There are many reasons why you may want to build a fence around your property. Perhaps you want to shield your yard from the neighbors or keep your dog from getting out. If you have looked into it at all, you probably realized that hiring someone to install it for you can be very expensive. It is possible to do it yourself, though you will probably need some help to get it done in a timely fashion. Follow these steps to complete this home project.
Things You’ll Need:
- Fence kit
- Bag of gravel
- String of clothesline
- Pencil to mark measurements
- Tamping tool
- Hole digger for posts
Prepare your yard so that you can plant the fence posts. You want them at least a few inches in the ground so that your fence doesn’t topple over. First, measure out the area that you would like to fence. You will want to put a post about every 5 feet or so. Stretch a taut piece of clothesline around the perimeter, anchoring it with stakes if you need to. (This will ensure that all of your posts will be aligned properly.) Then put something down to mark off the distance between each post. Rocks, buckets, tape–whatever you have available. You just need to be precise.
Start your post-placement with one that will go in a corner. Dig your hole with your digging tool and put at least an inch or two of gravel at the bottom of the hole for drainage. Make sure that at least a third of the post goes into the ground, or you will need to dig a little deeper. Then stick the post in the hole. Use a level to make sure the post is straight up and down. Then, fill the hole tightly with dirt, tamping it down when you are done. Repeat this step for the rest of the posts. Use a tape measure to make sure that all of the posts end up the same height.
Attach the fence rails. These are not the actual slats for your fence, but rather the horizontal pieces of wood that you will nail them to. Ask a friend to help you nail them up since it is hard to hold one straight by yourself. They have to be perfectly straight in order to work properly. Again, your level will help you here. Some fence posts have notches to help guide you in the placement of the rails. By all means, use them.
Nail the slats of the fence to the rails. Some wood slat fences require them to be flush against each other, and others obtain their privacy by having the slats alternate on the front and back sides of the rails. Since all fences are somewhat different, get exact instructions from the manufacturer of your particular fence. The most important thing to remember is to place them at 90-degree angles from the rails. If you hang even one slat noticeably crooked, it will screw up the rest of your fence.
Tips & Warnings
- Make sure to get your fence approved by your homeowner’s association before you start putting it up. Apply a protectant to your fence to prevent water damage, especially on the parts that will be underground.
- Make sure that all of your posts are stable before you begin adding the rails. This is especially important for corner posts. They bear more of the weight of the fence. You may want to wear gloves to protect your hands from splinters. Consult a contractor if you have any problems installing your fence. It is better to pay for someone else to finish the job than to be stuck with a broken fence or an eyesore.
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