How to Build a Fence Yourself

Have you ever wondered how to build a fence in your own yard?  Building a fence can help you add a little privacy or fun decoration to your front or back yards. The good news is that building a fence doesn't have to be that hard. If you can commit a few days and some supplies to building your fence (depending on the size of your fence and amount of friends to help), you could be on your way!

To build a fence, you'll probably want to use a cordless drill because you'll be spread out over longer distances and might not have an extension cord that goes that far out. Also, you'll need to get a few supplies such as a post hole digger, timber posts, fence planks, concrete, nails or screws, and fencing sections. You'll need to think about how your fence will look before you get started so you know what kind of fencing sections to buy. You can get anything from the classic white picket fences to the utilitarian, tall fences designed to create a barrier between your neighbors and you.

The first thing you have to do is check out where your property line is. Your neighbors will get angry if you intrude over the property line so have that well-marked before you start. You may also want to check local ordinances to see if you need a building permit to build a fence.

Next, you'll need to place and dig out the holes for the main posts. These posts are important because they are going to keep your fence from falling over at the first sign of wind. Think of them as the support beams for your fence. You'll want to start with the posts that will be at the corners and work from there.

Space out these post holes about 6' to 8' apart. This distance depends on the terrain the fence will be on, the purpose of the fence, and the type of fence you are building among other elements. When you're looking for the posts, try to find 4” by 4” timbers that are treated. They'll be in contact with moisture so you want to make sure they don't rot away at the base.

You can't just plunk the posts, which normally are 4x4 timber. You need to anchor them properly. Using a post hole digger, dig the hole – the hole should allow for about a third of the post to be in the ground. This will provide your posts with stability so don't scrimp on this. Make sure the hole is bigger than the post itself. You'll be filling around it so don't worry if this looks odd.

Put down a base of small rocks or gravel at the bottom of the hole. Put the post on top of them and brace the post with stakes on either side so it's even and straight. Pour concrete around the post almost until the top. Let set until the concrete is dry and then put dirt over it.

Once your posts are all set up, you can get two to three horizontal wooden planks as rails to put between each two posts. These rails will be what you attach the actual fencing sections. You'll need different types of wood and nails or screws depending on the fence you're going to build. Finally, attach the fencing sections you select to the rails and paint with waterproofing sealer to make sure your fence doesn't absorb moisture. It'll last longer this way.

Congrats – you're now ready to build a fence!