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How to Install a Wooden Fence

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Spring is a great time to install a new fence. The weather is nice enough for outdoor projects, but not too hot to be outside. Plus you’ll have it ready for the summer and it allows some time to plant grass in any areas that need patching up after you’re done. Installing a fence can be a little labor intensive, but isn’t anything the average handy-man can’t handle. See our step-by-step directions below on how to get your wooden fence installed.

Gather Tools and Materials

First things first, get all of your materials ready so you aren’t spending half of your install day running back and forth to the hardware store. Before you buy any of your wood, you’ll want to check any city ordinances about fence heights. Some city’s have rules about maximum fence height. Once you know this you can go gather the fence posts, rails, and wood panels for the amount of space you want to fence. You’ll want your fence posts to be long enough to maintain the height you desire, with enough length to bury in the ground. Typically, about 1/3 of the post will be in the ground. So if you want a 6 foot fence, buy 9 foot fence posts. You’ll also need some gravel for in the post holes. Then find your tools: tape measurer, level, shovel, hammer, nails and a piece of string or rope. You can use a shovel to dig your post holes, but a post hole digger from Time Equipment Rental and Sales will make your job a whole lot easier. Trust us on this one.

Measure Spacing for Fence Posts

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide how far apart you’d like to space your fence posts. Typically, posts are spaced six to eight feet part. We recommend measuring the total distance your fence will span and dividing the distance so your posts are spaced evenly and you don’t end up with all of your posts 8 feet apart and then one last post just 3 feet from your corner. Once you’ve decided on spacing and have your corner posts set, stretch a line between your corner posts and mark the positions where you’ll dig each post hole. Pay special attention to make sure you are making a straight line with your posts.

Prepare Posts and Holes.

Now that you know where your posts will go you can dig the holes. Remember that about 1/3 of the fence post will go in the ground. This helps your fence posts endure high winds and heavy weight. Using a post hole digger, dig down to the depth you need plus a couple inches. To prevent your fence posts from rotting over time, apply a wood preservative to the section of the post that will be under ground.

Set Posts

Shovel two or three scoops of gravel into the bottom of each post hole. Then place your post and use a level to make sure the post is straight. Brace each post with some stakes to make sure it does move or tip while filling the hole. You’ll want to leave the stakes in until at least most of your panels are installed to ensure a straight fence. Once your post is set and straight you can fill the hole with dirt, packing the ground a bit at the top. Be careful not to hit or knock the post during this process which could knock it off center.

Attach Rails to Posts

Install a top and bottom rail joining each fence post together. This is what you’ll be attaching your fence panels to. This allows for a seamless looking fence from the inside of your yard. Depending on the height of your fence, you may consider adding a third rail across the middle of your fence posts. Be sure to measure accurately when installing the rails so they aren’t crooked.

Install Fence Panels

Starting on one side of your fence, fix your first board using a level to ensure it is vertical and nail it to the rail. Go to the other side of your fence line and repeat this step. Then use a piece of string or rope and stretch it tight from your first board to the other side of the fence where you installed the last board. Secure the string in place and use this to line each board up to and ensure the top of your fence remain straight. Then you can go back and install each fence panel. We recommend using a level about every tenth board to ensure the boards are lining up vertically.

Head to Time Equipment for:

Post hole digger

Take advantage of these nice spring days to for outdoor projects before it gets too hot! Head to Time Equipment Rental and Sales for the tools you need to get the job done right with your next home improvement project. For more information contact us or head to Time Equipment today at 311 N. Campbell in Rapid City.

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