4 Tips for Building Wooden Fences Around Your Property

Posted on: 30 June 2016

There are many reasons to install a fence around your property: to mark your boundary, to keep your children and pets in and others' children and pets out, for privacy and for security. Different types of fences offer different levels of security and privacy. Wooden fences are an affordable option that offer high aesthetic appeal and privacy. If you're going to install a wooden fence, the following are important installation, care and maintenance tips you should know.

1. Choosing the wood

Your fence must be able to withstand all weather conditions. Your choice of wood and pre-treatment for protection is therefore very important. Pressure-treated pine, redwood and cedar are three woods that provide adequate protection from elemental damage, rotting and insect infestation. Other choices include white oak, black locust and tropical hardwoods.

2. Spacing

Wooden fence posts should be installed 6-8 feet apart depending on the design and height of fence. There will be horizontal rails connecting the vertical slats in between posts. The cost of your fence largely depends on the amount of lumber used. Reducing the spaces between posts will increase the projected cost of material purchase and installation. However, it will give better structural integrity and privacy.

3. Installing the fence

Fencing parts should be assembled using weather-resistant fasteners, e.g. stainless steel or hot-dipped and galvanized screws and nails. To reduce how much you have to do, you can get ready-to-install panels from your nearest lumberyard. However, ensure that the prefabricated panels are made of the woods mentioned above, or else be prepared to treat them prior to installation. Also, prefab fences come in a limited number of designs.

4. Painting the fence

You can choose between painting and staining the fence. Painting is both advantageous and disadvantageous: a new coat of paint gives an instant facelift to your property, while an old, peeling coat is unsightly. If you choose to paint, factor in the time and expense related to repainting, which can be as often as annually depending on the type of paint chosen. Before every paint job, you'll need to sand and scrape the old paint off before priming and repainting.Buy the highest-quality paint that you can afford so the job lasts longer.

Semi-transparent staining is an alternative to a full paint job: it is less intensive and easier to maintain. Redwood and cedar fences are rot- and insect-resistant naturally, so they can be left unpainted. Over time, they will weather into a soft, greyish colour. However, applying wood preservative annually will protect posts and slats from cracks and splits.

Outdoor woodwork should not be finished with clear topcoats – exposure to the elements will cause the finish to blister and break in an unsightly way. To redo, you'll have to sand it out and redo everything, including your paint job underneath.

For more information and tips, contact a local fencing company.