America’s Funniest Fence Disasters could be a hit TV show. You can imagine the nation laughing at the variety of things that can go wrong when putting up a fence.

fence disasters

Of course we DIYers are an easy target, as we put ourselves out there, and we only learn from experience.

There are many things to avoid when putting up a fence

Just as there are plenty of the rights ways to go about it too.

Some of the funniest fence disasters that we know of are:

  • Forgetting to put in a gate
  • Fence collapsing during the first storm of winter
  • Building a fence that is too high
  • Cutting through a utility when setting the post
  • Erecting a fence on someone else’s property

Now we know these aren’t so funny to the people who are at the wrong end of the disaster, so let’s see what we can learn from each one.

Forgetting to put in a gate

This one actually happened to an Ian Manly Lockedin, somewhere in the Midwest, during early June last year.

Mr. I M Lockedin spent a long Saturday working on the new fence around the backyard of the family home.

The idea was to close off an area where the kids could play and keep away from Mom’s flower garden.

When finished the DIY job Mr. Lockedin stood back to admire his work before going to call his wife.

But he couldn’t get out, as he’d forgotten to install a gate. The embarrassed family had to call a neighbor with a ladder to save the day.

To avoid repeating this one always plan for a gate or entrance, when erecting your fence.

Fence collapsing during the first storm of winter

The Fellover family of Ohio were very proud of Dad’s new fence running around the front yard.

He put it up over a few weekends during August, and it was looking great.

The privacy panels kept the neighbor’s dogs from running amok, and the kids from running out in the street.

The fence stood tall, and the family planted a lovely range of shrubs for lots of color next summer.

The first storm of winter blew through and knocked that fine fence to the ground.

Mr. Fellover didn’t bury the fence posts at anything close to the correct depth.

Always, always, always bury your fence posts at least a third of the length of the post and secure them, before adding the panels.

Cutting through a utility when burying a post

Getting a fence post deep into the ground can have other unseen consequences.

Keen DIYer Mr. Leaks discovered this when hammering his sharp ended posts into the ground at the rear of his Colorado home.

He forgot to check with the utility companies about buried pipes and cable on the property.

Mr. Leaks struck a water pipe, the one bringing fresh water to all the homes on their block.

The geyser was spectacular but didn’t impress the neighbor’s when they discovered they didn’t have water in their houses.

Mr. Leaks got a nice big bill for his troubles.

When doing any DIY work outdoors, always check with the utility companies before you dig.

Erecting a fence on someone else’s property

Mr. I Knowitall went to work putting up his DIY fence, without consulting a boundary map.

He also didn’t bother to ask his neighbors what they thought of his plans.

The fine fence went up over the weekend, and Mr. Knowitall was very proud of the work he did on the project.

One problem, however.

The fence was on his neighbor’s property, and in spots it was nearly three feet over the boundary line.

Such a fence can cause problems with boundary rights and who is responsible for maintenance, not to mind say accusations of trespass.

Luckily for Mr. Knowitall he has an understanding neighbor, and they came up with a solution.

When building a boundary fence, always check the maps, mark out the positioning of the fence and consult with the neighbors.

It will save you a lot of trouble, and embarrassment.

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