How to build a fence

build a fence

A fence can be used to maintain privacy, corral animals, keep out unwanted wildlife, mark boundary lines, and divide the property. Building a fence is a project that requires careful planning and patience. If you would like to build a fence, here is an outline of how it can be done economically and efficiently.

Before you begin, check for any restrictions on fence construction that would be applicable to your town or residential area. If there are no restrictions, the next step would be to ensure that the fence site is within your property boundaries. If you foresee any problems with your neighbors, you should discuss the project with them before building the fence.

As you plan where the fence should be built, analyze the size and shape of the landscape. Determine exactly how the fence will blend with the existing landscape and whether the area is susceptible to erosion. The fence should not be placed in an area that is heavily trafficked by people or animals. This will wear down a path beside the fence and eventually form a gully.

If possible build the fence on a contour or across slopes. Place the fence at a convenient location that will give easy passage without compromising its function. The fence will be a permanent fixture; therefore it will be necessary to take the time to thoughtfully plan where it should be built.

After you have decided on the location, your next step would be to purchase the materials for the building process. You will need pressure treated 8-foot 4×4 posts, 2×4 boards and 1x6x6 planks. The amount of lumber needed will be determined by the length of the fence. You will also need to rent, borrow or buy a posthole digger. If you are installing a gate, purchase two gate hinges and a latch.

Begin constructing the fence by first marking out the fence line. If you will be including a gate, leave a 36-inch space for it. Use the posthole digger to dig 2-foot holes at 8-foot intervals. Place a 4×4 post in each hole. Secure the posts in place with concrete ready mix. Frame the fence by nailing 2×4 planks across the 8-foot gap between the posts.

Each 2×4 should run from the top center of one post to the center of the next. Frame the bottom of the fence by nailing 6-inch pieces of 2×4 leftovers to the bottom of the posts, one on each side. Complete the framing by nailing 2×4’s to the top of each 6-inch piece so that the 8-foot gap at the bottom of the posts is closed.

After the fence has been framed, you can begin filling in-between the posts. Nail the pressure treated 1x6x6 planks between each post. This style of fencing is usually used for privacy. You can construct a less private style of fencing by nailing the planks alternately from one side of the fence to the other.

If you are using a gate, the next step would be to attach the hinges to the post at the beginning of the 36-inch space. Secure the gate by placing a latch midway between the top and bottom. You can purchase a gate or build one utilizing the same construction techniques that you used for the fence.

Your fence is now complete. You can either paint it or leave it in its natural looking rustic appearance. If properly built, the fence will last many years and because you built it yourself the cost will be minimal.

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