Yes, you can do a fence install on your property! Here is a quick checklist and my personal 2 cents from running 13 crews.
- Permits or Dig Test – Most areas require a phone call to Dig Test (Call – 811). What this free service does is contact the major utility providers in the area of the project and ask them to mark the underground wires, cables, fiber optics, water, gas, and electrical lines. This is very important to prevent extremely expensive repair cost, property damage, or even death. Also contacting your building permits office to see what if any permits are required for doing the project yourself. White line or mark the area you are fencing with WHITE paint (#4 on this list) this will clear all doubt as to where the fence is going.
- String – Admittedly I am a snob for only one type of string. I even mention it in my Vinyl install video. If I don’t have Braided Mason string it’s going to be a bad day. A twisted line will sag and not stay tight. Catch a slight puff of wind and it is impossible to keep a straight fence. Plus the never-ending fraying of twisted line.
- Stakes – Wood stakes or even a short piece of rebar for marking lines. There is one problem with using these items on a job site. Not saying that it is wrong, I have used them many times. My strategy is to set both the first post in the line (in concrete if using) and the last in a stretch of fence. All the fence I sell requires tight tolerances for the post and rails to match up. Thus if you missed your first post after digging all the holes. Every post following will have to be hand dug to correct.
- Upside-down marking paint – A staple, no a must have. And please always use White paint. Most every other color is used by your dig test company and might be confused with an underground line. And be sure to get the Marking paint NOT Striping paint. Striping paint sprays a much wider pattern. Think of a parking lot stripe.
- Powered Auger – If you are doing more than a handful of posts, to install a fence in a timely manner you need to go with a power auger. My father and I argued to the end about auger size so here are each of our takes. Richard – I need a bigger auger (but not crazy wide) because they get offline (not plumb) so easy and I hate hand digging holes. I can backfill the bottom just slightly so the concrete required doesn’t break us financially and the concrete is at the top of the hole. Dad – No the thinner the better. Thinner = less concrete. Hit the spray marks dead on and stay plumb. That gives you straight thin holes and much less concrete. I will let you pick your side in the argument.
- Post hole digger – Don’t go cheap here unless this is the only time you are going to use them. A decent set should have nylon lock nuts on the handles as well as the cross bolt at the two blades. I have modified them in the past with pipe handles. You had better be in good shape to do that because it will wear you out. Granted the (correct) motion in using PHDs is not in your normal daily activities.
- Sharpshooter Shovel – A sharpshooter shovel is another must. It has an extremely narrow blade and usually a short handle. It is perfect for scraping the sides of the hole if you need an inch or two of space. Even works on small roots and small rocks. Also as you can see in our install video I use it to pack dry concrete in the hole.
- (possibly) Root or Rock Bar – If you have major rocks in the soil or trees nearby with large roots. A Rock bar might be another great tool. Essentially it is a 6ft long 1-inch solid bar with a flat chisel on the end. And sometimes a point on the other.
- 100ft Tape Measure – Also as seen in my install video a roll up 100ft tape prevents a lot of problems and keeps the accuracy of the marks on point.
- 24ft Tape measure – You have to measure once you are setting post, so get a wide tape measure. 24ft is plenty.
- Fence (duh) – Don’t forget to get your fence from Fence Supply Online!
- Bag Concrete – It doesn’t matter if you are doing the dry set or wet set method. Trying to mix your own sand, gravel, and Portland is way too difficult. Get a standard ready mix for your job.
What to do next for your fence install?
Get a quote now for your project and don’t forget to ask any questions you have to Richard.
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