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Tips for Building a Fence

There are countless web sites and books that you can consult to show you how to build of fence. Here are “the little things” I suggest you keep in mind when constructing yours. Happy building!

1) Check local building codes for height and easement restrictions before laying out your fence. Obtain a permit if necessary. I know some people shrug at this…I’d hate for you to have to tear yours down after all that work because the building inspector happened to be in your neighborhood and decided to pay a little visit. :-)

2) Set fence posts at least two feet deep into the ground. Also consult building codes in your area to determine where the frost
line is so you can dig your post holes deeper than that line. If you don’t and the ground freezes, any post you set, whether it is in concrete or not, may pop up out of the ground. This is called “frost heaving”.

3) When laying your fence line out, be sure to use a line level clipped to your string to make sure you are level at all times. Space your posts no more than 8′ apart.

4) When creating your corners, use the 3-4-5 rule, that way you can be sure it is a perfect 90 degree angle. From the corner measure down one side 3 feet and mark it. From the same corner measure 4 feet down the other side and mark that as well. Take your tape measure and pull it between the two points measured on each side and you should come up with a measurement of 5 feet. If you don’t, your corner angle isn’t 90 degrees and your fence line will start to stray off into the yard!

5) If you have a lot of posts to dig, save your back and rent a power auger…it is well worth the back pain you will save yourself.

6) 2-3 inches of gravel at the base of each post hole followed by fast setting concrete is a quick way to move the project along. A wooden stick or scrap piece of rebar is perfect for poking the air pockets out of the concrete before it sets.

Here’s another tip, I use the garden hose to slowly add the water to the concrete after I have poured the dry concrete into the
hole. Be sure to mix it up well to get the air bubbles out.

Previous Tip of the month: Whenever freshening
up the paint on interior and exterior doors, it is always best to remove them and lay them across saw horses. However, it can be frustrating when you have to wait for one side to dry before flipping the door to do the other side. Simply take four, three or four inch screws and put two on each end of the top and bottom. Now you can rest the screws on the saw horses, which then allows you to flip the door and not ruin the freshly painted side.

Previous Tip of the month: One tool you might want to have on hand is a level; whether it’s a 2-foot or a 4-foot. As I like to say “they are worth their weight in gold”. From installing new countertops, building decks, to hanging a picture….levels are a sure-fire way to make sure it’s plumb and straight every time.