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Courses in this Department

Build a Safe Home Playground

Fences Make Good Neighbors

All About Arbors and Trellises

Deck Design

Green Grass the Professional Way

Mailbox Beautification: Landscaping to the Letter

How to Live with Wildlife

Termite Proof Landscaping

Ornamental Trees are Year-Round Performers

No More Deer

The Arrival of Jack Frost

Parameters of Proper Pruning


Hurdling the Obstacles

How to Dodge a Tree

If a tree is near the fence line within your property, build it around the tree, leaving enough space for growth and taking care not to damage roots when digging the fence posts. If a tree straddles the fence line, between you and your neighbor, leave a gap in the fence. Attach framed sections to the end posts if necessary.

How to Leap Frog a Rock

You might need to raise the bottom rail if a large rock blocks the fence line. Shorten the siding, raise the rail and install a brace on each side of the rock. Lengthen the siding to adjust for a ditch.

How to Stake Out a Slope

You have two ways to accommodate a sloping area. A post and rail fence is the easiest choice for a moderate slope because the rails can be installed parallel to the ground. A stepped fence is slightly harder because the panels must be cut individually to fit the slope. Post heights and spaces between posts may vary.

A Gate Makes a Statement

The gate or entry can add flavor and functionality to an otherwise ho-hum fence. A wrought iron gate, for example, will provide an ornate, distinguished look. A wooden gate with diagonal braces will provide relief to the vertical geometry of a board fence. Check the lumber carefully to make sure it isn't warped, and use heavy-duty hinges.

Setting Fence Posts

Set fence posts no more than 8 feet apart, and use 4x4 or 4x6 pressure treated wood. Cover each post with a cap to prevent decay. In stable soil, postholes for fences under six feet tall can sometimes be poured with gravel or well-tamped soil. But loose soil requires poured concrete to properly encase the post.

Follow Directions!

Be sure to get detailed directions from the manufacturer, the home improvement center, or other sources, and follow them to the letter!

Now go out there and start fencing!

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