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popo619 05-12-2013 12:37 AM

Building a fence
Hey guys, my dad made a fence for our old house and since we are moving he wants to a new house without a fence, he wants to install a better fence. So I was wondering what approaches you people used when building a fence of your own.
How far should each post be apart from eachother?
What are the advantages of having a wooden fence vs a metal fence?
Is it better to just call a company to dig the holes, or is there an effective way of doing them yourself?
I know I could just blindly search youtube or google for this but I want to know from you experts and your personal experience.
Thanks for your time!

user1007 05-12-2013 04:38 AM

First think a bit more about what type of fence you want. "Looks better" in wood or metal is really vague. Get a book or two on fencing from the library or explore online for options.

Appearance desired, amount of privacy desired, functionality needed, and cost, will have a lot to do with kind material you will need---wood (treated, cedar, redwood, imported hardwood, etc.), metal, chain link, glass, lexan, synthetic, lattice, bamboo, concrete tilt up, concrete block, stone, round or split posts/rails, vinyl, etc. What kind of finish you put on it will depend on the material choice and might range from a clear sealer, to stain (transparent to solid) and finally possibly some sort of baked powder coat or electrofinishing on metal and fastening systems. Or nothing at all for synthetics but on the fasteners.

Once you know the material you want you can decide whether you are building the fence yourself or buying prefab panels. Make sure you check on any ordinances as to height and whether the homeowners association or historic district has restrictions on what you can use. Do you have a pool or something that your insurance company will want you to fence in a certain way? Do you need or want to provide a good neighbor fence so your neighbors are not looking at an eye sore? Will they share the cost of building and finishing?

Placement of your posts will depend on the type of fence and possibly pre-fab panels you choose and the weight of them. Typically posts are set to accomodate standard length rails and panels and 6 and 8 foot are fairly common. Longer than that for a wood fence may not be allowed or as a practical matter you may have too much sail effect on the panels and will constantly be fixing the fence.

As for digging post holes? You can dig them by hand with a good old fashioned clam shell post hole digger or rent a two handed power auger for a day. If you have a lot to dig, you may find it cheaper to hire someone with a power auger on a truck, bobcat, jeep or something to just come and dig them all for you. Just make sure you measure and mark exactly where you need the holes.

You will need some nice string line and a level and/or plumb bob to set the posts straight. I usually used a dry method of setting posts. Set and line up your posts (bottoms treated), fill the post holes about 3/4 the way up with Sakrete (or other brand of dry mix concrete) being careful not to form a pocket under the base of the posts. Check your posts one last time. Add water to cover the Sakrete. Let the concrete set.

Be sure and locate any underground utilities you need to be aware of before digging postholes! The service is free but the folks get busy starting about now so factor that into your planning.

dabeast 05-13-2013 10:00 AM

I'm actually in the process of building a new fence here is what I am doing.
Just got all the posts set yesterday (Sunday).
Dug all the holes by hand as the auger we tried to rent would go any deeper that 9'' before hitting clay.

Holes are 6' apart

I got some old 2 3/8'' pipe from a local fencing company that they took out of an old job. $1.50 per foot.

Used GRA services Secure Set instead of concrete.

Using OZPost Jaws II to connect my 2x4s to the poles.

Cedar pickets.

I'm doing a board on board fence with a cap board that will look like this

Total cost 4.3k.
Estimate from Vinyl for the materials only 9.3k. (14.2k installed)

popo619 05-13-2013 06:40 PM

wow, seems like many more decisions then i origionall thought. Thanks sdsester.

dabeast, that fence looks gorgeous, hope it goes well. How long did it take to dig the holes, and how do you make sure that each post will be sturdy?

popo619 05-13-2013 06:43 PM

could you explain your 4.3k? Is that from you building it yourself?

dabeast 05-13-2013 07:22 PM

Couldn't tell you how long it took to dig each hole sorry.

4.3k was just materials I'm doing all the work, but I gave the cost of the same fence from the vinyl company also.

As for securing the posts the GRA services secure set is basically a replacement for concrete how you normally set posts. I just wanted to be lazy and not carry around concrete for 2 days.

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