How to Take Down An Old Wooden Fence

How to take down a wooden fence, hmmm, seems simple enough you say to yourself. I should be able to do this, and guess what you can. It is easy to take down an old fence you just have to take it in steps and be somewhat organized. I am a widow, I am 61 years old, and if I can take down an old wooden fence you can too!


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:

  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Saw
  • Silver Gray Tape
  • Wheelbarrow or wagon
  • Safety glasses

Step 1:

The first thing to do is to call your disposal service and find out if they will pick up your old fence (once you have taken it down.) They might have certain parameters that you will have to follow (the boards may have to be a certain length and bundled etc.)

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Step 2:

Determine if you are going to need help with your project; if you do schedule your project with your friends or family. Be sure to start early so that you will have plenty of time to finish your tear down. Then again, don’t worry, if you don’t finish it in one day you can always schedule an additional day. In my case, I was just taking down an eight foot section of an old privacy fence so I was able to finish taking it down in a couple of hours – and I did it myself. What a sense of accomplishment!

Step 3:

Since my husband had put that old fence up years ago I knew how it had been built. Take a look at your fence to determine what tools you will need. I needed a pry bar to get those hard to get out nails, a hammer, and a screwdriver (he had screws in some of the two-by-fours.) Oh, and you will probably need a saw. Also, be sure to wear protective eye gear and also gloves (except when you use the saw – you don’t want the gloves getting caught in the saw) to protect your hands from slivers. Know your limitations, if you are uncomfortable using power tools then don’t do it – find someone to help you with that part.

Step 4:

Now it is time to begin. You will just need to get the boards off of the two by fours. As you pry them loose if you aren’t able to get the nails out completely be sure to hammer them down so that you don’t get hurt later. Pile them somewhere out of the way and make sure that no nails are sticking up – you want to avoid stepping on them and hurting yourself.

Step 5:

Once you have all of the boards and two by fours down the only thing that will be remaining will be the posts. In my case the posts were not cemented in the ground so it was easy to get them loose. If your posts are cemented into the ground you may want to consider just cutting the post off at ground level.

Step 6:

The final step is the cleanup. In my case, I cut the boards (using a circular saw) in half. Then I bundled 8 – 10 pieces together using that strong silver gray tape. That way they were easy to haul out on my garbage pick up day and easy for the driver to handle too.

Tips & Warnings

  1. If you are tired take it in stages. For instance, I took the fence down one day and then cut the boards and bundled them on another day.
  2. Use a wheelbarrow or wagon to move them. I used a wheelbarrow to take them from the backyard to the front of the house for disposal.
  3. Be sure to wear safety glasses.
  4. Be sure to hammer down any nails that you can’t get out.
  5. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the boards to avoid slivers.

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