How to install fence panels
Check out our guide and video tutorial to help you build a wooden panel fence, with the help of a friend, in just one day.
Putting up a new fence is a straightforward job for anyone with basic DIY skills. With two people it's even easier – with an extra pair of hands to help, it's quite possible to install a standard wooden fence in a day. Here's a video to show you how, followed by some detailed step-by-step instructions.
How to put up fence panels
- Prepare your ground and fence posts
- Measure out and dig post holes
- Install the posts
- Measure up the posts for the fence panels and attach them
- Add your finishing touches!
The process for this guide has used 6ft feather edge panels and 8ft dip-treated posts. We used postcrete to secure the posts in the ground.
Panels are typically 6ft wide and are available in a variety of styles. The principles for installation remain the same for each style.
- Shovel for digging
- A spirit level
- Postcrete or concrete to set your posts
Prepare your ground and fence posts
- Measure out the length of your garden to figure out how many posts and panels you'll need. Remember to take the width of the posts into account with your calculations!
- Make sure the posts are at least 2ft taller than the panels. This makes sure there's a solid foundation for your fence.
- Clear as much of the area of your proposed fence as possible to give yourself more room to work.
- Before you install your post, treat the ends with a good quality spirit-based timber preservative to extend its life while it's in the ground.
- Measure and mark a 2ft point on your post. This needs to be at ground level when you put it in the earth, to give you the best possible anchorage.
- Dig a hole for each post that's two feet deep, and three times the width of the post.
- Mark out six foot lengths along your fence line with string to give you an idea of spacing, and to help you erect your fence in a straight line.
- Put three to four inches of gravel in the bottom of the post hole to act as ballast for the pole, and to help drainage, which helps the post last longer.
- Put in your posts, and support them using wooden stakes either side to keep them upright while you prepare the cement. Use a spirit level to make sure they're exactly vertical.
- Fill the holes around the posts with cement. Postcrete is ideal, as it dries and sets within a few minutes. follow the instructions on the bag and add water. Wear goggles to keep dust out of your eyes.
- Use a trowel to create a slight slope in the drying cement so that water runs away from the post. Fill in the hole. Repeat for every post, and remove the supports.
- Measure and mark on the post where your panel clips should be positioned. Attach the clips at the top and bottom of each post using galvanised screws.
- Slide the panels down between the clips, and secure them in place with screws. Double check that your panel is level.
- Finish the post by screwing on a postcap. Make sure you pre-drill the screw holes to avoid splitting the wood.
- Treat your fence with a good quality wood preservative to ensure that it's protected from the elements. Check and re-treat annually to get the longest life from your fence.