Well-installed wood fences are those parts of your landscape that will make you swell with pride, especially when you build it yourself. While a DIY fencing project can save you money (and give you the satisfaction of building something on your own), many fencing projects do run into a few challenges along the way, especially for the inexperienced. Here are five mishaps to avoid when installing a wood fence in Union County and Somerset County, NJ.
Incorrectly Locating the Property Line
No matter how friendly you are with your neighbors, they could be pretty irked if you end up building a fence on their side of the property line. Knowing exactly where to build your fence is something you need to plan beforehand by accessing local property records—and talking to your neighbors. Failing to do so can cost money and time if moving the already-built fence has to take place, in addition to potential fines and ill will between neighbors.
Failing to Check In With Utility Companies
Utility companies may need to be contacted when any digging is involved. In advance of the wood fence project getting underway, the utility company can mark the location of underground utilities. Not taking this step can result in serious consequences if utilities are disturbed—as beneath the ground, often at relatively shallow depths, are gas, water, or electricity lines that could be ruptured by careless digging.
Digging Post Holes Too Shallow
Every post hole has a singular job: to stabilize its section of the fence by sitting deep within the ground. Digging a post hole below the frost line is important for any fence; a too-shallow hole could spell disaster for a big section of your finished project. A post hole that hasn’t been dug deep enough could destabilize the post and surrounding fence and add excess pressure to the other posts. Fences are generally heavy and they can often collapse under their own weight if not secured enough. A common standard is to ensure that a post hole is one third to one half of the height of the post above the ground. For instance, under that concept, a 6-foot post would be set in a post hole at least 2 feet deep.
Under-Filling Post Holes
Much like a minimum depth requirement, post holes also need to be a certain width in order to accommodate the concrete and the post itself. First, measure the diameter of the fence posts. A popular rule of thumb is to have the post hole be at least three times as wide as the diameter of the fence posts. You’ll be placing the post in the center of the post hole and filling it with concrete.
Poorly Executing a Slope
Few homes have perfectly flat properties, and it can be a challenge to adapt the fence to the natural slope especially if one of the objectives of the fence is to contain your pets. A fence can either follow the contours of the land, or sections of it could “step” up or down as needed. Depending on the type of fence you’re installing—for example, a privacy fence or a post-and-rail fence—you’ll want to follow a different strategy to get the most attractive and functional result. Our experts can help you make the best design choices for your wood fence.