Install Your Own Vinyl Fence Install Your Own Vinyl Fence
Vinyl fencing is an option that not only provides a good looking fence it has the added advantage of virtually never needing maintenance. An attractive, long lasting, maintenance free fence will enhance your property values and help make your home easier to sell if you ever decide to put it on the market. While the first steps when installing a vinyl fence is similar to a wooden fence, there are some very important differences later on in the process. Here's how to install a vinyl fence around your property.
Before you start
- Check your local building codes to see if a building permit is required and whether you need to build your fence with a set back to keep it inside your property line. Also contact your local utilities to come and mark the location of their facilities on your property.
Laying out and installing your fence
- Start by locating the corner posts and marking the locations with a wooden stake. Run a string line between the posts to indicate the line your fence posts.
- Carefully measure the spacing for your fence posts (usually 8' or 10') and mark the spots for your post holes.
- Renting a power auger to dig your post holes will save you lots of hard work and make the job go much easier and faster. The holes should be at least 30" deep (or deeper to get below the frost line in areas where the ground freezes - up to 48" deep up north).
- Here's where vinyl fence installation starts to be different from wooden fencing. Instead of installing a wooden post you will install a 2 3/8" pipe in the hole. Put concrete in each hole then center and plumb your pipes and leave them for at least 24 hours to allow the concrete to set up. The concrete mix needs to be quite stiff to hold the pipe straight when you plumb it.
- After the concrete has set up, slide two "slip mounts" over each pipe and position the bottom ones 10" to 12" off the ground. These "slip mounts" will provide a locking mechanism for the top and bottom vinyl fence rails.
- After installing the slip mounts slide the vinyl post over the pipes and slip mounts then install the bottom rail between the posts. Level the bottom rail and install the U Channel over top of it then ensure the tops of the posts are all at the right height. The ends of the U channel will lock into the vinyl post, creating a solid structure.
- Insert the vinyl tongue and groove panels (fence panels) into the U channel to fill in the fence. Start at one end of a fence section and work about 2/3 of the way across then go to the other end and work back towards the installed panels. The final tongue and groove panel can be installed by sliding it vertically between the two finished sections.
- Finally install the top rail over the fence panels and glue your fence caps to the tops of the posts.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer who writes on a wide range of topics, but he specializes in home maintenance and how to's. He has more than 900 articles published on the web, as well as print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada.