Building your own wooden fence is a good way to save money in comparison to having the fence professionally installed. As long as you have some basic DIY skills, a hammer, and a saw, you shouldn't have too much trouble with this project. But there are some steps that homeowners frequently overlook when building their own fences. Make sure you complete these steps, as they will make your fence much sturdier in the long run.
Encase the posts in concrete.
Even the sturdiest wood will decay rather quickly when buried beneath the ground. Plus, as soil compacts and shifts, the fence posts within it tend to shift, too, leading to a crooked fence. To prevent these problems, you can encase your fence posts in concrete.
Purchase some concrete mix from your local hardware store and prepare it according to package instructions. Dig your post hole and place the post in the hole. While a friend holds the post upright (and as straight as possible), pour the concrete into the hole. Stop pouring just below the top of the hole so you can later cover the concrete with soil. The concrete should be dense enough to hold the post upright as the concrete hardens. Once it is hard, you can cover it with a layer of soil to camouflage it.
Spring for cedar rails
While the posts are the most important part of ensuring your fence is sturdy, you want sturdy rails, too. If your rails start breaking down prematurely, your fence will not only loose sturdiness but will also start looking unattractive. Don't make the common mistake of choosing pine rails because they cost less. Pay a little more for cedar, and you'll have a much easier time keeping the fence in good shape going forward. Cedar repels insects naturally and is resistant to rot, so you won't have to spend hours maintaining your fence to keep it sturdy.
Use longer nails or screws to attach your rails.
As your fence ages, the wood around the nails or screws that attach your posts to your rails will begin to break down. If you use short nails, this wood breakdown will very soon lead to loose rails. Use longer, 2- or 3-inch nails or screws, and your fence rails wills stay sturdy for longer since the deeper wood will take longer to start weakening. Plus, you'll be able to lean more weight against the fence without worrying about popping the rails off.
Talk to a company like Mills Fence for more tips on building sturdy fencing.