How to Put Up a Fence

Want to learn how to put up a fence yourself? Here at Build & Plumb, we’re going to show you how. Installing a garden fence is a relatively straightforward task and one you can do yourself if you’re looking for a DIY landscaping project and want to save the cost of hiring a professional. 

There are three stages to putting up a fence that we’ve detailed below: installing the fence posts, the gravel boards and the fence panels themselves. Our guide will take you through each step, so you’re ready to get started!

1. How to put up fence posts

How to Put Up a Fence

The first part of putting up a fence is installing fence posts. You can opt for concrete or wooden fence posts: wooden posts are sometimes considered more aesthetically pleasing, but concrete has the benefit of extreme durability. Slotted concrete posts also make installing and replacing your fence panels easier, because they don’t require fixings as wooden posts do.

Note: because of their weight, carrying and putting concrete posts in place will take an extra pair of hands, so make sure you have someone on hand to assist you!

Here’s how to install both, step by step:

Concrete fence posts

  1. Start by digging your holes to place the fence posts in. These need to be two feet deep and three times the width of your fence post. 
  2. To calculate how far apart your holes need to be, use your gravel boards as a guide on the floor.
  3. Start at the end of the row, carefully placing your post into the dug hole. 
  4. Next, you need to mix fencing concrete with water and pour this around your post to secure it in place. 
  5. Hold it for a minute to ensure it’s started to set before moving on to your next post.
  6. Ensure the cement around all your posts has hardened before moving on to the next step.

Wooden fence posts

If installing wooden fence posts, you can choose to embed the posts in gravel or concrete. The main advantage of gravel is that it helps with drainage and prevents wood rot, and it’s also easier to remove if you choose to take down your fence later down the line. However, concrete is more hardwearing and will ensure your fence is as stable as possible.

With this method below, you can have the advantages of both.

  1. Dig your holes so that they’re three times wider than your posts and two feet deep. This time, add six extra inches for the gravel.
  2. Pour six inches of gravel mix into the hole and put your fence post on top. 
  3. Ensure your post is straight and in position before pouring more gravel around the sides to further aid drainage.
  4. Next, pour in your concrete mix up to the top.
  5. Use a trowel while the concrete is wet to create a slight slope, which will help prevent water pooling at the base.
  6. Once the concrete is completely dry, you can use a sealant around the base of each post to keep them completely watertight.

2. How to install gravel boards

Next, install your gravel boards. Gravel boards are usually concrete or wooden boards positioned under your fence panels. At Build & Plumb, we also supply DuraPost gravel boards made from Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GFRP), which is lighter than both yet exceptionally durable and hardwearing.

Gravel boards are there to help keep your fence protected from damp soil and other damage. They’re definitely worth investing in, as they will extend the lifespan of your garden fence. The added height (usually around 15cm) will also give you extra privacy in your garden. 

Concrete gravel boards

If you’ve used concrete posts, you can simply slot your concrete gravel boards into place between the grooves that run down the length of each post. You need to ensure they’re completely flat on the ground and even, using a spirit level.

Wooden gravel boards

It’s easy to install wooden gravel boards, too; simply position them in place between your posts and use gravel board clips and screws to secure them in place.

Step 3. How to put up a fence panel

Once your posts and boards are in place, you’re ready to install your garden fence panels. Whether or not you’ve chosen concrete or wooden posts, the method is similar, and the process is straightforward.

With concrete posts

  1. To install your panels between concrete posts, simply slot them in between the grooves as you did your gravel boards. 
  2. Use a spirit level to check each panel is completely horizontal and level.

With wooden posts

  1. Lift your panel into position and secure it to your posts using stainless steel wood screws and panel clips.
  2. Again, use a spirit level to check the tops are all level.

Continue this process until you’ve finished and your fencing installation is complete! 

Now you’ve familiarised yourself with how to put up a fence, you can approach the task with confidence. The most complex part of putting up a fence is installing the fencing posts, so be sure to take care at this step to ensure you’ve measured the depth correctly and that your gravel boards are laid even.

In our panels and trellis range here at Build & Plumb, you can find a large variety of fence colours and styles to suit every garden. Browse all our fencing range too for all the accessories you need to complete the job. 

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