The Beginner's Guide To Installing A Fence (2)

The Beginner’s Guide to Installing a Fence

If you’re a military family that moves frequently, you want to make each home as comfortable as possible. A privacy fence is a great way to create an oasis in your backyard, providing pets and children with a safe place to play while also ensuring that you have the privacy you want in your yard.

However, many military homeowners who decide to install a privacy fence jump into the process without doing their homework; of course, they want to get settled as soon as possible. Here are some factors you will need to consider when building and installing a privacy fence to help you avoid potential problems and costly mistakes. Looking for fencing services Melbourne services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Know your property lines. Discuss the fence you would like to have built with the neighbours whose property lies along the desired area of installation. You want to make them aware of your plans and ensure you do not build the fence on their property. Guessing property lines could not only anger neighbours but could also lead to a legal dispute. Never assume that your lot is perfectly square or rectangular. Many properties have uneven shapes or unusual jogs. Use your plot plan to identify your property lines and mark them with wooden stakes. Next, run string in-between each stake. Make sure the string is taut. If your stakes weren’t driven evenly into the ground, it would be apparent when the string is up. Adjust accordingly with a level if necessary. It is better to err on the side of caution when dealing with property lines. Another suggestion is to build your fence a few inches on your side of the marked lines to ensure compliance of property lines.

The Beginners Guide To Installing A Fence

Things Homeowners Should Know Before Installing A Privacy Fence

You want to create a greater ambience for your home’s outdoor space, and you believe building a fence is just the thing to do it. However, have you considered everything you need before a project like this? Do you know why you want the fence or if you can even have one? We’ve put together a list of seven things to consider before building a fence.Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of Melbourne fencing services

Why Do You W ant a Fence?

Many homeowners want a barrier for privacy so they can lounge in their backyard without worrying about prying eyes, but there are many other great reasons to have one installed.

Does your family have any pets, especially dogs? Pet owners often want a fence around their yard so their animals can roam freely without concern or maybe you may simply want a fence because you feel it is aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps you have always dreamed of a house with a white picket fence! Whatever your reasons, think about what you want and why you want it before investing in a project.

Find Materials Best Suited for You

Fences come in a variety of styles and materials, with the most popular being wood. While wood fencing is common, it may not be the best material for your needs. Wood requires upkeep and annual maintenance to ensure it remains in peak condition, so it is worth it to consider alternatives.

Vinyl is an excellent choice for a homeowner who wants the privacy building a fence provides without the work of wood. This plastic material can be sprayed down with a hose to keep it looking pristine, and the panelling can be moulded to look like wood.

If you are not fond of either wood or vinyl, then you have other options. For example, you can choose metal chain links or wrought iron, bamboo or a combination of materials.

Consider Your Climate

Many homeowners do not consider the climate they live in when choosing fencing materials, but the weather expectations of an area play a significant role in both material selection and installation. For example, in colder climates, homeowners will need to consider the frost line and use concrete anchors placed at a minimum of 36 inches deep to support the fence posts.

For warmer and wetter climates, homeowners should stay away from most woods because they are susceptible to water damage. Vinyl is the best choice for more temperate regions as it can hold up in damp weather, but it can be damaged by extreme heat.

If you live in an area that experiences frequent frigid temperatures, then you may want to stick with more durable materials. Metal, bamboo and specific species of wood are the most resilient materials in colder climates.

Know Your Property

Before you dive into building a fence, do your homework. You need to understand precisely where your property line is and take the time to discuss your project ideas with your neighbours.

You will also need to research building codes and regulations in your neighbourhood and city. Depending on where your house sits, you may not be allowed to build a fence, and even if you can, you may need to keep it away from specific areas, such as sewers.

Finally, check with your neighbourhood association. Many homeowners’ associations do not allow fences, and others only allow certain materials, heights, and colours.

Create a Budget

How much do you want to spend on your new fence? The material you choose makes a significant difference in price. Wood fences cost anywhere between $17 and $45 per linear foot, depending on the fence length, height, and wood species.

You also must include costs beyond raw materials. What type of hardware are you using? Are you putting in any gates? Does the material need to be painted or sealed? Consider every aspect of the project and budget accordingly.

Create a Landscaping Plan

Before you install a fence, you will need to consider your existing landscaping. Bushes, shrubs, trees, and tree roots can present significant obstacles for fence installers. You may need to get creative with the fence design, especially if you are against removing any plant life. Most fence companies can work around existing greenery, but it may add to the labour and material costs.

You should also consider any future landscaping plans you might have. You may want to plant near and around your fence to help it blend with your yard. It is best to have garden and landscape plans available before hiring a fence installer so you can work together to make sure everything is cohesive.

If you love to garden or your neighbourhood does not allow privacy fencing, then you can consider a living wall. To build a living wall or fence, you can plant trees or bushes which will create a privacy border in your yard. However, you need to check with city codes and neighbourhood associations to make sure that such an installation is permitted.

Know Your Limits

Many homeowners assume that putting in a fence is a DIY project and that it can be completed over a weekend with a couple of friends, but when is the last time you put up a fence? Fences are notoriously tricky to put up and level out.

When you decide to DIY a project, you may experience many common fence problems. Do not risk the beauty of your yard and your home. Hire a professional to help design and install your fence.

Guide To Installing Your Own Fence

Installing a fence is a project that many homeowners feel comfortable taking on themselves. You may have to enlist the help of some neighbours, but with a little elbow grease and by carefully following manufacturer’s instructions, most fences can be installed around an  average-sized yard in one weekend. Check out our Melbourne fencing services services here.

As with all home improvement projects, it is a good idea to carefully plan your project, and as a courtesy, discuss with your neighbours what you intend to do. Then when you are just about to begin the project, there are three very important things you must do

Develop a plan.

A fence can be a functional and beautiful part of your home. But it requires planning. Save time later by hashing out the details now. Before digging that first post hole, be sure to:                                                                                      

  • Check utility lines. You don’t want your shovel to take out the phone line. Before you dig, request that your utility company sends someone to mark any underground lines within your proposed fencing area. All it takes is a phone call – and it’s free! Learn more in our post on why to call 811 before you dig.
  • Know your codes. When building a fence, permits may be required depending on where you live. And the regulations for building your fence could change based on several factors including the type of fence, location, height and construction materials. Call your local zoning department (or your homeowners association, if applicable) to make sure you understand any applicable laws or codes before you build.
  • Notify your neighbours. Many homeowners may find it awkward to tell their neighbours about the installation of a fence. (After all, you’re literally building a wall between your homes.) But having a conversation about your plans early on could prevent disputes from arising once construction begins. Need advice? Read more about how to keep your cool when handling neighbour disputes.

Choose your material.

What you’re fence is made of will affect its appearance and price. Every product has pros and cons, so it often comes down to why you’re building in the first place.

  • Wire, mesh and chain: By far the most economical option, these materials cost approximately $1 to $6 per linear foot. This is a great choice for security, marking property lines and keeping in animals. On the flip side, a chain-link fence doesn’t help much with privacy, and some see it as less visually appealing than wood or vinyl.
  • Wood: One of the most popular products for fencing, wood is suitable for privacy fencing and has a natural look. Although maintenance is required, it can last for decades with regular upkeep and staining.
  • Vinyl: Lightweight, affordable and durable, vinyl fences can mimic the appearance of wood or plastic. They’re known to be easy to set up and maintain but are not great for security.

Start building.

After you map it out, grab your tools and double-check your math. Most installations include these basic steps:

  • Measure and mark. Determine where your posts will go, accounting for any required property line setbacks. Space your posts evenly for the panel installation and be sure to account for elevation changes.
  • Dig holes for posts. This part takes some muscle, whether you’re using a manual post hole digger or renting a powered auger. Generally speaking, the hole depth should be about one-third of your post height. For example, a 6-foot post needs a hole that’s 2 feet deep. Be sure to check any local laws or codes about fence height and depth. Requirements may differ in areas with high wind or very cold winters, where posts may need to extend below the frost line.
  • Secure posts in cement. Anchoring your posts in concrete will keep your fence standing tall. Drop-in your post and make sure it’s level, then pour in the concrete. Be sure to allow 24 hours for the cement to cure.
  • Attach panels to posts. Check that panels are secure and aligned correctly. Double-check if your fence has a “finished” side – this usually looks best facing out, or else it may look like your fence was installed backwards.
  • Install gates and hardware. Hardware should be selected based on the construction materials you’re using and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make sure you’re covered.

Once your fence is complete, it’s a good idea to contact your Erie Insurance agent and let them know you’ve made an update to your home. A home improvement project, such as a fence, might increase the value of your home and how much homeowners insurance you need. By getting to know you, your local ERIE agent can make sure you have coverage that fits both your life and your budget. Local service and personal attention are what we’re all about. Learn more about what makes ERIE different.

Scroll to Top