Plan Before You put up those Pickets
Considerations For Building Your Fence
Building a fence is a rewarding, practical project, but the proper precautions and planning need to be taken into account before you select your lumber or dig any holes. It takes a lot of work to get a fence up, and the last thing you want is to finish the job, look around at the great work you’ve done, and realize you forgot something crucial. A fence isn’t just the pickets and posts you see above ground protecting your yard: your fence has roots underground that securely anchor it through storms and high gusts of wind; your fence has regulations placed by your city and homeowner’s association, and it needs more than soil to hold onto if it is expected to survive the long haul without falling over. You should be falling for your new fence, your fence should not be falling for you.
Dig Once, Check Twice
One of the most important aspects of your beautiful new fence is not immediately apparent when you first look at it: structural integrity. The posts underneath the ground are just as important as the pickets you see above ground, and if your posts are not set deep enough there is a high likelihood that your fence will fall over in no time. Fence posts are the anchors that hold your fence up and the deeper you dig the holes for your posts, the more rigid your fence will be. It’s an issue of grip, specifically the ground gripping your posts: the more fence post the ground has to hold on to, the more secure your fence will be when faced with high winds, storms, and excess ground moisture. So how deep into the ground should your fence posts be? It depends on how high you want your fence to be. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that at least one third of the length of the post is secured in the ground. Another consideration is the weight of your fence. Heavier gates and columns may need to be anchored deeper in the ground than your traditional western red cedar fence.
Foundation Is Key
The depth of your post holes is only one consideration to take into account when it comes to building a strong fence. Concrete is the binding agent that ensures the post holes you dug were not in vain. Whether you are installing fences professionally or building a fence yourself, a fence can not stand in dirt alone. Without concrete, your fence faces a challenge whenever rain softens the dirt around your posts or when high winds provide stress and resistance across the entirety of your fence. Make sure your concrete is mixed well before it is poured. Some companies and individuals think it’s enough to pour a dry bag of concrete into the post hole and wet it with a hose, but without proper mixing there are bound to be many dry spots in the concrete.
Mandates For Fences And Gates
Your fence is finished: it’s structurally sound, and it’s going to last through a storm. But some forces are stronger than mother nature. Regulations set by civic and neighborhood authorities need to be researched and understood before you install your first post. Rules put in place by city municipalities tend to focus on structural integrity and safety, mostly related to how deep you dig your posts and the maximum height a neighborhood fence can be. In some situations, permits can be obtained with specific technical documentation detailing the safety of proposed fences over a certain height, but this is the exception to the rule.
Visit our residential fence page for ideas on your next project, or call Texas Fence today and we will build you a fence that stands strong from start to finish.