The addition of a vinyl picket fence can add to the beauty of your home. While you can enclose the whole yard for security, enforce the landlines, and keep children and pets safe, you can also just enclose part of your yard as a way to accent a certain area.
Not only does a vinyl picket fence enhance the overall appearance of your home, but it is vertically maintenance free. A vinyl fence will never need to be painted and is free from rot and insects. In addition, both sides of the fence are finished, so both you and your neighbor have a view of the “finished side”.
Here is a step by step guide on how to install a vinyl picket fence for your home.
- Measure – Walk the length of the perimeter of where you want the fence with an instrument of measure. You can usually push them along the way for an accurate measure of length.
- Mark – Next, you will want to mark all of the corners and fence line with flags to ensure that all lines are parallel to the curb as well as other areas of your home and yard.
- String – Put stakes at the corners and in points in between. Wrap the stakes with string in order to mark the entire area that you want to enclose in with the fence.
- Dig Holes – Dig holes for every corner post as well as every eight feet along the fence line. In order to do this properly, you will need a power auger of posthole digger.
- Gravel – To make sure that there is space for drainage, add about five to six inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole that you dug for each fence post. This will prevent the post from shifting over time.
- Cement – You will need up to two eighty pound bags of cement per vinyl fence post. Mix this in a wheelbarrow with water and mix. (You can also use a small portable cement mixer to save time and energy.) You will then need to fill the post holes with cement leaving several inches at the top.
- Plant the Vinyl Post – Each vinyl fence post is hollow. You will need to push the post into the wet cement and force as much of the cement in and around the posts as possible. A post level is needed to be used in order to make sure that each post is plumb.
- Harden – Allow the vinyl fence post time to set and the cement to harden.
- Mark for Vinyl Sections – You will need to determine how far off the ground each vinyl picket fence section needs to be. To do so, mark the posts on the top and bottom to determine the right location. You will then screw the brackets on to the posts.
- Mounting the Vinyl Sections – You will then screw the brackets on to the vinyl posts. Next, you will secure the vinyl picket fence section to the brackets.
- Completing the Enclosure – You will follow steps 5 through 10 for each post until all sections have been installed and leveled. Make sure to leave a space for everywhere you want to place a gate.
- Installing the Gates – Measure, once again, the proper height of where the gate should go and mark it on the vinyl posts. Install your choice of a hinge and latch and install with screws and bolts. Do this everywhere you want a gate.
- Finials – To ensure proper and consistent height of the fence, cut the tops of the vinyl posts with a handsaw or circular saw. To install a finial, use PVC adhesive glue to affix each finial to the vinyl picket fence posts.
The installation of a vinyl picket fence to your home not only adds beauty and security but will help increase the value. Whether you are enclosing the entire yard or just a section, the vinyl picket fence will help add security, safety, and mark specific areas including your landlines.
While installing a vinyl picket fence is not hard if you follow directions, there are some necessary tools that you will need. If you do not have those tools, do not fret. Most of these tools can be rented at your local tool rental store.
Here is a list of some of those tools and what they are used for.
Tools That May Be Needed:
- Measuring Wheel – This handy wheel measures distance as you walk it alone any area or perimeter. It gives you a good idea of how much area you are trying to fence in and makes ordering supplies easier and more accurate. When you measure the area, you are able to have a better idea of how much supplies will be needed.
- Post Hole Digger – This is a hand-held instrument that has two long handles and a digger at the bottom. It is used to make uninformed holes for posts. This digger can make a hole up to six inches in diameter and most have handles that are four foot long. The carbon steel blades of the digger will help you dig through soil that is compacted as well as cutting through grass.
- Power Auger – A power auger can be manned by one person. It is great for digging post holes as it will dig a hole up to eight inches in diameter. It has a handle with a motor at the top and a long steel curvy post digger at the end.
- Wheelbarrow – A wheelbarrow can be used to mix the cement to place in the holes for the vinyl fence posts. A wheelbarrow is a tub with two handles and three wheels for ease of mobility.
- Concrete mixer – If you do not want to mix the concrete by hand, you can rent a small portable cement mixer. It is a barrel with the two handles, a motor, and two wheels. If you do not want to push around a cement mixer, you can also rent ones that are towable. You can hook it up to a vehicle with a tow package or to an outdoor ATV for ease of use.
- Level – Levels are necessary to make sure that not only the posts are level but the entire fence panel. If you have one post or section that is not level, it will mess up the entire fence layout. A level is a simple tool with a bubble in the middle that tells you when something is level or needs to be to the left or right some or even if an end needs to be moved up or down.
- Cordless Drill – A cordless power drill can be used to install the hardware that is needed to install each vinyl picket fence section to the vinyl post. The power drill is cordless and works off of batteries that are chargeable by plugging them into to a power outlet.
- Impact Driver – A cordless impact driver may be better to use when installing a fence as it requires less manpower. Most have a rubberized grip to make it easier to handle and help prevent user fatigue.
- Hand Saw – To cut the fence posts, you will need a saw. You can use a hand saw which is a flat blade with a serrated blade and a handle for gripping. You will be required a lot of strength to use a hand saw to cut so many posts and may start to feel fatigue.
- Circular Saw – Instead of using a hand saw you can use a circular saw to cut the fence posts. This requires much less effort on the part of the user. The saw is round with a flat piece that fits against what you are cutting. Most have dust blowers to keep the debris off of the user and have one-handed adjustments for ease of use.
Having the right tool for the job makes all the difference in the world. The right tool can make a mundane and difficult job easier. Tools can also help with fatigue on the part of the user and make a job move so much faster. Not to mention that having the right tool makes your project look more professional upon completion.
Once you have decided that a vinyl picket fence is the one for you, installation can be as simple as a few steps. With the right guidance and the right tools, nothing can hold you back from having a vinyl picket fence that looks professionally installed.
In addition, a vinyl picket fence will last you for years as it does not rot, requires no painting or staining, and is resistant to pests. The only maintenance that is required is to pressure wash it when you think it needs it. You can even rent a pressure washer from your local tool rental store.
Installing a vinyl picket fence will enhance your property and bring you security and peace of mind in your fencing for years to come. Fencing is a long-term commitment and you should take careful consideration to make sure that it is done right.