How to build a fence at home

// Published March 12, 2017 by Thor Carlson

I’m a weekend mechanic, and DIY-er and my wife tells me that I have to stop looking for new projects. Unless I finish those that I already have on my list, she won’t let me work on new ones. You know how it is. You get overly excited because of something, and then you start researching the topic and stumble upon projects that are even more useful and interesting. I’m all for building stuff around the house that works for everyone, so I’ll have to consider what my wife told me.

Nonetheless, building a new wood fence was a project I could dive into without getting comments from my family. While building your own fence will inevitably save you some precious pennies, you might have to own and utilize certain tools that you may already have in your garage or workshop.


The first thing you have to do is check your local restrictions. Make sure that building a fence is not illegal especially if you live in a closed community where bothering your neighbors might force you to spend a fine. Both your local planning department and your neighborhood association can be of assistance, in this sense. Once you have it all covered, you have to apply for a permit. I’m not a big fan of all this bureaucracy, but it can be useful if you want to make sure that you won’t get in trouble.


Once you’ve figured out everything I’ve mentioned already, you can finally choose your materials. It goes without saying that building a wood fence is far easier to do than putting together a metal one, so make sure that you have all the skills, experience, and tools you might require.

There are hundreds of styles to consider, but I’m going to tell you what I did. I started by finding my property line so that I don’t get in trouble in the future. Who knows when someone might think that I’ve built my fence on their property?

Next, I decided on the right height. A 3-ft fence did it for me. I then staked the corner locations and squared the corners. I placed some middle posts and continued by digging the actual holes. Setting the posts wasn’t all that hard, but when I got to the part where I had to pour the concrete footing, boy oh boy, was I nervous. I didn’t want to make any mistakes because I didn’t have the chance to work with concrete before.


I then added a mason’s line, my support boards, and all of the privacy boards. I realize that as I am writing this, I make this all sound like it’s incredibly easy. It’s not, really, and it needs a bit of commitment. I finished with treating the boards, so everything looks nice and tidy. My wife was proud of me and so were my nephews. Everyone was impressed with my skills, so I was a happy man.




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