Fencing can add a lot to the appearance of your home. However, there are several factors to keep in mind before Fence Installation.
First, make sure you know your property lines. This can avoid disputes with neighbors and prevent you from spending money on a fence you don’t need.
Whether your hobby farm requires electric fences to keep livestock in and out of the fields or a welded wire fencing system to protect your garden/orchard and prevent predators from damaging plants, all types of fences need posts. And while installing a fence is a big job, it’s well worth the time and effort to set your posts properly so they will last for years to come.
Digging fence post holes properly is a critical part of any fencing project and while it is a time-consuming task, doing it right the first time will save you money in the long run. Not only will your fence look more professional, it will be sturdier and less susceptible to frost heaving. If you choose to do-it-yourself, making sure your post holes are properly dug will save you the risk of injury or damage to your property.
Choosing the proper tools for digging post holes is also important. Depending on the type of fence you are installing, you may need an auger or digger to dig your holes. But if you are dealing with particularly hard or rocky ground, the best choice is to use a pickaxe to break up and remove tough rock formations.
When digging your fence post holes it is important to know the location of any buried power, water, phone or gas lines. Depending on your location it may be illegal to begin digging without a utility survey. To help avoid this, you should call a utility locator service (dial 8-1-1 in the US) to have any buried lines marked before you start your project. If you do not do this, you could be fined for the resulting damages.
Preparing the Site
Before any fence contractors arrive on site to begin work, you need to make sure the area is clear of any items that could be in the way. The crew will need to move around your yard, carry equipment back and forth from their truck, and work in different areas of the property, so any obstacles can interfere with their work or cause unnecessary delays.
Another important step is to check with your city or county about whether you need a permit for fence installation. Also, review your neighborhood’s HOA covenants to see if they have restrictions on fence height and type. Getting these permits before starting construction can save you a lot of time and money, especially if your neighbors object to your plans and require a variance.
You should also mark your property lines with stakes or paint before the fence company arrives. This will help the workers understand where to build the posts and panels so they don’t accidentally go over the line, which could result in costly repairs or even a legal dispute.
Lastly, check with your local utility providers to find out where any underground elements like water pipes and sewage lines are located on your property. Depending on your location, you’ll either contact the local utilities themselves or ask your fencing contractor to get these reports for you.
You should also talk to your neighbors about your plans for the fence. After all, they’ll be living with it every day, so it’s best to communicate early and avoid any misunderstandings. Also, don’t forget about sprinklers. If they’re located close to the fence line, it may be a good idea to pull them back a little from the post holes to prevent damage.
Installing the Posts
Installing the fence posts during fence installation is one of the most important parts of the process. The post must be set correctly to ensure that the entire structure is stable and secure. Typically, the fence company will use concrete to set the posts in place, but there are other methods that can also be used.
Some municipalities have specific rules about how deep each post must be, so it’s important to check with the local building department to make sure you are complying with these regulations. The crew may dig the holes with handheld post hole diggers or, if necessary, gas or electric powered models. Before digging, it’s a good idea to call 811 so that utility companies can mark the location of any underground lines that might be in the area. This will prevent the crew from digging into any electric, water or gas pipes that could cause a major disaster on site.
To prepare for setting the posts, first dump four to six inches of gravel, such as Quikrete All-Purpose Gravel, into the bottom of each hole. This will help wick away moisture and improve soil drainage. Tamp down the gravel with a scrap piece of wood or broom handle to pack it tightly in place.
Once the gravel is in place, pour in the concrete for the post. If you are using a concrete mix, start by pouring the recommended amount into the wheelbarrow and mixing it with a shovel until it’s thick enough to hold the post in place. Then, begin pouring the concrete around the post, making sure that the gap all the way up to the top of the fence is filled.
Installing the Rails
Once the posts are in place, it’s time to install the rails. Before beginning the process, be sure to gather all of the supplies needed for your project, including fence posts, rails, and panels. You can purchase all of your materials from a home improvement store or garden center. Some stores offer special prices for bulk purchases, so be sure to ask about those options.
If you’re using wood, be sure to purchase only treated lumber. Untreated pine will quickly rot, while treated wood will hold up much longer. It’s also important to consider maintenance costs, as wood is prone to fading and requires frequent staining or painting. If you choose to install a fence that requires an electrical connection, make sure to consult your local codes before proceeding. You may need a permit for your work, depending on the location and the fence’s height.
Use a level to mark the placement of each rail on the end and corner posts. You can also mark the location of gate openings and gates at this point, if desired. This will help you plan your work and ensure that all components are properly installed, saving you time and money in the long run.
To keep rain and snow from damaging the fence posts, build a small mound of dirt around each post at ground level. This will also help to secure the post in the soil, extending its lifespan. Pea-sized landscaping gravel is typically the most affordable and effective option for this job.
Once you have marked where the first set of fence rails will be, dig a hole that is twice the diameter of the post and one-third of its height, using a posthole digger. Once the hole is dug, position and seat the post, making sure to check that it’s level with a carpenter’s level on at least two sides.
Installing the Panels
Before installing the panels, it’s a good idea to check with your neighbors to ensure they don’t mind the fence being built. In addition, you should also review your local zoning laws to ensure that you’re not building the fence in a way that violates any regulations.
When you’re ready to start construction, gather all the supplies needed for the job, including a post hole digger or auger, power drill, hammer, and gloves. You’ll also need to purchase the fence posts and rails, as well as the fence panels, depending on your design. Once you’re all set, it’s important to prioritize safety throughout the building process by wearing safety glasses and sturdy footwear.
Begin by marking the positions of the corner posts. Use a level or a long piece of lumber to verify that the lines are in a straight line, as this will help ensure a uniform look. Then, use a tape measure and a can of marking spray to mark the ground at 8-foot intervals along the length of your fence.
Installing the panels is a relatively straightforward process. After the first panel is positioned and secured, use a spirit level to verify that it’s plumb. If necessary, make adjustments to the panel or posts to correct any issues.
Repeat the process with the rest of the panels, taking care to check for levelness and alignment before seating each one. It’s also a good idea to brace the panels as you go, especially if they’re being installed in areas prone to high winds. You can also install cross supports, if necessary, to help prevent the panels from sagging or becoming misaligned over time.