Aluminum Fences DIY: Installation Guide

People like aluminum fences for a number of reasons. They are durable, easy to install, maintenance free and an affordable fencing solution for every property. Above all, when installed correctly they look great and enhance the style of your property.

Before getting your hands dirty, read our DIY installation guide from start to end to get an idea of the work involved. Our guide is complete and includes information on how to install your fence and gates. We also added a tools list and material list so that you can start and finish your fence installation project without missing anything.

Last but not least, if you have problems installing your fence or need professional assistance, we are now offering installation services in the following areas: Cincinnati, OH; Georgetown, SC; Lexington, KY; Louisville, KY; Myrtle Beach, SC; Nashville, TN; Raleigh, NC & Roanoke, VA. More areas to follow soon.

Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance or more details.

Click on a link below to navigate to the particular section.
Installing your Fence
Installing your Gate
Materials List and Step by Step Example
Post Types
Racking vs Stepping Your Fence
Industrial, Commercial, & Residential Fencing Differences

Installing your Fence

Tools List
To successfully complete your fence installation project, you will need the following tools: String Line, Wooden stakes for each Corner, End and Gate Post location, Post Hole Digger, Concrete, Phillips & Hex-head Screw Driver.

How to install your fence

  1. Layout your entire fence by indicating the end posts, corner posts and gate posts locations with the wooden stakes and then connecting together with the string. The string will be your straight line guide as to where the holes will be dug.
  2. Before digging any holes, make sure to find and mark for utilities, drainage and sewer lines. These are usually found on your plot plan.  If not, contact a surveyor.  Hitting a line could cost more than you’d like.
  3. Mark the location of the holes, as indicated by the ‘layout guide’ that is provided with every order. Mark holes on center at 72 1/2” (refer to our Materials List Help for information on lines of fence NOT divisible by 6′). Gate posts widths are measured from the inside of the post to the inside of the other gate post. Add 1/4″ to gate opening width… 3′ wide gate should be 36 1/4″ from inside of post to inside of post.  4′ should be 48 1/4″, etc.  Make sure all holes line up with the string line.
  4. Using the post hole digger, dig your holes 6″ wide, 24” – 42” deep, depending on the frost line in your part of the country.
  5. Attach one section of fence to the post by sliding the notched rails of the panel into the holes of the post. Then use a 1” self tapping screw to screw into the side of the post through the rail inside to secure the fence panel to the post. Repeat this for the number of rails your fence panel has.
  6. Put the post in the first hole. Plumb the post (using a level to ensure it’s perfectly straight up on two adjacent sides). Mix concrete and pour into the hole. The post should always be in line with your string line. Install 1 post & 1 panel at a time. In filling the hole with concrete, leave it 2” short of the top of the hole. Fill the remaining 2″ with packed dirt and press tightly. This will help hold the post in place. If the concrete is really wet and the post wants to dip down further, place a 2” block under the fence to keep it at the proper height.
  7. Once that line is completed, go back and adjust each post to ensure the fence is following the grade and has a nice smooth flow to it. This needs to be done immediately following or during the installation before the concrete has time to dry. If your line ended at a corner, make sure that the last post is a corner post with the holes facing in the direction of the next line of fencing.
  8. Continue until all lines are complete. Now it’s time to hang the gates.

Installing your Gate

Once you are done with the posts, the next step in the installation process is to install your fence gate(s).

  1. Make sure your 2” gate posts are plumb and the concrete is hard.
  2. Double check layout guide for the swing direction of the gate.
  3. Install hinges on the installed gate frame, using screws provided.  Use the gate to pry open the hinges… have someone hold the gate as you screw the hinges to the gate post.
  4. Center the gate in the opening and put 1 screw in each hinge. This is for final adjustment reasons.
  5. Put on the Magna Latch.
  6. Do not adjust hinges as Factory default is usually very accurate.
  7. Once the gate swings well, put the remaining screws in the hinges.

Do not use gate until concrete around gate post is fully hardened. This usually takes about 24 hours!
Note: A more thorough Installation Instruction PDF comes standard with every order.

Creating a Materials List

The following step-by-step example will help you understand how to obtain a materials list.

 

We breakdown the overall example layout listed above, into smaller linear runs, like from point A to point B, and point B to point C and so on. In the example layout, we start at point A with an End Post 2-3″ away from the house and go away from the house 10′ to point B which is a Gate End Post. In this first ‘run’, we have 10′ of fence, which divided by 6′ (the width of the panels) equates to 1.67 panels which is rounded up to 2 because the panels are only shipped in 6′ widths. Because there are 2 panels, we will have only 1 Line Post. Line post quantities are equal to the number of panels minus 1.
So in this first run from A to B, you will have:

    • 1 End Post
    • 2 Fence Panels
    • 1 Line Post
    • 1 Gate Post (these are typically just like End Posts but with a thicker wall. Point K is going to be a Blank Gate Post) All posts come with a flattened pyramid cap standard. You may wish to upgrade to a ball cap.
  1. In this run, B to C, we have a 4′ wide gate which is measured from the inside of the gate post to the inside of the other Gate End Post, point C. Because we already added the first gate post in the previous section, all we have in the second run is:
    • 4′ Wide Gate (these gates include self closing hinges and gravity latch and can be upgraded to a key lockable latch, heavier framing or to an Arched Gate)
    • 1 Gate Post
  2. From C to D which is to the Corner Post, we’ll have 9′ of fence which equals 1.5 panels (9 divided by 6′ wide panel), rounded to 2 Panels and 1 Line Post (2 panels minus 1 = 1 Line Post).
    This run’s total:

    • 1 Line Post
    • 1 Corner Post
    • 2 Fence Panels (these panels can be installed in widths of 6′ with the other panel cut down to 3′ wide or both panels can be cut down to 4.5′ to give a more even look. The same is true for the first section of 10′. It could be 6′ wide and 4′ wide or both cut to 5′ wide. Not many, if any, of these runs will work out to be an exact measurement divisible by 6′, so some cutting of the panels will be required during the installation process.)
  3. From D to E which is to another Corner Post, the length is 40′. Divided by 6 equals 6.67 panels (40 divided by 6′ wide panel), rounded to 7 Panels and 6 Line Posts (7 panels minus 1 = 6 Line Posts).
    This run’s total:

    • 6 Line Posts
    • 1 Corner Post
    • 7 Fence Panels (6 of these panels can be used without any cutting of the panels, but the last one will need to be cut down to 4′ wide)
  4. From E to F which is to a Gate End Post, the length is 42′ which is divisible by 6′. This equals 7 panels and 6 Line Posts (7 panels minus 1 = 6 Line Posts).
    This run’s total:

    • 6 Line Posts
    • 1 Gate Post
    • 7 Fence Panels
  5. From F to G which is to another Gate End Post, the width of the Gate is 3′ (again, inside of post to inside of post.
    This run’s total:

    • 1 Gate Post
    • 3′ Wide Gate (these gates include self closing hinges and gravity latch and can be upgraded to a key lockable latch, heavier framing or to an Arch Gate)
  6. The next three runs, from G to J can be done the same way as the previous three sections (4,5, & 6) which lead to another Gate End Post.
  7. This last run, J to K is a 10′ wide double gate. It can be two standard gates or two Arches next to one another or one big Arch (Rainbow) across the whole width. Also, as mentioned previously, the final Blank Gate Post has no holes for fence rails to slide into like the End, Line and Corner Posts have.
    In this final run you would have:

    • 1 Blank Gate Post (the other Gate Post would have been included in the previous run)
    • 10′ Wide Double Gate (these gates include self closing hinges and gravity latch and can be upgraded to a key lockable latch, heavier framing, Arched Gates or a Rainbow Gate)
    • Drop Rod Assembly

Racking vs Stepping Your Fence

Will your fence be installed on a slope? Read below our guide on racking and stepping your fence.

Stepping…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is spacing on the rail next to the pickets to allow for racking to occur.  Click on the image above to see an example of this.
Most aluminum fence styles can Rack or Rake by pivoting on the screws that attach the pickets to the rails.  They average 19″ of rack per 6′ run of fence.
We can custom “Double Punch” each section to increase this to 36″ depending on the style for those steep slopes you might encounter. This is done at no additional charge.
If you tell us the drop over a certain sloped area, we’ll calculate the correct quantity of each type of fence in our quote.
Note: XP and Puppy Styles only rack up to 18″-28″ because of the closeness of the pickets.

Racking…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some styles (i.e. Cathedral & Elegant Arch) can only be stepped (“Stair Stepping” because of the way they’re made).
This is done by ordering end posts and attaching brackets on the opposite blank side from the punched out holes at the appropriate height that your slope demands. Steep slopes might cause a need for a custom extra long end post.
We’ll explain more if needed. Another reason why we walk every order through to completion as opposed to ordering from an online shopping cart.
We want our customers to get the correct materials the first time to make their installation as trouble-free as possible.

Post Types

The picture below shows the different post types refer to in this guide.

 

Residential, Commercial & Industrial Fence Grades

Depending on the type of fencing, there are differences in the rails, pickets and posts.

 

aluminum fences