The first thing to do is tell the neighbors that you plan to build a fence. An unexpected fence is the first salvo in many neighborhood wars.
After notifying neighbors, you need to find out two things:
- Where are the boundaries of your property, and
- Underground communications are laid (gas, electricity, telephone, cable).
You may be able to find stakes or “monuments” that are used to mark the corners of your lot (a metal detector helps), but if not, your city or county government can sometimes help. They will have lot maps or other documents that legally describe your property. You must have the entire fence, including the supports around the posts, within the boundaries of your property. Hire a surveyor if necessary.
In most areas, utilities will mark their cables and pipes on the ground if you ask them to. Keep at least 18 inches away from the marks. Or, better yet, call before you dig.
Check with your local building authority to see if the building code governs fences. Often the code requires the best side of the fence to be facing outward, towards the street or neighbors (which is a surprise, isn’t it?). There may also be restrictions on the height of the fence or how close you can be to property lines (called “retreat”).
Designate your fence
Once you know the legal requirements, set up stakes and rope to mark the location of your fence posts. The strings must be at least 6 inches inside your property lines. Map your fence on graph paper, indicating the length of each section.
Now calculate how far apart the posts will be for each section of the fence. Poles must be 8 feet. Apart or less, from the center of one pillar to the center of the next. Here’s how to calculate it:
- Take the total section length in inches and divide by 96.
- Take that number and round up to the next highest whole number.
- Divide the total length of the railing section by this number.
- The result is the center distance.
If you need a gate, decide on its location. It should be as level as possible, and the loop should be downhill. The opening for the gate should be a multiple of the width of the fence board plus 3/4″ (Fig. C).
Mark the location of the posts and gates and the distance between the centers of the posts on the fence map.
Using the fence map as a guide, order lumber, concrete, and fasteners. The fence merchant will have the best selection of lumber.
If you mix concrete yourself, figure about two for 80 pounds. Mail bags. Otherwise. The figure is approximately 1 yard of concrete per 40 posts.
Choose aluminum. Stainless steel nails or hot dip galvanized (not galvanized) nails to minimize the formation of rust spots. Hot-treated nails can be recognized by their rough texture.
Installation of corner posts
The first step in building a fence is to install posts at the ends and corners of the fence. The posts must be deep enough: 32 inches deep is the minimum for a 6-foot high fence.
Start by digging holes for the pre-cut corner and end posts. The ropes and stakes mark the fence’s location right inside the boundaries of your property.
Adjust the uprights to be at the correct height above the ground. Either by tamping excess dirt into the bottom of the hole or by deepening it. Remember that such a fence with pre-cut decorative tops must have the posts set to the correct height. To other fences. For example. Those with messages that are nailed with caps or tips.
A lot can happen between when an idea first hits somebody’s head about needing new fences for their property up until they’ve got one built on-site at home; but no matter what type or style it may be (wooden picket? Metal paneling), if there was ever going ́to get accomplished by the way out this project then we’re here ready with expertise like yours.