Wood fences are one of the best enclosures for your yard. Fences made out of wood come in a variety of styles and can be built according to your own preferences. Many people choose tall fences in order to have a large amount of privacy while others prefer picket fences around their yard to give their homes a certain feel. Whichever style of wood fence you choose, these kinds of fences have several advantages including being more cost effective than other alternatives. There are tradeoffs, wood fences can also difficult to maintain over the long run because wood can damaged by the weather and elements. However, with a few tips, you can build your own and perform the maintenance and repairs by yourself.
Advantages of Using Wood as Your Fence Material
Wood fences have many advantages over fences made of other materials like metal. A wood fence can be installed yourself as opposed to calling a professional. The supplies and tools used to create a wood fence are readily accessible and can be found at any home improvement store. You can adjust the height of the fence posts more readily and you can easily add more elements to your wood fence like railings that are attached with metal screws. You can even paint your own designs on a wood fence or have it all one solid color. Wood fences tend to be more decorative than those made out of metal and can complement your house.
Building your Own Wood Fence
Once you have decided to put a wood fence around your property, here are the basic steps to building one yourself:
- The first thing you should do is decide on the location of the fence. You can mark the location with some stakes and string. Fences are usually located along your property line, but be sure you are not trespassing on your neighbor’s property. If so, you will have to relocate your fence sooner or later.
- The next step is to figure out how high you want your fence to be. Privacy fences are typically about six feet tall whereas picket fences are only about three feet tall.
- If you haven’t done it already, be sure to get all the materials you need. You will need items like a posthole digger, hammer, drill, tape measure, circular saw, nails, and the fence posts themselves. A home improvement store can help you find everything to get the job done.
- Once you have all your supplies, you can begin by setting the end posts, the parts of the fence at the corners. Use a post hole digger to make the holes, ideally about thirty inches deep. You can then set the posts in the hole, make sure the post is level, and then fill in the rest of the hole with dirt or cement.
- The next step is to place other posts between the end posts. It is recommended to start out placing the posts eight feet apart. You can use a plumbing line made out of string and attached to the posts with nails to make sure that they are all the same height. Use the same technique to set these posts as you did on the end posts.
- Once you have those posts in place, the next step is to install the horizontal boards along the fence. These 2 x 4 boards are attached with nails, and depending on your preference, they are usually set at the top, center, and bottom of the vertical posts.
- The next step is to nail the vertical boards all along the fence. Once those are in place, it is a good idea to cover the fence with a high-quality waterproof sealer.
Maintaining and Repairing a Wood Fence
Wood tend to wear out over time because of exposure to the elements and also because of the possibility of insect damage. Consequently, wood fences need to be regularly maintained with waterproof sealant. If you fence is painted, a fresh coat will need to be added once in a while. If your fence posts are severely damaged, you can replace the fence post or repair the rotting wood by adding reinforcement to it. The key for wood fences is to keep them regularly maintained so that it looks nice and continues to provide the privacy or decoration for your house and yard.