DIY Life: 3 Important Things to Consider When Building Your First Fence

Owning a home is a crowning achievement for many young professionals. And if you think about it, the American dream hasn’t changed all that much. Buying a home is still a goal that most people aspire to once they land a career and start planning to raise a family.

Many homeowners begin with what is often considered a “starter” home. Starter homes are usually placed in the fixer-upper category, as most of these homes need a little work in order for them to become more valuable. Additionally, starter homes are usually nothing more than bare bones, meaning that all they contain are basic rooms, walls, and doors. And, many of these homes don’t have a fenced yard.

If you’re going to be upgrading your new home and you’d like to build a fence, there are a few things that you should consider prior to beginning this type of project.

Know Your Property Lines

In the world of homeownership, arguing about where one’s property begins and ends is nothing new. In fact, generational disputes over property lines can span for several decades if left unresolved.

Knowing where your property boundary markers are is essential before you ever sink the first post into the ground; the last thing you’ll want to do is to remove your entire fence after building it because you were off by an inch.

Property markers are usually left in place after a home is built, but many are removed over time due to a variety of circumstances. The best way to see where your property boundaries are is to get a blueprint of your parcel from your local tax assessor.

And, just as a precaution, consult with your neighbors prior to building the fence and come to an agreement on boundaries if the lines aren’t clear. You’ll want to get that agreement in writing and notarized as well.

Choose Your Style

There are literally hundreds of fence designs that you can choose from. But, this choice largely depends not only on personal style and taste, but on functionality as well.

You simply have to ask yourself what purpose the fence is going to serve. Will this be for privacy only? Or, will it serve as a simple boundary? Are you looking for a certain height, or are you just accenting the boundary with an ornate design?

You have to get real specific with your design functionality before going out to buy any materials.

If privacy is what you’re after, then a tall fence with wide, flat boards might be sufficient. But, if you want to incorporate a design, different shaped boards might serve your purpose better. Then again, if all you really want is to secure your yard, perhaps for small animals or children, then a chain link fence might also suffice.

Gather Your Materials

Now that you’ve found your property lines and have decided on a design, it’s time to gather your materials. And, while it might be tempting to go out and buy a few hundred fence boards and a ton of nails, you’ll want to set your fence up in sections. So, you’re probably going to be making a few trips to the hardware store as you build.

The good thing about building a fence in sections is that you’ll have a better understanding of what materials you’re going to need. And, this will also prevent you from overspending on lumber and other materials.

While your materials will mostly be basic, i.e., fence boards, fence posts, quick-drying cement, chalk-line, level, and hammer and nails. You might want to get a nail gun just to make the process easier, and have a few friends to come over and help. It will help to make a checklist of all materials needed to start so that you won’t be making unnecessary trips to the hardware store. Once you have everything, you’ll be able to work uninterrupted.

Building a fence is a great DIY project to start at your own home. It allows you to get creative and really design your outdoor space how you want. It’s this type of project that many take on that leads them to do more similar projects, eventually leading to thoughts of making a business out of it.

This idea is not far-fetched at all. In fact, if the thought has entered your mind, and you’re seriously considering it, start small. You can rent a work truck to get your business off the ground for transportation and hauling purposes and expand as your business grows.

But you have to start somewhere, and taking on a home DIY project like constructing your own fence is a great start. Neighbors will notice, and the next thing you know, you have a fencing or handyman business!

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