Are you looking for a DIY fence-building guide? You have decided you need to build a fence, so now what? Now it’s time decide on the layout of the fence; where you would like the gates to be located; if you would like to incorporate a double gate; and the style of the fence you would like.

Check your council regulations on fence building

The first place to start is with your local council. The council will have rules and regulations about fence types, designs, heights, and fence placement.

Once you know what the council will allow, you can start planning and designing within their guidelines. It would be very frustrating to spend time planning and designing a wooden fence only to find out your local council only allows aluminum.

The common things you’ll be asked for are: a copy of your section survey with the proposed fence line drawn in red; a material list telling the specifications of the material to be used; and a picture of the fence you would like.

Figure out your fence line

Before you get started, you must first figure out your fence line. This will help you calculate the materials needed to build your fence. When determining your fence line the best thing to do is talk to your neighbours. If you’re in disagreement you can look for the property survey markers, or if all else fails, have your property surveyed.

It’s best to keep the entire fence on your property. Once you know the fence line, mark it with a string line. Using stakes hammered into the ground, run the line 70 cm past each end of the fence line. Secure the string tightly to the stakes.

Treat any untreated fence posts

Next, you need to treat your posts by following the manufacturer’s recommendations. I would suggest treatment at least 20 cm above ground-level. You can also purchase posts that are pre-treated from your timber store if you wish.

Measure your post holes

Measure your post holes 2.5 metres apart. I wouldn’t recommend any further apart, as through time your fence may sag or lean.

Dig the holes about 80 cm deep. Make sure all posts are of equal distance apart.

Prepare your concrete

It’s now time to prepare your concrete for setting the posts.

Mix your concrete with 1 part cement, 2 parts sand and 3 parts gravel. Add water and mix to a thick consistency but at the same time wet enough to pour all the way around the posts. Fill each hole15 cm deep.

Now it’s time to place the posts in every hole.

Use a spirit level or a laser level

Use a level to make sure each post is plumb and barely touching the string. Finish filling each hole to about 5 cm below ground level. Double-check each post making sure it’s plumb.

After the posts have set it’s time to add the railings. Make sure to set the bottom rail 15 cm above ground and be careful to have both ends the same height from the ground. Fasten the top rails by measuring from the bottom rail up to the desired position. Finally attach the middle rail central between the bottom and top rails.

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