We frequently receive this question – It is possible for a consumer to install a wood fencing project?
Of course it is quite a bit of work, but the answers is yes, wood fence is a do-it-yourself (DIY) type project. We do recommend working another person who has done it before if possible.
Wood Fence Posts
The first thing to do is set the fence posts.
Step 1: Measuring carefully set the locations of the fence posts using stakes or easily seen markers. A nice looking installation is where the center of one fence post is an equal distance from another fence post and the pattern repeats. If necessary only one small area in the most inconspicuous place is smaller than others if the dimensions do not come out even. Base your dimensions on the sizes of the lumber you will be using to avoid as much cutting as possible. Think of this as a gigantic puzzle and know the exact measurements of every piece of wood you want to use, then put them into your calculations. Make a written diagram to follow.
Step 2: Dig the holes for the fence posts at the places you put the markers using a post hole digger. Dig them slightly larger at the bottom than the top to create a more secure footing. A third of the fence post goes below ground so if the fence will be 6 feet tall, 3 feet is below ground and you use 4×4’s which are 9 feet long. There is a choice of packing the fence posts with concrete or with dirt. The difference is, with dirt the posts must have special chemical treatment to avoid rot and termite infestation.
Step 3: Put enough gravel at the bottom of the hole to allow for drainage. Put the post in the hole. Tamp it down. Make sure it is at the correct height to match the others. A helpful aide is to run a blue fishing line kept taught between the two end posts to show level. This allows for slight variations in terrain. On sloped terrains. following level does not work, and you have the choice of a stair-stepped pattern or following the slope depending on how severe the terrain changes. Once you have the post in place, fill the hole with dirt or concrete making sure it stays level, plumb, and at the correct height. If you are working alone, you will have to use stakes to hold the post in position. This is why it is good to have a helper.
Step 4: Make a raised section of dirt or concrete around the post to make sure water runs away from the post. Secure the post in position and you’re done with the basic framework for your wood fence. Then you add the crosspieces and the panels.