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How to Install:
Materials and Tools Needed:
Before You Start
When starting any building project it is important to be knowledgeable of your local building codes so that you don’t finish your project and have to pull it out because it violates building codes.
Another precaution that will save time and add to the safety of the project is to locate and mark clearly where your utility lines and irrigations systems are. It is very important to avoid digging near those for safety reasons. While doing this, look around for any other potential obstructions that may get in the way of the fence so you are prepared for whatever comes up while installing your fence.
Step 1: Marking/Mapping
It is better to plan ahead when putting up a fence and knowing where each post/picket will be and how big the holes you will be digging need to be. Use some spray paint to mark out where each post will be. Take the time to also mark out the diameter of the post hole so there will be no confusion when it comes time to dig.
Use string to make out where the fence is going so that you will know where to line the posts. Also it is best to start out at a corner or end post and work out from there, this will help narrow down any confusion on fence location. During all this marking out and mapping be very careful to keep the distance between each post evenly spaced. Careful preparation allows you to start off right and not have to try and fix huge mistakes and errors while you are installing.
Step 2: Digging
Once everything is marked, you are ready to begin with digging the post holes. For a 5 inch post it is recommended to dig a hole 12 inches in diameter, however if you are using 4 inch posts, you only need a 10 in hole. Depth-wise you will want to dig 24-32 inches deep. Generally your assembly manual will give you specifics on how deep your fence post hole should be.
When digging your post holes be aware of whether you are planning on using gravel (recommended) or not so that you can plan ahead. You will want to leave about 1-2 inches of space under the fence panel for yard work, and this is something you will need to take into account when calculating out the depth of your holes so you don’t make it too shallow or deep.
Step 3: Post Installation
In the hole you have just dug, it is typically recommended that you add just a few inches of gravel for drainage purposes. Place your post into the hole and line it up against the string to ensure that they will all line up. Have a friend hold it in place, or use a secure temporary brace to keep it in place. If you had to cut your posts for height adjustments be sure to put the cut end in the hole.
*Tip: Remember that there should be no rush, install one post at a time and work your way down the fence. Don’t install all the posts at one and later add the panel, this will not allow for any error and you might regret it later.
Step 4: Bracing and Leveling
When bracing a post so that it doesn’t move while continuing through the steps you can use 2×4’s and clamps to add stability. You’ll probably end up leaving these in place until you are completely done with the vinyl fence installation process.
Also, as each post is added to the fence line be sure to take the time to consult a level. You want to ensure that each post is the same height so that you don’t have to deal with uneven fencing.
Step 5: Fence Panel Assembly
At this point you will want to assemble a fence panel to attach to the posts that have been set up. During assembly you will see that there are bottom rails, top rails, and slats. Use the manufacturer’s instructions to put it together.
Step 6: Attach Panels to Posts
These should then easily snap into the pre-determined holes in the posts. When you have only one of the posts in place brace the bottom of the fence panel with some wood so that it doesn’t sag or pull at the one post while waiting to be snapped into the second post.
Step 7: Set Posts
Once you have the posts in place and the corresponding panels attached, it is now time to set the posts (watch videos below for easier installation, these instructions are manufacture tips). To do this it is recommended to use fast drying cement. There should be more specific instructions regarding the mixing of cement, such as how much water, in the manufacturer’s manual. Pour the cement in the holes, making sure the post is still level and lined up with the string. Use a tamping bar to work out any air pockets that may have snuck into the concrete.
Leave about 2-4 inches of space so that after the cement dries you can place dirt over the cement and have grass grow back around the post. Keep your bracing in place overnight to allow the cement to to fully dry. You can remove the braces in the morning.
Step 8: Post Caps
With all the posts and panels set and in place, the only thing left are the caps. You can apply a small dab of PVC cement on the inside of the caps and place them on top of the posts. Once dry, your fence is complete!