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Do-It-Yourself Fence Installation Guide

Before you dig your holes and layout your fence consult our do it yourself Fencing information page. This page is full with helpful information for tackling your own fence installation and planning. This guide covers layout, preparation and some interesting fence installation tricks.

Fence Installation guide:

Check Your Local Building Codes before installing or selecting a fence.

Helpful installation information:

  • Decide the purpose for the fence - Security, privacy, safety, or appearance (see our fence selector page).

  • Planning - Preparation can make your installation go smoothly and help you deal with unforeseen problems rapidly.

    1. Start by simply walking off the fence.
      (the average stride is approximately 3 feet)

    2. Locate your gates.

    3. Use graphing paper to layout your fence, be sure to include gates and natural obstacles from your general review above with distances.

    4. Once you are happy with general layout go back and take measurements of each run of fence. (a run is measured from corner, end, or gate post to next corner, end, or gate post along the line of the fence) It is important to record each run separately because sometimes it is not possible to recycle cut sections in other location on the site. You do not need to worry about the line post at this point in the project, the run length and section lengths will decide the number of line post needed.

    5. Take note; during measure the length of runs, of the angles at which two runs will intersect. To measure angles you do not need to be exact if the corner is approximately 90° or a clean right angle. However if the corner is considerably larger or smaller then 90° then you should determine as close as possible the true angle. You can use a protractor available any office supply center. In some cases an end, gate, or corner post will need to be specially ordered for extreme angles.

    6. Update your graph to include your run lengths and angles.

    7. Select what fences style you would like. See Fence Selector page for more information on the right fencing style and materials. Be sure to check local building codes in your area for fencing restrictions, especially if the fence is to be used around a swimming pool or spa.

    8. You are now ready to request a quote on the materials you will need. You can send your graph to Fence City by email ( or fax (215-362-0901). Our Certified Fence Professionals will review your drawing and return a quote on materials.

    Installation: Follow the instruction, which came with your fencing. Many require you work on one section and post at a time, while others allow for you to complete all your post and then place sections between. It is important to read and follow installation instruction.

    Before your Dig: Before you do any excavation for fence post, you must be certain there are no buried utilities such as Electric or Gas. In many parts of the country this is required by law. Also most states have a one call system where placing one call will cover all major utilities.
    How One-Call Works
    1. Call your state One-Call center or the North American One-Call Referral System at (888) 258-0808. Depending on where you live, you may be required to provide a two- or three-day notice before you begin excavation.
    2. The One-Call center will notify local utilities and companies who operate underground facilities about your project.
    3. These companies take the information provided by the One-Call agency to determine if your project is near their operations.
    4. If your project is close to underground facilities, the affected utility or company will send a representative to your work site to clearly mark the route and location of their operations.
    North American One-Call Referral System (888) 258-0808

    Excavation Caution: For small fencing projects you can usually dig postholes by hand with a shovel and post hole digger (available at most local hardware or landscaping centers). For larger projects a powered post hole digger might be needed, and can be rented from tool rental centers or many home improvements centers. Powered post hole diggers usually require two people to operate. If the model you are using requires more then one operator do not attempt to operate it alone. By their nature powered post hole diggers have allot of torque and can result in serious injuries if not used properly.

    Frost Caution: In many areas of the country your postholes should be extended below the frost line to prevent your fence from shifting during freezing and thawing conditions.

    Warning Wall and Concrete Slab: Check your installation guide and/or contact our certified fence professionals for detailed instructions on installation into concrete or walls. Many styles require their post to be extended into these objects, and can result in a weak fence if not installed properly.

    If you can not find what you are looking for?
    Have more questions?
    Contact a Certified Fence Professional at:
    215 362-8200