Fences are one of the most popular types of home improvement projects. They can be used to keep your pets in or out, create a sense of privacy, and give you a nice view. Different parts of the country have different regulations on how high fences should be and what type is allowed (i.e., wood vs chain link). In this blog post, we will discuss how to build a wooden fence that meets all local regulations for where you live!
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Build Wooden Fence Yourself – Instructions Step by Step
Types of Wooden Fences
There are many different types of wooden fences you can build. The most common type is a picket fence that has horizontal boards with gaps in between them (similar to the image below). Another popular type is an alternating board pattern where each board overlaps one other as it goes down the length of your fence. This creates a sturdier and more cohesive-looking fence.
If you are going for a more carefree look, then an informal or rustic style of wooden fencing is the way to go! This type of fence gets its character from no one particular pattern and it looks really great without much maintenance.
Fence Planning and Design
Begin by planning and designing the fence. Determine what you want in terms of height, materials, and construction type (e.g., post-and-rail or board on board). If your yard is located between two properties such as along a sidewalk with neighbors to either side then it would be ideal that pedestrians can see through the fence. This is not always possible or practical.
Make a sketch of the yard and indicate where you want to place each section of fence, along with any gates (e.g., side-opening and driveway). This will help in determining materials required for fencing material such as posts, boards, pickets, etc., which can be obtained from your local home improvement or lumber store.
Tool and Material List
Once you have determined the location of your fence it is time to compile a list of tools and materials needed for construction. Some items may be already in your tool shed or garage, such as:
- Beam shoes or drive-in sleeves – for fixing the fence posts and protecting them from moisture and rotting.
- Screws – for fastening the beams and battens
- Folding rule – for exact measuring
- Spirit level, straight edge, straightedge – to bring posts and battens into plumb line
- Hammer, sledgehammer, squared timber – to bring the post supports or the posts themselves to the same height or to hammer them into the ground
- Screwdriver, cordless screwdriver – for everything that needs to be screwed
- Ready-mixed concrete or dry mortar – for concreting in the beam shoes
- Wheelbarrow – to pick up the excavation of the holes for the posts, or to mix ready-mixed concrete in them
- Posthole Digger, shovel – to excavate the holes for the concrete
- Spacer for battens – the most suitable for this purpose is a batten or a board of the desired width of the distance
For some projects, safety equipment will also be required such as safety glasses and gloves depending on what kind of material you are using (e.g., sharp nails).
Prepare Terrain for Fence
Remove all vegetation, rocks, and soil that are in the way of where you want to put your fence. If this is not possible, plan ahead for how these can be avoided while building your wooden fence.
Post Up to Wooden Fence
After you have prepared the terrain, drive posts into the ground to mark where your fence will be. Use a post-hole digger for this task if possible, however, in some cases, it might not fit and manual labor is necessary.
When marking out where each post should go, make sure there are no obstacles in between them that could cause damage when the fence gets installed or torn down later on. You can also add extra support by adding more than one row of posts along with beams attached from end-to-end between opposite rows of posts before starting any work on putting up boards around them.
Once all stakes are driven into the ground at proper intervals, use string as a guide to attach the sturdy wire to each stake, ensuring that the wire is stretched tight when installing it.
Attach the Slats to the Posts
Use a drill to make pilot holes for larger fasteners. You can also use galvanized nails or screws that will not rust over time. The boards should be spaced one inch apart from each other and pressed snugly against each post. If you have long slats, they should overlap at least four inches depending on how wide your board is.
You can use a carpenter’s square to make sure the posts and slats you attach are all at right angles.
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After Installation, the Wooden Fence Must Be Painted
Before installation, the wooden fence must be painted. This is to protect it from weathering and insects that might damage the wood over time. The color of paint should suit your home’s exterior or match with other construction elements on the property.