How to Build a Welded Wire Fence
Building your own welded wire fence isn’t especially difficult, but make sure you do it right the first time, because fixing it can be next to impossible. Make sure you understand every step in the process of building your fence, as well as what you will need to do so, before you begin.
Step 1 - Post Locations
Measure where you want your corner posts to be, marking them with stakes. Once each is staked out, double check your measurements to be sure your posts are at right angles to each other (assuming your fence will be square). For a better picture of where your fence will run, you can tie string between your corner posts.
Measure out where you want any extra posts between the corners. Roughly 7 to 8-feet between posts is average, but don’t spread them more than 10-feet apart. Mark each of these spots with stakes along the string line. Be sure that you mark out a section for the gate.
Step 2 - Planting Your Posts
Use a post hole digger to dig at least 2 feet down. If you decide to dig deeper, remember that your posts will have to also be longer to make up the difference, depending on how tall you want your fence to be. Eight feet is a good length for posts, because it allows plenty of excess for adding on later, even if you don’t want your fence that tall for starters.
Fill the bottom of the hole with gravel for drainage so your posts don’t rot from the ground up. Saw your 4x4-inch posts if necessary. With an assistant, set your post in the ground. Check both the horizontal and vertical level, then add concrete to the hole while your assistant holds the post steady. Periodically check the concrete level as you add it and after the hole is completely filled. Let each post sit for several days or until the concrete has set. Check it periodically in the first 24 hours to be sure it doesn’t move while drying.
Step 3 - Rails
Measure and cut 1x4 boards for the top and bottom rails. If your terrain isn’t even, place your bottom rail as close to the ground as you can get while keeping it level and screw it in place. Measure the distance from the center of the board to the height you want the top of your fence to be. This is the level you should put your top rail, regardless of where it sits on the left and right posts. Cut and screw the top rail into place.
Step 4 - Welded Wire Fencing
Start at a corner post and unroll several feet of welded wire. Make sure that the fencing is completely level, and staple it all the way down to the end. Begin stapling across the rails, pulling it tight as you staple to be sure it lays flat all the way across. If excess fencing won’t reach from one post to the next, staple it firmly to the last post it will reach, cut off the excess, then start a new roll. Continue all the way around.
Step 5 - The Gate
Measure a section between two posts for the gate. Subtract an inch to get the width of your gate (this inch allows room for it to swing open and closed). Cut two 2x4s to this width. Measure how tall you want the gate, and cut 2 more 2x4-inch boards to fit between your top and bottom boards. Bolt them together with L brackets on both sides of each corner (8 brackets total). Measure from one top corner diagonally down to the bottom corner. Cut a board to length (with 45 cuts on the end to fit in the corners) and screw it to your gate.
Drill your latch and hinges to your gate. Prop it up with a scrap of 1x4-inch lumber or 2x4-inch lumber and mark on your posts where to drill your latch and gate on. Be sure to account for equal excess space on both sides for swinging, and attach the gate.
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