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How to Install Fencing

Fencing on a bright day.
8 March 2024 309 view(s)
How to Install Fencing

Fencing is an important part of every property and is essential for various reasons such as:

  • Marking boundaries between properties
  • Improving property security
  • Keeping pets and kids safe and secure
  • Improving property privacy

In our blog today we’ll be covering how to install fencing by yourself safely and easily.


What You’ll Need

To install a fence, you’ll need:

Before you purchase timber for your fence, be it panels or posts, you should first decide what kind of fence you want, its size, and calculate the number of materials you’ll need to complete the job.

Types of Fences to Install

There are several types of fences you can install, such as:

  • Picket fencing – a low style of fence that is stylish and functional, ideal for front gardens.
  • Close board fencing – a type of fence made from vertical timber boards, ideal for boundary fences. Usually fairly tall.
  • Overlap fencing – a fence type that uses horizontal overlapping timber boards, ideal for privacy.
  • Trellis – more for garden exterior design or for fencing off flower beds.

The type of fence you choose will determine which materials you’ll need. In this post, we’ll be covering close board fencing installation.


Step One: Choosing Fencing Materials

To begin you’ll need fence posts. Primarily, there are three types of fencing post to choose from:

  • Wooden fence posts
  • Concrete fence posts
  • Metal fence posts

They all have their own benefits and drawbacks. For instance, wooden fence posts are the easiest and cheapest to put up but are not as durable as concrete or metal fence posts.

Concrete is by far the hardest fence post to put up but is the most durable. Metal fence posts are easy to install but need the correct treatment to prevent rusting (they can also be more expensive).

For this DIY tutorial we’ll be using wooden posts as they are the most readily available and the easiest to put up.


Calculating Fence Post Length

Post length is simple to work out. If you intend on using concrete mix to secure your post, then you’ll need 8ft posts for a 6ft fence. Essentially, you’ll need an extra 2ft of post to secure it into the ground.

If you don’t intend on using concrete, then a 6ft pointed post is perfectly okay to use for a 6ft fence. For fences 6ft or over, be sure to use 4 x 4-inch posts.


Calculating Quantity of Fencing Panels

The joy with choosing fence panels is that they are almost always a standard size of 6ft wide. This makes it easy to calculate how many you’ll need for your fence.

Use your tape measure to measure the length of the area you intend to fence. With your measurement, simply divide the length of your fence area by the width of the fence panel.

For example, for a 18ft fence, you’d divide 18 by 6 giving you 3 panels. If your fence was 36ft, you’d divide 36 by 6 to give you 6 panels.


Step Two: Preparation

Using weed killer, you’ll need to clear the area you intend to install your fence on of vegetation. Be careful not to over-expose your lawn to weed killer. Only apply it to the areas you need to clear.

It is also essential that you cut any fence panels or fence posts to the appropriate size for your fence using a saw. Seal any sawn ends with external grade wood sealant and ensure all the timber you are using is sealed appropriately for use externally.


Step Three: Create Pilot Holes

To create pilot holes for your fence posts, use a metal spike and sledgehammer. Be sure to double check that the area you are creating your fence post holes in doesn’t have wires, cables, or pipes under the ground.

Use a 6ft metal spike when making a pilot hole and drive it into the ground using a sledgehammer, until the top of the spike is level with the ground. Be sure to leave enough space to permit you to pull it back out afterwards.


Step Four: Fixing Your Posts

For this tutorial we’ll be using wooden spike posts as they are easier to use and cheaper to install. When fixing your post into the pilot hole:

  • Place a measure on the ground. Obstructions such as grit can make it easy to fix a post slightly off angle.
  • Position and gently shove the post into the pilot hole.
  • Use a sledgehammer to drive the rest of the post into the ground if needed.

Ensure that all your posts are lined up perfectly using a tape measure, string, and garden staples. Position your posts around 6 ft apart, or where two panels will join together in your completed fence.


Step Five: Attaching Your Panels

It is vital that when attaching panels to your posts they remain flush from the ground to prevent rot by leaving a gap of around 100mm. You can also add a gravel board below the fence to prevent rot.

Using u-shape post clips, screw the clips in place and secure your panels to the clips on the fence posts. You should use around three clips per post to secure your panels in place.

After attaching your panels, you can trim the top of the posts to make your fence even.

If desired, you can attach a post cap to the top of each post for a stylish finish.


Contact The Experts

Needing timber supplies for your fence? Looking for help with choosing the right timber?

Contact the MGM Timber team now. We are always more than happy to help.

Also, be sure to check out our News section for other useful DIY guides.

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