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How to Build a Wood Fence

Updated on October 9, 2011


check your zoning regulations

check your property boundaries

stake your planned layout

pick your pole size and fence style

hire, borrow or sub-contract a mini digger or bobcat with an auger to drill holes for poles


hire a hydraulic post driver (this depends on type of ground, size of fence, your muscles)

buy a small laser for levels and a bubble level for vertical

pick a volunteer (a cub = by analogy a human youth, usually male, especially one who is inexperienced, awkward, or ill-mannered - or all three)

pick a day

From American Fence
From American Fence



Style dictates post length

the style and height of your fence and topography or land contours will dictate how long your load bearing posts need to be

Dig or Drill ?

you can dig the holes by hand but watching the machine do it is more fun..

Make a List of tools

the mechanical stuff bobcat or post driver

screw guns & screws

Extension cords

and/or small generator

bubble level

laser level

steel guide fixings

deckchair (for a wee rest now and then)

a cooler (for an odd beer or soda)

gloves (work is sore on computer hands )


get your materials


some spare posts since 1 will break (Murphys Law)



metal fixings for posts

concrete (preferably soft)

treatment chemical for bottom of posts (to prevent or slow down rotting)

No Escape

the fateful day has arrived and you can't listen to it anymore, you must do this..

final pre-flight check

ok so you have your laminated Gantt_chart everything is going to go to plan, the mechanicals have been pre-booked, all the tools and materials are there, except for the concrete - it is coming at 11.00... just joking. Unless there are an awful lot of posts get the pre-mix concrete and make it as you need it... just add water

Detailed Instructions

1. drill all the holes in the staked out positions

2. mix some concrete and place the metal post holders in the holes

(be sure these holders are level)

3. repeat this for each hole / post

4. after all holes, holders finished, take a rest, rehydrate

Tip: ideally this should be done on one day and come back and place the posts the next day.

5. so the concrete has set and you are ready to place your posts - ladies, to your posts

6. mix some more concrete and place the post in the holder, add more concrete, you may need a little frame or wedge to hold the post precisely vertical otherwise it will look like a dogs breakfast. Use your laser level and bubble level for appropriate readings.

7. after all posts or poles finished, take a rest, rehydrate

Tip: ideally this should be done on one day and come back and place the horizontal part the next day. Depending on the weather the concrete may take an extra day. Finishing the fence with partly dried or partly set concrete will negate the whole exercise.. i.e. the fence posts will be crooked..

8. so the concrete has set and you are ready to place your horizontal bars or fence section.

9. Pre mark all the post, (depends on fence style)

Tip: pre drill the posts just a 1/4 inch since posts are pretty hard wood generally

10. Fit all your horizontal bars, sections and voila you are done mostly, unless for painting or applying some stain or wood preservative.

Tip: place deckchair approx 10 feet back from fence in the middle so you can survey your masterpiece.


err so these instructions are for ground ground,

if you are placing your posts into existing concrete you can get a bobcat with a masonry drill or just a large masonry drill. Make the holes a little bit bigger and add the concrete as before.

if you are fixing your posts to a poured concrete wall you can hire a hilti type gun to shoot the fixings through the post into the concrete

It is not recommend to fix anything except very small posts to a block or brick built wall



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    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Hi milkfrother... thank you very much for the nice comment, I think I have about 140 poems here... but lots more written if I can only find the time to take them to the next stage... :-)

    • milkfrother profile image

      milkfrother 6 years ago

      Love the poems, love the hubs - not that I've read them all, 247 after all, but I might - and really like the way you write. Informative, accurate and funny, all at the same time.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      @discountfence... thanks.. you have one more that I do not.. modesty... ;-)

    • discountfence profile image

      discountfence 6 years ago

      Great hub, I your have two abilities, one if to fence, and the other is to write.

    • signetfence profile image

      signetfence 6 years ago from Online

      You're welcome.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Hi Signetfence - thanks for the tip, I must go and look at these :-)

    • signetfence profile image

      signetfence 6 years ago from Online

      Very nice hub. One thing I would recommend checking out is using a post anchor. It eliminates the need for digging...Not great for all situations, but can be a real time and money saver.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Hey Harvey... thanks for the comment... that's great... I'm very glad they worked out ok... :-)

    • profile image

      Harvey 6 years ago

      We used one of your recommended installers, Blue Sky Services, and they did a great job!

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 7 years ago from NYC....

      thanks for the comment... :-)

    • profile image

      concrete fencing 7 years ago

      Great Work you have done it. I like this wood fence for the house and garden. its easy to install and cheapest.

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 8 years ago from NYC....

      Tereza in a decent hardwoare store you will be able to buy a fitting for square posts that has ears or lugs that stick out so you can fix the beams to them. You slide this over the post and there are locking screws to lock it at the level you choose. Alternatively depending on the type of posts you could take them to a garage or metal guy and have a metal lug or ear welded on at the level you want.RegardsDrax

    • profile image

      tereza 8 years ago

      what kind of joints do i use my post are metal and the beams are wood what kind of brackets do i need to hold the wood to the metal posts?

    • profile image

      IĆ°unn 11 years ago

      draxian indeed~

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 11 years ago from Scotland

      great hub drax.....jimmy