A fence provides security, privacy, boundaries, and more. Whether an older fence needs to be replaced or there’s a desire to create a new fence around the property, the first question many homeowners have is whether this is a DIY job or not. While it may be possible to save a little bit of money by doing it without hiring the pros, it’s usually not a good idea. There are many pitfalls to be aware of, including the following.
It’s crucial to understand building codes and regulations before starting the project. While there isn’t electrical or plumbing to know, there may be permits required before work can begin, inspections required before the project is completed, and other regulations that restrict the type of fence, height, and other details. A failure to understand and follow local codes and regulations could lead to fines, having to reinstall the fence or other costly issues.
Even being an inch or two off in measurements can make a huge difference. It could lead to parts that don’t match up right, issues getting everything in place, wasted materials, extra runs to the home improvement store, and more. The planning phase should be done as carefully as possible to minimize the potential for issues in measurements, layouts, materials needed, and more.
Before the first fence post goes into the ground, find out where all of the underground wires are located. It’s possible to call before digging to have known wires marked, but it’s still important to be careful while digging, as this may not include older wiring that could still be live, plumbing, irrigation systems, and wiring that was installed without being recorded with the city.
Take some time to learn how the type of fence will be installed and look into every detail. The fence assembly may end up being far more complex than expected, especially if the ground is not level or there must be adjustments to fit over exposed tree roots or similar complications. Walk the area where the fence will be located and keep the assembly in mind to look for potential issues.
There are going to be mistakes made while installing the fence, especially for someone who has never installed or repaired a fence before. While this is to be expected, there are ways to fix many of the mistakes that are made. It could just slow down the project or require extra materials to fix it. Look into ways to fix common issues, like a leaning fence post, before starting the project to have a better idea of what could go wrong and what to do about it.
Whether it’s because of inaccurate cuts, odd issues that appear, damage from dropping something, or anything else, there will be materials that are wasted. This should be expected and calculated into the estimates of materials needed to complete the project, but it can be hard to predict how much will be wasted. Aim for 10%, but understand that wasted materials may mean extra trips to the store to get more.
While fence materials can be purchased at big box stores, it’s important to realize that the store-grade materials are different from the professional-grade ones construction companies like Knoxville Fence Company Place will use. On top of being a lower quality, they’re going to be more expensive. Professionals can get bulk deals to help cut down on the price, where the average homeowner can’t. DIY fence installation could end up meaning paying a little bit more for a lower-quality material that won’t last as long.
It’s easy to watch videos, measure the space, and assume that the project will take a weekend or two. Now add in extra trips to the store for anything that was forgotten or to purchase extra materials because of mistakes or other issues. Add in all of the family commitments that can mean breaking up the job and the weather, which could make it more difficult to get the work done. Add on extra time to get it done just because it’s likely harder work than expected, and more breaks may be needed, too, and it’s easy to see how it can end up taking a lot longer than planned.
Unless you already have a ton of tools, there will be new ones needed for the project. While some can be rented, it may be necessary to purchase a lot of the tools, especially the smaller ones. This adds to the overall cost of the project, and there may be a learning curve to learn how to use the tools properly, which adds to the amount of time it takes to install the fence. Plus, some of the tools may not be needed again after the project is finished, and all of the new tools will need to be stored somewhere.
Always keep in mind that it may not be possible to finish the project. If there are any issues with the layout, the ground, the fence itself, or anything else, it may become necessary to stop trying to install the fence and call in a professional anyways. While plans are made to finish the fence, it is important to understand that some of the pitfalls could make it impossible to complete, so professional help will be needed.
As you’re planning for the new fence, keep these pitfalls in mind if you think you may want to build it on your own. While it is possible for you to install the fence alone, there is a lot that can go wrong and could end up costing you a lot more in time and money in the long run. It may be a far better idea to work with the pros and let them handle anything that might go wrong.
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