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The Home Depot

Easy Guide to Installing a Fence

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fence > Easy Guide to Installing a Fence
Easy Guide to Installing a Fence

For those who are seeking some privacy in the backyard, a wood fence is exactly what you want to tackle as a DIY project. It’s also a great step in the direction of keeping your kids and pets safe.


These instructions can likewise be used to erect a vinyl fence. Plastic is a more expensive way to go, though. You could install a chain link fence, but you want to keep wandering eyes from burning a hole on your property. Anyway, chain link fencing doesn’t really give you any privacy.

  1. 1.Tools

    You’re going to need some tools for this moderate-to-advanced job. With the exception of a hammer, these implements are going to, most likely, be one-shot purchases. See if you can rent one item, a post hole digger:


    • Concrete mix

    • Pail to mix concrete in

    • Post hole digger (motorized)

    • Fence posts

    • Fence panels

    • Gate hardware

    • Gate

    • Tape measure

    • Nails

    • Hammer

  2. 2.Steps

    First, let’s take some measurements of the area you want to cover. You really need to be accurate and you want to measure as close to the ground as possible.

    First, let’s take some measurements of the area you want to cover. You really need to be accurate and you want to measure as close to the ground as possible.


    With the measurements as a guide, figure out how many posts and panels you’ll need to purchase, and then buy one extra panel that you can use to cut-up to make everything fit. Whether the panels are vinyl or wood, most of them come in a standard size of 8-feet in length.


    Another tip: The more posts, the stronger your fence will be in the event of strong winds. On average, you’ll require a post wherever two panels meet and on both sides where you plan to place your gate. If you want to make the structure sturdy, stick a post in the dead center of a panel.


    Unless you have a fair-sized pick-up, you might need to rent a truck for a couple of hours to transport your materials home. See if you can rent a motorized post hole auger, too. This is infinitely better than burrowing a few dozen holes by hand with a shovel. While there at the store, ask your salesperson to help you pick out the right hardware.


    As you unload the truck, lay all of the panels and posts on the ground, pretty much in the same position they will be when you erect the fence. They won’t be standing yet. Just let them lay there.


    Begin at one end, which is usually right up against the garage or the house. Crank-up the post hole digger and based on the length of the panels, start digging. Go down about one-and-a-half feet.


    You’re going to be dropping the poles in first, so make sure everything lines-up the way it should. Time to mix your concrete.


    One-at-a-time, put a pole in the hole and slather some concrete in the pit. Pack this well, you don’t want a wobbly fence. Make sure that everything is level. Your day is over. It’s going to take overnight for the mortar to set.


    Once all the poles are anchored, start erecting the fence panels. There’s a front-and-back side. They should all be facing the same way. Line a panel up to the pole and nail it in place.


    The final touch is installing the gate. Start by attaching the hinges to the gate. Put the opening in place and fasten the gate to the posts.


    If it’s a wood fence, you may want to stain it. For this, grab your kids and demonstrate to them how a professional paints things. Once they get the knack of it, tell them to carry-on, grab a beer and return outside to supervise the workers.

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