Top DIY Guide to Building a Fence
Getting an outside contractor to construct a fence for you can be an expensive affair. With a bit of knowledge and forward planning, there is no reason why you shouldn’t build your own fence. We have put together a step-by-step guide to what you need to do to build a standard wooden fence that will withstand the winds and keep your neighbors (and you) happy.
Check with your neighbors and planning
If the fence is going to form a boundary between you and your neighbor, you will want to initially consult with them to ensure there is complete agreement as to the positioning of the fence. Any dispute afterward could be lengthy and expensive if your neighbor is claiming that the fence impinges on their property.
Check also with local planning regulations to make sure that the height of the fence does not exceed local permissions, and that there are no specific restrictions relating to the materials you can use. In general, the height of a fence should be no more than six feet at the rear of a property, and no more than four feet to the front of a property.
Locate and mark out the line of the fence
Clear the area where the fence is going of excess weeds and plant growth, trim the grass down, and make sure that any electricity cables or other utility connections are clearly identified to avoid any accidents.
Using a measuring wheel and string, pace out the line of the fence, and where the posts are going to go. Be aware whether or not you are on the property line, or on your side of the property. If you are on the property line and the fence is a joint project with your neighbor then you have the right line. If the line is on your side of the line this means that the fence belongs to you and you are responsible for it. If you are not sure where the line is you can check in your local deeds office.
Fencing panels tend to be a standard six feet in length, so you need to measure the distance between your fence posts accordingly.
Locate and dig the fence posts
Your fence posts should run every six to eight feet along the fence line. Using a shovel or small digger, dig out the fence post holes according to their size. Make sure you have accounted for any power or utility lines that might run along the edge of your property.
The posts can then be fixed using aggregate and concrete to ensure they are firm and stable, and able to withstand excessive weather.
This is the most important aspect of the whole process. If the fence posts are not secured properly, then the entire fence will be compromised.
Fixing the fence panels
Using the correct drill bits for the size of the fence, the fencing panels can be screwed to the post using U-shaped post clips. The panels should be raised about 100mm from the ground to prevent them from rotting. Once fitted, you can add treated gravel boards along the bottom rim of the panels to close the gap between you and your neighbor.
Make things easy for yourself
While fencing in itself can be a complex job, most DIY and builders merchants make the job as easy as possible for you by supplying ready-made panels, posts, and fixings. If your property is on a slope, or if there are a lot of trees and shrubs to circumnavigate you might want to call in the experts.