Due to the current circumstances, many find themselves working from home or even enjoying some time off completely. We sincerely hope that everyone is making the most of it! As far as fencing is concerned, you may feel you have the time and ability to do it yourself at this time instead of hiring a fence company. This we wholeheartedly encourage and can provide you with everything you will need to complete your project. That being said, we also want to make sure you steer clear of some common fencing mistakes by giving you some preparation with this DIY fencing installation guide.
Proper Fence Design Planning and Research
Of all the things you could do without proper planning, fencing is not one of them. There are many things that could go wrong in terms of design, structure, and measurements. There can even be legal consequences that arise from not planning your fence project. Take time to consider every detail about your DIY fencing installation project from materials to layout. Here are some questions to get you thinking about aspects that will help determine the design of your new fence:
- Do you have pets? What kind of fence would be best for their safety and enjoyment?
- Do you have a pool? You will need to follow pool code.
- Do you have a deer problem? The taller the better, and solid fencing such as most privacy styles work best against deer. They do not like to jump over what they cannot see through or over.
- Do you want more privacy or less privacy? We offer a range of privacy selections in any material, even privacy slats for chain link!
- How secure do you want your yard to be? This will help you determine whether you need something like chain link vs split rail. Some materials also come in different grades ranging from common residential to stronger commercial grade.
- Do you have an exit plan? Think about how many gates you will need and where the best place is for them in your yard. It is wise to consider an exit plan through the rear of the property in case of emergencies.
Depending on where you live and what the fence will be used for, laws or rules for fencing can vary greatly. Be mindful of what is allowed in your area and adhere to pool codes for fencing if it is in fact for a pool. Homeowners Associations can be especially particular about the details of any fence in communities that apply. It is also common to be required to build your fence INSIDE your property line and not ON it. Some town and county municipalities even have restrictions on heights in front yards vs. back yards or corner properties, so be sure to check online at their websites or call and ask about fencing restrictions that might apply to you.
Don’t forget to call miss utility before you do any digging! Since fence posts could need to be up to three feet in the ground there is much opportunity for damaging utility lines or underground pipes. Avoid any unnecessary repercussions and make sure it is safe to dig so you can build your fence with confidence.
Measure your Fence Sections Properly
Determine how long you want your fence sections to be, and make sure you do some math with the measurements of your desired fence line on your property. If not done ahead of time, you might end up with one section at the end needing to be 5 feet long (instead of 8 feet) with no other way to make it work. Tell our retail sales reps your measurements and let them help you make sure everything can be installed in even sections.
Your posts are the most important aspect of your fence. Boards can be replaced easily but replacing posts is much more involved process. Do the hard work now and save yourself the trouble later. First, make sure your posts are set deep enough to properly anchor the weight of the fence. This is a major factor in determining the lifespan of your fence. Ask our team about the material you chose and how deep you should go with the posts. Second, your fence posts need to be set with the proper material. Concrete and gravel is your best option! If you are in doubt about not going deep enough, it never hurts to go a little deeper. You will be even better off in the future because of it.
Accounting for Grade
We all know how hilly this area can be. It is very important to make sure your measurements factor in any inclines/declines in your yard. If not done carefully, you could end up with uneven and unstable sections that won’t last. If you choose to let the fence follow the grade at an angle all the way down, make sure your boards are long enough to make room for any custom measurements and angled cuts. If you choose to step the fence down consider that this will leave you with gaps under the fence line, unless you are installing a style with upright boards. In that case you will have the option to custom measure and cut each one to fit snugly to the ground.
Setting posts correctly is incredibly important, and we cannot stress enough how especially important it is to set gate posts properly. You will be thanking yourself later for being extra patient with this step, especially on big gates! Set the posts deep and let the concrete set completely before attaching the weight of the gate. Additionally, do not go cheap on the hardware. Invest in a good latch and good hinges that will transfer the weight well and last a long time.
Our hope is that we have encouraged you to take on your DIY fencing installation project yourself. We also hope we did not scare you away! Don’t worry, we are always here to answer questions about fencing design and steer you in the right direction if you need any help. If this seems a little daunting to you at this point, give us a call and we can get one of our awesome sales reps to give you a free estimate on installation. Feel free to check out the DIY Materials page on our website for more info!
Written by Laura Braden