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How to Install a Metal Fence

Metal fences can do many things. They can keep out stray animals (and stray people) that would love nothing more than to deface your hard earned flower bed or try to sell you Amway products. Metal fences mark your territory and send a clear message to potential burglars, vagrants, annoying neighbors, and other invaders. You don't want to be bothered? Not interested in purchasing a new vacuum cleaner? Avoiding a crazy ex-girlfriend? Metal fences can help!

You're interested, you say? Well, of course you are! We could all use something to protect us from the types of harassment described earlier but how do we set up these beautiful, functional forms of yard-based armor? Let's find out!

Location, location, location

Before you bother building a fence, you need to know where its going to go. Evaluate the edges of your property so that you don't accidentally waste time and money building a fence on someone else's property.

Walk around the area you're thinking of building a fence and place stakes where posts will be installed. Place a stake every tenth step and at each potential corner.

Once you're done walking around and placing stakes, its time to start setting up the lines which the fence will follow. Use a clothesline, placed through the loop at the top of every stake, to make sure that the stakes form straight lines when the fence will be. If the clothesline doesn't form straight lines between each corner, move the stakes until it does.

Dig Dug

Once the lines are all set, pull the stakes out at the corners. Use a post-hole digger to dig 10-inch wide holes to a depth in which you could fit one third of a terminal post (the fence posts at corners are known as terminal posts.)For all of the remaining post locations, dig 8-inch wide holes with the post digger that fit one third of the regular posts inside of them.

Mix and Fill

Use a mix of cement (one part), sand (two parts), and gravel (four parts) mixed with a hoe in a wheelbarrow. Place the terminal posts into the larger holes and the normal sized posts into the smaller holes. Fill in the holes with the mixture from the wheelbarrow and leave them to set for a day.

Bands Will Make It...uh...Fence

Once the posts have set, use tension bands on them. Each terminal post should have a tension band slid over the top to approximately ten inches down and once the tension bands are in place use do the same with brace bands down to eight inches. Add post caps to the terminal posts and loop caps to the regular posts. Use a top rail threaded through the loop caps on the regular posts attached to each brace band. Top rails will be needed anew for every corner because they don't bend.

Through the Wire

The last part of setting up the fence is attached the wire mesh. Attach the wire mesh to the tension bands and walk around the fence as you unroll the wire mesh. Secure the mesh to the rails every two feet and use carriage bolts at each terminal post to attach at each terminal post.

So that's how to set up your metal fence! Enjoy it and protect yourself from random people, coyotes and other things that can't climb well! Seriously though, this is a basic outline of how to set up a metal fence, make sure you put the appropriate time and planning into the project before you get started. Good luck and happy fencing!

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