How to install a wooden fence (2023)

A piece of woodfencing around your yardNot only does it give you privacy and solitude, it also deters intruders, keeps children safe while they play and contains pets. Further,wooden fencesadd beauty and substantial value to your home. Wooden panel fences are one of the easiest fences to install yourself and consist of prefabricated panels with posts that can be attached to new posts that are in the ground.

Metprofessionally installed wooden fencescosting up to $55 per linear foot (labor only), it is much cheaper to install a fence yourself by doing the work. This guide yields 32 linear feet of fencing: Double the supplies as needed to enclose the perimeter of your outdoor space.

The best way to install a wooden fence yourself

Instead of building the wood fencing from scratch, an alternative is to set four-by-four vertical posts in concrete and place prefabricated wooden fences between the posts. The correct way to install a fence is to plan the area the fence will cover, make sure the post holes are evenly spaced in straight lines, then set your fence posts in concrete and attach the fence to them once the concrete is dry .

Fence posts

Install fence posts by inserting 4x4 posts into dry concrete holes, not wet concrete. After pouring water into the dry mixture, the water briefly fills the hole before seeping through the soil. The concrete then hardens in less than an hour.

Fence panels

Fence panels are available at most home centers and wood supply stores. The panels are typically six feet high, a height that meets most building codes. You can choose from a variety of fence leaves: solid, lattice, dog-ear, and Venetian (horizontal slat style).

When installing fence panels between posts, it is important to ensure that the posts are properly spaced 8 feet apart. Fence panels are eight feet long, measured from the side of one post to the front of the adjacent post. This is an important distinction, as a distance between the posts in the center of 2.5 meters would not provide enough space for the panels.

Depending on the desired fence height and whether you have pets that can fit under it, you can choose whether to leave an opening under your fence panels. If you leave a gap, it's helpful to level the top of the fence and measure the height at the same time to keep the gap as even as possible.

Building tips to get you started

Consider these important preparation steps before building your fence:

  • Mark your property boundaries to avoid building a fence on adjacent property.
  • Check with your local government to see if the fence requires a permit. Some areas don't have building codes that require permits, while others have strict codes that even dictate the type, height, and location of fence you can build.
  • Determine if you plan to install a gate on your fence. Gates can vary in width, so fence posts must be positioned appropriately to allow for even 8-foot spacing between panels if a smaller gate is added.

When to build a wooden fence?

You will find the task easier and more enjoyable during the dry, warm months. In areas experiencing extreme cold, you may not be able to start the project while the ground is frozen. Also think about the future. If you plan on fencing your entire property, start as early in the season as possible, as fencing can be slow to build.

Security issues

When installing a wooden fence, most materials are heavy. Fence panels, weighing approximately 110 pounds per panel, are not only heavy, but also large and unwieldy. Each bag of dry concrete weighs 50 lbs. Stand up. Keep your back straight. The panels are broken, so wear strong gloves.

7 tips for hiring a local fencing company

What do you need?

Equipment / Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Electric miter saw
  • Hamer
  • Role partner
  • Speed ​​square
  • Rope and stake
  • Bubble level or laser level
  • Excavator after hole
  • Spade
  • Pencil
  • Eye and hearing protection
  • Work gloves
  • Marking paint


  • 4 wooden fence panels
  • 5 four by four fence posts
  • 10 bags of fast-hardening concrete
  • 5 bags of gravel for all purposes
  • #8 2 external 1/2 in. screws


How to build a wooden fence

  1. Design of wooden fencing

    Talk about the fencewith your neighbour. Some communities may require you to obtain written consent from all affected neighbors. Look at your home's title documents to see if any form of ownership existsland serviceruns under or near the intended construction site.

  2. Note the site for the burial services

    Call your local locationhelpline finder. This free service allows technicians to visit your property and mark underground utilities (water, electricity, gas and more) with washable paint.

  3. To get permission

    A lot ofcommunities demandget a buildingpermissionbefore installing your picket fence. You must adhere to height restrictions (often six feet, but this can vary) and setbacks on property boundaries.

    In some areas, a property survey may be required to determine the location of affected lot boundaries before a permit is issued.

  4. Alignment fencing location

    Use the hammer to hit two wooden posts that are 10 meters apart. Bury the posts very deep for added strength, as you need to run rope from post to post and keep it taut. Your fence will follow this line.

    Make sure your posts are aligned by placing the ends of the fence first, then using a carpenter's square on the opposite corner for a perfect right angle. Place posts every eight feet between them, and adjust the length of the fence as needed to ensure the posts can be placed in eight-foot rows.

  5. Dig the first hole

    Start at one end by digging a fence hole with thepile driver. Dig the hole to the depth your community needs. If there are no local requirements, a good rule of thumb is to dig a hole that is half the length of the post and about three times the width of the post.

    Temporarily place a stake in the hole. Measure 8 feet from the side of this post and follow the rope to the location of the next hole.

  6. Dig all other holes

    This second hole should be dug so that the post is exactly eight feet from the first post, measured from left to right. Dig to the desired depth. Continue in the same manner until all five holes have been dug.


    If you prefer to measure post spacing by center measurements, the distance is 103 inches from the center of one post to the center of the next post.

  7. Add base filling

    Expand itRole partnerin the mail hole. Pour gravel into the hole while the tape is still in it. When the gravel is about four inches thick, remove the tape. Use one of the four by four to clear and smooth out the gravel. Continue to the next hole until you have completed all five holes.

  8. Set messages to specific

    Each fence post should be set in concrete to keep the fence strong between each plank. Use scrap two-by-fours to attach the posts to the post holes. Secure each post with the spirit level or laser level. Lower the row of posts and fill each hole with dry, fast-setting concrete to just 3 or 4 inches below ground level. When they are all full, slowly add fresh water, putting a rubber band on top. The concrete will cure in about 20 to 40 minutes.

  9. Install the fence panels

    With a helper, lift a fence frame and place it between two posts. Add blocks under the fence frame to raise it to the desired height. Make sure both sides of the fence frame are touching the posts, but not so tight that they spread the posts.

  10. Attach the fence panels

    Attach the fence frame to the two posts with screws. Drive the screws through the sides of the fence frame and into the fence posts. Use four screws per side. Continue for the remaining fence panels.

  11. Painting and finishing

    If you useGive wayfence posts and panels, staining and finishing are optional, as cedar offers natural protection from the elements. If you want to stain and finish your fence, do this by rolling, brushing or spraying the joints of your fence. If you are using pressure-treated or green-treated lumber, make sure you allow itsufficient drying timebefore staining your new fence.


  • Is it difficult to install a fence yourself?

    Installing a fence yourself is not a complicated job, but it is very labour-intensive. It's best to enlist a friend or family member to help you. You can dig holes and pour concrete yourself if you have enough time to finish the fence. Installing panels requires a second person to hold each panel level while another person secures it to the fence.

  • What is the cheapest fence to install?

    PVC fences are cheaper than wooden fences and also lighter and weather resistant. Wire mesh panels sandwiched between wood frames are another budget-friendly option that provides a clear view of the outside of the fence. When choosing the type of fence to install, the first thing you should consider is the level of privacy you need.

  • Should the fence posts be inside or outside?

    Fence posts are usually installed inside the fence, but can also be installed outside based on personal preference. For example, if you want the "good side" of the fence to face the outside of your house, place fence posts on the inside. If your fence only runs along the property boundary in your garden, you can choose to place the posts on the outside, so that the inside of the fence gets a nicer look.


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