How Do You Build A Fence Step By Step
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Are you asking: how do you build a fence step by step? We look at what you need to know about planning your new fence and how to build a fence.
Planning your new fence
To save time and reduce any hassle, it's practical to plan out the building of your brand-new fences so that you can be as accurate as possible with the tools and materials you need, which will ultimately help save on wastage.
You can utilise wood, PVC piping, vinyl, wrought iron, stone or brick and many more. Suppose your fence is located close by a property boundary or one side of a boundary line; we recommend deliberating with your neighbours and making them aware of your plans first.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have an existing fence that requires removing before you begin your new build? Ensure your fences or gates are on your property and not intruding or crossing your neighbour's boundaries.
- Do you require access to your neighbour's garden to install a new fence?
- Do you need planning permission from your city's council or local authority to build your new fence?
Often to erect a fence less than 2 metres high, you don't require any planning permission, especially if it's on your property; however, we recommend checking if you are unsure of the restrictions in your local area.
Suppose you wish to plot a fence on the border of a Public Right Of Way (motorway, bicycle lane, public roadway or pavement, etc.). In that case, you will likely require planning permission as construction could cause minor or significant disruptions to public life.
Whilst it is entirely possible to build your fence during any season of the year; however, we would encourage you to avoid extremely cold, wet or hot weather, as the conditions will make the job tedious.
The best times are likely to be during the early spring and late autumn, as there is less disruption to the overall health of the plants and soil.
Before you begin, obtaining a CAT detector that can successfully identify pipes and cables underground by scanning the area is wise. If you uncover any significant pipes, it may be a good idea to reconsider your plans and search for otherwise to provide your home with security and privacy.
Most Popular Types of Fence in the UK
It's good to make yourself aware of the various types of fences available to you in the UK. There are so many on the market; each has a different appearance and many qualities
You may take pride in the appearance of your home but also desire some privacy in your garden, so you'll need to search for a fence material that can provide both beauty and security without cutting corners or quality.
Here are some of the UK's most common fence options:
Wire fences are one of the easiest fence types to maintain and can be installed incredibly quickly. It is also one of the lowest costing fence materials on the UK market.
Baskets of stones
One of the increasingly popular techniques for creating garden fences and separations is metal baskets containing bark or stones.
These fences are fairly easy to DIY; however, be mindful that you will require an incredibly sturdy foundation so that you can fill the baskets with stones. If you're unsure whether you can handle such installation, feel free to contact a local professional for help.
Fence with a hedge
Installing a natural hedge is more straightforward than you may imagine; however, it takes a little more maintenance than the average panels, panel flush or pickets that you would put up with a more man-made material.
Regularly prune plants and shrubs to ensure they stay healthy and aesthetically pleasing. Beech, Buxus, Ivy across wire mesh, Conifers and Pine are all excellent ideas for hedge plants. It would help if you were wary that fences with hedges offer far less protection when encountering unwanted visitors and pests than other fence types, even of natural materials.
Wood is well-suited for those searching for the perfect fence medium as it is a natural garden environment material, blending in with any plants and ornaments and providing a pleasant backdrop for a privacy fence.
There are so many types of wood to select from, whether Cedar, Pinewood, Oak, Cypress and many more. Its cost and installation methods often depend on the construction and desired fence height you have opted for.
You want to ensure that you add a stain over the top of your fence after its paint job as this will prevent rotting, acting as a wood preservative, and a strong enough stain can even deter pests. The best wood materials will prove to be incredibly cost-effective, and some can even lengthen their lifespan by a few years, like pressure-treated posts and wood fences.
Planning Permission for building a fence
Planning permission is essential to consider and research before beginning any significant household improvement project that extends the bounds of your home's current interior and exterior structural layout.
For those planning to build fences surrounding their front or back garden, it is a must to inquire about planning permission or specific building permits. There's no harm in checking to ensure, as you don't want to face detrimental fines and have to destroy everything you have just spent time and money installing and paying for.
You can check the local or neighbourhood requirements by contacting your local council and authorities; they'll be able to relay all the laws concerning your specific property boundary. You may also have to contact your housing association, as homes belonging to specific associations have their own rules and regulations.
On the other hand, if you're property is exclusively your property, belonging entirely to you, then you are free to do whatever you please with your building. When you begin drawing up plans that cross or intrude on your neighbour's boundary line, you must seek planning permission and consent from your neighbours.
Consent from your neighbours is another essential part of planning permission. You want to ensure that your build doesn't go against any laws or create tension with those living next door; otherwise, it could lead to legal disputes.
Once your planning permission is granted by the necessary councils, authorities or housing associations, you can begin considering styles, standard widths and heights that fit your aesthetic and accurately fit the requirements set by planning permission.
How to Build a Fence
There are numerous ways to build fences for your household or property; you can DIY the project or contact a local installer in your area to take up the job.
The process of building a fence is much more thorough than getting the tools and materials and starting. It will help if you put much more thought into the operation and planning. Here are the stages we encourage you to follow after deciding to build your property fence.
01. Check property lines
Do your research before digging up the first fence post spots, as fence construction in some areas is a highly regulated form of household or property building. Your neighbourhood, local housing association or your entire city could have specific codes that you must follow and abide by before going ahead with fence building or any form of home improvement.
Plenty of these codes will generally govern the features allowed for fences, for example, the height or style you can have. After researching, you'll need to check and carefully mark the property line of your house or property to identify whereabouts you are allowed to place your new fencing.
For example, you may be able to build fencing surrounding your back garden but not at the front. An official property map named the 'plat' is a document you can refer to during home improvements and boundary disputes; the map will display your home's precise measurements and boundaries.
For those who don't have these documents, you can obtain a copy from a household surveyor from your housing association or county clerk. Once you've completed your research, we suggest posing your fence plans with your neighbours so that you don't end up building something that would become an eyesore or obstruct their view so that issues don't rise.
02. Select the type of fence
Once you've researched your property line and the fence code for your local area, you'll want to move on and select the right fence type for your aesthetic and practical taste. There are a vast number of fence styles out there on the UK market.
Suppose you're in search of a fence that you can successfully DIY that will guarantee privacy. In that case, you're likely searching for fences constructed using prefabricated panels, as this is one of the most straightforward to assemble.
Before going ahead, you want to decide on the style you wish to achieve and build, as this may inform the length and width of the panels you require to pull off the aesthetic and whether or not they are available.
Professional installers would encourage those attempting DIY'ers to research their exact panel specifications, which may affect your measuring and planning process.
03. Measure and mark the layout
Your fence installation process should always start with measuring and marking the fence layout whereabouts you would like your fence to be. The following steps will help you complete the process:
- Start by measuring the entire fence line:- Extensive measuring tapes and a measuring wheel will help you, especially for those with much larger gardens or front yard spaces. You want to mark out your measurements using chalk or spray paint to outline where the gate and fence locations.
- Next, determine the number of planks, panels or framing battens you require:- To do so, we recommend subtracting the total gate lengths from the footage of your fence overall. Divide that number by the length of your panels for your desired style of the fence; in doing so, you'll be able to decipher the amount of panels you need and if you need any battens or gravel boards to raise the surface of the chosen material. You can then ensure you fill in the remaining footage with partial pickets or panels should you encounter such problems.
- Finally, the last part of your measuring process includes determining the number of fences you need to purchase:- Divide the length of your fence by the ideal post spacing; you're looking to place intermediate posts within every 6-8 feet.
04. Gather tools and materials
Once your fence is measured and laid out, you must gather your materials and tools. Here is what you'll typically require when building a wooden fence for your yard or garden:
Post Hole Digger or Narrow Spade
Ground Level or Spirit Level
Power Drill and Ground Drill
Exterior Grade Screws
Concrete Mix or Cement
Step Ladders (Optional)
05. Digging post holes and set posts
You want to ensure that your fence posts are accurately positioned before you can efficiently construct the rest of your fence. You must place your posts every 6-8 ft along the fence line to ensure its distance is the same length.
Next, we suggest using a post hole digger and a deep hole at least 1/3 the height of your fence post. A 6-foot post will need you to dig a 2-foot deep hole. Whilst digging, we encourage you to check for pipes and utility lines.
You must pour in the gravel at every post hole to reach at least 3-4 inches, and on top of the gravel, you must add the concrete mix to around 6-8 inches before placing the posts securely inside the centre of your mixture in the soft ground.
We recommend plumbing your post, meaning you must use a vertical framing piece referred to as a level to check the alignment of your post to assess whether it's positioned upright and vertically level. Read the manufacturer's instructions for your concrete mix product and follow them closely to discover how long it should take to completely dry and set.
Most concrete mixes will require you to add water and no other ingredients. However, you should always double-check. Cement is another medium you can use to set your end posts in place; it is commonly mixed with sand and aggregate to create consistency.
06. Install rails to the posts
Once your concrete has completely set, you can then start attaching your rails onto the posts. You must carefully assess the height of your fence to decipher how many perfectly horizontal rails you will require on the outer edge.
If your biggest goal with installing a fence is to achieve privacy for your home, you will likely need approximately three or more rails from the bottom to the middle to the top of the post. You can effectively attach the rails onto your posts using a hammer and nails or a high-quality power drill and deck screws.
07. Attach pickets to the rails
Using a hammer or the power drill you previously used, you can attach pickets onto your rails with the same technique you used to install the rails. Remember that pickets take up a little more time to attach than panels, making for a more straightforward and quicker building experience, so if time is of the essence, we recommend opting for panels.
Panels are typically attached straight onto your posts, as opposed to pickets that require you to install rails first before attaching your pickets one at a time. For those swayed by the idea of using panels or double vertical planks, you want to ensure you install a removable panel fencing anywhere on your fence, one that can be quickly detached.
Doing so helps form a more extensive entryway into the garden or yard, for if you ever receive a substantially sized delivery.
08. Install the gate
The gate is somewhat the finishing touch for any fence, creating a secure and decorative barrier to ensure your home stays private and peaceful. We recommend that you begin your installation process by positioning gate posts much like you would for regular fence posts.
Once the posts are fixed, you want to grab your high-quality drill, the necessary hardware, such as screws, hinges of the correct size and locking mechanisms, and a screwdriver. Begin by measuring your gate twice and assessing whereabouts you wish to attach your hinges so you can predrill them on your gate posts and fence section.
Predrilling ensures you won't forget your places and therefore won't make any mistakes. Next, you want to screw the hinges on your gate and then attach your gate to those posts. The last job you must complete is installing your locking hardware, as your manufacturer suggests.
Your gate manual will often come complete with an installation manual instructing you on executing these tasks, so ensure you follow and read carefully. Closely following the fence-building tips can help protect your property from multiple structural and monetary elements.
If you're concerned about full coverage for your gate application, you'll want to ensure your home insurance is as updated as possible.
For those that fear they would struggle to assemble their gate or cannot comprehend the instructions, we encourage you to contact a local gate installer professional in your area to get the job done.
Are you looking for garden fencing near you? If you require garden fencing installation and supply in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire contact us today.
Our garden design experts can supply and install beautiful garden decking for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.