No one wants to put up a fence only to have to tear it down. Even worse is when you think you did everything right but damage happens within a year or two of construction. Fortunately, you can avoid these installation mishaps with planning and knowledge.
Boundary and Fence Line Concerns
Make sure you have the property line surveyed before installation begins, especially if there are no current surveys on file at the local planning office or if you are in the middle of a property line dispute with a neighbor. If it is ever found that the fence crosses your property line, you can legally be required to take it down or to move it.
It's also important to check with the planning office for any permit requirements. In areas that require permits for fences, you can be called on to remove the fence if you fail to get the proper permit. Permits may also regulate the height and material of the fencing, so it is vital that you know all of these requirements before beginning fence construction.
Fence Posts and Soil Shift Issues
Improperly installed fence posts are likely one of the biggest causes of premature fence failure. The first step is to begin with a post material that isn't prone to rot — metal or treated wood are good choices, depending on the material for your fencing. Untreated wood is never a good option because it will rot in a couple of years, or less, when in constant contact with damp soil.
Posts must also be set deep enough into the ground so they don't shift or heave due to frost. This depth varies depending on the climate, with the accepted wisdom being to install the posts at least 6 inches beneath the average frost line. Deeper is naturally better. In some locations with heavily shifting soil, it may also make sense to install posts into concrete footings.
Bottom Boundary Problem Prevention
Another area prone to early damages is the bottom of the fence. On wood fences, this damage can be the result of rot. You can avoid rot by keeping the bottom boards several inches above the soil and ensuring they are always painted or sealed against moisture.
Outside damage can also destroy the bottom of a fence. Chain-link fences can be bent and warped, an issue that is avoided if you install a bottom rail to secure the chain. Lawnmowers and weed trimmers can chew up wood, as can your family dog. Installing curbing to prevent plants from growing right against the fence, and then a barrier plant in front of the fence and curbing to dissuade your dog, are the best solutions.
Contact a fence installation service to learn more about installing a durable, long-lasting fence.