How are Fences Built?

Most fences involve the same basic elements: posts placed into the ground; top, bottom and possibly middle rails; and back boards or panels depending on the design you want. Setting up the structure can be quite the task, meant for brave souls who hopefully have some construction experience.  If you are one of those brave souls, use this guide to help you tackle the installation.

This is the basic step-by-step process for putting up a wooden fence. Here’s what you will need:

  • Basic carpentry tools (nails, hammer, etc.)
  • Circular saw
  • Shovel
  • Concrete
  • Posthole digger
  • Rails and posts
  • Rail clips
  • String
  • Level
  • Square
  • Pencil or pen
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint or stain

Once you have gathered all necessary materials, it’s time to begin!

  1. Check community codes for building and zoning, and make sure your planned fence meets them. It would be a pain to spend the time installing the fence and having to take it down due to code violation.
  2. If you want a stained or painted fence, apply the coating before putting it together. This will give better coverage and may even save you time.
  3. Lay out the site and dig all the holes — this will take some careful measuring, so be patient!
  4. Set posts, starting with the end posts. Hold a level to two adjacent faces of each post to ensure it is level. Tie a string from end post to end post to check that they are lined up properly.
  5. Shovel concrete into the holes around posts, rounding them off so water will drain away from the posts. Once the concrete has dried, cut posts down to uniform height if needed.
  6. Secure rails using rail clips. A level and square can help in confirming each rail is straight and aligns properly with posts.
  7. If you are adding fencing boards, measure carefully and mark where the fencing boards will be on the rails. It helps to have another person help with this step, so that they can keep boards aligned while you nail them.

Hopefully the result is a secure, attractive-looking fence. If you find you have trouble or would rather leave the work to professionals, contact Straight Line Fence for assistance.


Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens