How to replace a fence?


How to replace a fence?

If you follow this guide, replacing your fence won't be as difficult as you might have thought. There are, of course, a few things to think about before you go in. What follows is a complete guide to fencing replacement.

When should you replace a fence?

Firstly, we will cover the reason you should replace your fence. With proper maintenance, a high-quality timber fence can survive for up to 20 years. However, this is more of an outlier than the norm, as most fences aren't constructed entirely of treated lumber.

Your fence, like anything else, will wear out and need to be replaced someday. Most fences last about 10 years, which is a more realistic expectation. But how can you tell when that time has come? What symptoms should one anticipate?

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Boards are missing and split 

It is possible to replace a board that is cracked or missing entirely. It's time to start afresh if there are several boards that are missing or torn apart. After years of being exposed to the sun and weather, even the greatest wood can eventually crack and break.

There is no exception to the rule that the freeze-thaw cycle is another factor that is responsible for ruining perfectly acceptable boards.

Split and warped boards have a terrible performance on your fence, which not only destroys the aesthetic appeal of the fence but also leads to structural concerns.

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It is one thing to have a single rotten board in your fence, but if there is widespread rotting throughout it, it is possible that you may need to replace it. If you have a wooden fence, you will almost certainly find rot in the portions of the fence that are most directly in contact with the soil.

This is the area of the boards that receive the most consistent dampness, which speeds up the rotting process. By performing routine maintenance and applying a preservative, you can prevent rot from occurring.

Nevertheless, time will inevitably pass for nature to do what it does best, and decay will set in. When you look at your fence posts and boards and notice that they are rotting all over, it is time to consider replacing them.

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Loose and Missing Fasteners

Over time, the screws and nails that hold your fence together may become loose or even fall out. Even while these can be changed, there is always the possibility that the wood will eventually become too weak to support a new screw or nail. After a certain point, it is pointless to attempt to replace all of the missing or loose fasteners on your fence because the fence has become unstable as a result of these issues.

You won't be able to restore the integrity of the fence's framework by trying to replace the fasteners in the rotting wood because the structure of the fence has already been affected.

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The Price of Repairs Is Way Too High

What is the most important consideration when deciding whether or not to replace your fence? It is more prudent from a financial perspective to replace rather than repair.

If you are able to, you should get an estimate of how much money the repairs will cost and think about whether or not you are willing to put that much money into your fence. When you get to a certain point, it is best to shell out a little bit more money for a new fence that will offer you much more years of service than it is to invest a considerable amount of money in a fence that won't survive for more than a year or two anyway. This is because the new fence will provide you with many more years of service.

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Your fence may tend to tilt to one side if it is exposed to elements such as wind, rain, or changing ground. This is due to the fact that the general structure of your fence is becoming weaker with time, which is natural given the length of time it has been in use.

When there is leaning in only one part of the fence, it is usually possible to repair it by replacing or modifying a few fence posts. On the other hand, a generalized leaning across the fence is typically an indication of damage that cannot be repaired.

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What should you consider while replacing a fence?

Check the Zoning Regulations in Your Area

Before you repair an old fence, one of the most important things to think about is checking the zoning rules in your community to determine if you need permission to do so. This can be done by looking up the relevant information online.

It is possible that you may still be required to obtain a permit before installing the fence, even if you intend to use the same materials and replace the fence with the exact same height.

The most common and costly oversight that homeowners make is repairing a fence without first verifying with the local authorities; as a result, they wind up paying a fortune in fines and penalties since their assumptions were inaccurate.


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Before repairing a fence, always check your Homeowner's Association (HOA) guidelines to determine whether you are required to seek written approval first. This is also true for homeowners who are required to comply with guidelines established by their local Homeowner's Association (HOA).

If you are in the process of replacing a fence, now is an excellent opportunity to check to see if the old fence was installed on your property line. It is possible that a fence will be installed on your property that will stop short of the property line. If this occurs, the best opportunity to fix the problem is when you are replacing the fence.

In a similar vein, if you discover that your existing fence extends beyond the boundary of your property, the installation of a replacement fence is a suitable time to make the necessary adjustments to correct the problem.

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The Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing a Fence Panel

The method of installing new fence panels is quite similar to the process of establishing an existing fence. Even while it is possible to do it yourself, you should always get help when you can and make sure you use protective gear like glasses and gloves.

Take off the outdated panel

Put a crowbar in the space between the damaged fence panel and the post, and pry the panel apart so that the nails can be seen. To make the panel manageable again, you can either cut it through with a hacksaw, pound it into the wood, or pull it out with pliers. After you are finished with the other side of the panel, remove it.

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Put in the new control panel

To our good fortune, most fence panels are manufactured in regular sizes, and their designs tend to be pretty consistent. You can trim a new panel to size using a plane if you discover that it is somewhat larger than desired.

There are primarily two approaches to putting a new fence panel in between timber posts, and they are as follows:

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Attach the clips to the posts on either side of the area where the new panel will sit, and then hoist the panel into position with the assistance of another person or two. If you are using clips, do this first.

After the panel has been properly positioned (at an elevation of between 50 and 75 millimeters above the ground), it can be fastened in place with newly galvanized screws.


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In the event that you will not be utilizing clips, measure and drill six pilot holes at even distances along each post. After positioning the new fence panel, lift it by 50–75 millimeters (mm) above the ground using bricks or an additional pair of assisting hands.

Because of this, dampness will be reduced. After ensuring that it is suitably level with a spirit level, you may proceed to fix the panel in place by driving galvanized nails into the pilot holes with a hammer.

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Coming to an end with the fence

Protect the new panel with decent external wood paint and make it look like the other units by using the same color.

Consider the Future when Replacing a Fence

When a fence needs to be replaced, it's an excellent opportunity to consider why replacing the fence is necessary in the first place in the first place. When you acquire a home that already has a fence, there is a possibility that the previous owner had a set of requirements that do not correspond to those that you have now.

For instance, if you need to repair a picket fence that is three feet tall and you now plan to have children and pets, you may want to replace that fence with something that is both taller and somewhat more sturdy so that your children and animals may remain secure within your yard.


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In a similar vein, if you intend to create a pool in the backyard, the local pool code may require you to reroute the fence in order to comply with the regulations.

If you are replacing an old fence because you want more privacy, you might choose to utilize the same materials but choose a new design of panels. This will allow you to freely enjoy your backyard without constantly being in the line of sight of your neighbors.