with them. If there is any conflict between these instructions, and the instructions listed by the manufacturer, then be sure to follow the ones from the manufacturer.

  1. Get any paperwork. Many local communities require that you get some permits to do any type of exterior building work. Before you begin doing any work on your fence, check with your local zoning office, and make sure you get the proper permits if necessary.
  2. Stake out, and get measurements. Use some twine, and some simple stakes to mark out where you want your fence to go. Once you have marked out the proposed fence area, get some measurements. This will tell you how much material you will need to complete the fence. Write the measurements down on a piece of paper.
  3. Get the materials. Go to your local home improvement store, and pick out a style of fence. Purchase enough fencing materials to fulfill the dimensions that you have listed. In fact, it would be best to get a little more than you think you will need, just to be on the safe side.
  4. Mark the gate. Choose the spot where you will want your gate to be, and mark it appropriately. Using some post hole diggers, dig a couple of post holes for the gate to go into.
  5. Mark the posts. Start at one end of your fence line, and go around marking where you will want your posts. On the average, each post hole should be about four to five feet apart, and should be about one foot deep. Once you have marked the post holes, go back and begin digging the holes.
  6. Mix some concrete. In a large wheelbarrow begin mixing the concrete that you will use as a foundation for the posts. Have a friend help you take the concrete around to the different post holes.
  7. Place the posts. Have a friend place and hold the posts in each of the holes as you pour the concrete. The posts should be able to stand straight up with the help of the concrete, but if necessary use some additional guide posts and twine to hold the posts straight. Allow the concrete to cure overnight before finishing the project.
  8. Assemble the fence. Once the concrete has cured overnight, it is time to begin assembling the rest of the fence. At this point, follow the directions specific for your type of fence. Usually all you will need to do is attach each panel of the fence to the posts. Do not forget to attach the gate to the opening you marked out earlier.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is three more than 1?

2020-10-28 11:17:08



No mention of incorporating any of it in the article for when it gets reposted in a few years !

Also notable that I should expect an email telling me I sent this message,
The options notably not including
the option to choose to turn off the previous request to be notified of posts for the tip,
or even just to choose to turn off notifications for responses to the comment I made.

2020-10-26 10:21:12


Re fencing -

Make a frame to hold posts upright
2 triangles at right angles to they support the post from 2 sides and a simple wood clamp will hold it in place at least until the concrete is in the hole.
Also placeholders ( 2" x 2" lengths with pairs of stop pieces near each end to go either side of the post.) to go from post to post at the top to ensure they keep the panel spacing at the top while the concrete sets .

If using slotted posts consider adding a batten to the fence panels so they, or later replacements can be swung into place - 1 edge in one post slot and then swing the panel into place before screwing to the batten in the other slot - easier than lifting a complete panel 6' into the air
Maybe 3 panels 3' high rather than 1 6' panel.
If using wood with the u shaped holders - bottom one fixed, top one allowed to swivel, so panels go into the tilted top one, lifted, swung vertical and lowered into the bottom ones. alternative - fit a batten to the post and screw the panel onto the batten.
Or just have the posts nearer to each other so the panels can be screwed to the post.

If you have soft soil that will let the posts lean over even with their base in concrete - consider using a paving slab at the top to spread the loading from wind against the 4" wide post to 24" of earth.
Also consider using paving slabs between the posts rather than gravel boards.
That makes it easier to stop animals and plant roots going under the fence.
And if you will not be planting right up to the fence, consider a row of bricks or slabs as a path along the fence base, just make sure they can be lifted to replace any posts as needed.

And - makes it easier to redo paint or treatment later.
Fence panels - dipped in treatment will need retreating at about 3 years, and best redone before assembly
Pressure treated maybe not for 6 or more years. and the extra cost is usually much less than the first re-treatment material.

Consider using bricks or some other similar blocks to keep the posts upright and their bottom in place at the base of the hole - that will also give a sheer point for when you may need to replace a post.

With wood posts slope the concrete away from the post so the rainwater does not pool around the post.

Also consider starting with concrete 'spur' posts and fixing wood to the spur - and re spur - use 4" rather than 3" section, and maybe consider 6' post - with about 3' to fix the wood to.

Experience is wonderful way to learn, reading and avoiding the problems is better!


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