Whether putting up a new fence panel or repairing an old one, most fencing projects can be easily completed in a day. All you'll need are a few simple tools and the right fencing products and you'll soon have the perfect boundary for your garden.
What you'll need
Before you start
Standard fence posts are 4x4 square. Remember to buy the correct length of post: the top should sit proud of the fence. This can be topped with a cap or finial.
Posts must be positioned accurately and anchored firmly. They can be buried deeply with concrete footings, but any parts buried under soil may rot. Metal post sockets are better. They're hammered vertically into the soil and make posts easy to remove and replace should the need arise. Longer sockets are available for taller fences to ensure better stability.
When erecting the fence, remember to work in sequence. Start by attaching the first panel to a wall or building, or putting in the first post. Take it one panel at a time, following the line of your boundary.
Step by step
1 If you're attaching the first panel to a wall, mark the position of screw holes for the bracket that will hold it in place. One bracket should sit just below the top of the panel; the other should be just above the base.
2 Using an electric drill fitted with a masonry bit, drill holes in the wall in these positions. Push a plastic wall plug snugly into each hole.
3 Screw each U-shaped metal bracket firmly into place. Use a spirit level to ensure they're both square and double check that they line up with each other.
4 Push the fence panel into position, slotting it tightly into the metal brackets. Once you're happy with the fit, fix both sides of the panel securely with screws.
5 Carefully choose the position for your first post. Place the metal post socket tightly up against the adjoining fixed fence panel in a vertical position, checking it with a spirit level.
6 Fit the socket dolly into the top of the socket to protect the metal and knock the socket into the ground with a sledgehammer. Check regularly that the socket is still straight. If it's leaning to one side, tap the socket's sides to reposition it.
7 Continue tapping in the socket until the top sits just above soil level. Remove the socket dolly and push in the fence post. Tighten the bolts so they grip the base of the post tightly.
8 Using the drill, make guide holes at the top and bottom of the fence post into which the L-shaped, metal fencing clips can be fixed. Don't make the holes too large - they're just a guide.
9 Screw the L-shaped fencing clips into each hole. This is best done with a pair of pliers. Position the clips so they'll be visible from either the front or rear of the panel.
10 Fix the next panel in place against the post. Stand it on spacers, such as a brick or piece of wood, so it isn't resting directly on the soil as this can cause the panels to rot at the base.
11 Screw through the L-shaped fencing clips at the top and bottom into the frame of the panel to hold it securely in place. Repeat for further posts and panels until your fence is finished.
Points to remember
Fences should only be erected on your own land and shouldn't cross any boundaries. Discuss any projects with your neighbors and if either of you have any doubts, seek legal advice.
Local by-laws and covenants may prevent fences being put up in some areas. Check property deeds or consult a solicitor.
Never rest fences directly on the soil or pile soil against them, as this will encourage rotting. Leave a space between the bottom of the fence and the soil. Alternatively, place a gravel board along the base of the fence, which is easy to replace if necessary.