Fence Building How-to Guide

When you take on a fence building project, spending some time planning up front will help to make the job go smoothly. Whether you are building a simple post and rail fence around your property or a nice cedar privacy fence, there are several things to consider before starting the project.

Fencing Functions
Wood Fences can be used as an architectural element, a way to define boundaries or both. It can function to keep an area contained (meaning “to keep things in an area”) or it can serve to keep unwanted things from entering an area (meaning “to keep things out of an area”). The function you plan to have your fence serve will dictate what type of fence design you use.

Design Selection
Once you know what function you want your fence to provide, you can pick a design. There are hundreds of designs available and some more complex than others. If you plan to build the fence yourself, you will need to consider your own skill at building. Even some of the more sophisticated fence styles can be assembled by a novice fence builder thanks to the increasing number of companies that provide pre-built wood fence panels.

Fence Placement and Positioning
The most common fence placement is at the property boundaries. When deciding on the placement of your fence, be sure to locate your property’s boundary markers. Most properties have small metal pins at each major point of the property that marks the geometric boundary of the property. If your property doesn’t have boundary markers, it might be best to have a surveyor locate your properties boundaries before you start.

Building Codes
You will also want to determine if there are any building codes or covenants and restictions (CC&R’s) that apply to your fence building project. Many Home Owner Associations (HOA’s) have restrictions on fencing styles and in some cases, colors that need to be considered before you begin your project. Some cities and/or counties may have regulations on fencing heights and other attributes that will need consideration before you start.

Once you have your planning complete, it is time to start. Our step-by-step tutorials will help you build a fence that you can be proud of, no matter how complex the design.

See Wood Fence Designs
Understanding the Details of Fence Placement
Installing Fence Posts
Mounting Fence Rails
Wooden Fence Panel Construction
Building a Wooden Gate
Learn the Basics of Fence Staining
Fence Repair Made Simple