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HOW TO
Erect a fence

There’s more than one way to erect a fence, so if you’re unsure which method is right for your surface have a look at our guide showing six different ways to erect a fence post; so you can be sure to find the method that best suits the ground conditions in your garden or outdoor space.

There are three steps to erecting a fence:

1. Marking out
2. Putting up the fence panel
3. Adding the fence panel

Before you get started

Check the position of underground cables and pipes with a detector before you begin, to make sure you can dig holes in the places you need to along your fence line.
Pressure-treated wood for use in the garden is bought already treated with preservative to prevent it from rotting. This wood is usually identified by a pale green protective staining.
Before you begin fencing, it is important to be certain of the boundaries of your property.
Consult an expert if in doubt, although you should have this information with the deeds to your property. Choose a fence or screens that will both enhance your house and garden and give you the privacy and security you need.

You can build a fence up to 2m without planning permission. In some cases fences next to highways must not be higher than 1m. Check with the local planning office if you are unsure.

Add a trellis to the top of a wooden fence as an interesting architectural focal point. It will provide extra security and privacy. Post extensions are used to increase the post height.

Discuss your fencing plans with your neighbours, and ask for permission to access their property, as it is much easier to work on a fence from both sides. Spring and autumn are the best times to put up fences as plants growing nearby will recover more quickly from any disruption caused by digging holes and manoeuvring panels.

Watch our How to Erect a Fence video guide.

Method 1. Fence post spike

1

Define the fence line with a string line,  then use a batten cut to the width of a fence panel to space the posts. Mark positions with a coloured aerosol spray.

2

Use a driving tool and sledgehammer to drive post spikes into the ground in all positions marked. Ensure all are square to the fence line.

3

Knock the wooden posts into the post spikes. Screw them firmly into the fence spikes until all are securely held and still square to the fence line.
 

Suitability...

The Fence Post Spike is useful when the fence is to be erected onto firm soil.
They are suitable for gazebos, pergolas, decking and wooden fences

Benefits...

The Fence Post Spike keeps the post above the level of the soil, protecting it from rotting. It can add height to the fence as the post sits above the spike

Metal Post spike - holds each post in a tight grip without the need for nails or screws, and is the ideal solution for erecting wooden fences of all types.

Bolt Grip Post Spike - A twin bolt, heavy duty system allowing even easier post installation and replacement. The twin bolt grip ensures a secure and long lasting fix for the varying widths of timber.

Method 2. Concrete in post support

Summary

An Ideal solution when ground conditions don’t allow the use of a spike.
Maintains the Timber Post above the ground to help prevent rotting.
This product does require digging.

How to use

Set the Concrete In Post support into a 450mm cube of concrete, checking the alignment frequently.
Once the concrete has set, the timber post can be simply driven into the Concrete support.

Method 3. Postcrete

1

If you prefer to dig a hole for each post, it should be no less than around 50cm deep and 30cm square. Mark squares in the correct positions.

2

Fill the hole halfway with clean mains water, and insert the post.

3

Fill the hole evenly with Postcrete until it reaches the top of the water surface.

4

Sprinkle water on top of any visible dry powder.

Method 4. Bolt down post support

1

Begin by marking where the fence should be.
A long straight guideline is easily marked with a chalk line, or lay out line with pins securely weighted down.

2

Position each bolt-down post bracket along the line at regular intervals to correspond with the width of the fence panels.

3

Using brackets to anchor the posts eliminates the need for digging and using concrete. Mark four drilling holes for each bracket and drill into concrete.

4

Position the post brackets and secure the bolts. The mechanism allows posts to be fitted securely and to be easily removed if they are damaged.

5

Insert all posts, screw in securely and fit gravel boards to protect the fence from rising damp. Use fence clips, as with previous example, to secure panels.

Summary

A Bolt Down Post Support is a metal plate that can be fastened directly onto a concrete flooring or wall. The wooden post can then be fastened to the support.

The Bolt Down Post Support is attached to the concrete using Wedge Anchors or similar and the post attached to the support by tightening bolts on the side.

Suitability...

A Bolt Down Post Support is ideal for building fence into existing concrete.
It is suitable for gazebos, pergolas, decking and wooden fences.

A Bolt Down Post Support keeps the post above the level of the ground, protecting it from rotting. It can add height to the fence at the post sits above the spike.

Method 5. Fence post repair spur

Summary

Use a Fence Post Repair Spur to replace fence a failed post that has been sunk into concrete.

How to use

Use a saw to cut off the the existing post so that it is horizontal and flush with the surface of the concrete.
Then place the Fence Post Repair Spur onto the existing post stub, so that the corner of the spur is on one corner of the stub.
Then using a Sledgehammer or driving tool, hammer the Fence Post Repair Spur into the concrete.

You may need help when doing this Once it’s fully in place, Drive the new post into the box making sure that the wedges grip the post Check that the post is vertical by using a spirit level.

Suitability

A Fence Post Repair Spur is ideal for replacing fence posts already sunk onto concrete without removing any concrete.

Benefits...

Can repair fence without removing concrete.

Method 6. Concrete repair spur

Summary

If the bottom of a wooden post has failed, you can replace the bottom of the post and concrete using a Concrete Repair Spur.

How to use

First dig up the existing concrete on one side of the fence using a Steel Demolition Bar, (or Powered Breaker or Kango) to a depth of at least two feet.
Then place the Concrete Repair Spur in to the hole, flush against the remaining post.
Attach it to the post using two or three coach screws and washers
Then re-concrete using Postcrete or similar.

Suitability

Concrete Repair Spur is ideal for repairing a wooden fence when the bottom of the post has failed.

Benefits...

Can repair into existing concrete, and extends life of fence without replacing

Adding the fence panel

1

It is very important to keep checking that each post is vertical, using a long spirit level, or post level.

2

Screw battens to all posts so that they remain securely upright while setting. This time will vary with different mixes.

3

Screw gravel board to the base of the posts, so that panels do not touch the ground. Each board must be level.

4

Securely fix all fence panels to the fence posts with clips screwed into the top and bottom of each post.

5

Once the fence clips are in place, the fence panels will slot safely into the clips. Secure with screws through clips.

6

Nail a post cap to the top of each post to protect the end grain from the weather and to neatly finish the fence.