Fences are a great way to define your property and give it character. You might want to order prefab fence panels, but if you have the skills, materials, and patience, you can build your own! Building your own fence panel is not as difficult as all that. These simple tips and tricks, it shows you how to build excellent wood fences for any budget in about one day.
1. How to build a cedar fence panel (2-3 hours)
First, you need to decide the design of your fence. The most common design is a picket fence, but there are many more options. If you want a professional farm fence, don’t forget about the wood posts. They should be at least six feet deep, but only four inches wide in order to support heavy weight on top of them by the rails and panels.
It’s important to dig the holes before building the fence because it will be difficult or impossible to do it once everything is ready. Place the posts inside the holes and pin them together with metal pins.
You will need one post every three to four feet, depending on the height of your panels. In order to support rails you’ll need supports for rails vertical wooden boards that are stacked on top of each other. The width of these supports should be equal to the gap between railings and posts but no more than 3 inches.
Placement of your fence :
Now, you will have to attach both types of rails to the posts. You have to drill metal screws into both ends of the rails on both sides, as well as in the middle of the support boards. The distance between the metal support boards has to be equal to the main and top rails or else it will not sit flat on the posts.
Next, you will have to install the cross-rails. As with the rails, you will have to drill metal screws into both ends of the cross-rails and in the middle of the support boards. However, this time you will not need to put them on top of each other because they’re placed horizontally. Now, your cedar fence panels are ready for final assembly.
Find your property line:
Do not forget to note the exact location of your property line on paper before starting. You will have to measure at least a couple of feet from the two lines because you need a little extra room for adjustment. First, you will have to dig out the area for in-ground fence panels. It will help if you can mark it on paper with a pen before digging since not all clay soils are the same and they might be difficult to dig out after hitting hard rocks.
Now, you’re ready to install the fence panels. You will have to dig a hole in the center, where you will install your fence panels. If your holes are deeper, you’ll need to use two fence panels. You can also build the boards on top of each other and then bury it together with a dirt mixture. If you do this, measure your fence panels at least 3 inches from one board to another. This way is more stable for the fence panels in order not to shake when you walk.
Determine the height of your fence:
The height of your fence can be up to 5 feet, depending on what kind of fence you have and what you will use it for. For picket fences, the height is usually between 3 and 5 feet tall. It’s important to keep it at one level so that your fence looks attractive. You can also purchase a laser level or use a string attached to something stable inside your house. Measure the exact distance from the ground to the string using a measuring tape.
The area where your fence will be installed should be cleared: Do not forget to clear the area where you will install your fence. If you have all kinds of bushes, weeds and grasses, consider which ones you will remove and which you’ll leave for the fence. You need to do some digging with a shovel or a garden trowel in order to make a clean space for your fence.
How high is your fence?
Fence height is much more important than its length since it is the only thing that defines it from other objects in your landscape. There’s a rule that a fence should be at least 6 feet tall and at least 5 feet wide.
Many people say that you can reduce the cost of building your own fence by placing the panels on top of each other, but it will not hide the cracks because they will still be visible. It’s more stable but more expensive. The height is also about how high you can see over your fence and what is your budget for building fences. You can make it shorter or taller to fit your needs.
Place stakes where the support posts for your fence will go:
You need to place your support posts for your fence panels at least 6 inches from the ground. It will help you not to stab yourself when walking or driving around your property. You can also use stakes and string, but metal stakes are better since you don’t have to worry about them falling into the ground and disappearing there for good. Do not forget to mark where you will put them so that you don’t forget later.
Planting your posts:
Now, you have to dig holes for your metal fence posts. For example: If you want to install a 5-foot fence, the metal fence post has to be about 6 feet long. Digging for metal fence posts might be difficult and labor intensive; however, it is the best option because wood often cracks after it gets older and is frozen if no maintenance is done properly.
Use string to see your post lines:
You can use string to see your post lines. First, you need to attach a string to the end of your metal fence post. It should be long enough to reach the ground and then some more inches left in order to tie it on something stable. The next step is to place a stake in the ground at that point. Use the string to tie a loop around it so that you can pull the string back up after staking the second support post for your fence panel.
For the posts, dig holes:
You will have to dig holes for your metal fence posts. For example: If you want to install a 5-foot fence, the metal fence post has to be about 6 feet long. Digging for metal fence posts might be difficult and labor intensive; however, it is the best option because wood often cracks after it gets older and frozen if no maintenance is done properly.
Fill the post holes’ bottoms with gravel:
Fill the holes with some gravel. It will not only protect your fence from frost, but it will also save you from the added expenses of having to purchase a better grade of concrete to fill it about every two years.
Place the posts inside the openings:
Now, you have to install the posts. You can use a hammer and screwdriver or even a crowbar if your fence is made out of aluminum or galvanized metal.
Paint the sides of your posts:
You will have to paint the post sides after they are installed. It will make the fence look nice and it will also protect them from damage because it will prevent rusting.
Quick-setting concrete should be used to fill the empty space:
Place a layer of quick-setting concrete on the back side of the post holes. You will have to mix the quick-setting concrete with water. You can use a sprayer or you can use a bucket and mix it by hand. After you’re done mixing, pour the mixture into your holes and cover them with another thin layer of quick-setting concrete. Wait for at least 4 hours before walking on it in order to let it dry thoroughly.
Placement of the fence:
Fence panels are placed on both sides of your border. To make sure that they will fit into the holes, you will have to measure the distance between two fence panels and then divide it by two. In this way, your fence will be 50 percent longer than necessary but still allow for proper installation. If you need to make more holes for your fence panels, you can take advantage of that rule.
Install your posts:
You will have to install the first support post on either side of your fence. Simply lay out a string at the end of where you want to put your support post and stake it down in order to keep yourself on track.
The next step is to place your second support post next to the first. Use the string to measure and align it with the previous one. After doing so, use a hammer to drive in your stake.
Installation of Your Fence Panels:
When working with a wire mesh fence, you tend to cut two rubber strips or two aluminum strips. It is important to cut them straight because they will later act as hinges for your gate.