The Fence Installation Process, From Start to Finish

September 18, 2023
a man installing a fence

Are you ready to tackle the fence installation process? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

In this article, we'll walk you through each step, providing you with all the information and tips you need to succeed.

From pre-construction prep to selecting the right fence type, measuring and layout techniques, and the actual installation process, we'll guide you every step of the way.

Get ready to transform your property with a beautiful and functional fence.

Pre-Construction Preparation

Before starting the fence installation process, make sure to thoroughly research fence construction regulations and codes in your area. Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements for post locations, fence material, and property lines. It's crucial to comply with these regulations to avoid any issues or penalties.

Determine the appropriate post hole digger based on the type of soil in your area. Check the property line and obtain a copy of the plat to ensure that you're installing the fence within your boundaries. By doing so, you can avoid any legal disputes with your neighbors.

Taking the time to gather this information and plan accordingly will save you time and effort during the actual installation process.

Fence Type Selection

When choosing your fence type, consider factors such as privacy level, maintenance requirements, and desired style.

For your fence project, building a fence with fence panels can be a convenient option. Fence panels come in various materials, but if you prefer a classic and natural look, a wood fence may be the right choice for you. Wood fences offer both privacy and style, with options for different panel widths to suit your needs.

Keep in mind that wood fences require regular maintenance, including staining or painting to protect against weather damage. However, the versatility and aesthetic appeal of wood make it a popular choice for many homeowners.

When it comes to fence installation, wood panels can be easily secured to fence posts using nails or screws, providing a durable and attractive boundary for your property.

Measurement and Layout

Start by measuring the entire fence line, including gates, to determine the number of panels and fence posts needed. This step is crucial in ensuring the accuracy of your fence installation. Use a tape measure to measure the length of the fence line, taking into account any corners or angles.

Consider the frost line in your area when determining the depth of the fence posts. Once you have the measurements, calculate the number of panels needed based on the desired panel width. Additionally, determine the number of fence posts required, including gate posts and corner posts for added stability.

When installing the fence posts, make sure to dig holes at the appropriate depth and fill them with a concrete mix for durability. Proper measurement and layout are essential for a successful fence installation.

Tools and Materials Gathering

You'll need to gather all the necessary tools and materials before you can begin the fence installation process.

To start, make sure you have fence boards, which will form the main structure of your fence. These boards come in various sizes and materials, so choose the ones that best suit your needs and desired aesthetic. Additionally, consider the importance of curb appeal when selecting your fence boards, as they'll greatly impact the overall look of your property.

When gathering your tools, don't forget to include a post hole digger to dig the holes where your fence posts will be installed. Remember to exercise caution and check for utility lines before digging.

Fence Post Installation

To install the fence posts, position them at regular intervals along the fence line and ensure they're plumb using a level. This step is crucial for a sturdy and secure fence.

It's a good idea to dig holes with a post hole digger, considering the desired post height. Adding gravel and concrete mix to each hole will provide stability and prevent the posts from shifting over time.

Once the posts are in place, use a level to ensure they're perfectly plumb. This will ensure that your fence is straight and level. Allow the concrete to dry and set before proceeding to the next step.

Taking the time to properly install the fence posts will lay a solid foundation for the rest of the fence construction process.

Rail Installation

Make sure to attach the rails to the posts using screws or nails, and ensure proper spacing between the rails for stability and alignment. The rail installation process is crucial for the overall strength and appearance of your fence.

Begin by determining the number of rails needed based on the fence height. Once you have the rails ready, use a power drill or hammer to secure them to the posts, making sure to evenly space them along the entire length of the fence. Use a level to ensure that the rails are perfectly horizontal and aligned with each other. This is important for both the aesthetic appeal and the structural integrity of the fence.

Take your time to double-check the alignment and make any necessary adjustments before moving on to the next step in the fence installation process.

Picket and Gate Installation

Once you have completed the rail installation, it's time to move on to picket and gate installation. This step is important for ensuring privacy and security in your fence.

To start, make sure each picket is securely attached to the rails. You can use screws or nails for this. It's also important to ensure proper spacing between the pickets for privacy.

If you want to save time, consider using prefabricated panels. These panels come with the pickets already attached, so you can simply install them onto the rails.

If you need easy access to your yard, you may want to install a removable panel. This will allow you to easily open and close a section of the fence.

For gate installation, you'll need to measure and pre-drill hinge attachment points. This will ensure that the gate is properly aligned with the fence.

Next, attach the hinges to both the gate section and the gate posts. Make sure to securely attach the gate to the posts to prevent any potential damage or accidents.

Lastly, install locking hardware as recommended by the manufacturer. This will ensure that your gate is secure and cannot be easily opened from the outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Deep Should the Fence Post Holes Be Dug?

When installing a fence, consider the depth of the post holes. The holes should be dug deep enough to provide stability and support for the posts. Generally, a depth of around 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the post is recommended.

Can I Install a Fence on a Sloped or Uneven Terrain?

Yes, you can install a fence on sloped or uneven terrain. Use stepped panels or cut the panels to fit the slope. Adjust the post height accordingly and ensure the fence remains level and secure.

What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid During Fence Installation?

When installing a fence, common mistakes to avoid include improper measurement and layout, inadequate post hole digging, incorrect positioning and alignment of posts, and failure to securely attach pickets and gates.

How Long Does It Typically Take to Complete a Fence Installation?

A typical fence installation process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on factors like the fence type, size, and complexity. It's important to plan accordingly and allow enough time for proper installation.

Are There Any Special Considerations for Installing a Fence in a High-Wind Area?

In a high-wind area, special considerations for fence installation include using sturdy materials, such as metal or vinyl, reinforcing the posts with concrete, and ensuring proper spacing and attachment of pickets and rails for added stability.


In conclusion, by following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you now have the necessary knowledge and understanding to successfully complete the fence installation process.

From pre-construction preparation to fence type selection, measurement and layout, and the actual installation of fence posts, rails, pickets, and gates, you're equipped with the information and tips needed to transform your property with a beautiful and functional fence. Now, go forth and create the perfect fence for your property.

Not looking to do it yourself? We at Los Angeles Fence Builders offer everything from wood fence installation, vinyl fencing, and more at great prices.

(424) 625-8561