As part of our landscape design we planned to install an (approximately) 18 foot cedar fence to match the railings on the upper and lower front porch (built by our contractor as per our architect’s plans). We wanted to not only draw give some privacy to a charming old patio we found on the side of the house, but also to “broaden” the home visually. (Remember it is a BIG old 6 bedroom Victorian) but its street presence is much smaller.
We were ready for the new fence, but when we called around, every supplier not only quoted high prices but then couldn’t deliver the cedar fencing for weeks! What to do? That’s when my partner Steve Moran said he would build the fence himself! So here’s our blog on building a cedar (or any) fence yourself
First Steve took careful measurements of what the dimensions were and set off to the store, list in hand. He purchased cedar 4×4 inch (vertical) posts, 2×4’s for the horizontal “backbones” to the fencing and one inch balusters. he then proceeded to (probably the hardest part of the job)….digging the fence post holes! Hints here: 1) set out a plumb line across the width of your project so that you dig your holes along the line you want the fence to take, and 2) it is well worth the investment of buying a post hole digger! Once the post holes were dug to a depth of approximately 24 inches, the posts were inserted and Steve (and I) filled in with a mixture of gravel and cement. This would give each post a strong anchor.
Critically important: the posts must be completely vertical on both directions and so a good “level” is a must! As we filled in the gravel and cement, we kept checking the “plumb” to maker sure the posts were completely straight! Once all were in, we let the cement dry at least 24 hours to make sure they were solidly in place in their new cement boots!
Then Steve built the rest of the fence by cutting the horizontal 2×4’s to size and, one by one, nailing on the (already pre-cut) balusters. Then, similarly, he built the gate and attached same with hinges and latch from our local supply house.
After staining and painting, the resulting fence couldn’t look more professional….and at a fraction of the cost! Well done Steve!