Important Things to Keep in Mind Before Fence Installation

Fencing can add a lot to the appearance of your home. However, there are several factors to keep in mind before Fence Installation Muskegon.

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.

The Basics of Fence Installation

A fence is a barrier made of wood or wire supported by posts. Before installing a fence, consider long-term maintenance costs. Check out this website at for more details.

Clear your yard ahead of time to prevent obstructions, and give yourself or the installation team ample space to work. It’s also a good idea to get your property surveyed.

1. Posts

fence installation

Posts are the backbone of any fence, and it’s essential to choose them carefully. For most fences, you’ll want to use treated wood posts at least 2 inches in diameter. They should also be a minimum of 50mm above ground to help prevent rotting.

When choosing wood posts, look for a label that reads “CCA treated” or similar to ensure the lumber has been protected against termites and other wood-destroying insects. Using the right type of wood can help prevent rot, as well–look for long-lasting species like Redwood or Osage Orange.

Although setting a post in concrete can provide the most stability, it isn’t necessary for every post. You’ll only need a concrete footing for posts that support gates or are freestanding at the end of your fence, or when rock prevents digging deep enough to set a post. If you do decide to pour a concrete footing, you’ll need a wheelbarrow and some quick-drying concrete.

Before starting to dig holes, make sure your fence site is clear of buried wires, utility lines, or other obstructions. Also, check the area for any building restrictions or permits you may need to secure before beginning construction.

Prepare the site by marking off where each fence post will go, using stakes and string to help you create a straight line between your marks. Space each fence post about 6 to 8 feet apart. Be sure to dig each post hole at least 1 foot deeper than the frost line to avoid shifting or warping in winter.

Mix your concrete as per the instructions on the package, and then pour it into each hole. Some people prefer to use a hose to add water as they’re pouring the concrete, but this isn’t necessary if you use the right product. Once the concrete is poured, let it set for a day or two before installing your fence panels.

2. Rails

While many people think of fences as being composed solely of pickets, the reality is that fences need rails as well to provide stability and support. While it is technically possible to build a fence without rails, the end results are not very good and the structure will likely fail much sooner than one that has rails.

While there are a few different ways to construct a fence, a rail-and-post method is the most common. This type of fence requires more labor and planning but is extremely durable. It also provides the added benefit of being able to install gates with a minimum amount of fuss.

To start, use stakes and string to mark out your fence line, indicating where you’ll need any gates or openings and making sure that everything lines up properly. This step is crucial for avoiding major problems down the road and saving time.

Next, dig your post holes according to the size of your chosen posts. You should always go slightly larger in depth than you need, since a hole that is too small will become weak and potentially collapse under the weight of the posts and boards.

When installing the posts, make sure that you leave a good six inches of space between the ground and the bottom of the post to allow for water drainage and prevent wood rot. Once the posts are set, add a few inches of gravel and back fill, compressing it firmly around the base of the posts.

At this point, you can also opt to put in a concrete slab around the posts for added strength and stability. Once the posts and gravel are in place, you can begin to lay out your rails. If you’re going with a standard two-rail design, it’s important to note that your bottom rail should be at least six inches above the ground to keep it away from any soil moisture and protect it from rotting.

3. Slats

Once the posts have been fixed into position and any concrete footings have set hard, the next step in fence installation is to assemble and secure the slats to the frame. Slats are available in a range of finishes, colours and styles to suit your property’s aesthetic.

Generally, they’re easy to install. The slats sit in a channel on the inside of the fence wall and are secured using a single screw or rivet through the channel, on the rear side of the wall. This allows you to create a customised look for your fence and minimises any visual gap between the slat and the channel.

To avoid scratching your slats against the wall, you may want to consider lubricating the ends with some soapy water or grease before installing them. This can also make installation easier and reduces the chance of a gap appearing between your slat and the channel.

Before installing the slats, it’s good to restretch your guide string and check that each post grade mark is accurate. Especially important for end, corner and gate posts.

For long spans, it may be necessary to add a vertical brace for extra stability. Your slat supplier will advise you on this.

If you’re installing a chain link fence, it’s good to ensure that you have the correct number of hook-ups for the length of your fence. Each slat has one ‘hook-up’, meaning that it attaches to a line post, either an end or corner post. If you don’t have the correct number of hook-ups, it will be very difficult to secure the slats.

4. Gates

If you’re going to include gates in your fence, make sure to choose a gate that matches the style of your fencing. This will create a cohesive look and feel, especially if you’re using wood gates. Redwood and cedar are premium options that last a long time and resist rotting and pests, while Douglas Fir and Cypress are more budget-friendly choices that still hold up to the elements.

To install the gates, you’ll need hinges and latch hardware. Look for sturdier hardware, as this will offer more durability over time. Also, consider purchasing self-closing latches to ensure your gates stay shut.

Before mounting the hinges, rest your gate face down on two pieces of scrap timber, with a gap left either side for opening and closing. This will prevent the gate from rubbing against the posts when it opens and closes. Then, screw the hinges in place and brace the gate with three lengths of timber to keep it secure while you finish the construction.

Dig post holes for your gates a spade and a half wide and deep, or slightly longer if you live in a frosty area. This will help keep the footers below the frost line and prevent the posts from heaving over time. Then, fill the holes with concrete to prevent your gate from being pulled down by the weight of snow or heavy rain.

You can also build a gate with slats or pickets to add a rustic charm to your fence design. For example, you can use a mix of different-colored slats to add color and contrast to your home or garden. Alternatively, you can choose a solid-looking board for the gate that will match your fence’s slats.

5. Postholes

When building a fence, proper placement of the posts is critical. Start by marking the location of each post with wooden stakes or an eco-friendly marker. Then, run a length of twine between them to create a perfectly straight line. This will allow you to dig the post holes in a straight, even row. Ideally, each fence post should be set at least 6 feet apart. This will help keep your new fencing secure and prevent your pet or children from escaping the yard.

When digging your post holes, make sure you’re not encroaching on any neighbors property lines. Before starting any work, check the deeds to see who is responsible for the boundary in question and then contact your utility company to locate any underground pipes or cables. Often these are marked by flags or painted in bright colors, making it easy to identify before you begin digging.

Use a post hole digger to dig a hole that’s at least a third of the length of your fence post deep and three times the width of the post. This will ensure your post is stable, and it’ll also help prevent moisture damage. It’s also a good idea to add a layer of gravel to each hole before pouring concrete in them to aid water drainage and prevent any potential problems with rot or rust.

After the holes are dug, use a wheelbarrow or bucket to mix fast-setting concrete according to the instructions on the bag. Some concretes can be poured directly into the holes, while others require dry mix to be placed in the hole before adding water. Once the concrete is poured, it should be smoothed with a trowel and allowed to set before continuing with the rest of the project.