Installing a new fence is a fast and easy way to improve the look of your home. However, you should avoid common mistakes so that your dream of a residential facelift doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
There are several benefits to installing a new fence for your home. Many homeowners are installing new fences to provide security for their families, themselves and their pets.
To learn seven mistakes to avoid when installing a new fence around your home, read on.
To DIY, or Not to DIY
To save on the cost of installation, it may seem like a good idea to do it yourself. However, if you make a mistake, a seemingly innocent do-it-yourself project can end up costing you more money in the long run.
A new fence can also give you more privacy and add curb appeal to your home. Like many projects, installing the fence seem straightforward. You need a fence, install one – done.
The Reality of DIY Projects
Well, once you get into the thick of the project, you’re likely to see that installing a fence is just like any other do-it-yourself job. In other words, it’s more to it than meets the eye.
Fortunately, you made a wise choice to do a little research before starting your fence installation project. Hopefully, the following seven tips will help you avoid common errors and make the job go smoothly.
Mistake 1: Failing to Plan
Building your fence is the fun part. However, it would be best if you came up with a plan before you pull out your toolbox. Before the hard work begins, don’t neglect this critical step.
Before you turn the first screw or hammer the first nail, you need to know your legal property line. This information will establish the boundary of your fence. Then, you can measure around the perimeter of your property to make sure that you get it right.
It’s also best to research building supplies and different fencing styles. Study your choices carefully before you make a purchase.
Mistake 2: Failing to Survey the Lay of the Land
You may have cut the grass along the path of that old tree stump for the last ten years. However, that grass line does not make that section of land yours.
Never assume that you know the exact layout of your property, unless – of course – you do. By taking accurate measurements, you can ensure that there is space for fences within your legal property line.
Installing a fence on a neighbor’s property is a big problem. This faux pas is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make when installing a fence.
Accordingly, check out your plat map before you begin. A plat map shows you the legally established outline of your land.
If you don’t have one, head to the local tax assessor’s or planner’s office. They’ll more than happily provide you with a copy.
Mistake 3: Rushed Measurements
Measure once, measure twice, then measure one more time for good measure. Exact measurements are the foundation of a good fence installation – or any DIY project, for that matter.
The only thing better than multiple measurements is another set of eyes. If possible, have someone do the measurements as well, and compare your results.
By taking accurate measurements, you can make sure you purchase enough building materials. Also, you’ll make sure that you don’t end up needing to return excess materials to the store.
Mistake 4: Poor Post Installation
The posts are the anchors that hold your fence securely in the ground. If you want your gate to withstand the elements and the test of time, make sure that you do a good job securing the posts.
Before you install the posts, read the manufacturer’s directions thoroughly. Also, follow the instructions carefully.
It’s helpful to dig deeper than the minimum required depth. For example, most manufacturers recommend installing posts a minimum of two feet into the ground. If you can go deeper, however – without giving up too much height – go for it.
Mistake 5: Ignoring Gradients
No. The earth isn’t flat and neither is your land. Every yard has a slope, even if you can’t see it. Nevertheless, the slope of your yard can have a significant impact on your installation.
You must compensate for the grade of your land when you’re buying materials and installing your fence. You’ll also need to adjust the panels during the installation to make sure your fence looks neat and uniform.
Mistake 6: Poor Gate Selection
Choosing the right gate can prove challenging, especially if you aren’t an experienced do-it-yourselfer. When selecting a location for your gate, take your time. If you need to move your gate, the project can prove time-consuming and expensive.
Also, consider the size of your gate. If you want to keep pets in and strangers out, a small gate that allows you to pass is good enough.
However, have you thought about your shopping habits? Are you going to buy furniture? Do you frequently need to bring large items into your property?
It would help if you thought about these things as you decide which gate to purchase. Also, it’s best if you choose a quality gate manufactured with durable materials to prevent sagging and warping.
Mistake 7: Not Checking Zoning Regulations Before Installing New Fences
You know your town inside out, right? Well, when it comes to zoning regulations, that belief may not pan out. Depending on your municipality, legislators may have created zoning laws regarding fencing that are either vague or highly detailed.
Usually, wealthier neighborhoods have more strict zoning regulations. For instance, legislators in well-to-do areas may create zoning laws that require homeowners to install gates to stand at specific heights. Zoning laws in wealthy neighborhoods may also mandate that homeowners install gates of particular colors or even materials.
In a rural area, however, zoning laws are more likely relaxed. Typically, the only zoning regulations you’ll have to know in a rural area are basic safety guidelines.
Nevertheless, you need to know the zoning regulations before you start your project. Understanding zoning laws will help you to avoid fence installation fees and fines.
Hire an Expert for a Job Done Right
If you think the project is too involved, you may want to hire a fence installation contractor. You’ll still have to do research, just not as much.
Begin your research by visiting the Better Business Bureau website. There, you’ll find reviews left by clients of various contractors.
Also, check online and ask around for referrals. A word-of-mouth recommendation outweighs an online review any day of the week.
Learn More About Home Repair!
It seems like there’s no end to projects that can make your home look and work better. Now that you know a few common fencing mistakes that people make when installing new fences, you probably what to learn more helpful facts about caring for your home. For more great ideas and tips, bookmark the TastefulSpace.com Home Improvement section, and visit often.