Should I build my own fence?

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Old 05-16-08, 07:17 AM
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Should I build my own fence?

I need a fence for privacy on one side of my yard. I'm thinking minimum 6' high then maybe 18" - 24" of lattice on top of that. length is 50 - 75 feet. Problem is I really can't afford to do anything right now.

1- Do you have any idea how much I should budget for this project?

2-Can you direct me to anyplace on the web that might show how it's done?

3- can I plant the wood posts in the ground or should I plan on concrete footings? If I'm making it myself, could I make the posts of PT stock and just stick 'em in the ground?

4- how deep should I plan to bury my posts? Is it half/half? 1/3 - 2/3? 2/3-1/3?

A few years ago, I saw an excellent article in some woodworking magazine about building your own fence (and it's pretty much what I described above), so that's what planted the seed. Since then a neighbor expanded their house and now they are right on top of us. so it's time for a fence.
 
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Old 05-16-08, 08:41 PM
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your wood fence

So you want to have a fence with 6' of solid material on the bottom and an additional 18-24" of lattice material on top...?
As much as I am not for the idea of cementing wood posts, your having a fence as high as 8' would make cement a good option. That high you would be dealing with a lot of stress from wind. Having a good strong cemented post would give your fence a better chance at withstanding the force of the wind against your fence.
As for building it , I would say sure... But for the bottom sections you would probably be better of buying a 6x8 solid panel of choice then go out and buy 4x8 sheets of lattice material and frame it out with 1x2" framing board. Preferrably the same type of wood that the lattice is made of. Cedar would be easy to work with , but costly.
The posts should be set in a minimum of 30" but better would be the full 36".
I would suggest your only using 18" of lattice , plus the 6' of solid board totalling 7'-6" in height. This would allow you to buy 4x4x10' which are more common in lumber yards. Plus this would allow you to sink the entire balance of post in the ground not having waste in wood post.
If you choose to go for the full 8' in height I would definitly assume your using a 4x4x12' post .

As for cost... That depends on your choice of wood... and the market price in your area.
And as for directions.. you could probably find a good book in Home depot, lowes, and or your local book store.
Then again , right here on dyi.com

Good luck
 
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Old 05-16-08, 08:59 PM
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obbay,

BEFORE you do anything like this, check with your local bldg. dept.

Where I'm at, ANY fence over 6' tall has to be engineered. That is opening up a can a worms, as well as adding a lot of $$ to the project.

Here, a fence at 6' or less doesn't even require a permit.
 
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Old 05-17-08, 04:24 AM
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And being in Boston, you are probably on just a stringent codes as the left coast areas.
 
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Old 05-17-08, 06:44 AM
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Also check you local codes. Fences are often limited in maximum height depending on where it is located. 4 ft high in the front of the house, 6 ft high on the sides of the proerty and 8 ft high across the back of the lot only. At least that is the way the codes are written around here.

You also want to check on the orientation of the fence. Many times the "finished" side of the fence needs to face away from your property. The side with all the posts and cross members would then face toward your property.

Your costs will vary depending on what type of fence you build. If you were looking at a fence design in a woodworking magazine, most likely it is of a custom design. If the fence is designed to look finished on both sides, it will add to both materials and time involved in the build. A double sided 8 ft high fence I built last year cost me $127 per 8 ft wide panel section just for the materials . We used appeance grade PT 1x6 S4S instead of rough cut pickets.
 
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Old 05-18-08, 09:28 AM
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Thanks everyone, I'll check the local building requirements before I go any further.
Some excellent info here, Thank you all very much!

BTW- czizzi, $127/8'-0" section doesn't sound bad. I saw Walpole Woodworkers arbors starting at like $1700 and figured I was screwed!
 
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Old 05-20-08, 03:17 PM
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Walpole

Walpole, A very nice selection of materials, for the most part in a league of their own... But definitely not a factor that anyone should use towards pricing any typical fence, arbor, or pergola.

But yes, they do have nice material.
 
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Old 05-20-08, 03:28 PM
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obbay,

I don't use pre-fabbed panels. They are totally unforgiving as far as setting your post spacing and for having to compensate for changes in level (if your lot has a slope to it or a high or low spot someplace in the run).

And I've never been impressed with the quality of the material put in them either. I'd just much rather pick my own.
 
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