Fenc­ing made sim­ple

Matamata Chronicle - - Building -

Agood fence can make a big dif­fer­ence to a prop­erty. It is out there for the whole world to see, so all the more rea­son to make sure it looks good and is built well. Why let some­one else take the credit for a job this im­por­tant?

Fol­low the in­struc­tions and tips laid out in this guide and you’ll be able to do it your­self.

There are some points to con­sider prior to con­struc­tion; fence de­sign and its suit­abil­ity to your home, pri­vacy is­sues, wind shel­ter, le­gal obli­ga­tions, re­quire­ments of the lo­cal author­ity, boundary def­i­ni­tions, con­sul­ta­tion with neigh­bours, how it blends with the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment, and of course, cost.

The fol­low­ing con­struc­tion se­quence is for a sim­ple post/ rail and pal­ing fence, but can be adapted for any fence de­sign, de­pend­ing on your en­thu­si­asm.

So grab your con­fi­dence with both hands and let’s get started.

Get­ting started

First, es­tab­lish your prop­erty boundary. If you can’t find the white boundary pegs, talk to your coun­cil about get­ting the boundary set or agree on the boundary line with your neigh­bour.

Es­tab­lish a boundary line. Lay out a string line at­tached to pegs, 50mm in­side your boundary. This will de­ter­mine where the front face of the posts will be.

Po­si­tion­ing Your Fence Posts – Se­lect the end post po­si­tions. At each end of the fence dig a hole with a spade or post hole borer to a depth of 600mm with al­lowance for a con­crete base.

Clean out loose ma­te­rial from the base and place a rough con­crete pad or base of gravel in the bot­tom of the hole.

Gate posts should be set deeper into the ground by an ex­tra 100mm.

Posts in high wind lo­ca­tions or un­sta­ble ground con­di­tions should also be set an ex­tra 100mm into the ground.

Have tools, nails, braces and pegs ready.

Fix braces to the ground peg with sin­gle nail, to al­low the brace to pivot.

Tack braces to posts so they can be eas­ily re­moved later.

Check plumb be­fore adding con­crete. Mix con­crete (6:1 ra­tio builder’s mix to ce­ment, pre-mixed ‘‘Easy to set’’ or quick set­ting ‘‘Quick to set’’). Add water to cre­ate a stiff mix. Pour the con­crete around the posts care­fully. Com­pact the mix with a piece of wood to re­move any air pock­ets.

Check post align­ment and check for plumb. Ad­just to main­tain proper align­ment. Set a string line at the top of the two end posts. This can be used as a guide to set posts at the cor­rect height. Al­ter­na­tively, they can be cut to height later.

Spread the in­ter­me­di­ate posts equally along string line. Posts should be a max­i­mum of 2.3m apart, mea­sured be­tween cen­tres.

Brace posts us­ing tem­po­rary rails. Check align­ment and ver­ti­cal level on two ad­ja­cent faces us­ing a spirit level.

Mix con­crete or bags of quick dry­ing ce­ment and pour care­fully around posts.

Post align­ment and plumb can be ad­justed up to 5 min­utes af­ter con­crete has been poured. How­ever, if us­ing quick set­ting ‘‘Quikcrete’’, you wont be able to do any ad­just­ing.

Stay Safe – The use of power tools makes projects much eas­ier, but ap­pro­pri­ate safety equip­ment is highly rec­om­mended. Ear pro­tec­tion, eye wear and sturdy footwear should be con­sid­ered the min­i­mum re­quire­ment when us­ing power tools and al­ways use a resid­ual cur­rent de­vice when us­ing elec­tric power tools.

Get­ting it done

Fix­ing the rails – Leave con­crete to set for two days be­fore fix­ing rails. Two rails are suf­fi­cient for fences up to 1200mm high.

Use three rails for fence heights above 1200mm high.

Use 100 x 50mm H4 treated rails. For smaller spans use 75 x 50mm H4 treated rails. Rails can be fixed ei­ther be­tween the posts, or to the face of the post, de­pend­ing on fence style.

For be­tween post rails – rails should be mea­sured at ground level, squared and cut to length – fix to posts with three gal­vanised flat head nails 100mm long.

For face-fixed rails – se­lect a length of rail that can span three posts – fix with two gal­vanised flat head nails. Re­mem­ber, mea­sure twice, cut once.

Pal­ings – Set string line at the height of the top of the pal­ings. This can be done by fix­ing the first and last pal­ing tem­po­rar­ily at the proper height and then set­ting the string line be­tween them. Use a spirit level to reg­u­larly check that pal­ings are plumb. Butt pal­ings to­gether as there will be shrink­age.

Fix with gal­vanised flat head nails that are three times as long as pal­ing thick­ness. If the pal­ing thick­ness is 25mm, use a min­i­mum 75mm nail. If the pal­ing is 19mm, use a min­i­mum 60mm nail. If you want spa­ces be­tween your pal­ings, cut a block to size, then use this as a spacer be­tween the pal­ings – top and bot­tom – as you nail them in place.

– mitre10.co.nz

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