tips for installing wooden fence

Whether your outdoor space is a multi-acre ranch or an intimate urban patio, a wooden fence can help you rein in your space and gain privacy. In addition, fences are ideal for keeping the pets and children contained, and they provide a visual key for the property line. They are also fantastic for adding a touch of design detailing: Whether stained, painted or untreated, wood fences are a versatile and economical choice to spruce up your outdoor space. Here are some simple tips when choosing a wooden fence for your property.

tips for installing wooden fence

Determine your main fencing requirements

What are you looking to get out of a new wooden fence? Do you need to keep the dogs corralled in the yard? Are you looking to keep deer out of the garden? Are you looking for a simple divider for your property line? First determine the function you need from your fence and then decide which style is best suited for your space.

tips for installing wooden fence Settle on style

Once you’ve determined the functions your fence will need to provide, you can then decide what style of fence is best for you. If you’re looking to keep the kids and dogs secured, a tall fence void of large gaps is ideal for keeping little escape artists safely contained. If you’re looking for a simple perimeter fence around your front yard, a classic white picket fence or a decorative thigh-high fence could be the perfect fit. Maybe you’re looking to block a street view and provide a sound barrier between outdoor living space and the street—a privacy fence that allows some light in and is flanked by sound-proofing foliage may be the perfect solution.

tips for installing wooden fence

Install the fence

It all comes down to budget and scope of the project to determine how to build the fence. If you’re up for the task, constructing the fence yourself is doable with a bit of time and elbow grease. Either construct it from the ground up, or consider prefabricated fences for a faster approach.

If your project involves a lot of land or is a bit more complicated, it’s always best to consult the pros for fence installation to make sure your fence is secure and that no utilities will be harmed in the making of your fence. Most home improvement stores and fence suppliers offer installation services. This usually involves an in-home consultation that will help you determine a layout for your fencing and give you an estimate on the project.

If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association or fence-sharing neighbors, it’s essential to converse with them to make sure your project is within guidelines.

tips for installing wooden fence Mind the details

One of the best parts of installing a wood fence is picking out the details that will make your fence all your own. Whether it’s a traditional white picket fence or a rustic log fence for your ranch-style haven, the possibilities are endless when it comes to building a fence. For a decorative accent, top off your fence with a trellis or go for a decorative railing across the top. Decorative post tops add dimension to lower fencing, while switching it up and going horizontal adds a contemporary flair in even the smallest of outdoor areas.

To top off your wood fence details, determine whether you want your fence painted, stained, or untreated. Keep in mind that painted fences usually require a new coat of paint every two to three years, while stained fences need to be re-stained about every five years. Untreated wood typically turns gray after a year, so consider treating it to extend the life of your fence.

Kerrie Kelly heads up her California interior design firm Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Kerrie is a design expert, and she writes online for The Home Depot on an array of decor topics inside and outside the home. For more information about fencing installation services and fencing materials, you can visit the Home Depot website


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  • avatar
    Deb Pearl

    My husband and I have been thinking about getting a fence, but we don’t know what kind of style to get. That is a good idea to determine the functions of the fence before choosing. That would really help us pick a style that we want. Thank you for the tips!

  • avatar Network

    Glad to hear these tips were helpful for your home-improvement project, Deb. Good luck with the installation. Hope it turns out great!

  • avatar
    Sutton Turner

    I like how you said to determine your main fencing requirements. I have two young kids and a boxer dog so I need a fence that’s durable and safe. Thanks for the tips on installing a fence.

  • avatar
    Delta Fence & Construction

    Determine location of all posts, measure and mark the spots. Dig holes for posts being sure to make the hole wider at the bottom. Mix & Pour Cement. Secure Post in Cement allowing 24 hours to dry. Attach Fence panels to fence. Secure Gate and finishing hardware.

  • avatar
    Callum Palmer

    The fences around my home are a bit old and run down. Now I will be going with some new fences here soon so I’ll have to get that all figured out soon. I do like how you mentioned the style of the fence which is something that I’ll have to consider before I make a final choice.

  • avatar
    Angela Waterford

    Thanks for the tip that tall fences are the best styles to keep my dog in. I think a custom wood fence would be sturdy enough to deter him from digging through the fence. Since it’s going to be a special job, I’ll have to hire someone good to make it happen.

  • avatar
    Oliver Ray

    I like how you mentioned that you can still add details or cosmetics to a fence. My wife loves adding special details or personal touch on things. I’ll have to tell her that when we install our fence she can use a decorative railing across the top for our personal touch.

  • avatar
    jack stiles

    It was helpful when you suggested to consult with a professional to help you install a fence. We want to get a fence around our pool as soon as we can. When we choose to get the fence, I will be sure to have it installed professionally.

  • avatar
    Oscar Morrison

    It’s helpful to remember that I should get input about how the fence will be installed so I know it won’t fall over or damage utilities in the process. I’ve been thinking of installing a fence around part of my backyard so I can start a garden where the dogs can’t get to it. We’ll want to make sure it’s built in such a way that both the garden and the dogs will be safe.

  • avatar
    Taylor Anderson

    I like how you mentioned that one may have to pay an HOA fee if their area requires it. My fence is in pretty bad shape, so I need a new fence. Good thing I don’t live within HOA boundaries!

  • avatar
    rachel frampton

    I’ve been wanting to install a wooden fence in my garden because aside from privacy matters, it would also provide a cozy ambiance. Thank you for this though, I’ll make sure to use prefabricated fences. I just have to find a reliable fence contractor that can start the job immediately.

  • avatar
    Eli Richardson

    It’s awesome that you talked about choosing a style before installing a fence for your home. My wife and I just adopted a dog, and we’re afraid he’ll run away or gets robbed. We have a big front yard, and we always leave the door open for our dog to run around, so we think it’ll be better to install a fence to keep him protected. We’re grateful for your tips about what to do when installing a fence.

  • avatar
    pool fencing nz

    You are absolutely correct and thanks for giving information about wooden fence installation tips . I loved your blog and thanks for publishing this!! I am really happy to come across this exceptionally well written content. Thanks for sharing and look for more in future!!

  • avatar
    Tex Hooper

    I wasn’t aware that how most home improvement stores will have the fencing material you need. My old fence blew over in a storm and I need a replacement. I’ll have to consider opting with vinyl this time around.

  • avatar
    Rachel Frampton

    I would like to look for a contractor that may build a fence in my garden because this will be able to provide a strong barrier. Thank you for sharing here as well that it will be smarter to have a realistic budget. I also agree with you that it will be a great idea to have the fences repainted too.

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