A privacy fence, as the name suggests, is most often used to protect your privacy. However, this fence also doubles up as a security cover, demarcates your property, and adds to the grace of your surroundings. Before you start building a privacy fence, you need to decide what practical purpose it will serve.
Another thing to do before you start to build a privacy fence is to crosscheck with the local authorities, as there are laws which prohibit fencing of property in the United States. You also need to make sure that you know the limits of your property. You wouldn't want to build the entire fence, to find your neighbor accusing you of trespassing his property.
Tools to Build a Privacy Fence
Before getting down to starting the project, you have to check your toolbox to see if you have all the necessary tools for building a privacy fence. Here are some of the tools and basic materials that are required to start your project.
Along with these, you will also need the appropriate material to build the fence. The amount of this material will depend on the type of fence, the area that needs to be fenced in, and the design of your fence. Make sure that you have your fence design ready before you start, else you may run the risk of running out of material midway through your project.
Building a Privacy Fence
There are a few steps to follow and a few tips that you can use when you plan to build a privacy fence. Right from permission to the finishing touches, things have to be done in a certain manner. Here are some tips that will help you go about your task in building a privacy fence around your property.
Know the Rules
Before you begin designing and planning a fence, check with your local council for rules pertaining to building fences. Once you know about the fence placement, type and design you are permitted to make, begin planning and designing one.
One of the first things that you will have to do before starting to build the fence is to be sure about the borders of the land you own, in order to edge the fence line. Assess and mark the distance between both ends of the fencing.
Try to keep the fence line within your property. If you aren't sure, speak to your neighbor. Later, you not do want him to bring down the fence because you barged into his territory. Your neighbor might also show interest in building a fence around his property line which can decrease your overall cost.
Type of Privacy Fence
After you have gotten permissions, you need to decide on the type of fence you want. Privacy fences range from simple wood fences to elaborate wrought iron ones, and before you go ahead with anything you should have this finalized. The simplest fence, and also one of the least expensive, is planting fast-growing trees and shrubs as a natural border fence.
If you are planning to build the fence using wood, make sure the timber is appropriate. If you use seasoned wood, it will surely withstand the harsh weather conditions and won't wear off easily. Also ensure that the wood is white ant proof and doesn't rot easily. Cedar and pine wood are the best types that can be used for building durable wooden fences.
The backbone of any fence is the fence posts. The posts are usually made from red gum or treated pine and should be able to withstand strong winds and support the weight of your fence. The thumb rule is to place every fence post deep enough so that at least one-third of the post is underground.
Ideally, the distance between two posts should not exceed 8 feet. Measure the distance from one end to another and divide it by 8. This will help you find out how many posts you would need for the fence. A privacy fence should be at least 8 feet tall, for which you will require posts at least 10-12 feet high.
The next step is to start digging the holes to place the fence posts in. Make sure that the post holes are at least 8 feet apart for proper support of the fence. The holes should be at least 80 cm deep to hold the post strongly. Before you start digging, make sure that there are no water pipes or electricity cables running beneath the ground.
After digging these pits, you can hold the posts in them and align them using nail braces. Once you are sure that all the posts are in a straight line, you can pour concrete in these pits and allow it to dry for at least 48 hours. Ensure that you water the concrete every 24 hours, so as to enable the concrete to cure firmly.
1 part of cement, 2 parts of sand and 3 parts of gravel form the ideal mix for the concrete. Thicken it by adding water. First fill the holes 15 cm deep with this mixture. Then place the post and start filling it up and tamping down hard till it is leveled and sturdy.
Give equal attention to the fence corners. The corners will determine how much tension your fence can bear. Use larger or longer posts for the corners and set them a little deeper than the other posts.
Fix the Rails
Now that you have fixed the posts, it's time to pass the rails through it. You can use rails made of hardwood or treated pine. The bottom rail should be 15 cm above ground level. The top rail should be at least 7.5 cm from the top of the height of the post, and the mid rail should run between them.
Fasten the fence boards to the rails by using 75 × 3.75 mm galvanized bullet head nails or better still, use a compressor nail gun to make your job easier. Use a spacer between the fence boards before nailing them. This will make sure that the fence boards are equally spaced out. Install post caps to protect the open-end of the post.
You also need to use pales to cover the spaces that are left between the posts. The pales can be screwed to the posts using one-by-four type screws. It is suggested that you use galvanized decking screws for screwing the pales to the posts and also for attaching one pale to the other.
If your need of a fence is basic, you are almost done with the fence. To make it more attractive and private you can add toppings and capping to your fence.
When building a privacy fence gate, you will have to attach two wooden posts at a relatively shorter distance from each other, ideally 4 feet, and use hinges to secure the gate to one of these posts. On the opposite side of the gate, you can put a latch which will enable you to lock this gate.
Cost of building a privacy fence will depend on its total length, and amount of raw material you use. Building a privacy fence is not a Herculean task, if you have an interest in do-it-yourself projects. If not, pre-made fence kits are available in the hardware section of any departmental store. You can use local help to get your privacy fence made.