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Old 04-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
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Attaching wood fence to house


Hi guys. I'm currently building a wood picket privacy fence (6' high, shadowbox style). We have three dogs, including a 90 lb boxer, and we want to keep them in the backyard on nice days. My question involves how best to attach the fence to the house.

My general design involves 4x4 posts, with mounting blocks supporting 2x4 rails, like this:





Because of the layout of my backyard, I decided to use one of the 6x6's supporting my deck as a fence post, so the fence turns 90 degrees inwards, ties into the deck post, then turns 90 degrees again to run into the house (with a 36" gate).




Some pictures of the actual location (that bush will obviously be removed) :






A straight-on view to show how the post is aligned with the house:




On the other side of the house, it's a simple run from a post to the house. In this picture it may not be clear, but the smaller 4x4 post in the picture is in line with the edge of the house, outside of the downspout).




Originally, I planned to simply put posts right up against the house, and tie my rails into that. But when I tried to dig the post holes, I found that the foundation of my house extends out about 6-8" past the wall (and it's about a foot down, whereas I'm putting these posts 2' into the ground), so a post couldn't be placed any closer than about 8-10" away from the wall.

I'm trying to decide how best to tie into the house. Here's the options I've come up with. I'd like to know if either of these sounds feasible, or if you guys have any better ideas.


Option 1:

Don't actually tie into the house, use angled supports to leave the rails floating, like half an inch from the wall:




Option 2 (not pictured) :

Attach a PT 2x4 to the wall and tie into that. There's two "sub-options" here:

Sub-Option 1:

I could use tapcon anchors to attach the 2x4 to the brick veneer. I think there's only about 3" from the white edge of the siding to the side of the house, so the 2x4 may slightly protrude horizontally past the edge of the house, but that doesn't bother me. However, as you can see in the alignment shot above, the deck post is not in line with the brick veneer. So I'd need to either run it at an angle, or maybe attach a 4x4 post to the side of the 6x6 and run off of that or something.

Sub-Option 2:

Attach the 2x4 to the wall in line with the deck post, which would mean attaching it where there's currently siding (and presumably sheathing beneath). I'm not sure how exactly I'd do that -- would I cut out a 3.5x72" rectangle in the siding and screw the 2x4 directly to the sheathing? How would I seal the siding around the 2x4 to keep water from getting in? I guess it'd really need to be attached to a stud. Actually, I'm not even sure if it's actually wood framing behind that wall -- this is a basement, so maybe it's concrete blocks with sheathing over them? I don't know how to remove siding to learn what's behind it.

I'm more comfortable with the idea of attaching to the brick with tapcons -- and on the east side of the house, I guess that's the obvious solution, since the post I installed is in line with the brick already. But on the west side, I'd have to figure out how best to deal with the whole alignment issue.

What are you guys' thoughts? Is there some other, better option I'm not considering? Is there some flaw with the ideas I've proposed? Thanks.

Dan

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Old 04-12-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Attaching wood fence to house


Well, I read that it's best not to attach a fence to a house since it tends to move differently from the house and can pull away from it, and also to minimize putting holes in the side of the house and allowing moisture in. So I chose the first option. Does my design with angled supports look sturdy enough? In particular the bottom one, having to hang down from above, makes me wonder. I guess it'll only have to hold the weight of 2-4 pickets, so my guess is it'll be fine, but I'd like to know if you guys have any better ideas. Thanks.

Dan

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Old 04-12-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Attaching wood fence to house


Do not attach to the house at all. The fence should be held 2" away to prevent creating a hidden access for insects(termites).

If you lay the horizontal runners on the flat as per your sketch, they are going to sag like crazy, even with a shorter than 96" span as you propose.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Attaching wood fence to house


Quote:
Originally Posted by troubleseeker

If you lay the horizontal runners on the flat as per your sketch, they are going to sag like crazy, even with a shorter than 96" span as you propose.
Without a doubt.
Maybe add support(vert. 2x4) in the center for each row?
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
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Attaching wood fence to house


Quote:
Originally Posted by troubleseeker View Post
Do not attach to the house at all. The fence should be held 2" away to prevent creating a hidden access for insects(termites).....
This ^^

Never Attach a fence, or even a railing, directly to a house, unless you like to replace large amounts of rotted and possibly infested siding, substrate and other materials.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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Attaching wood fence to house


Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime2 View Post
Without a doubt.
Maybe add support(vert. 2x4) in the center for each row?
I was worried about those rails on their side. Since I'm doing alternatig pickets, I need the width of the rails to match the width of the posts. What if, instead of three rails consisting of one 2x4 lying down each, I used two rails, with each consisting of two 2x4's mounted upright, with the half inch or so space between them that puts them flush with the sides of the posts? The strongest, of course would be three rails of two 2x4's each, but that would bring me from three boards per span up to six, and that's a pretty significant cost increase. Doing two rails of two boards each only brings me up to four boards per span, which I can handle. Would that be strong enough, though? Thanks.

Dan

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