Is your current fence decaying, battered or ruined by windy weather? Or are you looking to add an extra layer of privacy to your garden? With summer just around the corner, fences are a cost-effective, practical way to add style and security to your garden… just in time for the BBQs. Whether you’re replacing a broken fence or starting completely from scratch, installing a fence can be a tricky task, which is why we’ve created this step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Start by clearing out the area of any obstacles and plants/shrubs that you may want to replant later on. Using a cable avoidance tool, map out any buried cables or pipes to ensure you don’t accidentally dig up or damage them.
Measure out the length of your garden to work out how many panels and posts you will need. Panels come in a range of shapes and sizes but are usually around six feet wide. Posts should be at least two feet longer than the height of your panels, to give the fence of solid foundation. If you’re going to add a trellis, make sure that your posts are tall enough to accommodate it.
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Use string to mark out six feet lengths along your proposed fence to give you an idea of spacing and to keep your work in a straight line, following the land. Measure out and mark two feet along your post – this mark should be at ground level when placing the post.
Though optional, it’s a good idea to treat the end of each post with a spirit-based timber preservative, in order to extend its life and prevent it from rotting in the ground.
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Placing the post
Using a shovel, dig a hole that is as deep as one third of fence’s height above ground (usually around two feet deep) and approximately three times the width of your post. Place around three inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole. This will provide stability and weight for the post and allows water to drain away.
Once the post is in place, attach wooden stakes to either side in order to keep it level while you prepare the cement. Using a spirit level, check that each side is straight and adjust if necessary.
Securing the post
Pour your dry postcrete mix into the hole, in accordance with the instructions on its package. Once you add the water, you will need to work quickly as the mix will dry and set in just a few minutes. Remember to wear goggles to protect your eyes from the dust, and gloves if necessary.
Mix the cement within the hole, then use a trowel to create a gentle slope away from the post. This will encourage water to roll down and away from your post, preventing rotting. Once the cement has set, fill the hole with soil or grass, to give a natural look. Remove the supports. Repeat this for every post you need to install. You can check that all posts are level by laying a piece of timber across two posts and using a spirit level.
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Mark the positioning of an L bracket at the base of each post, then use a drill or electric screwdriver to fix them in place. Drill the gravel boards to the L brackets with appropriately sized screws. We recommend 30mm external grade screws.
Mark out the positions of two U brackets to the inside of each post. One 150mm from the top and one 150mm from the bottom of where the fence panel will be. Secure the brackets with 35mm external grade screws.
Carefully lift the fence panels in position, sliding them down between the U brackets and secure with 35mm external grade screws. If you need some help moving the panels, the Handy Squad can give you an extra pair of hands.
To achieve a nice finish and protect end of the wood, you can add post caps to the top of each post. You should predrill a hole before adding each post cap, to prevent splitting the wood.
Finally, you may choose to decorate your new fence. At the Handy Squad, our decorators in London can help with any finishing touches, such as painting and glossing your fence. Do you have any unfinished projects? Our team can also paint rooms, repaint kitchen cabinets and even paint stairs. Request a free quote by filling our online booking form.
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