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Bronson2017
Auburn Fan
Birmingham
Member since Feb 2019
720 posts

How difficult is it to build your own fence?
I am currently getting quotes from various fence companies for a privacy fence on my new home. The more I think about it the more I want to do it myself with possibly some help from my dad and uncle.

Not due to me being cheap because I don't find the quotes unreasonable. 200 linear ft, one side gate, treated pine for $3,200 and the same but cedar for $5,000 is the average I am getting from about six different companies. Labor included in all that obviously.

I could possibly learn a thing or two if I did it myself also. What does H&G Board think? Have you built a fence yourself?
This post was edited on 11/25 at 10:05 am


VanRIch
LSU Fan
Abita Springs, La
Member since Sep 2007
6690 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
I guess that depends on how good you are with this type of thing. I've done it but I also have a good bit of experience with woodworking/building. But really it isn't that hard.

Dig holes
set posts making sure they're plumb
once set, attach 2x4 runners
run a masonry line from one end to the other to keep your fence boards in line
nail em up

Gates will be more challenging, but still not too hard.


dltigers3
LSU Fan
Collierville, TN
Member since Jun 2010
1102 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
Wait, are you fencing in a 200 sq ft area, or you have 200 linear ft of fence?

Digging the holes is the hardest part, make sure you get utilities sprayed and if you have trees nearby the digging can be difficult


MoarKilometers
Florida Atlantic Fan
Member since Apr 2015
7078 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
quote:

200 sq ft, one side gate, treated pine for $3,200 and the same but cedar for $5,000 is the average I am getting

Absolute ripoff for 200 square feet... 200 lineal feet is a different story.

Do you know how to use a level, tape measure, and post hole diggers? Do you own a nail gun and compressor? If so, you may be able to handle it yourself.

I use screws to attach the horizontal 2x4s that run between posts... would not got over 8' on center, unless a random tree with some hateful arse roots shows up. Shit, you probably need a reciprocating saw for areas with minor roots. Use 6d galvanized ring shank nails, as they won't rust nor poke through the backside of the 2x4. And string lines are your friend. The tops of your slats don't need to be 100% level, but they sure as shite better be straight. And the 4x4s also need to be in a straight line.

Personally I don't concrete in anything except the hinge side of the gate. Depending on gate size, a 4x6 could be a good idea. Some folks will tell you to concrete everything, but I'm not here for that debate.


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Bronson2017
Auburn Fan
Birmingham
Member since Feb 2019
720 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
I meant 200 linear feet of fence, my bad. I just measured it off with a walking wheel from Lowes.
This post was edited on 11/25 at 9:49 am


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fallguy_1978
LSU Fan
Half mile from St George
Member since Feb 2018
18894 posts
 Online 

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
I built the one on my last house. It was my first time doing it. It's not that difficult but is quite a bit of labor. I built it slowly over about 3 months.

Rent an auger for the posts. Learn from my mistake and definitely put up the 2x4s shortly after you set your posts or they will start to warp. I had to dig up a number of them.

All in all it costs about half to do it yourself. Mine was roughly 50x100
This post was edited on 11/25 at 10:03 am


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61267 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
i watched my grandaddy build one. it was fascinating in its simplicity.

he used a hand post hole digger for the posts on each end; did a little back-of-the-napkin arithmetic to determine where the other posts would go; mixed a little cement to set the posts; nailed a string to the top of the post and stretched it across each post (so the tops of the slats were even); then used 2 little shims to make sure each slat was perfectly spaced then he just nailed the shite out of each board.

in my little 9yo mind this was like black magic watching him do it. i just handed him boards.
This post was edited on 11/25 at 10:43 am


MoarKilometers
Florida Atlantic Fan
Member since Apr 2015
7078 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
quote:

did a little back-of-the-napkin arithmetic to determine where the other posts would go

The answer is almost always 8 feet.
quote:

then used 2 little shims to make sure each slat was perfectly spaced then he just nailed the shite out of each board.

Wet pt is always gonna shrink and leave gaps between slats. You don't need to do this at all. Slats are rarely perfectly straight. Only time to slightly gap a slat is correcting the plumb on crooked boards.


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luciouslou
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Jun 2017
3420 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
a fence is easy. the gate is a bitch.
make sure for the fence you use a good chalk line or spray line. if your posts are off, it screws up the project
This post was edited on 11/25 at 10:53 am


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Aristo
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2007
9717 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
I did mine a few years ago (first-time fence for me) and the hardest part was digging the holes even with an auger, but it was missing the extension.


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tigahbruh
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Jun 2014
1019 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
If you are able bodied, go for it. The post holes are the most backbreaking part of it, although it may be worth it to see how much it is to rent a powered post hole digger from HD or Lowes. If I did it again, I'd at least look into that.

Couple of tips from someone who did this a couple years ago:
Call 811 and get the utility companies to mark the underground lines.
Make sure all your permits are in order. I said screw it and some nosy piss-ant neighbor reported me to the Parish. Added over $300 to my costs. The $30/$40 to get a permit is worth it.

Most important: consider weather. Due to my permitting issues, I ended up having to do most of the work in the summer time. It would have been a lot easier in fall, winter, spring.

Otherwise, it's relatively easy. You'll hit a few unanticipated snags, like roots or random pieces of concrete under the ground. But the string method mentioned above works well. Just make sure you don't let the string sag. I agree that shims are unnecessary unless you specifically want spaces in between pickets.


dakarx
Army Fan
Member since Sep 2018
1030 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
Got a teenage boy? If not rent one. The extra hands will make the job easier and save time. If for nothing more than a gopher to move materials and such.


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TDsngumbo
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2011
20269 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
If you do it yourself, make damn sure you're careful with the auger while digging the holes. If it gets caught up on/in something it can spin you around and you'll have both wrists/elbows/arms in a cast for 6-8 weeks.


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60
keakar
Member since Jan 2017
11660 posts
 Online 

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
(no message)
This post was edited on 11/25 at 1:30 pm


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
11660 posts
 Online 

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
its one of those jobs that looks and seems super easy but in most cases it looks like shite if you do it yourself because of the little tricks of the trade the pros pay attention to that you dont know about such as straight but its not square or too high or not high enough off the ground and being just a hair out of level ends up with a leaning fence when you step back at a distance

use string lines to keep it all straight and be very OCD about setting the post perfectly level and straight and thats 90% of having it look right when its done


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NOFOX
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2014
8236 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
Not difficult from a skill perspective, but a pain in the arse from a labor perspective.


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NYCAuburn
Auburn Fan
TD Platinum Membership/SECr Sheriff
Member since Feb 2011
52283 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
It’s hell of a lot easier with a second person, gas post hole digger and either a nail gun or belt fed screw gun , depending on how you are attaching the boards.


I did about 550 myself in sections and wasn’t that bad. I didn’t have a second person and it would have been incredibly easier with one.


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idlewatcher
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jan 2012
44422 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
Screw the digging the holes yourself. Get your buddy or your dad and rent an auger. Those post holes will be dug in 30 mins....and you’ll save your back in the process


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East Coast Band
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2010
40738 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
It's not a really hard project, I'd rank it a 6 out of 10 on difficulty, 7 out of 10 on physical ( lugging around concrete mix, boards, auger, etc. is tougher than you think), and , for me, it always takes longer than I thought.
One extra bonus for the DIY not mentioned yet, is that you get to select the fence boards. Plenty of crappy ones at the big box stores that, I'm sure if you hired someone to do it, they would use whatever board, (knots, cracks,etc)


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CenlaLowell
UMass Fan
Alexandria, la
Member since Apr 2016
263 posts

re: How difficult is it to build your own fence?
Not difficult at all. Home Depot or Lowe's has YouTube video of the step by step instructions. Rent a hydraulic auger makes it easier.



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