Privacy fences offer many solutions beyond just privacy. From blocking your view of eyesores in your neighbor’s yard, offering security, to adding character and value to your home, privacy fences are the perfect solution.
They add security by protecting your yard and home from outside elements. This includes bunnies that dig through your garden, wind that blows your patio cushions across the yard or even any unwanted guests and intruders.
Beyond protection, a well-kept fence can instantly add character to your home and allow you to increase the aesthetic of your curb appeal by giving it your own hint of style with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Depending on the positioning of your yard, fences can also provide shade, allowing you to plant any shade-loving flowers you want.
Overall, it is easy to see all of the benefits of having a fence; but it’s not quite as easy to find a fencing company to install a fence in your yard for a decent price. Luckily, installing a fence can be a great DIY project with an inexpensive price tag.
Taking on a fence build project can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be nearly as hard or time-consuming as people think. Following this advice and walking through each step can make it an extremely rewarding and fun project.
Preparation for Building
Before you begin your project, you have to begin planning for both the location, size, style and structure that works for your space. Beyond your own specifications and style, you also have to do some research to determine any height specifications and set-back distance requirements within your neighborhood.
The first step of researching it to take care of the technical desk work. This includes getting a property survey to ensure your fence is in the right place, marking underground utilities and wires and checking with your local building department to see if a permit is required before you begin building. While these steps may seem unnecessary, they will save you in the long run.
Once you have that out of the way, you can begin the fun research to find what style you are looking for. Consider driving around surrounding neighborhoods to get ideas for your own fence and what style will fit with the architecture of your home.
Measuring for the Right Amount of Materials
The biggest consideration to keep in mind is the materials you use to build with. You have the complete power to choose whatever materials you want to use, and in the realm of fencing, there are many options with everything from wood to metal to plastic.
One of the best options in terms of endurance is pressure-treated wood. With proper maintenance and care, this can last up to 40 years. There are a variety of other wood types that look great and are easily maintained like cedar and spruce.
Once you have decided on the type of materials, you can begin the process of purchasing them. You will want to first measure and mark your yard to help you determine how much you will need. Buying excess materials or less than you need can complicate the project.
Mark your yard by placing stakes at each corner of the boundaries. Then mark another stake every 6-8 feet. You will also want to mark where you want any gates. These stakes will be replaced with posts, and then sections of fencing placed in between.
Next, you will purchase your materials. Materials should include:
- Corner posts: You will need one corner post for each corner of your fence to connect two sections of fencing together to form a corner at an angle.
- Line posts: You will need one line post for each stake you placed between the corner posts to connect two sections of fencing together in a straight line.
- End posts: You will need one end post for wherever your fence comes to an end due to any obstructions like your home, a tree, or connecting to a gate.
- Sections: You will need a section of paneling or rails for each of the gaps in between your posts to connect them together.
- Gate: You will need to purchase the correct size gate and any additional latches and hardware in order to include gates to get in and out of your fence.
Before installing your fence, you will need to access the following tools and materials.
- Tape measure
- Stakes and string
- Torpedo level
- Tamping bar
- Post hole digger
- Ready mix concrete
Steps for Installing a Fence
Start by using an auger to dig a hole that is about 24”-36” inches deep with a diameter of 6”-12” inches. Because wood is susceptible to damage from moisture you will want to put about half a foot of gravel into the hole to ensure any water drains away from it.
Set your post to plumb level making it horizontal and at right angles with the hole and then tamp and secure it with concrete. Pour the dry mix around the post and slowly add water to allow it to work its way into the bottom before gently mixing to avoid overworking it.
Observe each new placement of posts and panels to ensure they are the right height and then you can re-tamp them before they are permanently placed. Repeat this process for all of your other posts until they are all placed. Do not dig more than one hole ahead to avoid spacing them incorrectly and mark all spaces where you intend to dig beforehand.
Then insert the section of fence paneling between the two posts. Cut the rails to fit and attach them to the outside of the posts with two screws on each post. For the middle rail use an 8-foot across two posts.
Install corner pickets and set each picket on the board you’re installing flush with the end of the rail. Secure with a nail or drill to fasten two on each rail. Drill pilot holes in the ends to prevent splitting when you screw them together.
Adding the Finishing Touches
When you first install your DIY fence, the wood may have a greenish tint. This is simply due to the treatment process for the wood and nothing to panic over because it will fade with time.
You will want to wait a month or so to allow the wood to properly dry out before your seal it. At this point, you can also finish the fence with a coat of your favorite shade of stain or paint. Staining the wood prolongs the life of the wood and gives it a nice durable finish.
You can also add fence post caps to the top of each post to add a decorative look that keeps the water off and helps improve the longevity of your posts.
Beyond this basic overview for installing an inexpensive privacy fence, you will also want to research other steps and YouTube videos to get a better understanding of what will work best for your own yard. With such a wide variety of different types of fences, selecting a style may be the hardest part of a DIY fence that will last you for many years.
Building a fence can be easy and inexpensive with help from Wildcat. Our team can deliver tools, teach you how to use them, and give you helpful advice. Wildcat can help you with each step of building your fence from giving you what you need to haul around your supplies to digging up the dirt for each post.