Talk about a long title! Whew! Anyway, have you ever seen a beautiful home with perfect landscaping, but couldn’t appreciate those because of the uneven fence that surrounds it? A crooked fence can be so distracting and displeasing to look at but it is a difficult mistake to avoid. If you are planning a DIY Fencing project, you must read and understand the process toward getting a perfectly straight fence.
Recently we put up a picket fence in our backyard as our first big DIY home improvement project. Thankfully, my Dad, who has had years of experience in fencing was over to help and give us some of his time-tested wisdom. He has the process of putting in a perfectly straight fence down to a science and I am so excited to share that process with you!
- You are going to work in sections of straight fence, so pick a side to start on and dig the holes for your first and last post. Place the posts in the hole and secure them with concrete and by tamping down the soil, all the while checking to make sure they are aligned with a level.
- Put a 2×4 or scrap board against the inside of those posts and tie a string line from one to the other. The reason for the board is to pull the line away from the posts. If it were against the post, for everyone it touches it would move away little bits at a time.
- Now, measure and dig the rest of your posts on that side of the yard. Our panels were 8 feet wide, so we dug a hole every 8 feet. Once your holes are deep enough and cleaned out, stick your posts inside them, but don’t bury them yet.
- Attach the panels with screws, but only enough to secure it for now as you will be adjusting them later. My Dad wedged a few rakes onto them to keep them from touching the string line.
- It’s time to start setting posts. This is a two person job. For every post you will set it in the hole align it with the string by measuring the distance from it, making sure that matches the width of your 2×4 boards. Use a level on the side and front of the post to get it straight and once you are satisfied, pour in the concrete……add the soil and tamp it down to secure it in place.
- Now, have two people standing at one end of the fence line on either side, plus another person at the other end. The two will be eyeballing the fence to check that the height of the panels is even. If they see one that needs to be moved up or down, they can direct the person at the other end. *Note: this is just the way we did it and the way my Dad (who has years of fencing experience) has found to be the most efficient way. If you don’t trust your ability to accurately judge the line by sight, there are ways to measure each panel to align them.
There you have it! Step back and enjoy your perfectly straight fence. You will be the envy of the neighborhood because you used this time-tested process to get your fence beautifully aligned. No one likes to see a crooked fence, so it’s worth taking the time and going through the steps to straighten it out.
What do you think of our fence built with my Dad’s process for building a perfectly straight fence? Judge for yourself if the process worked.
Putting up this fence was a learning experience for us and I was sure to write and share all we learned here on Charming Imperfections. To see other posts regarding this project just click the images below.