How to put up fencing

2014-02-03 13:35:14

How to put up a fence

1: Working out what posts you want

By now you have decided what fencing you would like and what size panels your going for.

Before buying your posts you should decide whether you would like concrete posts or timber post.

Concrete posts will be much stronger but some people do not like the look of concrete and also these posts are very heavy and require allot of work. Timber posts are slightly more attractive due to them matching in with the fence but unfortunately because the posts need to go into the ground they will eventually rot.

2: Calculating post sizes

Decide what the finished height of your fence is going to be. Your posts need to be at least 2ft (0.6m) bigger. Allowing 2ft of the post to be in the ground. Alternatively if you are using timber posts with post spikes you should use the same size post as your finished fence. Timber posts should be 4x4in (100x100mm) for fences 6ft or higher or 3x3in (75x75mm) for anything smaller.

3: Preparing the area

Before starting clear away the area of any slabs, weeds, or trees. Most posts and panels are treated against rot and insect attack but it is a good idea if you saw any posts to treat the end of the posts with some all purpose preservatives. Mark out the straight lines you want your fencing to follow with some pegs and string.

4: Using metal spikes

Before commencing any digging its important to check for any power cables or water pipes before hand. You can check this by calling your local authorities.

Make a pilot hole for your metal spikes by using a metal rod, or bar and hammering them into the ground. Place your post spike on the pilot hole and place some sort of protection on them (such as a piece of wood) and strike it with a sledge hammer to force it into the ground until it reaches the part it squares of. Stones and tough ground can make it hard to keep the metal spike level, so use a spirit level and check your staying vertical.

Use 600mm metal spikes for 4ft fences and 750mm spikes for anything larger.

Alternatively you can use a flat square base this can bolted down into concrete or other masonry materials.

5: Fixing Posts into concrete

You need to excavate the holes for your posts, these should be around four times wider than the post itself and 2ft deep. Following your string line dig the required holes using a 'post hole spade' or post hole borer which is a piece of machinery that can be hired.

The concrete for this used to be specially mixed but now it’s even easier to use a ready mix bag such as Postmix. Simply read the instructions for these but normally they require you to fill the hole half with water and add the powder and mix in.

The concrete should be just above ground level, smooth the concrete off using a trowel and slope the concrete away from the post so water runs away from the post.

Check your post is fully vertical by using a spirit level. It sometimes can be an idea to support your post whilst its drying to stop it from moving. This can be done by driving timber spikes into the ground nearby and thatching timber batons to the post and spike.

Pre mixed Postmix tend to set within a few minutes so work very carefully and quickly. Work along your fence line concreting all your posts down making sure they are inline with each other as well as vertical. Before placing any fence panels in be sure the concrete is fully set, we recommend about 4 hours drying time.

6: Adding the fence panels

Fence panels are made from timber this means they are prone to rot if they are consistently in tact with water. So keep them of the ground. You can do this by either simply using concrete gravel boards or leaving a 100mm gap under each fence panel. Screw the panels to the posts by using U-shaped post clips, it’s recommended you use stainless steel screws to prevent rusting.

7: Finishing touches

If timber posts were used it’s a good idea to saw the top of every post so they are at the same height. Do bear in mind this will expose the treatment so put a post cap on top to improve its attractiveness.

All fencing needs to be regularly coated in a timber preservative to protect it against rot. There are kits available for this.

If your fencing is on a slope do baear in mind the usual/easy way for overcoming this is to place the panels horizontally.


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