A fence can enhance the curb appeal of your property, increase privacy, provide protection from the elements, and provide security. It is also ideal for keeping children and pets contained and provides a visual key for the property boundary. Wood is the commonest and probably the most cost-effective fencing material, particularly if you opt for pressure-treated wood. Wooden fences are long-lasting and recyclable, but they require maintenance. Staining or painting can help preserve the wood, and you should do it once a year or every two years. To complete your wood fence installation project successfully, the following tips will be useful.
1. Determine your major fencing needs
Consider what you want to achieve from installing the wooden fence. Some reasons may include keeping your pets contained in the yard, keeping wildlife out of your property, or having a simple divider for your property line. Once you determine the purpose the fence will serve, you can contemplate on which style is best suited for the space.
2. Choose the style
Determining the function of the fence will guide you on choosing the best style. For instance, if you want the fence to keep your pets and kids secured, then a tall fence without large gaps is suitable. If you want a simple perimeter fence, around your home’s front yard, a decorative thigh-high fence, or classic white picket fence can be an excellent choice. If you want to obscure the street view and provide a sound barrier between the street and your home, then you can build a privacy fence that lets some light in. You can then plant sound-proofing foliage behind the fence.
3. Think about the limitations
There is a myriad of laws related to garden fencing, especially if the fence backs out onto the main road. For instance, if your yard rests on a corner, you shouldn’t block the vision of drivers approaching the intersection, or corner from any direction. Besides, height restrictions exist on most types of fencing. It is rare that you will be able to install a fence that is higher than six and a half feet (two meters). Inquire with neighborhood associations or homeowners and municipal building code officials about covenants dictating fence height, appearance, and materials. Neighborhood and city rules could specify that the fence’s better-looking side (the one that does not show rails and posts) be placed toward the property’s public face. Inquire how far back you should set the fence on your property. Generally, a fence should be set back two to eight inches from property lines and sidewalks. Also, find out if your fencing project requires a building permit. Another thing, ensure that the layout of your fence is marked clearly with stakes and lines. Check the layout against a current survey to ensure you are within your property lines.
4. Consider the climate in your area
You may not think much about the climate, but the air temperature can have an impact on your wooden fence. For instance, in warm and humid climates, wood may sustain water damage. In colder climates, it is easier for the fence panels to snap, so you need to install the posts much deeper into the ground.
5. Sink the posts deep and straight
The fence panel and the posts are the two most significant parts of a great fence. Sink the posts two or more feet into the ground. An excellent guide to go with is ensuring that at least 1/3rd of the post is inside the ground. This can keep the wood from snapping in the cold and significantly minimize the effects any type of weather can have on your fencing. Some codes may require the depth of the holes to be below the frost line to prevent the ground from pushing the posts up. For holes close to your home, use a post hole digger, shovel, and digging bar. For holes in open areas, you can use a power auger to save effort and time.
6. Plan an entrance and exit
It is surprising that many property owners do not plan effectively for their rear gateway. Most do so when they are halfway through the wood fence installation project. It is essential to measure your proposed gateway and ensure that the space is clearly marked. This way, you will not find that one of your fence panels is cutting into your entryway.
7. Address elevated or sloppy ground
Do not forget to address elevated ground or slopes that can affect your fence installation and layout. To deal with minor sloping, you can install a racked fence. This means that the rail stays parallel to the ground in all panels. For steeper slopes, you can use a steeped fence format, meaning that the fence will appear like steps. Be careful as you install a stepped fence because you have to cut the panels individually to follow the slope.
8. Use mixed concrete to fill the holes
Ensure that the posts are properly installed and secure and then use mixed concrete to fill the holes. Mix the concrete in a bucket, not in the holes. It is also advisable to add gravel to the bottom of the holes so that water will not affect the fence posts. Gravel will ensure proper drainage of rainwater.
9. Think green
Landscaping can be useful just like fencing, and the two can work well in most situations. For instance, if you prefer a natural look more than fence panels, you may use trellises to enhance your borders. The trellises will enable you to grow climbing plants across the fence.
10. Allow the fence panels to set before you apply treatments
After installing your wood fence, give it the chance to settle and dry before applying finishes or treatments. You can wait a few months before you stain or paint the wood to give it time to dry thoroughly. If you do not provide it with time, the wood will not absorb the treatments you apply entirely. Treating the fence properly can make it last longer. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the finishing products you use.
Installing a wood fence is a doable project for property owners who have time and energy. By following the tips above, you can construct an appealing wood fence from the ground up. However, if your fencing project is more complex or covers a large area, it is best to consult with professionals who provide wood fence installation services in your area.