5 Things To Remember When Installing Your First Fence

Posted on: 17 March 2015

When it comes to installing a new fence, experience is the key to success. However, everyone has to start somewhere! If this is your first attempt at carrying a DIY installation, read the five tips below to get you off on the right track:

Know Your Boundaries!

The most important thing you need to know before building a fence is where your property ends and your neighbor's begins. Even if the couple next door are your best friends, the next ones might not be so friendly so it's best to avoid any situations arising by sticking to your own lot.

If your plans impinge on your neighbor's property, have a word with them and see if you can come to an agreement. Erecting a new fence benefits both properties, as it acts as the barrier between your home and theirs. As such, more often than not your next door neighbor will be OK with you building in their yard, and they may even offer to give you a helping hand!

Choosing The Right Style of Fencing

Although there are no universal rights and wrongs when it comes to fence design, there are a few rules of thumb that are worth remembering. White picket fences, for instance, look great if you have a front lawn, but not so much if you have a driveway only. Chain fences are great if you have pets around, but may not be the most aesthetically pleasing on some properties.

The important thing is to choose the right style of fence for you and your home. This will be the first thing people see as they approach your house, so you want to set off the right impression. There are a wide range of designs to choose from, such as featherboard panels, trellises and overlaps, so spend a bit of time choosing the right one for you!

Choosing The Right Fence Post

The two most common materials used for fence posts are wood and concrete, but which one should you choose? Well, the answer to this really lies in your preferences and what you are looking to gain from your fence.

Concrete is a highly durable material that will offer your fence a great deal of structural support. That being said, it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing solution and you might wish to opt for something a little more eye-catching.

This is where timber really comes into its own. Wooden fence posts are great for blending in with the panels and are more structurally stable than you might think. Additionally, they offer a very easy connection on to the panels, making your job much easier.

Preparing The Area

Before you think about getting your shovel out or calling a contractor, you have to prepare the area to allow for easy construction. To help you with this, mark your proposed fence line with a long piece of string, which will help you visualize the area you have to work with. Additionally, this will help you notice anything that needs removed before construction can proceed.

The main culprits at this stage are shrubs and bushes that are growing along the fence line. You'll likely have to remove some plants, but be careful as you don't want to disturb the underlying soil. A damaged topsoil can cause major headaches when it comes to digging your fence posts, so take proper precautions!

Digging The First Hole

If you're going down the DIY route, the most important part of the construction process is the first fencepost. This will be the pillar around which all of your fence is constructed, so make sure you get the first post in without any drama.

You should always start your fence at a fixed point, be it a garage or wall. This allows you to build the fence up around the perimeter, rather than working in two directions. Some other things to remember are:

  • Don't disrupt the footings of your property, as they may require repair down the line.
  • Always ensure that each post is installed perfectly upright, to avoid any unnecessary force on the panels.
  • Check for any electrical cables or pipelines underneath your fence line before continuing construction. 

Contact a fencing contractor for additional tips or find out more here.