How to measure your yard for a fence?Here are some tips which will help you to measure the fence in the right manner.
Check You PlatA plat is actually a plan or map of a land area showing the proposed or the actual features. In case you do not have a plat already, you should get one as soon as you can. This will enable you to confirm the property line. This way you will not build a fence on somebody else’s property. As a matter of fact, you can review the plat taking the help of a neighbor. Make sure that you are on the same page before you start digging. Keep in mind that a mistake at this stage might be pretty dangerous. In case you build on the neighbor’s property accidentally, you might be confronted with a lawsuit. Hence, you should not risk it.
Research on the Restrictions and the Local Zoning CodesAt times, the cities and the neighborhood have strict guidelines when it comes to fencing. Thus, you need to make sure that you have reviewed these codes properly as it might limit the replacement of your fence. Even though these usually occur with the fences that are installed in the front yards, it might also be applicable to the backyard fences. Check the different regulations before you start digging. This way you can be sure that you will not have to rebuild or remove your fence in future.
Account for Obstructions and SlopesYou have to consider if there are any permanent obstructions along the property perimeter. If yes then you will have to work around these while taking the measurements. This will include the pipes and the utility lines that have to be marked prior to the measurement of the fence. Moreover, many fences have contours and slopes which will have an impact on the measurement of the fence and also its installation. For deciding the slope percentage, you need to run a string from the starting of the fence line till its end. Thereafter, measure the height and the length. Then you have to divide the height by the length and also multiply the result with 100.
Measure CarefullyBefore you start measuring, you need to mark the corner post simply by placing the stake at the meeting point of the fence panel feet at a right angle. Thereafter, measure the perimeter of the area that you plan on enclosing making use of the stakes. Keep in mind that the tape measure has to be stretched in the right manner. This way you can be sure that the slack is not going to affect the measurement. Divide the perimeter of the area into fence length panels that you will be using. Thus, you can figure you the total number of panels that you will be using. At this period, you might also place stakes on the end posts and the line posts. For doing this, you will have to start at a corner, measure the length of the panel, and ultimately place the stake. Keep in mind that precision is the key. When you are done measuring, you need to measure again to double-check. You have to take this process seriously. Do not assume that the original measurement is correct.
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.
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
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 Screw Driver.
How to install your fence
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using the post hole digger, dig your holes 6″ wide, 24” – 42” deep, depending on the frost line in your part of the country.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Make sure your 2” gate posts are plumb and the concrete is hard.
- Double check layout guide for the swing direction of the gate.
- 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.
- Center the gate in the opening and put 1 screw in each hinge. This is for final adjustment reasons.
- Put on the Magna Latch.
- Do not adjust hinges as Factory default is usually very accurate.
- 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.
Materials List and Step by Step Example
The following step-by-step example will help you understand the materials needed and the exact process to follow to install your fence.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.)
- 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)
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any two gates can be combined to make a double drive gate that include a drop rod at no charge. Double gates are also made to fit a given opening size, so a 12’ double drive gate will fit inside a 12’ opening.
Yes, heavier posts are needed to both support the weight of the gate and to withstand the constant impact when the gate latch closes.