Building a Fence

Fences can be one of the most versatile and useful items on your property. If you are doing some landscaping or have a garden, modular fence systems can be used as a great decoration piece or focal point. An aluminum pool fence works as a great safety device for your yard. Whatever your need may be, the Resourceful Remodeler is pleased to offer you a few tidbits about fences and some basic tips to get you started building your own fence.

Learning how to build and install a fence yourself is a lot of work, but it also means you won’t have to hire a wrought iron fence contractor just to make your sidewalk more decorative.

Some fences can be build with a shovel, hammer and nails while others, such as welded wire fencing, require special tools for stretching the fence to the right fit. Below you’ll find a basic guide to build a fence for a house or that beautiful garden modular fence system we talked about before.

The first thing you need to consider is what type of fence you want and what its purpose is. Are you replacing old wrought iron fencing? Do you want garden fencing to keep small animals out? If you’re looking for privacy, fence panels might be needed. Whether you’re building a split rail fence along your walk or installing lodge pole fencing, you must have a plan.

  • The next thing you’ll need to consider whether you’re building aluminum pool fences, corral fencing or baseball fencing is the area you’re building on. Is it hilly? Do you expect the soil to be rocky? Are you going to have to remove any trees or other structures? You get the idea. Just make sure you have the proper tools for what you plan to encounter.
  • Next it’s time to clear everything with your community authority. That might be the city, homeowners association or neighbors. This is a very important step because some communities won’t allow a temporary plastic snow fence, much less an 8-foot privacy fence. You’re neighbors may also have something to say about your fence. They may even be willing to split the cost of a shared fence line.
  • It’s time to start making some visible progress with your fence now. You’ll want to start with stakes, string, a level, tape measure and a can of spray paint. Measure and plot out your fence line with the stakes, string, level and tape measure. Use the spray paint to mark the exact placement of your posts.
  • Construction time! The first step in constructing any fence is digging the holes for your post. You can do this with a manual post digger or a power auger. We have heard it said that a good rule to go by when digging is to make the depth of your holes one-third of the post length into the ground, then dig six inches deeper. In fact, this is generally overkill. For an eight-foot post, a two-foot hole is adequate unless you have very loose sandy soil or your soil is constantly wet and soaked.
  • You can now set your posts. Level your post in the center of the hole and fill with concrete. Be sure to tamp the concrete in the hole to force any air pockets out. A good tip is to over fill the hole slightly at the top, and slope the concrete away from the post. This will allow water to run away from the post and not settle around it. Allow concrete to cure for 24-48 hours.
  • The hardest work is done, and you can begin installing your panels, pickets and gates. Check for level and plumb often throughout this process. If you’re leaving space between your pickets cut a board to the desired width, and use it as a spacer. A straight fence is not only appealing to the eye, but it’s stronger as well.