How to Build a Vinyl Fence

how-to-build-a-vinyl-fenceVinyl is a great material to use for a long-lasting, great looking and eco-friendly fence. Although it will cost more than wood initially, it will not rot, mold or succumb to insect, animal or weather damage. That makes it cost effective; it will far outlast any wood fence. Two or more people can install a fence in a relatively short amount of time. There are a few steps you will need to follow.

1. Call your local utility company to locate any underground power/phone/water/gas lines before you start digging. You can plan your fence posts around them. Obtain any necessary permits before you start.

2. If you are unsure of your exact property line, have a surveyor mark it for you. Place your fence posts on your side and ensure the fence is against the line.

3. Choose your style of fence; there are many available on the market from different manufacturers. You can purchase all of your materials at your local DIY store. Some fencing is available in pre-built sections while other manufacturers offer lengths of fencing that allow you to cut each board to size. You will need:

  • Fencing materials such as rails, sections, posts
  • PVC fasteners and connectors made for the particular fence’s manufacturer
  • Posthole digger and cement for posts
  • Hacksaw to cut PVC
  • Measuring and marking tools, level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Drill and bits
  • Spare lumber to brace fence posts while they set in cement
  • Landscaping marking paint or colored line for marking fence line

4. Measure and mark you fence line. Mark the placement of your posts; this is generally every eight feet. If your panels are six feet wide, set your posts at six feet. You will be measuring from the center of one post to the center of the next post, not from edge to edge. If you need to brace a corner, set two fence posts four feet from each corner; for six foot sections, set your brace posts at three feet. As you install the fence rails/sections, run a diagonal brace from the top of the corner post to the bottom of the post set four feet away. This makes a strong corner. You can also brace gate sections this way.

5. Dig the post holes at least 10 to 12 inches in diameter and as deep as the manufacturer suggests. You can use a post level that clamps onto the post to ensure it is straight up and down; make certain the edge is touching the guide string but not pushing it out of place. This is the hardest part of building a fence. Brace the post in place with the spare lumber. Pound in a ground stake and nail a piece of board to it and then attach the other end to the post. Do the same on the other side of the post. When all the posts are in place and everything is straight, even and level, begin mixing and pouring cement into the holes. Ensure the posts do not move during the process. Cover the cement with a little water and allow it to cure for a couple of days.

6. Remove the bracing and begin attaching the fence panels according to the manufacturer’s directions, using the hardware supplied. If using PVC fencing, measure and cut each rail individually and attach it to the fence posts using PVC screws and hangars.

7. Attach your gate using the hardware supplied by the manufacturer. Open and close it several times and check for level before tightening all the bolts and screws. Attach any post tops with the adhesive supplied by the manufacturer or use clear PVC cement. Remove any drips immediately.