Fencing DIY

 Abington Fencing Northampton

Abington Fencing, Northampton

Step 1: Spacing the Fence Posts
As a rule, you should set fence posts about 6' to 8' apart. The spacing of the posts depends on the type of fence you build, the terrain, the purpose of the fence, and other such factors.

Set the corner or end post first. Then stretch a line from each corner or end post to align all the posts in between.

Drive a stake every 6' to 8' at the exact position where the post hole is to be dug.

Take time to measure and position the posts accurately. The appearance and the structural strength of your fence depends a great deal on the positioning of the fence posts.

Step 2: Setting the Fence Posts
Set all wood fence posts with about 1/3 of their total length buried in the ground. This is especially important on corner posts and any posts that will carry heavy weight or withstand high wind pressure.

Use a regular post hole digger to dig the post holes. Dig the holes straight to the proper depth at each stake marker.

You can anchor the posts more firmly by making the holes slightly larger at the bottom than at the top. Place a large stone or two shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole. This provides drainage to avoid excessive moisture at the base of each post.

Use a wood preservative to treat the section of the post that will be underground. Allow the post to stand overnight in the preservative so it can become well-saturated.

Step 3: Packing the Posts
You can pack the posts with either dirt or concrete. In either case, place two or three shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole before the post is placed into position.

Be sure the posts are in an exact, upright position. You can check the alignment of each post with a regular level. You can also check the alignment of the posts in one direction by sighting from one end of the row of posts to the other.

Brace each post with stakes after it is properly aligned. Keep the stakes in position until the concrete (if used) has thoroughly set. Remove the nails holding the braces and readajust the post until it is in accurate alignment.

When the post is properly aligned, tamp it thoroughly to pack the dirt (if used) around the base of the post. Be sure you do not alter the alignment of the post during the tamping process.

Step 4: Setting the Posts
When the post is firmly in position, build a mound around it to help eliminate water standing at the post base. Slope the concrete slightly away from the post and round it off with a trowel. Tamp the concrete lightly to eliminate any air bubbles left in the mixture that can act as water pockets

Provide extra bracing at all corners. A corner post must carry the weight of fence stretched in two directions, so it should be set in both directions. Allow the posts to stand several days and settle firmly in position before adding the fence.

The heads of posts should be rounded, capped or slanted to help eliminate accumulating water, which can cause rotting. This is well-worth the effort since it allows the posts to last.

Step 5: Adding Rails to Fence Posts
Attach a top and bottom rail to the fence posts. There are three basic ways to do this.

The center illustration shows the top rail being nailed to the top of the post. This is an ideal installation for many types of fencing structures. The top rail can always be joined to another rail in the center of a post this way.

If the rail is added on the body of the post rather than at the top, attach it with a groove, a wood block or a metal bracket. You can attach the bottom rail to the post by either of the two outside illustrations. This picture illustrates several other ways to attach a rail to a fence post. Study them carefully. The type of joint you use to attach the fence supports to the post depends primarily on the type of fence you are building.

  1. The lap joint is one of the easiest to use. The grooved joint does basically the same job, but the rail is grooved into the post rather than being nailed to the post surface.

  2. The butt joint is a little more difficult to make but is often better. The mortised joint is even neater than the butt joint, but you must cut a mortise into the post for this joint.

  3. The slotted joint is commonly used on decorative fences. Treat all slotted joints with preservative to prevent rotting in the grooved areas
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