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Is it hard to install a fence?

Is it hard to install a fence? - Proline Range Hoods

As you go through your list of home improvement projects, you see that the next one on your list is installing a privacy fence in your backyard. But, you’ve never done anything like that before. It seems like an ambitious project, but you might want to try installing a fence yourself.

You’re left wondering: is it hard to install a fence?

The average homeowner should definitely hire a professional to install a fence. Request a quote from your local hardware store and a few fencing installation companies before you decide on the right one for you.

The difficulty of your fence installation primarily depends on the type of fence, its size, the terrain, and how long you want it to last. It takes a lot of work and research to install a fence that is aligned correctly and stable.

If you encounter no rocks or roots while digging posts, the project can be pretty smooth. But if you come across huge roots, tough soils, or rocks, you’re in for quite the project.

One poorly placed giant root and the project can be put to a complete halt.

Vinyl, composite, and metal fences are easiest to install since they use a simple combination of panels and posts. Wood and chain link fences involve more steps, tools, and materials to ensure the fence is level and secure.

Installing any fence is labor-intensive. So if you’re older, you may want to leave it to a professional. A lot of digging, cutting, and lifting panels or wood is involved. Installing a fence is a two-person job. Wood and chain link fences will be nearly impossible to complete well with just one person.

We’ll break down the difficulty of installation for each type of fence below. If you decide to tackle this ambitious project, check out the videos to learn how to install each type of fence yourself.

Is it hard to install a wood fence?

Wood fence - is it hard to install a fence?

Installing a wooden fence is difficult. It involves a ton of planning, measuring, and manual work digging holes and cutting fence posts. Installing the fence on a slope or rocky terrain can add to the complexity. Consider hiring a professional to install your wood fence.

If you want to learn more about wood fence installation, check out the video below. It will help you determine if DIYing is right for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrK5KHwevB4

Is it hard to install a vinyl fence?

White vinyl fence

Vinyl fences are one of the easiest fences to install. But it still requires quite a bit of work. Install the posts as you go and don’t set them in concrete until every fence panel has been installed. Otherwise not all your panels will fit between posts.

If you live in an area with high winds, you might need to reinforce your posts with post stiffeners, like this one from Amazon.

Check out the video below to learn more about how to install your vinyl fence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vinXPZAIkqQ

Is it hard to install a composite fence?

Composite fences, like vinyl fences, are installed using pickets that make up fence panels. This simplifies the installation but it still requires a lot of measuring and digging for the posts. Compared to a wood or chain link fence, a composite fence will be easier to install.


Take a look at the video below to see how inserting pickets is done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iSBQAJFc2U

Is it hard to install a chain link fence?

Black chain link fence

Chain link fences are difficult to install for the average DIYer. There’s a lot of hardware to keep track of, including but not limited to brace bands, tension bands, rail caps, tension rods, and tension bars. You’ll need a second person to set the chain link fence into place and tighten it.

You’ll see what I mean when you check out the video below. Take a look to see if installing a chain link fence is doable for you. Sort all your tools and hardware beforehand to make following the instructions much easier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODH_Xj3RrGQ

Is it hard to install a metal fence?

Like any fence installation, it requires quite a bit of digging. But once you get your post holes set, all you need to do is set a post in concrete, attach the fence panel, and repeat until your fence is complete.

Watch the short video below to learn how to install a metal fence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiEdmKUsr8Q

11 Fence Installation Tips

Wood picket fence

Check your local building codes.

Every area has its own building codes. It’s important to check those to make sure that you can build the fence you want legally. Following every part of the building code is important, but pay particular attention to how deep posts should be dug. Digging holes is one of the first things you’ll do that has specific code requirements.

Call 811 to get your utilities marked.

811 is the national “call before you dig” number. Before you dig in your yard, you’re legally required to get utilities marked. If you dig and hit an underground utility line that could be catastrophic, not to mention way costly! Call this number to have a professional come out and mark all your utility lines.

Measure twice, cut once.

You can never be too precise when installing a fence. It takes a lot of prep and manual labor, so it’s important to get your measurements right the first time. Imagine digging holes in the wrong spot – that’s a lot of your hard work down the drain. Ask a friend to double check your measurements.

Make sure the posts are deep enough in the ground.

Your fence posts should be dug between ⅓ and ½ of the post’s length in the ground. For example, if the fence posts are eight feet, the depth should be between 2 ⅔ and 4 feet in the ground.

If your fence posts are too shallow, they will lean to one side. Eventually, gravity will take over and your fence posts will collapse.

Also, check your local building codes before digging to make sure you don’t dig too deep.

Make sure your vertical posts are centered and straight.

The softer the terrain, the easier it is to keep your posts centered and straight. If it’s difficult to dig, there are a lot of rocks, or the ground is uneven, this can be difficult to do. But this step is crucial. Your fence won’t look good or support itself well if the posts are not installed properly.

If you are installing a fence in difficult terrain, consider buying a power auger from Amazon to make digging quick and easy.

Fence panels are DIY-friendly.

If you are installing a fence for the first time, consider installing a fence with panels. It is much easier than installing a fence from scratch. You would have to cut all the individual pieces of the fence and install them one by one. This involves a lot more measuring and it’s simply riskier than installing panels.

It’s not bad to build a fence from scratch. But for beginners, or if you’re short on time, fence panels are the way to go.

Always use string!

In the beginning stages of installation, run string along your fence line from corner to corner. This ensures that the fence line is perfectly straight. It ensures that you dig your holes in a straight line, so your fence won’t veer off to the left or right.

Consider the climate.

If you live in a humid, rainy climate, a wood fence is not the best option. It will rot more quickly. Metal, chain link, and even composite wood will be more durable against the elements.

Buy 10% extra materials.

This increases your margin of error. If you make a few wrong cuts, you can just use the extra materials instead of going back to the store. It will save you a lot of time. At the end of the project, you can return some of the materials or keep them for any future maintenance.

Install the fence on your property!

Take a look at the homeowner’s deed to review your property lines. Before installing your fence, make sure you build it entirely on your property. You don’t want to have to take anything down that you worked on for days or even weeks.

Go with vertical pickets and panels.

Horizontal pickets require higher quality lumber than vertical pickets. Unlike vertical pickets, horizontal pickets will sag over time due to gravity and the weight of the fence itself. They may need to be replaced sooner than vertical pickets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to build your own fence?

In most cases, you will save money building your own fence. But it will take a lot more time for you to build your fence than a contractor unless you are especially handy. If you are looking to save money, chain link fences are the cheapest, wood and vinyl are somewhere in the middle, and metal and composite are the most expensive.

Does Home Depot install fences?

Yes, you can request a quote for Home Depot fence installation here. Before you start your project, request a quote from a few different fencing companies and local stores. It’s important to compare companies so you end up paying a reasonable price for your project.

How long does it take to install a fence?

The time it takes to install your fence depends on the size of the project, the terrain, and the type of fence you’re installing. Typically, professionals can install most fences in a few days to a week. It can take the average DIYer a few weeks or longer, depending on how much time you have.

Is it cheaper to build a fence from scratch or buy panels?

It will often be cheaper to build a fence from scratch than to use pre-made panels. But for most DIYers, that’s not worth the extra time that it takes to build a fence from scratch. If time is a big concern for you, you should buy panels for your project. If you have time and want a little freedom to customize the project, building it from scratch is the way to go.

Should I use concrete for fence posts?

Concrete is a great material to use to set fence posts. You can mix it in the hole or a wheelbarrow. Mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow is a little safer because you can get the right consistency before putting it into the hole. If you mix it in a wheelbarrow, add the dry mix first and then the water so water doesn’t spill.

Should a fence touch the ground?

Your fence should be installed about a couple of inches above the ground. This makes it easier to trim grass around and below the fence. It also helps prevent water damage in the long run.

What is the recommended distance between fence posts?

In most cases, fence posts can be spaced between eight and 10 feet apart. Posts should be dug at every corner of the fence. Make measurements before you dig holes so you don’t end up with fence posts too close together or too far apart.

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Is it cheaper to build your own fence?

In most cases, you will save money building your own fence. But it will take a lot more time for you to build your fence than a contractor unless you are especially handy. If you are looking to save money, chain link fences are the cheapest, wood and vinyl are somewhere in the middle, and metal and composite are the most expensive.

Does Home Depot install fences?

Yes, you can request a quote for Home Depot fence installation here. Before you start your project, request a quote from a few different fencing companies and local stores. It’s important to compare companies so you end up paying a reasonable price for your project.

How long does it take to install a fence?

The time it takes to install your fence depends on the size of the project, the terrain, and the type of fence you’re installing. Typically, professionals can install most fences in a few days to a week. It can take the average DIYer a few weeks or longer, depending on how much time you have.

Is it cheaper to build a fence from scratch or buy panels?

It will often be cheaper to build a fence from scratch than to use pre-made panels. But for most DIYers, that’s not worth the extra time that it takes to build a fence from scratch. If time is a big concern for you, you should buy panels for your project. If you have time and want a little freedom to customize the project, building it from scratch is the way to go.

Should I use concrete for fence posts?

Concrete is a great material to use to set fence posts. You can mix it in the hole or a wheelbarrow. Mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow is a little safer because you can get the right consistency before putting it into the hole. If you mix it in a wheelbarrow, add the dry mix first and then the water so water doesn’t spill.

Should a fence touch the ground?

Your fence should be installed about a couple of inches above the ground. This makes it easier to trim grass around and below the fence. It also helps prevent water damage in the long run.

What is the recommended distance between fence posts?

In most cases, fence posts can be spaced between eight and 10 feet apart. Posts should be dug at every corner of the fence. Make measurements before you dig holes so you don’t end up with fence posts too close together or too far apart.
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