If you are a homeowner, you understand the benefits of having a perimeter fence around your property. It helps keep pets and children safe in their own yard. If you don’t have a fence or the one you have is sagging or broken, it’s time to look at installing a new one.
The best option is to hire an expert who is experienced in fence installation. However, if your budget is tight, or maybe you have some extra time on your hands, you can check out the most uncomplicated fence to install yourself. You can save even more money if you learn how to build the fence yourself.
Why Install a Fence For Perfect Backyard Living Space
There are many benefits of having a fence in your front or backyard. The saying good fences make good neighbors is popular for a reason. Below are some of the biggest reasons for having a good fence.
Of course, when you install a fence, among the first things that come to your mind is how you can relax in your yard in your bathrobe or how you can comfortably relax in your house without worrying about noisy and distractive neighbors.
If you have a pool or hot tub in your backyard, you can’t fully enjoy its benefits without some privacy. The only way to achieve that is by erecting a fence around your home.
A fence acts as a barrier for neighbors and strangers who spy on you subconsciously and gives you the feeling of seclusion. You also get the freedom to invite a few friends and family for a small party without the intrusion of your neighbors.
Today, you can find some beautiful fence designs on the market that can make your home more attractive and add value to your home. It is recommended to think about the style of the fence that you want for your home and if it fits in with your current house style.
Whether you use wood, vinyl or metal for your fence, make sure it adds to the beauty of your home. That includes the patterns formed on your fence, matching the wood with your interior design, and other features.
Marking the Boundary
Disputes about land boundaries have been on the rise today. One of the best ways to mark your land is by the use of fences. Such legal cases can be easily solved if you have a fence erected around your property, verifying that it is following your property line as confirmed by your property survey.
It is also a great way to prevent your kids and pets from entering your neighbors’ yard. Additionally, a good fence prevents land encroachment. Your neighbors may not know where their land reaches, but the boundaries will be clear once you put up a fence.
Promotes Home Value
Besides the other benefits of having a fence, many prospective buyers will most likely go after the well-fenced property. A professionally created fence can have a significant impact on the property’s value and curb appeal.
If a buyer has children and or pets, they will want a fenced home so that they do not incur extra expenses in installing one.
Many homeowners are confused when it comes to privacy and security. The two can be used interchangeably, but security is more about keeping any threatening people and animals away from your property.
Not only keeping children and pets in your yard, but a fence can also keep other people and animals out of your yard and inside your home. Having a fence around your property is among the best ways to ensure your family and belongings stay safe.
Which Fence Can You DIY?
There are so many fence styles in the current world. The complexity of each type depends on the material used and how well it was installed. The quickest and easiest fence to install is with wood panels. The wood panels are not always the cheapest, but they save time rather than installing the rails and pickets separately.
Installing a Wood Fence
Wood is a material that has been in use for a long time when it comes to erecting perimeter fences around residential and commercial properties. The main reason is that this type of fence is easy to install, and it is also durable depending on the type of wood you use.
In addition, it is the most effortless fence to install because the process is not complicated, and the required materials are locally available in many places.
If you want a high-quality wood fence, you can always contact professionals in the fencing industry. However, if you want to do it yourself or are on a tight budget, the following steps will help you handle the project successfully.
Get the Required Permit
It is recommendable to check with the local authority if any permits are required when erecting a fence in your area of residence. In our area, no permit is required as long as the fence is less than 8 feet tall.
If there is no permit required, the local building department will guide you appropriately on the height specifications. While at it, you also get a chance to know where the exact boundary lines for your property lie. If you had a survey done when you purchased your house, you will know exactly where the boundary lines are located.
It would be best if you also discussed your plans with the neighbors to make sure that the fence you put up will not inconvenience them in any way.
Mark the Layout
The first thing you should do is call 811 to have the local utility companies come out and mark any underground utilities before you start marking your line or digging.
Not doing so and hitting a cable line or worst, a water line will cost a lot to fix as well as the aggravation of being without water, cable and or internet. It doesn’t cost you anything to have them verify that you can safely dig your post holes.
After gathering all the information from the local administration and the neighbors, it is time to mark where the fence will be installed.
The first thing is to measure the entire fence line, including where the gate will be. Then, you can use spray paint or chalk to mark out this line and indicate the gate’s position.
Get the Necessary Tools and Materials
Constructing a wood fence may not be complex, but you need the right tools, equipment, and materials to ensure success. Some of the basic materials and tools required for such a project include:
- Fence panels
- Fence posts to hold the panels in place
- Nails to attach the panels onto the posts
- A hammer to drive in the nails
- A tape measure to get the correct measurements
- Screws (related screws vs nails)
- A power drill to drive in the screws
- A posthole digger to make holes for the posts
- post level
- mason string
- Concrete mix that will support the fence posts at their base
- Gravel to go below the post and concrete for drainage
Use your posthole digger to make holes for the posts. For the best results, it is recommendable to have about six or eight feet between two poles. Most fence panels at the big box stores come in 8 ft lengths.
The holes you dig should preferably be 1/3 of the posts’ height. So if you’re building a 6 foot high fence, with an 8 foot tall post, you would bury the post 2 feet. If your fence is closer to 8 feet, you should use a 12 foot post with 4 feet in the ground. The taller the fence, the more digging is required so the post won’t be top heavy and unsteady.
For a 6 foot tall post, you should dig at least 30″ deep with the bottom being wider than the top of the hole like an upside down V
Tamp the bottom of the hole, then pour 6″ of gravel into the hole. Place your post in the hole and verify the position of your post is correct before pouring your concrete mixture into the hole.
Use your post level to verify its level on all sides while the concrete mixture is still loose for any last-minute adjustments. Don’t worry if your post is slightly taller than 6 feet as you will trim the tops of each post after the fence is completed.
Install all corner posts first. Let the concrete dry and then place your mason string tightly around each corner post to get a straight vertical line for the other posts’ placement. Measure your panel to set the distance between each post.
I install the string towards the top of my post so it doesn’t get in the way of digging my other post holes. With the string set, you can now dig the rest of your post holes.
Attach the Fence Panels to the Posts
After the concrete mixture is completely dry and set for all posts, you can install the fence panels. This should be a smooth operation as long as you have the proper measurements.
Attaching the panels to the rails can be done using a hammer and nails/power nailer or a power drill and screws at least 3 inches long. If you use nails, use galvanized for better weather resistance. Same with screws, make sure they’re outdoor rated polymer-coated or stainless steel. You should have 2 nails or screws per rail on each side of the panel.
You may have to cut down a panel at the end of your fencing run, if you do, measure the required distance from the corner post to the last post and cut the rail so you have room to install on the post, generally 2-3 inches extra for each post.
The last and most complicated step is installing your gate. Gate posts are installed in the same way as fence posts but with bigger size posts to carry the weight of the gate, especially if each gate is longer than 6 feet. Most fence posts are 4x4x8 while a gate post should be 4x6x10 or 6x6x10. You want to dig deeper for a gate post to support the extra weight of the gate.
The easiest gate to install especially if it is close to 6 feet wide is with the Adjust-A-Gate kit. This kit will ensure that you have a large gate that won’t sag and fall apart like other gate kits. The kits include the hinges to attach to your posts as well as the latching mechanism to keep it secure.
I have used this gate kit for several friends as well as built several all wood gates, and can personally attest that this gate holds up better due to the metal construction rather than an all wood gate.
You may have put off installing a new fence due to the costs or lack of experience but hopefully, this article will give you the confidence to DIY your new fence and enjoy your private backyard.