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Old 11-07-2017, 03:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any Fence Building Tips?

I've only ever installed metal livestock fencing, so I'm hoping to get some words of wisdom about residential privacy/pet fencing.

I have a wooden fence surrounding 3 sides of my back yard. 2 of the sides are faced inward (meaning I own it?), and 1 faces outward.

The long run facing outward from me (owned by neighbor?) is very roton and I don't believe any of the boards are worth salvaging. The metal posts appear to be in sturdy condition.

The other 2 sides have roton posts needing replacement, but the boards might be in good enough shape to reuse. Should I go metal posts here? Do I set them in concrete?

What wood should I consider for the side needing all the boards replaced, or should I go with a different material?

My goal is to have a long lasting fence that requires as little maintenance and attention as possible while being not too visually offensive.

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Old 11-07-2017, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Look up building code first.
Most places limit the fence hight and requires you to set the posts a certain depth.
Some places don't allow barbed wire.
Do metal posts or ground contact pressure treated 4x4.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like my neighbors, which is what motivated me to buy when I was house hunting. They have offered to go 50/50 on it, though I'll probably just do it myself on the 1 side that just needs posts.

Good neighbors are the only way I was willing to move from the country to the burbs.

Next week I'll likely be moving to an apartment, which I've never done before. I plan to hate it, but it's only for a year. Already been rejected from 1 property due to my background. Nevermind that it's been 18 years since I have last blown up a portable toilet, own rental property myself, and have $100k in savings.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
People do NOT live in a house forever, eventually they sell and move, gifting you with NEW neighbors...of unknown merits.
You're right, and I'm the one moving after 7 years. I'll try to give my neighbors some good rental neighbors.

My plan is to live in the country where I have no neighbors and never move. Now if only there were a way to keep the city from moving into the country.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I built a fence for my dad on both sides of the backyard about four years ago. I imagine that digging holes will be infinitely easier than in Arizona, that was definitely the most time-consuming part of the project. The fence boards have held up well, but I recently replaced one on the gate, and I am replacing the original 2x4s with pressure-treated ones, but simply spraying with a sealant should have protected them.

Dad told me not to, though.

I recently discovered that a piece of cut pressure-treated lumber that had been laying on the ground had significant insect damage. They ate a treated side, not the cut face.

This looks like a good guide to using pressure-treated lumber: Your Guide to Working With Pressure-Treated Lumber

I see endless opinions regarding metal posts versus wood, with each claiming their preferred material is vastly stronger than the other. Some say the posts for chain-link fences are more than adequate for a wooden fence.

We set all of the posts in concrete and they have held up, although we had a strange problem with one of the gate posts--it actually bent under the weight of a gate that is only three and a half feet wide! The concrete rotated a bit, too, so I pulled it out, and used a pressure-treated 6x6 with four or five bags of concrete. I do not feel there is an alternative to concrete, dirt or gravel will give and the hole will expand. Wood will decay with direct contact to moisture.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Dirt will hold wood posts perfectly well. IF you backfill the hole one shovel full at a time, and tamp each layer. A six foot length of 2 X 4 makes a good tamper.

I built a deck about 15 years ago using 4 X 4 wood posts. Dug the holes, dropped in half a bag of instant concrete, tamped the concrete (figuring ground water would set the concrete), set the posts on top of the conrete, and backfilled and tamped. The posts were solid as a rock and never shifted in 15 years.

I would not set metal posts in concrete, though.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I would not set metal posts in concrete, though.
Why not set in concrete? I thought the skinny posts needed the extra support to keep from moving?

I've set many railroad ties and used a large rod of steel as my tamper.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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OOPS, my bad. I WOULD set steel posts in concrete.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post

We set all of the posts in concrete and they have held up, although we had a strange problem with one of the gate posts--it actually bent under the weight of a gate that is only three and a half feet wide! The concrete rotated a bit, too, so I pulled it out, and used a pressure-treated 6x6 with four or five bags of concrete. I do not feel there is an alternative to concrete, dirt or gravel will give and the hole will expand. Wood will decay with direct contact to moisture.
Some one has been climbing over the gate.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wood posts set in dirt or concrete just don't last, at least when they're common softwood or redwood. (I've read that things like Osage orange or honey locust do, but they just aren't available around here.) I have about 800 ft of fence installed by the previous owner that's on the verge of falling down (if it hasn't already) due to rotted posts set in concrete.

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