How to Erect a Fence
When erecting a fence, you will need the following tools:
- Spirit Level
- Ram (something to compact the concrete into the hole)
You could also use Spodgers (or post hollers) and a wheel barrow. It doesn’t matter what the posts are made of you will need to sink them into the ground by at least a third the length of what is above ground, for example, a 6ft fence will need a further 2ft into the ground making the overall post height 8ft. When you start erecting the fence, you will want to put the two end posts in first and attach some string tied tightly between the top of these; this will help you to get a straight fence with an even fall on ground that isn’t level.
Fixing the Post
Although there are products available, that means you do not need to dig holes such as the Met Post. This a metal stake with an indented box on top for a post to slot into. However it is very difficult to get the metal stake to go straight into the ground without twisting, not only is this problematic, you then fasten the post into the top 6in of this product which makes it very unstable and the erected fence will soon start to rock in the wind. By far the best way to secure your post is with concrete, this can be hard work especially in stony soils, but the fence will remain solid for many years. When digging the hole try to keep it narrow, this will reduce the amount of concrete you will need and help to hold the post upright while setting, the width of your spade is a good guide for the width. As the hole gets deeper, you will have to get on your knees to take out the loose soil or you could use Spodgers which are specially designed for this. Mark on the post you are going to use the depth of the actual fence from the top, you can then use this to test if your hole is deep enough (DO NOT CUT THE POST DOWN JUST TO SAVE DIGGING IT WILL BE MORE LIKELY TO ROCK LATER). When the hole is deep enough place the post in the middle lining the top with the line and using the spirit level to check that it is straight, when this is correct put some concrete into the hole and ram the mix down to fasten the base of the post then check it again with the level to make sure that it hasn’t moved. If the post is still straight then proceed to fill the hole ramming the mix and checking the level regularly if the post has moved slightly you can straighten it by ramming a bit more concrete on the side that wants to push in. When the post hole has been filled with concrete cover slightly with soil to tidy the area up, and if the soil is very dry you could then put some water over the concrete to make it set quicker, but in most cases, there will be enough moisture in the soil to set the concrete overnight.
Fastening to the Post
It will depend on the type of fence you have chosen to how it fastens to the post, if you are using panels then these will need to be put between the posts. The easiest way to do this is as you fix the posts, you do not have to worry about getting the space correct then because the panel will act as a spacer.
First Fasten the panel to your first post either will nails if you have used a wooden post or slot into the groove if, on concrete posts, you will have to have somebody hold the panel then while you put the second post in. Make sure that the hole is deep enough for the second post then when correct nail this post onto the panel, and line up with the string at the top, then check with a level that the bottom is in the correct position if so you can then proceed to fill the hole with concrete. With concrete posts you will have to push the post tightly against the panel before putting the concrete into the hole, then when the concrete has filled about half of the hole knock the post tight up to the pane with the butt of a sled hammer or some other suitably solid ram.
You can paint your fence in a variety of color’s it’s completely up to you. You can use white, which is very popular color for fences, or even blue and red if you want to make it interesting. You can also fasten caps to the tops of the posts to add a final touch. If you have pets such as rabbits or small dogs in the garden, it’s a good idea to buy some wire netting and run this along with the bottom of the fence, covering a band about 2ft high along the length of the fence. You can also submerge a couple of feet of wire in the ground to prevent animals tunneling in or out. This can be done by digging a trench submerge the wire then fill in the hole. The wire can be painted like the fence or hidden behind border flowers and trees to be kept out of site. The choice is up to you. Setting up the fence is not hard, and you can even do it yourself, but keep in mind it will take few days of work.