Build Your Own Fence
Lay out the fence by staking off your property and stretching a mason’s line between each stake. If your fence is more than 30 feet long, place a stake every 15 feet or so to ensure that the line stays straight. Don’t forget to leave space for a gate. Most gate openings are around 42”. This allows for clearance of lawnmowers and other larger items.
Mark the post holes every six or eight feet along the perimeter. Digging post holes is the most labour-intensive part of the building process. You may want to rent a post hole digger or hire a professional to dig them for you. Call local utilities before you dig. Holes should be deeper than the frost line to prevent heaving. Typically 3'-4' deep.
Tamp a 2" gravel base in the bottom of the post hole.Place the 4" x 4" post on top of the gravel in the hole. Add a few shovels of concrete into the hole. Place a level on the post to ensure it is perpendicular. Fill the hole with concrete, checking frequently that the post remains perpendicular. Slope the concrete away from the post at the top of the hole. Brace the post until the concrete sets (at least 24 hours).Fast Set concrete eliminates the bracing stage. It sets in minutes and allows you to begin building your fence in about 1 hour. Fence post spikes can be used instead of concrete. They allow you to install your posts with out the need to dig holes and pour concrete. Fence rails and boards can be attached to posts immediately. Talk to one of our Fence Project Experts for more details about building with fence post spikes.
Use galvanized fence clips to attach the rails. Start in one corner and attach a fence clip to the post. Use 1-1/4" galvanized nails. Place a 2" x 4" rail in this clip and lay the rail against the next post. Level the rail and mark the bottom of the rail on the next post. Attach a clip at this mark. Secure the rail to both clips with 1-1/4" galvanized nails. Use a square to transfer the location of this clip to the opposite side of the post and repeat the process to the next post.
Attach the vertical fence boards to the top and bottom rails along the fence. The pattern that you attach the boards in depends on what type of look you prefer. Use a scrap piece of wood as a spacer to ensure even placement of the boards.
Build your gate frame width with 1-1/2" total clearance for the hinges and latch. Construct a Z-frame with the bottom of the angled board on the hinged side of the gate. Attach the fence boards to the frame and angled brace to match your fence design. Be sure the top and bottom rails cover the ends of the vertical frame members to protect the end grain from water. Hang the gate at least 1" above the highest point of ground within the gate’s arc. Use ceramic-coated deck screws instead of nails for a stronger longer-lasting gate.
To prevent sagging, use 2 gates for openings over 42" wide. Gate bracket kits are also available to make building your gate easier. Talk to one of Fence Project Experts for more details.