Author Topic: Do you have advice on DIY fence installation?  (Read 1029 times)

Offline viennaguitar

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Do you have advice on DIY fence installation?
« on: March 31, 2016, 11:24 am »
We are thinking about fencing in most/all of our front yard - maybe 1500 sq feet.  There is no way we can afford to pay someone to do it right now, so we're pondering the do-ability of just putting it up ourselves.  Nothing fancy, but a decent-looking wood fence that will keep our toddler from running into the street.  Have any of you undertaken this yourselves?  Did it turn out like you hoped?  Did it take forever and/or break your spirit?  We are planning to go on a long walk this weekend to get ideas from other people's fences, so if you have a particularly nice fence, I would love to know where to walk by and gawk at it.

We're currently thinking of something like the yard across the street from the Mennonite farm - a 4 ft-ish wood fence, "filled in" with hog panels or something like that.  We have a 50's brick ranch, so it doesn't seem like it'd be too weird looking...

Offline 54 Pontiac

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Re: Do you have advice on DIY fence installation?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 02:23 pm »
Digging postholes by hand for wood posts is a lot of work. If you intend to use hogwire anyway, why not get metal fence posts that just pound into the ground? I've done both myself.

Offline angryuser

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Re: Do you have advice on DIY fence installation?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 02:28 pm »
Digging postholes by hand for wood posts is a lot of work. If you intend to use hogwire anyway, why not get metal fence posts that just pound into the ground? I've done both myself.

I haven't had to dig more than 3 or 4 at a time yet, but if I had a bunch to do, this would be my huckleberry.
1 Man Auger via Home Depot tool rentals
http://www6.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/1_Man_Auger/M240H/index.html

Either way, yes. Digging a bunch of holes and then getting the posts in and level is a huge pain in the ass. Being fairly ocd will help you get a better result though.  8D
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity but they've always worked for me.

Offline viennaguitar

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Re: Do you have advice on DIY fence installation?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 03:54 pm »
Digging postholes by hand for wood posts is a lot of work. If you intend to use hogwire anyway, why not get metal fence posts that just pound into the ground? I've done both myself.

I haven't had to dig more than 3 or 4 at a time yet, but if I had a bunch to do, this would be my huckleberry.
1 Man Auger via Home Depot tool rentals
http://www6.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/1_Man_Auger/M240H/index.html

Either way, yes. Digging a bunch of holes and then getting the posts in and level is a huge pain in the ass. Being fairly ocd will help you get a better result though.  8D
 
We're definitely thinking about using an auger!  My husband wanted to use the pound-in posts, but I vetoed...because of niceness, I guess?  We already have kind of an eccentric front yard, I didn't want to make it look shabbier than it already is.  In which case, self-installing a fence is probably not the way to go in general, but c'est la vie. 

For setting the posts, I assumed you'd need to pour some concrete, but I've read mixed advice here.  Can you just use gravel to stabilize the base, or is is that only if you don't give a crap about how wobbly your fence is down the road?  Does it depend on how deep you set your posts?

Offline angryuser

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Re: Do you have advice on DIY fence installation?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 08:04 pm »
Digging postholes by hand for wood posts is a lot of work. If you intend to use hogwire anyway, why not get metal fence posts that just pound into the ground? I've done both myself.

I haven't had to dig more than 3 or 4 at a time yet, but if I had a bunch to do, this would be my huckleberry.
1 Man Auger via Home Depot tool rentals
http://www6.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/1_Man_Auger/M240H/index.html

Either way, yes. Digging a bunch of holes and then getting the posts in and level is a huge pain in the ass. Being fairly ocd will help you get a better result though.  8D
 
We're definitely thinking about using an auger!  My husband wanted to use the pound-in posts, but I vetoed...because of niceness, I guess?  We already have kind of an eccentric front yard, I didn't want to make it look shabbier than it already is.  In which case, self-installing a fence is probably not the way to go in general, but c'est la vie. 

For setting the posts, I assumed you'd need to pour some concrete, but I've read mixed advice here.  Can you just use gravel to stabilize the base, or is is that only if you don't give a crap about how wobbly your fence is down the road?  Does it depend on how deep you set your posts?

Don't count metal non-hole dug posts/fencing out just yet. We have a fence made with this stuff:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_254097-16418-504018_1z11ps2Z1z0ztpb__?productId=3028522&pl=1
There are two sizes. One that's roughly 4' tall and another shorter (3 feetish?) one. We have both in different areas. It can be trying to get the metal posts into the ground without leaving marks from beating on it (use a 2x4 or something on top that you can beat on to take the marks, while still transmitting the force), but if you pay attention and make sure you get them in enough, it looks really good finished. I don't have kids that might have an urge to lean in to it or climb on it (doubt it would stand up to much of that), but I like the result. (though, we are down on the less classy end of Flat Shoals  ;) )
Still far, far easier than digging holes and setting posts.

But if you want to go the post route... I used concrete for mine. Doing it right means extra deep hole (this is where you want the auger, instead of just a set of post-hole diggers) so you can set 6 inches of gravel or small rocks in the bottom (drainage), then the post. Depending on how many you have, it may be easier/more cost effective to actually mix up batches of concrete and fill the hole/set it that way. Or you can just get the concrete mix you just pour down around the post and then add water.
If you don't want to use concrete (which can make the posts rot faster? I just made sure I didn't leave a bowl around mine for water to sit in), you'll need to get more of the post in the ground for better stabilization. "For a 5-foot fence, you’d want an 8-foot post and you’d need a 3-foot hole."
I wanted and was making something higher than 5', so it would just be worse.
Have fun with that.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 08:09 pm by angryuser »
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity but they've always worked for me.