If you want corrugated metal as your new fence material, you’re probably wondering how to frame and build it. Corrugated Metal has become a popular material for building fences. The cost is similar or lower to wood panels and it will last longer than wood.
Since most corrugated metal is galvanized or painted, it won’t rust. Unlike a wood fence that will eventually degrade from sun exposure and moisture, corrugated metal will not. Another pro for corrugated metal fencing is that it gives you complete privacy in the backyard.
I have incorporated corrugated metal in several different fences I have built over the years and can show you how to use it in your next fence. Whether you want to install it vertically or horizontally, we’ll go over each way to build it for a long lasting fence.
Types of Corrugated Metal Fencing
Corrugated metal fencing has come a long way from using old tin roofing as fence panels. Nowadays it comes in any color you can imagine and as a panel or individual pickets, just like wood.
Corrugated simply means material with alternate ridges and/or grooves. Corrugated metal is stronger than a flat piece of metal. This is why corrugated metal is used in metal roofs and now in fencing.
Corrugated metal panels can be used for roofing or fencing. They have different gauges of thickness most commonly ranging from 26-29 gauge. 26 gauge, which is thicker is better for roofing, while the 29 is lighter weight and suitable for fencing.
Below are a few examples of different corrugated metal used for fencing.
Vertical Corrugated Metal Fence Frame
If you want a more traditional vertical fence model but use corrugated metal panels instead of fence pickets, your framing will be similar to regular fence. For a 6 foot high fence, you will build 3 horizontal rails with 2x4s spaced 6-8 feet apart.
Personally I like a 6 feet post distance when installing rails for a sturdier vertical panel fence.
Install your 6 foot tall panels vertically attaching them to each rail with a 1 inch metal to wood screw through the flat part of the panel. If your panels are 3 feet wide, then you will get 2 panels every 6 feet which is easy to calculate for materials.
Where the panels overlap, make sure to secure the panels together. Depending of the type of metal, you may have to screw through the rib or some have an extra little flap to secure on the flat side. I like to put a screw right before the last rib to connect both. Unlike roofing, you don’t have to worry about sealing water out.
If you want your vertical panels framed by the wood posts and wood rails, like picture above, you need to add a 2×2 to the top of the bottom rail and bottom of the top rail. Install the 2×2 toward the back of the 2×4. Now install the metal panels in-between the top and bottom rail screwed through the 2×2.
With a relatively even yard, you can have all your metal panels cut to the same size height beforehand making installation easier. But if your yard slopes in any way, you may have to cut the bottoms of some of the panels as you install them. When ordering materials, make sure the panels are long enough to account for your sloped yard.
If you want vertical metal pickets, the fence frame will be the same as above, but you will install the metal pickets just as you would with wood pickets.
Horizontal Corrugated Metal Fence Frame
If you want a modern look in your backyard, horizontal fencing is the way to go. Corrugated metal fence panels installed horizontally is even easier than the vertical installation. There’s a couple main ways to frame your horizontal corrugated metal fence.
Panels in between Posts
Having a corrugated metal panel in between your posts breaks up the metal with wood. You can even add a 1×4 or 1×6 at the top and bottom between the posts to frame the metal in wood.
For 6 foot tall fence, install your posts 6-8 feet apart. I would only span my posts 8 feet if I was using the thicker 26 gauge panels. If using the 29 gauge, install your posts 6 feet apart. Install a 2×2 wood member on the side of the 4×4 post aligned with the back. Use 3 inch or longer screws to install to the 4×4.
Measure distance between the 4x4s at the top and bottom and use that measurement to cut your corrugated metal panel. With help, hold the bottom panel up against the 2x2s and install with a 1 inch wood to metal screw. Now repeat with top panel overlapping ribs and secure to 2x2s.
Now if you want to have front and back of your fence to look the same, add a 1×2 wood piece on top of the metal panel mirroring the 2×2, similar to photo above.
If your panels are 3 feet wide, you shouldn’t have to cut them for a 6 foot tall fence installed horizontally. There is no need to install rails as the metal panels are sturdy enough to span the 6 feet
Panels Over lapping 4×4
If you want a more modern aesthetic for your backyard, then overlapping the 4x4s will give you a sleek metal look along your entire fence. We plan on planting climbing jasmine over the entire metal fence and since there’s no wood, the fence should last longer.
Install your 4×4 posts at 6 foot intervals along your entire fence line. You will want to have them all set before installing the panels for this design.
Start with the bottom corrugated metal panel and with a second person, secure it in place on the first post and clamp it to the second post. Don’t secure the second post until you have the next panel ready for installtion.
Unclamp the 1st panel, hold the second bottom panel in place, now secure both panels at the same time to the post. The easiest way is to put one screw on the second or third flat section of the metal panels. You may have to predrill through both panels to secure your screw.
It is imperative that you have a second person to help hold the panels in place. This is the hardest part about this fence style installation. Continue installing the bottom panel along the fence line before starting on the top metal panel.
The top panel will be installed the same way as the bottom panel. Make sure it is overlapping the bottom panel at the appropriate rib. Most important, verify each panel is level before final installation. At the end of the fence line, you may have to cut the corrugated metal panel. Place the cut side at the end.
You will need to install a 2×2 on one side of your corner post. This is to be able install the metal panels on each side of the corner post. It doesn’t matter is you install the 2×2 on the side or at the back of your fence. Even with the metal panel rib height, this should be enough area to install the metal panels along the back of fence or 90 degrees apart. Another alternative would be to have 2 4×4 corner posts
Hopefully this quick how to will guide you through how to build your own corrugated metal fence. Whether you install the panels horizontally or vertically you should be able to get many years of enjoyment out of your metal fence.