Erecting a Garden Fence
If you're considering installing a fence around your garden, wooden fence panels provide a cheaper, easier to construct and more aesthetically pleasing alternative to a brick wall. With the correct tools and equipment, erecting a fence can be a relatively simple task.
The most common type of garden fence consists of 10cm wide concrete fence posts supporting 6ft wide wooden fence panels – this is an extremely convenient fence type, as the concrete posts are extremely robust and weather resistant, and the wooden fence panels are very easy to maintain and replace if necessary.
Preparation is key to erecting a solid, long-lasting fence. You should first clear your garden of any plants and furniture that are in the way, and notify your neighbours of your intention to erect a fence. You should also find out if there are any underground cables and pipes which lie in the way, and mark these out.
Marking Out the Fence
Next, you should measure and mark out the perimeter of your fence using stakes and string. Use a level to ensure that the perimeter lines you have marked out are straight. You know that the fence panels are 1.83m (6ft) wide, and the posts are 10cm wide, so you can work out exactly where each fence post will go and mark them out along the perimeter using stakes.
Boring the Fence Post Holes
The corner fence posts should be erected first – you can use either a manual post hole borer, ideal for smaller jobs, or a hydraulic post hole borer / one man post hole borer to speed up the job and make things much easier for yourself. You can use both the manual and powered borers in conjunction with each other - digging the hole quickly and efficiently with a powered auger and then using the manual borer to tidy up the hole, to achieve a straight, precise finish.
Erecting the Fence Posts
The general rule is that a third of the length of the fence post should be buried to ensure maximum strength and rigidity, and the hole should be about 4 inches wider than the post. The post should be inserted into the hole and then hammered down with a sledgehammer or a manual post driver, to ensure the fence post sits firmly and securely in the post hole.
Next, fill around the post with a layer of gravel, to hold the post in place, and fill the rest of the hole with concrete. The concrete should be filled to just above ground level, and smoothed off with a trowel. Check the post is level and hold it in place with stakes and battens until the concrete sets. You should then repeat this process with the rest of the fence posts.
The concrete should be left to set for about 4 hours before you attempt to fit the fence panels.
Once this has been completed, the majority of the hard work is done. The advantage of wooden fence panels is that they can simply slide into place between the fence posts, to provide you with a quick and easy fencing solution. You should ensure that there is a gap between the ground and the bottom of the panel, as this will reduce the risk of the panel rotting. The gap can be filled with a gravel board.
Once the fence has been erected, apply a few layers of paint to the wooden panels to give them an extra special finish and to protect them from rot and weather damage. You should paint the fence panels every few years to uphold their appearance over time, and maintain their durability and strength.