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Installing a Wooden Fence

Wooden fences aren't complicated but installing a fence, any sort of fence, can be difficult, expensive, and irritating if you don't do it correctly. Fences serve a variety of purposes: they keep out undesirables, protect your yard from strays and the pets of others, and can keep your kids and pets from wandering. Doing basic installation isn't complex but there are steps and it isn't necessarily easy.

Digging Fence Posts

The first step in installing a fence is digging the posts. Based on the type of fence you're trying to installing, you should dig out the spaces for the fence posts, equidistant from each other. Do the corner or end post first and use a line to align the posts in between the other end posts and corner posts. Accuracy counts so be careful and meticulous. Depending on the terrain and other factors, its worth digging holes for stakes every 6' to 8'.

Setting Fence Posts

Bury each fence post about one third deep in each hole. A good way to solidify and anchor posts is to adjust the sizes of the holes based on depth: make the holes wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. You can also pack holes with gravel at the bottom and fill dirt or concrete on top. Brace your posts after you align them and then build a mound around each post to address water at the base. Let posts stand for a couple days before adding the fence itself.

Adding Rails

There are several ways to add rails to your fence posts. The most ideal way is by nailing the top of the fence post to the top rail. This way the top rail can be lined up with another rail in the center of another post. Attaching the bottom rail to a post is easiest by using a lap joint. A lap joint essentially goes behind the post its connected to and is nailed to the post to attach it. It overlaps, hence the "lap" name. Make sure you do your measurements carefully to retain the structural integrity and appearance of your fence.

These are just some fence installation basics. As always, remember to do your own research, based on what you want for your fence and the terrain in your yard, before installing a fence. Keep in mind that paying professionals to do it may also be an easier way to handle the situation. Good luck and happy fencing!

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