If the time has come to replace your wooden fence, you may wish to save money by tearing down the old fence yourself rather than having your fence builder do it. Tearing down a fence is not overly complicated, but there are a few traps you can fall into if you're not careful. Follow these tips to avoid calamity.
Make sure the fence is actually yours.
Usually, fences are placed so that the "finished" or more attractive side of the fence face the non-owner's property. However, this is more of a guideline than a strict rule. Before you start tearing down the fence, just check in with the neighbor whose home is on the other side to make sure the fence is not theirs. If the fence does end up belonging to your neighbor, the two of you will have to work out an agreement when it comes to replacing the fence. You could both pay for half of the cost.
Call your local utility companies.
Taking down a fence requires more than just above-ground wrecking. Fence posts are typically anchored in concrete or gravel, so you'll have to dig into the ground a little to get these out. You don't want to bump into a gas line or a water line in doing so. Give your local utility companies a call before you start knocking the fence down. They'll mark the path of water lines, gas lines, and electrical lines in your yard so you can steer clear of them as you dig.
Know where you're taking the wood.
Before you know it, you'll have a pile of wood a mile high! Make sure you have a plan for this wood -- whether that be burning it in a bonfire or donating it to a wood chipper -- before you start knocking the fence down. A big stack of wooden boards with nails sticking out can present a safety hazard in your yard, so make sure you pull the nails out as you go.
Get the right tools.
You'll not only need a hammer to pound the fence posts out from the rails, but also a chisel to loosen the posts from the concrete and a reciprocating saw to cut the boards into shorter, more manageable sections. Gloves will help protect you from splinters and cuts as you work.
If removing a fence yourself sounds like too monumental a task, remember that most fencing companies, like Absolute Fencing LLC, will do this for you.