A fence is the best way to designate the boundaries of your property. A fence also allows you to make your yard feel like a natural extension of your home, sometimes providing you with much-needed privacy or security or a fashionable way to show off your landscaping or garden.
Aluminum fencing is a popular choice many DIYers make for installing a fence. I happen to love them because they are easy to install, create clean lines, and are extremely low maintenance. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY addict or a veteran wanna-be and plan to install a fence on your property for the very first time, here are some important tips for preparing your yard for your fence installation:
Mark Your Property Line Prior to Fence Installation
I know, this seems somewhat ridiculous to say, but marking your property line is the first essential step and it’s the one many DIYers forget! Trust me, uneducated guesses and thinking to yourself “Gee, that looks like where my property should end” will work against you should you install a fence and your HOA or (even more embarrassing) your local county sends you a notice giving you just a few weeks to rip out the fence and start the process all over again.
When building a fence, you need to know EXACTLY where your property line lies. Grab your blueprints, find your plat or go to your local authority and get a set of plans if you don’t have access to them. Want to know the most maddening thing? You can be forced to tear down a fence and re-install it for even a two-inch infraction! I often do well in Vegas when I play the slots; I would never bet the farm on installing a fence beyond a property line! When it comes to angry neighbors whose land you’re on or a county rep who follows the letter of the law, you lose if the land’s not yours!
Make Nice with the Neighbors Prior to Fence Installation
After you mark your property line, I always recommend talking to your neighbors to make sure they won’t be bothered by either the construction process or by the finished product. If you happen to be sharing the fence, it doesn’t hurt to make sure they are in agreement with the look and size of your fence. Some developments will mandate a certain style, fencing materials and color of fence, so don’t try to be a rebel! However, if you’re installing a fence to meet pool code, you may choose to just surround the pool and then install a privacy fence on your actual property line so you can enjoy your time outdoors and avoid being on display while you splash around with your family and friends. The big lesson here is that if you want to keep the peace, it’s a good idea to let folks know your plans.
Another tip for the fence installation itself is that if you’re not on good terms with your neighbors, always make sure you leave your fencing tools on your side of the yard. You have no idea how arguments can easily escalate by leaving tools on someone else’s property and then someone removes them to their own tool shed or the trash can when you leave them unattended. And if you’ve lived through this before, you know you won’t make that mistake again!
Call Miss Utility Before Fence Installation
You never want to dig a fence post near any lines or pipes. Let me say it again….you NEVER want to dig a post near any lines or pipes in the ground. See tip number 1 for inspiration. You do NOT want an angry county or mob on your hands if you snip a cable line or open up a water pipe on your street. Call Miss Utility before you dig. Unless, of course, you love paying all kinds of fees to your county and want to be known as the Neighborhood Fool for years to come!
Remove All Obstacles for Fence Installation
This is simple and easy: Walk your fence line before installation and look for large rocks, tree stumps, and any other things on the ground that stand between you and installing the fence. You also need to know where there are instances of major slopes so you can account for an adjustment in your fence panels. The great thing about aluminum is that it’s easy to adjust the panels to account for changes in the ground where there’s a bit of a hill. However, if you don’t account for that beforehand, you can find yourself having to premeasure and order additional panels—mistakes can be costly!
Stake Your Posts Prior To Starting Fence Installation
Staking the posts helps you visualize your fence line and ensures that you order the correct number of panels. Once you know the measurements for your panels, just walk the fence line and pound a stake in the ground where each gate post, corner and panel will go. Make sure you also run string between the stakes, which is another way to accurately measure your yard for the fence installation.
Create a Check List for All Tools and Materials In Advance of Your Fence Installation
I know, I know—I sound like a nag. However, once you get started with your fence installation, there’s no turning back. Having all the tools lined up in your yard and knowing you’ve bought the right amount of panels and aluminum fence hardware to build your fence means you won’t panic in the middle of the installation because you are one panel or nail shy of getting the job done. This also saves you the embarrassment of your neighbors watching you freak out from not properly planning your installation.
So there you have it. Six simple things you can do to get ready for your fence installation project. Even though we’re approaching the end of summer, if you get started now, you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy your fence—especially if your fence coincides with the installation of a new swimming pool! And in that case, enjoy your new popularity with your family and friends!
Ready to Begin Your Aluminum Fence Installation?
Ready to build a fence? Have you done all of the above? With just a few clicks, you can order everything you need to install the best aluminum fence on the market! Click here to get started or open up a live chat session and we’ll get you on track for your aluminum fence project!