- By Kurt Kopp
- In Design Ideas, Design Ideas, DIY Projects, How To's, New Construction, Remodeling, The Process
- Tags fence, installing
12 Steps to Installing Fence
Installing a fence for your yard will increase marketability for your home. The cost to install a fence averages $2,765. You’ll spend anywhere from $13 to $50 per linear foot with labor and materials each makes up 50% of the total budget. Depending on the type of fence you want, the installation process will vary, and how much of your yard you want to fence. Check out these 12 Steps to Installing Fence.
Check local codes and homeowner’s association guidelines that might govern fence style, size, and placement. Determine if a permit is necessary. Not all fences may be allowed in all areas and some locations allow for fencing on a property line; others may require an offset.
Know your property lines and discuss your plans with neighbors along your proposed fence line. Make sure you use a plot map that indicates your property line and the divisions of land areas, or a set of blueprints. You will want to avoid putting up a fence either on your neighbor’s property.
Use graph paper to draw a plan for your fence and determine gate locations. Note some towns might require this plan for an approved building permit.
Consider the material of the fence such as Chain Link, Wood, Vinyl, Aluminum & Steel, Wrought Iron, etc.
Do not Forget to Call Before You Dig. Before digging locate all underground utility lines by calling 811 to have utility companies come out and mark the location of lines.
Mockup your fence layout and post locations by marking them using string. Place the batter boards beyond where your fence corners will be located and run strings between them by keeping the strings 6 inches off of your property line. The strings help you line up the posts. Batter boards allow you to adjust the strings easily.
Installing corner posts are an essential part of any fence. They dictate everything else you do and ensures that you begin with an accurate point of reference. From these posts come the string lines that dictate where all the other posts should be placed.
Once string lines are in place, you can then measure to determine the locations of all other posts. If you have a small partial span of the fence at the end of a run, go back and adjust the different spans to take up the difference, but do not exceed the maximum span dimension. If the difference is too significant for minor adjustments, use a partial span.
Dig the holes for your post to size. Some codes might require the depth to be below the frost line. The post hole diameter generally is about three times the width of the post. Concrete footings must be set before you begin adding other elements to the fence.
Depending on your fence design, you may have two or three rails to hold the fence boards. You must carefully set and leveled and attached by nails or screws to the posts. Mark the rail locations on the posts. Indicating the sites for the lower edges of the top rails and the upper edges of the bottom rails makes it easier to see the marks when you position the rails. Measure between the top and bottom rail locations to determine the placement of the middle rail. The rail locations don’t have to be exact but should be close for the best appearance.
Attach face boards. This is where the most significant variation occurs in fence construction. The planks are added to the face at this point and attached to the rails by fastening with screws or nails. One of the keys to installing fence pickets is keeping the tops at a uniform height. One of the ways to keep them at the correct height is by using a string at the top or bottom of pickets. Install corner pickets at the desired height and tap a nail into the top of each picket. Run a string between the nails. Line up the tops of the remaining pickets with the string.
Build and Install the Fence Gate. The hardware keeps the gate square and prevents sagging over time.
Time to seal, stain, or paint your fence. Sealing your fence depends on the materials and climate you live in. In most Northwest regions, a waterproofing sealer helps to extend the lifespan of a fence.
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Kurt Kopp is a dedicated professional with a commitment to excellence. He is a master builder of over 35 years of experience that strives to deliver the highest quality product to his valued customer.