Fence Installation Basics

Having a fence around your property not only adds privacy, it also helps keep pets and children from wandering too far. Before starting a fence installation, check with your town to see about codes, restrictions, and permits.

Mark the location of each corner fence post with a stake. Stretch a masonry guide string tight between these points and follow the string as you set posts. Contact Fence Installation Summerville SC experts for your fencing needs.

fence installation


The first step in installing a fence involves determining the location of the posts. This step will ensure that the fence sits on an even line and the spacing between posts is accurate. It is also an opportunity to mark the locations of any gates. Fence posts are usually spaced every 6 to 8 feet.

The next step is to dig holes for the fence posts. It is a good idea to use a post-hole digger rather than a shovel because it will allow the user to set the posts deeper and faster. A good rule of thumb is to dig a hole that is 1/3 the height of the post. This will prevent the post from rotting.

Once the posts are set, it is time to lay out the rest of the fence. This step is essential because it will help you visualize the finished product and make sure that everything is where it should be. It is a good idea to have an assistant during this process because it is difficult to work alone and maintain a straight line when setting the fence posts.

After the fence is staked out, it is a good idea to contact 811 and have any underground lines marked. This will help to prevent any unnecessary damage during construction and ensure that you are not digging into any pipes or wires. It is also a good idea to notify your neighbors about your plans to build a fence. This can prevent misunderstandings and potential disputes over property lines that may arise once construction begins. Also, it is a good idea to purchase any materials that are required for the fence at this time. This will include the wood, post-hole digger, and any other tools or hardware that are necessary for the project.


The posts are the backbone of any fence system and must be made of a durable material and set correctly to withstand the strain of a taut fence line. If your local laws or codes require it, make sure to have all utility lines located before you dig your holes, as this step can save a lot of headaches later on. If you’re building a wood fence, choose either pressure-treated pine (most economical) or cedar (slightly more expensive), or one of the many composite options on the market that offer a long-lasting, low-maintenance alternative.

Once the line has been laid out using stakes and string, it’s time to start digging your fence post holes. Use a post-hole digger or auger to speed up the process and ensure each hole is positioned precisely. Generally, the holes should be about one-third to one-half the height of the post to provide adequate support and stability once filled with concrete or other material.

Before you start digging, be sure to check for any underground lines by calling 811. If there are any flags or markings around the areas where you plan on putting your posts, mark them with spray paint and remove the string so you don’t accidentally dig into any gas or power lines.

When installing your fence posts, it’s important to hammer each one in at least 18 inches and preferably 24 to ensure the post is solidly installed. After hammering the posts, be sure to use a bubble or laser level to ensure they are plumb. Once the posts are plumb, use scrap two-by-fours to brace each post in place and fill the holes with dry quick-set concrete to about 3 or 4 inches below ground level. Allow the concrete to cure, as directed by the manufacturer.


Once the posts are installed, it’s time to install the rails that will hold the fence panels. Depending on the type of fence you’re installing, there are various options for this step. Some fences require rails that are anchored into concrete footings, while others use metal post sockets to hold the panels. The metal post sockets are hammered vertically into the soil, and they can be replaced later if needed. The panels themselves are slipped into the brackets, and they are secured with a screw that is included with the product.

When working with wood fences, it’s important to square the corners of each panel. This helps ensure the fence will be straight and creates a clean-looking appearance. To square a corner, start by measuring 3 feet down from the mason line and marking it with marker spray. Then measure 4 feet down the mason line and mark it with another spray line. Continue to do this around the entire perimeter of the panel until both lines are equal lengths.

A tape measure is an essential tool for ensuring accurate measurements. It’s also helpful to have a level to help make sure each panel is perfectly level. You’ll also need a post-hole digger for digging holes for fence posts. A manual one will suffice for most projects, but if you’re working on a large project or rocky soil, consider renting a power auger.

Using a power auger makes the job a lot easier and quicker than digging each hole by hand. A trencher is also helpful for preparing the ground for fencing by digging a trench along the desired perimeter of your project. If you’re using a power auger, it’s a good idea to rent a cable avoidance tool to check for underground service cables before digging.


The exact installation process will vary depending on the type of fence you’re installing and local zoning or building code requirements. However, some basics apply to most fencing materials and styles.

Start by determining the placement of the fence panels. This will ensure that your fence follows the property lines and complies with any required setbacks. Use a property survey if possible or consult with a professional to make sure you know exactly where your boundaries are. This will prevent a future dispute with neighbors after your fence is installed.

Next, determine how far apart to space the posts. For most fences, spacing should be at least 5 ft (1.5 m) between posts. If you’re building a taller fence, spacing maybe even more important to avoid sagging.

Once the posts are installed, it’s time to install the fence panels. If you’re using premade panels, it should be relatively easy to assemble them. You’ll still have to spend time measuring and marking where the posts will go, running plumb lines, digging holes, and setting concrete, but it’s much less labor-intensive than working from scratch with lumber.

Before you attach each panel, carefully remove the framing battens from one end of the fence. These are the vertical struts that support the panel. Use a workbench or carpenter table to make this task easier. Reposition the struts as needed to fit the panel in its new location. Make sure that the struts are flush with the panel and are a consistent distance from the top of the post.

When you’re done, place the panel against the posts and check to see that it is level and centered. Use a spirit level to make sure that it isn’t leaning to one side or the other. If it’s too loose, screw the panel to the posts with rust-proof screws.


During your fence-building project, you’ll need to choose the right materials for your job. Cedar, for instance, is an excellent choice for many types of fencing because it resists insects and rots better than other wood species. It’s also a less expensive alternative to redwood, another popular choice. Before starting the work, make sure that you have all of the tools and equipment necessary for the project. You should also read the manufacturer’s instructions to understand how your particular type of fence is assembled.

It’s important to measure accurately when installing a fence. This will ensure that the posts are set at the proper height and that the panels are aligned correctly. To avoid making mistakes, double-check the measurements before digging holes and seating posts. A simple mismeasurement could result in a crooked fence, so be careful!

Once the posts have been dug, it’s time to begin installing fence panels. Start with the end and corner posts, then work your way around the perimeter. It’s a good idea to brace the newly installed posts while you install the panels to avoid stress on the posts and the surrounding soil.

Once the fence panels are installed, it’s time to install the gates. If you’re installing a basic gate, you’ll need a door handle, latch, and hinges. If you’re installing a more complex gate, it’s best to have a professional help you with the installation. The expert will be able to ensure that the gate is securely fastened to the posts and that the locks are working properly. The expert will also inspect the hardware to make sure that it’s in good condition. If the hardware is faulty, it may need to be replaced.

Elizabeth Holley