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Fence building advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Pooswa, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Pooswa

    Pooswa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    About to start building a fence around my back yard..it's roughly going to be 230 feet of fence just some questions that I have? if anybody has advice I would be thankful for it

    Should I go with buying the 6 x 8 panels that they sell or should I put each fence board separate ? Is there a difference in quality of wood ? I'm not much of carpenter but do have some skill in that department ..but I am also looking for the fastest way to get this up..

    Is it fine putting up the 4x4 post every 8 feet to set the the runners/ panels? does putting one in the middle for support make a difference? just Worried about sagging fence in a few years..

    Do I set fence board on ground or how much clearance should I give between fence board and the ground?

    Is quickcrete the best cement to use?

    I'm sure that I'll have other questions as I get this project moving

    Thanks for any advice given :clapping:
  2. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Is your yard perfectly flat? If not I wouldn't go with pre-constructed panels. You could contour the bottom of the panel to fit the earth but that would be a pain in the butt.

    My newly built fence has posts every 8-9' (professionally built). My 8 year old fence has posts every 8-9' with no sagging.

    My fence was constructed with treated wood. We didn't want are little dog to be able to get out. Fence boards go to the ground. Old fence boards went to ground as well. I haven't seen any issues with it.

    Don't think it really matters, however the fence company i used specified that it was to be premixed and then poured into hole vs. just pouring in dry mix and letting it set up from ground moisture.

    Additional info: My fence was constructed with aluminum nails to prevent future rust stains where the nail heads are located. You may want to check with the wood manufacturer to make sure the treatment process they use is compatible with aluminum. You may not care and use steel nails.

    For my gates the 2x4 structure was made with Cedar. This was to reduce the overall weight of the gate to make it last longer. Old fence gates were crap, these are much better. Gates were also set flush with the outside edge of the 6x6 posts, so that when you opened them all the way the hinges did not bind. I'll post a pic for clarity.

    Lastly, Post were set first, then the stringers were installed (the boards that connect the posts), then the fence slats were put up. AFTER they were all put up they came back and cut the top of the fence in an arc between posts.

    If you do a decorative cut to the top of your post, do it before you set post, or at least before you install slats.

    If your are in Georgia the company that did mine is supper competitive and uses quality dried wood that smaller companies can't compete with.


    Here you see old fence with a new gate, notice the cedar structure


    Here you see new fence, prior to arc being cut, and notice they worked their way from one post to the next with full boards, and then went back and cut the last board to the size it needed to be to fill the gap.


    Old fence meeting new fence (new fence is 7.5' tall, old was 6, this shows the transition


    see how gate is set out flush with face of posts, notice it could open all the way out without stressing hinge, previous gates were flush with the fence, and you could "over open" them causing damage to hinges

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  3. Pooswa

    Pooswa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Thanks for the advice...I'm not going with the panels...fence looks good..hopefully I can get started this weekend..
  4. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,676

    that last pic is awkward- rails should always be on the inside, like they are by the gate.
  5. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    The last pic i should not have included, i only did because it was the only outside view of a gate that i have taken.

    What you are looking at is a 8'x20' fenced in area hiding pool equipment and storage. The yard fence runs into the middle of that rectangle to the left of the picture gate. The reason the rails are on the inside of that 8x20 are is because part of it functions as the yard fence, and by pool codes the rails have to be on the inside of the fence.

    The right side of that pic you see rails like you see on the left side of the pic (those are fake rails). To the left of the gate you don't see rails because they are on the inside of that fenced in area. The reason there are not fake rails there is because where we sit the majority of the time you can't see that gate or fence.
  6. Pooswa

    Pooswa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Is there a reason why rails should always be on the inside?..I was going to go with rails on outside so when I sit in my backyard it looks good to me and my neighbors can look at the ugly part!
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  7. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Rails on the outside make it easier for people outside your fence to climb over....

    You get used to looking at the rails....

    So used to it in fact that I think the outside of my fence is the ugly side....
  8. avguy

    avguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    If it's within your budget put the rails to the inside and cover those as well. If you're using treated pine, the boards will shrink considerably over time leaving gaps between the boards. Stagger the inside boards so they cover the gap of the outside boards.
  9. Oasis-Outdoor

    Oasis-Outdoor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I've had a fence construction biz for about 12 years. Don't do the prefab panel thing. A fence is so much stronger and more attractive if you custom build it from wood components. When you install your posts, put them at approximately 7' 9" on centers. This will allow you to have 8' 2x4's evenly meeting on each post. Obviously, you will have to cut a little from each 2x4. Also, spring for western red cedar pickets rather than the pressure treated ones. The treated ones will (I repeat WILL) warp like crazy, no matter how well you attach them to the framework. Good luck with your project.
  10. Pooswa

    Pooswa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Not in my budget to do that. But other than that is there any reason I couldn't put the rails on the outside ?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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