While chain link fences are use in some landscapes, most people prefer to make use of wooden fences when building an attractive landscape. This is because wood is a rather versatile material that can be made to look a variety of ways. Installing your own wood fence requires time and energy, but it is often worth it as you can have privacy without detracting from the look of your landscape. Even if you do not build a very tall fence, a wood fence around your yard can prevent unwanted animals (like dogs) from getting into your yard. But before you begin, there are a few things to know about preparing to build wooden fences.
It is important to know the basic elements of the wooden fence before you get started. These are the elements that almost every fence consists of, and are almost universally necessary to build an attractive and effective fence. You will need posts. These are vertical elements that are placed in the ground. They rise above the ground, of course, and properly set posts are essential for keeping all of the other components in place. Some posts extend above the top of the fence for decorative purposes and others are only as high as the fence itself.
Another important element of support is the rail. Rails act as spanners, connect the posts. They run parallel to the ground and serve as the horizontal support elements. Almost every fence style makes use of top and bottom rails, and some also utilize middle rails. Finally, panels are required for the successful fence. Sometimes the panels are referred to as boards. There are open fence styles that make no use of panels, but panels of latticework or even just straight boards are the main elements that provide privacy.
Next, you should prepare to install your wood fence. If you would like your installation to go smoothly, you should plan and prepare so that everything is in order before you begin. It is virtually impossible to complete a landscape project without any hiccups, but with a little advance planning you should be able to take care of things in a relatively smooth manner. The first thing you need to do is check with your local zoning or building board to find out the height or design restrictions. Additionally, chances are that you will need a building permit before you begin. You also want to make sure that the fence you build will be within the borders of your own property.
If you need to have a survey beforehand to satisfy the neighbors, do so, as this can save you legal fees down the road if the neighbor decides to sue. Another thing of paramount importance is to find out from the local utility companies where the underground gas, electric, and power lines are located. Additionally, check with the phone and cable companies regarding possible underground lines they may have. It can be dangerous to damage such lines, and if you do so, you are responsible for the costs associated with repairing the damage.
Be sure that you have a plan for your fence, based upon the preparation discussed above. Know where you are going to place your posts beforehand, and have an idea of how high you want your fences. You should also have an idea of how deep your postholes will be. If you have properly planned your fence, then you will be able to complete it that much faster. Also, make sure you have all of the necessary tools on hand.
These tools include a posthole auger, a shovel and a wheelbarrow (to mix concrete), a hammer and a punch, a power saw, a level, mason’s line, and a carpenter’s square. Many of these tools need not be purchased; it is possible to rent them for a reasonable price (especially the posthole auger, which many people do not own).
Once you have everything in place, you are ready to build a fence. Follow the plan carefully, and try to stick to your budget. When you have everything properly prepared beforehand, you will be surprised to realize how fast the work goes, and how good your fence looks as part of your landscape.