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Fence Installation Checklist

Are you planning to install a Fence?

Fencing and landscape operations account for a large percentage of underground utility damages each year. We’re here to help.

A fence may be installed on a property for a variety of reasons, including privacy, security, or aesthetics. While hiring a professional to install a fence is an option, installing it yourself can be a rewarding and cost-effective DIY project. However, it can also seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. But fear not! In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you successfully install a fence on your property with the added help of Alabama 811.

Step 1
Plan and Prepare
The first step in installing a fence is careful planning. Start by determining the purpose of your fence, whether it's for privacy, security, or simply to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Consider the materials you want to use, such as wood, vinyl, or metal, and research local regulations and permit requirements. Measure and mark the area where the fence will be installed (the use of white paint to show your proposed worksite is a very helpful tip), and determine the fence height and design that best suits your needs. Before you begin any excavation work, contact Alabama 811 anywhere from 2 to 10 working days prior to your planned work by either dialing 811 or using our simple homeowner ticket link located HERE on the website to have the underground utilities marked to avoid any potential accidents or damage. Hang on to your locate request number that will be provided, you’ll need it in the next step.
Step 1
Step 2
Gather all the materials and tools
Depending on the type of fence you're installing, you may need fence panels, posts, rails, fasteners, concrete, a level, a post-hole digger, a saw, and other tools. Before you begin the installation, be sure you have all the required materials to decrease the workload, and the time spent on the project while increasing the quality of the fence. This is also a good time to check your locate request status by entering your request number HERE to ensure all the utilities have responded. The utilities are required to provide a response back on that link to let you know if their area has been marked, is all clear, etc. If one of the utilities listed has not responded, go ahead and call us back, and we can send out a second notice to the utilities to respond ASAP.
Step 2
Step 3
Install Fence Posts
The next step is to install the fence posts, which are crucial for the stability and durability of your fence. Dig holes for the fence posts using a post hole digger or auger, making sure they are deep enough and spaced according to your design. If using mechanized equipment, or anything with a motor within 18 inches on either side of the utility markings, understand what is required within that 18 inches by clicking HERE. Place the posts in the holes, ensuring they are level and plumb. Mix and pour concrete into the holes to secure the posts, and allow it to set according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 3
Step 4
Fence Panel Installation
Once the fence posts are set and the concrete has fully cured, it's time to install rails to attach the fence panels (or, for picket fences - rails, and then the pickets). Starting at one end of the fence line, attach the panels to the posts using appropriate fasteners such as screws or nails, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to use a level to ensure the panels are straight and level as you attach them. Depending on the type of fence you're installing, you may need to trim the panels to fit or add additional rails for support. Continue installing the panels until the fence line is complete.
Step 4
Step 5
Finishing Touches
Once all the fence panels, rails, and accessories are installed, it's time for the finishing touches. Use a saw or trimmer to trim any excess materials or uneven edges. Sand any rough spots, and apply a finish or paint to protect the wood or enhance the appearance of the fence, if desired. Double-check the fence for any loose or missing fasteners, and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
Step 5

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed a fence on your property with the help of Alabama 811. Installing a fence may require time, effort, and attention to detail, but with proper planning, preparation, and following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog post, you can achieve a professional-looking fence that adds value to your home. Remember to always follow local regulations and permit requirements and contact 811 before excavation work, and consider seeking professional help if you’re unsure about any aspect of the installation process. Happy fencing!