Several weeks ago, I came across a post on facebook that linked to a crowdfunding site which had been created for one of my coworkers. My coworker, Angel, and his wife, Christina, had just adopted a sweet toddler and a beautiful little girl in addition to the 3 young boys they already had. Adoption is not easy nor cheap for that matter and as a family of 7, a fence was just one of the items on the Rios’ list of things needed. A family friend created the crowdfunding site to collect donations in an effort to offset some of the Rios’ expenses, primarily the fence, which had been quoted at $4,000. Upon reading this, I contacted my coworker and asked if I could pass by his house to take a few measurements of his back yard. Then, I did a bit of research to price materials and sent him a quote. I told him that if he was willing to DIY the fence, I’d be happy to offer a weekend to help out. I was certain that we could create a safe, enclosed space for the kids and pets to roam around freely outside and save money while doing it. Angel said he was up for the challenge, so this past weekend, Angel Jr., Angel Sr., myself and several friends helped to get the fence started. With all of the extra hands we had, we were able to get all of the holes dug, posts set, and frames up by the end of the first day and this was to cover approximately 200ft! We even started to put up a few of the fence boards. Unfortunately, our second day got rained out, so we weren’t able to finish as planned. However, as soon as the weather permits, I’ll be certain to post pics of the final product!
1) Determine the quantity of each material you will need for the project.
a. To determine the number of pickets or fence boards your project requires, you’ll first need to figure out how many inches each panel covers. Some simple math will help you to do so. We already know that a standard fence panel covers 8ft. and each foot has 12 inches. So, 12×8=96 in. per panel. Additionally, we know that we need 25 panels. So now, we’ll multiply 96×25 to get the total area that needs to be covered in inches. 96 x 25= 2,400.
b. Next, we’ll take the total number of inches and divide it by 6, to get the quantity of fence pickets that’ll be required for the project. A standard fence picket is 6 inches wide by 6 feet high. This was the formula for our project: 2,400 ÷ 6=400 fence pickets/boards needed.
c. Determining how many posts you need is a bit more challenging, because you have to keep in mind that two panels will share a single post on a given side. The picture below will give you a better idea of what I mean. However, for this reason it might be easier to draw a sketch of all the fence panels you need and then determine how many posts have to go between them. Once you’ve figured out how many posts will be needed, you’ll also know how many bags of concrete you’ll need too. 1 bag of concrete per post.
d. Finally, you need to calculate how many 2x4s you’ll need to make the fence frame. This is super easy. Each panel requires 2, 2x4s, so you simply multiply the total number of panels needed for your project x 2. This was our formula: 25×2=50 2x4s.
2) Once you’ve calculated all of your quantities, it’s time to place your order. I strongly recommend ordering materials online and having them delivered to your home. This will make things SO much easier! If you plan to rent the 1 man auger, you’ll want to wait until the morning of the project to pick that up, so you can have a full 24 hours to work with it. This tool is actually optional. You could always dig each post hole with a shovel. However, TRUST ME when I tell you, you want the auger! It will reduce the amount of time it’ll take to complete your project at least by half, if not more.
3) With the marking paint, place an X on the ground where each post will go. There should be 8 feet between each post.
4) Using the 1 man auger, dig the post holes. Although these machines can be operated by one person, it always helps to have a second person around to hold one end of it. These machines are powerful and can throw you back if not used carefully.
5) Set the 4×4 posts in holes you dug and fill each hole with a bag of concrete mix. Saturate the concrete mix with water to ensure that it penetrates down to the soil. I would do this at least twice, maybe more. After, let the posts and concrete set for 24 hours.
6) The next day, put up the fence frame by nailing the 2x4s horizontally to the posts. See the picture below. The 2x4s should rest about 2-3 feet between each other.
7) Finally, nail up your fence boards by securing them to each of the 2×4 frames and you’re all done!