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Build a Timber Fence
Please read this guide carefully before you begin, follow the simple steps, and if you need any further help or advice, please donít hesitate to ask at your local Carters branch.  


Step 1: Setting out the posts
Drive a stake firmly into each end or corners of your fence line. These will mark your end posts. Run a string line between stakes, tying securely to each.
With chalk or felt pen, mark the position of the intermediate posts on the string. Simply measure the total distance and divide into equal parts. The maximum spacing of your posts will be determined by your design and materials being used. As a guide, normal post spacing would be 1800mm or 2400mm.
100x75mm posts are adequate for a fence height up to 1200mm. 100x100mm posts will be required for end/corner/gate posts and for a fence 1200mm to 1800mm.  


Step 2: Excavate Post Holes
Dig the post holes or use 250mm post hole borer.
If your fence is up to 1800mm in height, the holes should be at least 750mm deep. This allows 750mm for the concrete and endposts. The bottom of the post holes should be wider than the top. The hole diameter should be 21/2 to 3 times the width of square posts or the diameter of round posts.
Corner and gate posts should be sunk 100mm deeper than intermediate posts.
Add scoria or gravel to the bottom of the hole for drainage and to prevent the post from sinking, and to assist in adjusting posts to the desired height.  


Step 3: Aligning End Posts
Ensure end post is vertical by checking two adjoining sides with spirit level. Fit braces to hold post while concrete dries. Repeat with the other post at the other end of the fence. If this post is to be at the same level as the first post, run a string line from the top of one post to the top of the other. Place a line level at the centre of the string and adjust height accordingly.  


Step 4: Positioning Intermediate Posts
About 700mm above the ground, drive a nail into the two end posts and run a string line between them. This will give you a line for intermediate posts and prevent these posts moving out of true.
Place intermediate posts. Check their height by placing a piece of 100x50mm (straight) timber on top of adjoining posts and checking with spirit level.  

(Click for a bigger image)


Step 5: Concrete in Posts
When all posts are placed and braced, fill holes with concrete. You can use bags of instant concrete or you can mix your own. Normal mix would be 2 parts cement, 3 parts sand, 5 parts gravel. Keep the mix stiff, and compact the concrete so any air pockets are removed.
Slope top of concrete away from post to shed water. You can make some adjustments to your posts up to 20 minutes after the concrete has been poured.
Then leave for at least two days, preferably a week, for the concrete to harden.  


Step 6: Fixing Rails
Fences up to 1200mm in height require two rails while fences over this height require at least three rails.
Rails can be face-fixed to posts or cut between posts as required.
It is usual to fix the bottom rail a maximum of 150mm above the ground and the top rail 150mm below the top of the posts.  


Step 7: Fixing Pailings
Again, use a string line to make doubly sure that the top of your palings line up as they will provide the finished visual effect. Set the string line between two end posts. If the fence runs downhill, the upper point of each paling should line up with the string line.
If palings are set apart as below, use a spacer block to obtain even spacing.
Before putting the palings up, stain/paint the inside edges or complete all surfaces.
If palings need to be cut to length, keep the uncut edge to the top and make sure the cut edge gets a coat of preservative and stain/paint.
Palings are usually fixed with two 50 x 2.5mm galvanised flat head nails to each railing and driven in at different angles to stop paling from lifting.
Fence capping: Depending on the type of fence, a capping can provide an attractive finish. Use 150x40mm as cap rail or a profiled cap available from your branch. Fix over the top of posts or between.  







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