In suburban settings, a do it yourself privacy fence may be necessary to shield and protect you from those who live around you. They can also provide you with a sense of seclusion. But there are some things to consider before you begin your project which can help ensure you accomplish your goals.
How High is High Enough?
When determining how high your fence should be, don’t depend on your height. Many people make the mistake of standing in their yard and deciding they can’t be seen if the fence is tall enough they can’t see over it.
You have to consider the neighboring landscape. Does your neighbor’s yard have a high spot where they like to sit and relax? Do they have an elevated deck which could easily overlook your seven-foot fence? Or does your property slope away so you don’t require as high a fence?
There may be some considerations you can’t adjust for especially if you live in an area with varying elevations. In this case, you can build the height of the fence you want and use landscaping such as trees to fill in the gaps. Some careful planning and consideration can save you time, energy, and money while avoiding fencing mistakes.
Our construction friend in Mississippi uses a piece of plywood or cardboard to help his customers determine how high they want the fence to be. One person sits while another walks around the property to be fenced while holding up the piece of plywood or cardboard. Then the observer stands while the person walks it again.
All the while, measurements are being kept in mind so you’re properly shielded. This is a quick and easy way to get an idea of how high the fence will need to be and to help you decide what will be the best building materials.
Before You Build
In our day and age of over-regulation and bureaucratic red tape, I have to say be sure to check zoning, permits, and ordinances before you build. Gone are the days when you can put up anything on your own property no matter the need or goal.
Not doing so can, sadly, result in your being ordered to take it all down and given a fine. This would not only cost you aggravation but time, money, and energy. Some homeowner’s associations even have material restrictions so be sure to check those if you live in one.
Know Your Property Lines
If your property lines are old, unmarked or if you’re not certain of them, don’t guess. This could cause bad feelings in neighbors, cost you money and bring many headaches down the road.
If you’re good at reading plot maps, you can mark your property off using one. If you’re like me and can only be kinda sure, I’d call a professional or check with your neighbor and have them verify your results. If they say it doesn’t matter if you’re a little off, remember they may sell later on and the new neighbor may not be happy about it. That would mean moving the fence.
Plan For The Right Gate
The type of gate opening you need to leave will depend entirely on your goals for the area you’re fencing. Is it a large area which will require a riding lawn mower or is it a small area where you’ll only need to fit a push mower? Will you be bringing garden equipment in like wheelbarrows or tillers?
Depending on your goals and needs, you can decide whether a standard walk-through gate, an extra-wide gate or a double gate will work best for you. Then there are the various kinds of gates to choose from such as wooden gates, wrought iron gates and panel gates. A walk-through gate should be at least three-feet wide. Some garden and lawn equipment would be suited to an extra-wide gate at least four-feet wide. A double gate of two three-foot or two four-foot gates will meet any future needs you may have.
Be sure you choose the best location for your gate. Have you ever had to work with a gate in the wrong place or one that’s too small for the job? I have. It’s time and energy consuming.
Will You Want a Removable Panel?
Some people say you should put a removable panel in even if you never use it. The thinking is there may be a time when you’ll need to get a large truck or heavy machinery into the yard.
This could happen if you have a septic tank buried in the yard and well, it has problems. Maybe you’ll decide to re-landscape or put in a pool and you’ll need heavy equipment in there. It could be as simple as wanting to drop a load of firewood.
You can include a removable panel using hinges, toeing screws through the supports into the neighboring posts or using special joist irons. Now, I don’t have the working knowledge of these things, but my friends in construction and my handy husband tell me this is the way to get it done.
The Best For Last – Design Your Do-It-Yourself Privacy Fence
You may be trying to build a wall with your fence if so, long wooden boards will do it best. You may have part of your yard you don’t want to close in completely. This would mean alternating the fence with landscape material or a different type of fencing like chain link or wrought iron. This would be an excellent opportunity to explore cheap fencing ideas.
Do you want a stylish fence of varying heights and even types of wood? You can let your imagination run wild and create a stunning do it yourself privacy fence for your family and your neighbors.
How to Prevent a Sagging Fence
We’ve all seen them. Those fences which look good at first but as times ravages them, they begin to sag and bow. The best, most efficient way to prevent this is to consider this when building a do it yourself privacy fence.
The easiest way to do this is to put your fence posts no further apart than eight feet. I know this by experience from building fences on the farmstead. Our rule is every six fees, we put a post. Overkill some say, but when dealing with livestock, no risk is worth taking.
A good fence has to be “Horse high, bull strong and pig tight”. This means plenty of posts. Using thicker posts will allow a little leeway for any area you need to work around. The last tip to prevent bowing or sagging is to remember to brace your corner posts well.
Do you have your own do it yourself privacy fence tips? Share them in the comments below so we can all learn from your experience.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack