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How to Set Up A Wooden Panel Fence

Aug 17, 2007
The first thing to do in setting up a wooden panel fence is to clear away all obstructions. Clear away plants etc. from along the line of the fence. The plants can be replaced after the fencing has been erected. Before pegging out the line of the fence with string, make sure that there's a reasonable ground level.

Identify the straight runs by marking the position of the posts for the ends and any bends of your fence. Also mark any point where the angle of the ground level changes significantly. These are the main points where there must be posts.

Measure the distances between the points where you will put posts then use these measurements to calculate the number and sizes of fence panels required. Normally, there is a range of panel widths so you should be able to make up the distance with complete panels of differing widths.

Remember to put allowance for the width of the fence posts when calculating the sizes required.

A fence panel comes after a pair of posts then another post, another fence panel and so on. Secure posts with rubble and concrete them in after the fence has been erected.

To ensure that the posts and panels are a tight fit, leave the concreting until the fence is complete. To avoid having gaps between the panels and posts, be very, very accurate in erecting all the posts.

Mark the position of the first post and erect it then fix a taut line between the first post and the end of the first straight, flat run. Hold and support the first fence panel against the post by using scraps of wood.

Position the next post; remove the fence panel and erect the next post. Check that the post tops are level if you are running a fence over flat ground. Use a spirit level on a straight edge between the post.

Reposition the fence panel and secure it to both posts by using three galvanised nails or screws on each side of the panel and each end of the panel.

You can also use a special panel clips secured to the fence posts to make it easier to remove/replace fence panels in future but the panel will have to be lifted up to remove it.

Repeat this process until the fence is completed. Align the top of adjacent wooden panels and ensure that the front of each panel faces in the same direction. You may need to brace the erected fence if the posts are going to be secured with concrete as you work along

The next thing to do after completing the fence is to mix up the concrete. Put concrete around each fence post. Make sure that each post is vertical and brace each post if necessary until the concrete has gone off. To prevent water collecting around the post itself, finish the concrete so that it has a slope away from each post

After the concrete has hardened, fix the gravel boards under the panels. Cut the boards according to the length of the gaps between the fence posts. Nail or screw the boards using galvanized nails/screws to blocks of wood which in turn are nailed or screwed to the fence posts.

Align the blocks so that each gravel board fits under the fence then leave a slight vertical gap to avoid a water trap.

Treat the gravel boards and fixing blocks with wood preservative before they are fitted if they are not pre-treated.

If needed, fit caps to the fence posts. Use a good quality wood preservative to coat the panels and posts. Replace any plants which were removed before the panel fence was erected.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
PanelPlace.com and writes expert
articles about panels.
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