Fences are bigger business in the US than you might think.
Indeed, the fencing market was valued at an impressive $8 billion last year. That’s a lot of Americans paying out hard-earned money for new fencing on their property!
We don’t blame them either. After all, fences serve multiple purposes for any household. They demarcate someone’s land, provide privacy from prying eyes, and add extra security against outside threats. A quality fence is clearly a worthy investment.
Even better, with a bit of time and effort, you can build one all by yourself! Knowing how to install a wood fence can save you the hassle and expense of hiring a professional.
Sound good? Looking for advice on how to do it?
Keep reading to learn the 6 essentials steps to properly install a wooden fence.
1. Prepare for the Job
As the old saying goes:
‘Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail’.
Make sure you keep that in mind as you get ready to install your wooden fence. Essentially, there are some key considerations to think about before you get to work.
First, it can pay to check with the local authority regarding local codes and fencing guidelines. You might have to adhere to certain rules, or even seek permission, to install your fence. The regulations can impact everything from the style of the fence to the size of the post holes you need.
Next up, it’s your job to know where your property starts and finishes! The last thing you want is neighborly disputes on your hands. Speak to your neighbors first to let them know what you’re planning.
2. Plan It Out
The second step to successfully installing a fence is to plan it out.
In other words, you need to have a literal blueprint of where the fence will be positioned. You should work out where the post holes will go and how many you’ll need.
Of course, if you’re adding to/updating an existing wood fence, then this is less of an issue. However, it’s of vital importance for anybody starting from scratch.
Having drawn out the plan on paper first, start marking it out on the property itself. Use pegs, string, and wooden boards to plot and align the post holes. With that task completed, it’s time for the fun to start…
If the task is starting to feel beyond your capabilities, then don’t hesitate to call a fencing contractor!
3. Dig Your Holes
It’s time to dig your post holes.
However, you need to identify the lay of the land beforehand.
Contact the local authority to figure out where the utility lines, pipes, and so on are positioned. Knowing where these are will prevent you from causing unnecessary damage.
Assuming your planned post holes are set to miss everything underground, you’re all good to go.
Digging the holes can be hard work. A combination of a digging bar, shovel and post-hole digger might be required. Aim to dig your post holes approximately 30 inches deep and 10×10 inches wide (of course, the exact dimensions will depend on the fence you’re making).
4. Insert the Posts
Okay, your holes are ready and waiting!
With the hard work behind you, the next step is to insert the posts.
This is where your fence starts to take shape. The posts are the pillars of your fencing, providing the framework that everything else connects to.
Insert a post into each hole, and fill in soil around the edges. Be vigilant for any mortise joints in the post. When these are present, position the posts such that the pickets (when they’re attached) will sit around 3 inches off the ground.
This step requires the use of a level to ensure the posts sit vertically. When it’s positioned perfectly upright, add and compact the soil around the edges to fix it in place.
Repeat this process for each remaining post.
5. Add the Rails
It’s time to get your fence looking more fence-like!
Attaching rails to the posts provides a frame to which you’ll fix the vertical pickets. The exact means of attaching the rails is up to you and your level of experience.
Mortise joints have slots in the post for the rails to slide into. However, that requires planning and the creation of each slot prior to posts being set in place.
An easier alternative is to use a butt joint.
Here, the rails are positioned so that they align and touch before being screwed into place. In other words, a top and bottom rail are positioned horizontally between the posts and then secured.
Repeat this process until you have top and bottom rails between each post.
6. Attach the Boards
The final step to installing a simple wood fence is to add the boards themselves.
Of course, there are different ways to do this according to the exact fence you want. The simplest option, though, is to nail vertical boards to the rails, leaving no space between them.
The result is total privacy and a seamless overall appearance.
Start at a corner post and gradually work your way around. However, be sure to use boards that have the correct width. Otherwise, you’ll end up with awkward gaps between the end of the last board and the next post down.
Every so often you should stop to check the boards are still vertical. Use a level and adjust the next board according to the reading.
Exactly How to Install a Wood Fence
Wooden fences are hugely popular in America, which explains why this market is thriving right now.
These vital additions to a household help protect your property and stop outsiders from peeping in. It goes without saying that they look great too!
Even better, knowing how to install a wood fence means you can do it yourself. With the materials and insight ready and waiting, you can build yourself a quality fence with minimal effort.
Hopefully, this article will help you do it.
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