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How to Build a Fence

Property owners want to learn how to build a fence for a variety of reasons. It can be to keep something in or to keep something out or merely for decorative purposes. There are several types of fences from picket to chain link to wood and vinyl privacy fences. The type of fence you decide to build will obviously be determined by its purpose. Professional installation can be expensive, but if you can afford it, it’s obviously much less work for you and a professional already knows how to build a fence. However, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer either in spirit or in an effort to keep costs down, it isn’t too difficult for most people to learn how to build a fence.

Begin by making a building plan. Measure the width and length of the area to be fenced in and subsequently determine the total feet of fencing you will be putting up. During this process, also determine where you will want to place a gate. Next, check with your local or municipal zoning department to find out if you need a building permit. With legalities out of the way, you can begin to build your fence.

Whether you know how to build a fence or not, you’ll want to choose your fencing material carefully. Some people prefer vinyl fencing because of its low maintenance and long-life, but it is more costly than wood. Alternately, some people prefer wood fencing merely for the rustic look it lends to landscaping. If you’re considering wood, keep in mind that it will require staining or painting every few years to keep it looking good. With your fencing material chosen, you can begin the manual labor of building a fence.

You will need to dig postholes and install the posts before the fencing goes up. Each corner of your fenced in area needs a post and depending on if you are using 4 foot or 6 foot fence panels, you will need to dig holes for the support posts the appropriate distance apart. The posts will be set in concrete and you should allow time for the concrete to harden properly before attaching the weight of your fence. Wood fencing should be hung slightly above ground level to avoid unnecessary rotting, but it is most important when building a fence to keep the top of the fence level. Depending on the grade of your yard, you may have to make modifications to the bottom portion of your fence to keep the top as level as possible. Use deck screws for attaching your fence to the posts and finally install the gate and any decorative post toppers. It isn’t difficult to figure out how to build a fence and while the labor is fairly intensive, it will likely be worth it.

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