Are you taking on a summer project to build a fence? We often step in for homeowners in this area, but we would like to offer some helpful tips in case you choose to do it yourself.
A well-constructed fence can offer you privacy and discretion from neighbors or other passer-bys. However, in order to have a fence that will withstand the test of time and provide an aesthetic appeal, you need to use the proper construction methods. There are certain steps you should follow when trying to build a quality wood privacy fence. These steps are outlined here.
The first step of fence building is laying your design out on paper so you can get a clear idea of exactly what you want. After you finish your drawing you need to locate the corners and ends of your fence. Most local laws require the ends, corners, and fence line to be set back from your property line. When you find the corners and ends you need to mark them by placing a wooden stake in the ground. After placing the stakes drive a nail in the middle of each one and run a line from stake to stake. You should space your posts six to eight feet apart from each other. After measuring, place a stake to mark each fence post.
Setting the Fence Posts
Having your posts set in concrete is the most durable way to keep and maintain the integrity of your fence. Using post hole diggers, dig a hole half the length of your fence post. After digging your hole poor approximately six inches of gravel in each one of your fence post holes. Insert your fence posts in the middle of the hole and use two by fours to anchor your post on each side. You should then take a level and make sure each post is plumb before pouring your concrete to set the posts. You have to allot time for your concrete to cure before moving on to any other steps.
Attaching Rails or Pickets
After you have allowed your concrete to cure you are now ready for the rails or pickets. Depending on the type of design you want, there are many different ways you can attach your rails or pickets. The most common way is to use what is called a lap joint, which means the rails are attached directly to the surface of the posts. When attaching your rails you should always start with the top rail first. After your rails are attached you should then attach your pickets. Start at the corners of your fence and work your way down when attaching your pickets.
Maintenance and Finishing
After attaching the pickets you have to allow time for your wood dry. This time will depend on the kind of wood you are using. After you have allowed time for drying you should clean your fence, either with a pressure washer or cleaning solution from a pump sprayer. When you are done cleaning your fence it is time to apply a protective finish whether it be paint or a waterproof sealer. Depending on the protectant you choose your fence will need to be maintained every one to five years.