Let it Set Before You Seal
Once the fence is installed, it’s important that you let it dry out. There are certain moistures and finishes that the manufacturer applies to the fence, and if you try to stain and preserve the wood ahead of time, the product you apply probably won’t be absorbed by the wood. Remember: Painting needs to be done every few years. Another way to get the fence to last longer is just to apply clear wood preservatives. If you want, you can stain the fence. All of this will help the longevity of the fence.
You Have to Protect a Pool
If you have a swimming pool, you must have a fence. Most local codes will dictate that you have a fence that’s at least four feet high with a self-closing gate.
Hang it on Solid Hinges
When people try to build gates themselves, they inevitably undersize the hinges, and the gates weigh too heavily on them. You have to know that the hinges and the posts are going to hold the gate. If you have a pressure-treated gate, which can be very heavy (and when it rains, the wood absorbs water and gets even heavier), you must set the posts much deeper and with more cement around them. In short: make sure the hinges are properly sized to hold enough weight.
Step the Fence Up the Hill
One of the trickiest installations is when you have a change in elevation. If you have to step the fence, set one section at one height and keep moving up as you go along. If you’re going uphill or downhill, you’ll need to account for this and do it in full increments or half-feet.
Bad Fences Make Mad Neighbors
It’s important to realize that the nice side of the fence needs to face the neighbors, and the integrity side, with the wood rails and everything else, is going to face the inside. If the nice side faces your house, there could be hard feelings.
Don’t Overspan Your Sections
After you have the post set, depending on the type of fencing, you’re going to bring the sections in and attach them between the posts. Since the sections usually come in 6- to 8-foot lengths, you don’t want to set the posts any more than 8 feet apart. If you set them too far apart, the section is without any type of support, so there’s a good chance it will be susceptible to wind damage.
Save the Sweat and Pour it in
Some people will take the dry concrete mix, put it in the hole and then use a hose to add water. It’s an easier way to do it, but the concrete doesn’t set as hard. You can set the post right on the soil that’s in the hole and put cement around it, because it will become one unit.
Sink Posts Straight and Below the Frost
Typically the two most important components of a fence are the posts and the sections. Fenceposts need to be a minimum of 2 feet in the ground: a good rule of thumb is one-third the length of the post. The other thing to check: local codes, because certain codes may dictate whether you go down 4 feet or 2 feet (this also depends on the frost line).
Before You Fence, Know Your Lines
Once you’ve selected the type of fence you want, it’s very important to know where the fence is going to go. The most important thing you need to do is have your property surveyed. You should have a property survey within three to five years; it should show the property lines so when the fence is installed, you are installing in the proper location.