Short Run Pro Fence Installation Guide
Here are tips and suggestions on how to build wood fences. These tips can save you time, money and effort. Read all suggestions carefully before beginning the job.
Spacing the Fence Posts
- As a rule, you should set fence posts about 6' to 8' apart. The spacing of the posts depends on the type of fence you build, the terrain, the purpose of the fence and other such factors.
- Set the corner or end post first. Then stretch a line from each corner or end post to align all the posts in between.
- Drive a stake every 6' to 8' at the exact position where the post hole is to be dug.
- Take time to measure and position the posts accurately. The appearance and the structural strength of your fence depend a great deal on the positioning of the fence posts.
Setting the Fence Posts
- Set all wood fence posts with about 1/3 of their total length buried in the ground. This is especially important on corner posts and any posts that will carry heavy weight or withstand high wind pressure.
- Use a regular post hole digger to dig the post holes. Dig the holes straight to the proper depth at each stake marker.
- You can anchor the posts more firmly by making the holes slightly larger at the bottom than at the top. Place a large stone or two shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole. This provides drainage to avoid excessive moisture at the base of each post.
- Use a wood preservative to treat the section of the post that will be underground. Allow the post to stand overnight in the preservative so it can become well-saturated.
- You can pack the posts with either dirt or concrete. In either case, place two or three shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole before the post is placed in position.
- Be sure the posts are in exact, upright position. You can check the alignment of each post with a regular level. You can also check the alignment of the posts in one direction by sighting from one end of the row of posts to the other.
- Brace each post with stakes after it is properly aligned. Keep the stakes in position until the concrete (if used) has thoroughly set. Remove the nails holding the braces and readjust the post until it is in accurate alignment.
- When the post is properly aligned, tamp it thoroughly to pack the dirt (if used) around the base of the post. Be sure you do not alter the alignment of the post during the tamping process.
- When the post is firmly in position, build a mound around it to help eliminate water standing at the post base. Slope the concrete slightly away from the post and round it off with a trowel. Tamp the concrete lightly to eliminate any air bubbles left in the mixture that can act as water pockets.
- Provide extra bracing at all corners. A corner post must carry the weight of fence stretched in two directions, so it should be set in both directions.
- Allow the posts to stand several days and settle firmly in position before adding the fence.
- The heads of posts should be rounded, capped or slanted to help eliminate accumulating water, which can cause rotting. This well-worth the effort since it allows the posts to last.
Adding Rails or Mesh to Posts
Short Run Pro makes it easy to assemble rails or a wire mesh fence to your posts. If you are using wood rails select the appropriate fence bracket to rail size and nail or screw your bracket to the post at the levels you desire.
A typical fence bracket is shown below. Click here to view SRP's Fence Brackets page.
If you are using posts to hold wire mesh, a fence bracket similar to the one shown below would be used. These types of brackets are easy to assemble by simply locating the hat bracket around the fence post and tying the mesh to the bracket via fasteners. Fast and easy.
Tool and Material Checklist
- Boards & Posts
- Post Hole Digger
- Steel Tape
- Small Axe or Hatchet
- Wood Chisel
- Wood Preservative
- Power Saw
- Paint or Outdoor Stain
- Marking Pencil
- Gravel or Sand
- Hand Saw
- Work Gloves
- Ready Mix Concrete
- Tamping Rod
This guide has been created to give Short Run Pro customers advise on installing fences. Each application is different and this information is used as a guideline. This information is not meant to replace state regulations or local engineering practices.