Installing your own fence can seem a little daunting at first, especially if it’s your first fence installation. The truth is though, as long as the fencing materials and design you choose are top quality, the installation should be relatively simple. If you do get stuck along the way, you can always ask your fencing material supplier for some guidance provided you choose a supplier with good after-care (like us!).
Armed with great instructions, the right custom made materials for the job and your tools, we give you some of our top tips for perfecting your DIY fencing and gate installation.
1. Check Building Regulations and Requirements
There are strict building regulations when erecting fencing in Western Australia, so it’s crucial you do your research before you put shovel to soil. Not following the correct procedures for your town, city or area code can result in a huge waste of time and money if the local council asks you to take it down.
Building regulations will apply to both the height and spacing of your fence so you’ll need to check with the local council regarding any compliance issues relating to your location and property. The use of materials will also need to be considered as some are either prohibited or come with their own set of regulations. You may also need to check out, and mark, where utility lines (electricity, gas, communications or water pipes) are buried to avoid digging into them.
Once you have your proposed fencing design in mind, you will need to check whether you need a building permit. Permits may be required for some installations so it’s ideal to check this in the early stages.
2. Discuss Fencing Plans with Your Neighbour
If the location of your proposed fence shares the same property line as your neighbour, make sure you’re upfront about your fencing intentions. This will eliminate any friction between you and your neighbour, and can be a good way to share costs if it’s something they can benefit from too.
Fencing plans can be one of the biggest issues between neighbours so a little communication can go a long way. If your proposed fencing crosses over two boundary lines, speak with both sides to discuss the option of splitting the fencing expenses three ways.
3. Choose and Order Materials
Depending on the purpose of your fence and the look you want to create, there’s a huge range of materials that will add to the appeal of your home. When deciding on your fence materials, keep the purpose in the forefront of your mind. Do you want to install a fence for security purposes or are you after one that is more decorative for example?
To make your DIY project easier, Fencemakers can help you choose and make your fencing ready for you to install. Based on the purpose of your fence, Fencemakers can work with you to custom-make the materials to finalise your DIY project. When ordering your materials, make sure you incorporate the delivery time into your plan.
4. Plan out the Fencing – Measurements
All successful DIY fencing installation projects start with a good plan, so before you do any digging, make sure to lay out your fence on paper first. One of the biggest pitfalls with DIY fencing is inaccurate measurements, so it’s important you check, re-check and check again to be absolutely certain – even before submitting your order. Measure the space where your fencing will go and make sure you include space for the gate access too.
If you’re installing slat fence for example, measure the space and then divide the finished height by the slat width. Don’t forget to add the gap in between as well to calculate the number you’ll need.
After you have worked out the measurements, lay out the line for where the proposed fencing will go (you can use any type of marker you wish – temporary paint, pegs and string etc.) to ensure you keep your boundary lines straight. This will help immensely once you get the stage where you will be erecting the fence. A method that works well is to install batter boards to mark the exact locations of your new fence. Once these are in place, stretch a mason line between the boards making sure its taunt. You can adjust the string as required to reflect your fence placement.
Don’t forget to mark where your posthole locations need to go too. Start with a corner post and work your way around from there.
5. Create Entrances
A good fencing design will come complete with a matching gate and entrances that are inviting. The right gate – whether pedestrian or driveway – can act as a stunning focal point to your home’s exterior and frame a spectacular view so take advantage of this. When planning your fence installation, you will need to consider where your entrances will be and incorporate both the layout and gate materials into the overall design.