Are you planning to fence your plot and wondering how to install panel fencing? Be sure to read our tips. If you want your fence to look good and be stable, you should follow a few principles.
Choose Fence Panels
If you haven’t purchased fence panels yet, consider a few factors during your selection. First and foremost, remember that the fence should match the other elements of your property. You can learn more about this in our article: How to Match Your Fence to Your Home’s Style?
In addition to aesthetics, durability of the panels is crucial. They should be protected against corrosion. Opt for panels that are either galvanized or galvanized and powder-coated. Also, remember that for stability, the wires in the panels shouldn’t be too thin. The minimum wire diameter is 4mm; thinner wires tend to bend easily.
If safety is a concern, choose panels with small enough gaps to prevent climbing or passing through the fence. The standard measurements are 50x200mm. Pay attention to the panel mounting method as well. Panels attached to posts with stainless steel screws and self-locking nuts are a good choice – once secured, they can’t be easily removed.
Prepare the Ground
How to install panel fencing? Start with preparing the ground. Clear a strip of land about 50cm wide where the fence will go. Otherwise, old roots or bushes might hinder the installation of the posts. Clear any larger stones or debris from around the planned fence area, especially remnants of an old fence.
The ground beneath the fence should be leveled. If your property is relatively flat, this won’t be a problem. Raking it evenly should suffice. However, if your plot is on a slope, you need to reinforce it. You can find more about installing fencing on a sloped terrain in one of our articles: How to Install Fencing on a Sloped Terrain?
Set Up Fence Posts
After leveling the ground, it’s time to measure distances and place the posts, both the initial and corner ones. For a stable panel fence, it’s crucial to place the posts with their narrower side facing the front.
Wondering about the spacing between panels? Unfortunately, you’ll need to calculate that yourself. Measure the distance between set posts and divide it by the length of one panel, accounting for the posts and gaps. The standard spacing is 2.57m between the axes of the posts. If you find that not all panels fit perfectly, don’t worry. You can trim the last or least visible panel to the appropriate length or adjust the post spacing and trim multiple panels.
The way you mount the posts depends on whether you’re planning a fence with a foundation, without one, or with a prefabricated base. For the first case, simply attach them to concrete using anchor bolts. In the other cases, you’ll need to dig holes for the posts. A regular shovel can do the job. For stability, the holes should be at least 80cm deep and 30cm wide. If you’re using a prefabricated base, you’ll need to dig holes for it as well, though they don’t need to be as deep. Once all the holes are ready, you can place the posts in them and pour concrete.
Before the concrete sets, ensure that the individual elements are level with each other. A spirit level works best for this task. If you notice any slight discrepancies, this is the last chance to fix them.
Install the Panels
Once all the posts are set, you can proceed to install the panels. Prepare the brackets for this step. At the beginning and end of the fence, use starter brackets, which secure only one panel. For corner installations, use corner brackets, and for straight-line connections, use intermediate brackets. Attach the various elements using detachable nuts. This prevents unauthorized removal of the fence by outsiders.
If you plan to install a fence with a prefabricated base, there are a few additional steps before installing the panels. First, insert concrete connectors or steel C-sections into the supports. Then place concrete plates between the posts and anchor them in the prepared holes. When everything is stable, you can proceed with installing the panels.