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Boiler98 06-30-2012 09:26 AM

Laying a Straight Line for a Fence?
Hello all,

I am getting ready to start putting up a new fence, but am unsure how to make sure that the lengths are straight along our property line.

We know, roughly, where the front corner post will be and an existing backyard fence post right on the property line. How can I best string out a straight line using the existing fence post and the sidewalk as references?

The fence would come straight off the backyard fence, and meet the sidewalk at 90-degrees.

Thanks for any suggestions!

joecaption 06-30-2012 09:37 AM

#1 Are you sure in your area you do not need a permit to put up this fence?
Some places have rules about things like max height, how far from the property line it has to be.
If it's to be "your" fence most often it's not built exactly over the property line. May want to check this out before building it to make sure you do not have to take it down later.

Not sure where the problum is that your asking, you know you need to use a string, so two stakes and a tight string should be all you need.
Posting A little drawing may clear it up.

Boiler98 06-30-2012 09:49 AM

Thank you.

Shortly after posting I realized I just needed to string between the two posts. Morning brain fart. Though, it is a long run. Is there a good way to avoid sagging of the line, or will that really matter much?

I'm good with permits, or knowing that I don't need one. 8" high is the limit here, and we're going for much shorter.


joecaption 06-30-2012 09:53 AM

For a fence the sag will have 0 effect, all your looking for is straight.

What type fence are you putting up?
Premade panels or just boards your going to install?

chrisBC 06-30-2012 06:45 PM

I usually set my two end posts, set a string a foot or less off the ground, attached to the side of the post that will be in line with the rest. Pull tight and dig your post locations in line with the posts, plumb up from the line.

Boiler98 06-30-2012 06:49 PM

Joe - The fence is a custom build. Not complicated though. Simple 4x4 posts with horizontal runners between them and a few extra pieces to pretty things up.

Thanks for the help!

Chris - Thanks for the info on your experience. Always helpful!

mae-ling 06-30-2012 07:49 PM

I set the 2 corner posts run a string line near the top and bottom that is spaced off the 4x4 posts using a 2x4 block so the string is 1.5" from the posts.
Then use a scrape 2x4 block as a gauge from the posts you are setting to the string line, can temporary tack them on if you want.
This is so that as you put in posts you do not shift the string a little with each post. It is amazing how 1/8" or even 1/6" can add up and throw things off.

hand drive 07-01-2012 09:19 AM

a string,a level and a can of marking paint is a good way to start. pull string, plumb down from string with level, at each post mark ground with marking paint. move string and dig holes. put string back up to set posts in place.

mae-ling 07-01-2012 10:07 AM

To mark post locations I use nails with a little flagging tape pushed on. Gives pin point accuracy and you just set the auger right on top of them.

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