With summer just around the corner, if you’ve got a battered fence that needs replacing, it really is time to tackle it - after all, we all like a bit of privacy if we’re having a BBQ or lounging around in the sun with a beer! Putting up a fence can be one of the trickier garden tasks, so this job is well suited to those who are a bit more experienced in DIY - and those who love a challenge of course. Just make sure you follow our handy guide below, which will take you through every step involved, from erecting the fence post to adding the panels…
Erecting a fence post spike or concrete-in post support
The first, and perhaps most important thing you will need to do, is check the position of any underground cables and pipes with a detector, so you can steer well clear of these when adding your fence posts. Before getting started, we also highly recommend discussing any planned changes to fences with your neighbour, and asking if you are able to access their property. Being able to work on the fence from both your garden and your neighbour’s garden will make the job a lot easier, trust us!
Finally, you will also need to determine what sort of post support you will be using for your fence. Fence post spikes are perfect if your fence is going to be erected on firm soil – but if these aren’t suitable, you can also consider using concrete-in post supports, although these will require some digging. Whichever one you need, we’ve included steps on both below – just remember these are a guide on how to erect supports for wooden posts.
Step 1: Use a line of string to define where your fence will go - laying the fence panels and posts adjacent to the line, and then using a colour marker spray to indicate where the post spikes or concrete-in post supports will need to go.
Step 2: If you’re using a post spike, you will now want to use a driving tool and sledge hammer to drive your post spikes into the positions that you previously marked with your spray. Alternatively, if you are using a concrete-in post support, you will need to insert this into a 450mm cube of concrete, making sure you check the alignment regularly.
Step 3: For post spikes, it’s now time to knock the wooden fence posts into the spikes themselves. You’ll then need to finish things off by screwing the posts into the spikes until they are completely secure. If you’re using concrete-in post supports on the other hand, you just need to wait until the concrete is completely set, at which point your wooden fence posts can be driven into the supports.
Adding the fence panels
Now your posts are up – it’s time to start adding the fence panels. Whilst doing this, avoid wearing any lose clothing or jewellery that could get caught as you slot your fence panels into place.
Step 1: Be sure to keep checking that each post is vertical as you work along your fence, which you can do quickly and easily using a post level. At this stage it’s also important to make sure that your fence is not touching the ground, as this will rot the panels. To prevent this from happening, make sure there is a gap of at least 100mm under each panel. Alternatively you can also add treated gravel boards, which you can screw to the base of the posts. These will also help to ensure the fence panels are above the ground, as well as preventing any rotting.
Step 2: It’s now time to fix two or three stainless steel U-shaped post clips to each of the fence posts - screwing them in to ensure they are as secure as possible.
Step 3: Once you have added all of the post clips, you will then be able to begin slotting each of your fence panels in.
Step 4: Last but not least, make sure you finish things off by locking your fence panels into place, securing them with screws through the post clips. This will help ensure they remain sturdy – as well as withstand any windier weather. You don’t want all your hard work going to waste!
Now your brand new fence is finished, why not consider adding a post cap to the top of each post? This helps to protect the post from the weather, while also giving it a more polished finish. You could also consider adding a trellis to the top of the fence – which will not only look attractive when coupled with beautiful plants and flowers, but will also act as a further security deterrent.