Important Tools You May Need For Your Next Fence Project

fence post hole digger Whether it’s your first or your hundredth DIY project, you might need a few more items than are already in your toolbox if you’re installing a fence.

If you’re researching how to install an aluminum pool fence, commercial walkway gates or a residential fence for your front yard, you will want to make sure you either have or have access to a number of specific tools to get the job done. Don’t be overwhelmed by this; you can always rent what you don’t have or purchase it for future DIY projects.

In your research, you may have come across some scary information about how difficult and complex installing a fence can be. Keep in mind that a good amount of preparation and planning paired with excellent-quality fence materials will give you the perfect finished product. Once you know what type of fence project you have ahead of you, you will want to start thinking about the more obscure supplies and tools needed to ensure you can get a hold of these in time for your planned installation.

Digging holes

The fence posts that need to be put around your yard must go deep into the earth. You will definitely want to invest in (or borrow!) a suitable hole digger. Some people suggest using an auger, which is a drill that helps you get right into the earth with minimal effort. These are larger and can be quite expensive. If you have a friend who is often DIY-ing and has an auger, see if you can borrow it. Otherwise, a less expensive digging tool will be sufficient for the hole in question. The size of hole you need will depend on the type of fence and ground surrounding the fence, whether it is an aluminum pool fence going into soft earth or a driveway gate post in more sandy earth.

Concrete matters

Mixing and pouring your own concrete for a project might seem daunting if you haven’t done it before, but don’t be put off. You don’t need a huge cement mixing truck for the amount of concrete you will need for your aluminum fence posts. In fact, a wheelbarrow will be perfectly sufficient to go along with your concrete mix and a tool to mix it with, such as a hoe. Just follow the instructions that came with the concrete mix and do a quick video search to see someone else doing it first if you’re new to the concrete game.

Leveling the field

It might go without saying for some, or it might come as a surprise: you’re going to need a reliable level. Nobody wants to stare at a crooked fence for as long as an aluminum fence will last, which is quite some time! Making sure each piece is level as it attaches to the next one will help ensure you have a perfect finished product at the end of your project.

It’s important not to cut any corners when it comes to the sizes of the holes or the quality of accessories and tools. The reason you wanted an aluminum fence in the first place is probably because of the amazing quality and longevity that comes with such a material. Skimping during installation on tools and calculations can mean your fence won’t last as long as it should. With the right prep, you will be on your way to the perfect outdoor fence.

Getting The Timing Right of Your Fence Installation

Curved Aluminum FencingWhen it comes to installing an aluminum fence, it is important to get the timing right from start to finish so you don’t end up with only half a fence.

What good is ordering brand new fence panels if you don’t have the time to install them? Giving yourself ample time – from the start of your DIY project to the end – will ensure you have a perfect finished product. Aluminum fences are quite easy to install when all of the pieces are delivered right to your door. Nevertheless, the fence won’t install itself, so be prepared to do some work!

From the start

The first thing you must realize when taking on any big DIY project is the time that will be needed to complete the project. If you are strapped for time and don’t have enough weeks to dedicate to the project, it might be worth postponing your plans to wait for a better time. Alternatively, you could hire a fencing specialist who is able to work around the clock to get the job done quicker for you.

Let’s presume you are going ahead with the DIY project yourself; after all, it’s not overly complicated and is easy to manage with a little preparation. You are going to have spend some time choosing a fence style and décor. Knowing what you want for your property and the size you require will help you narrow down the choices. There are plenty of designs to choose from, along with different finishes, color and additions (such as puppy panels) to consider.

Once you’ve decided what you need, from panels to posts to locks and hinges, it’s time to wait. Yes, the items you’ve ordered still need to be put together and sent to you! The average time will be about two and a half weeks. Asking for tracking information will help you stay on your timeline so you are ready to get right to it when your items arrive.

To the finish

Aluminum fences don’t build themselves, so it is important to stay on track during the installation process. Make a plan for how far you want to get each day and try hard to stick to the plan. Ask a fellow DIY friend to help you get it done on time. It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut when you’re in the middle of a project. Don’t allow yourself to lose momentum along the way.

It is tricky to estimate exactly how long installation will take because it is fully dependent on how much time you have to put into the project. If you are working full-time and have some weekend events, you will only be installing during your time off. In that case, you might need to give yourself a few weekends in a row to get the job done. If you have some time off and are able to spread the work over a smaller period of time, such as a three-day weekend or other time off, this would be ideal.

The most important thing to remember when working out your timeline is to account for any surprises that might arise, such as a snowstorm coming in early and halting the project or delivery being delayed. Having everything fully ready and all preparations made beforehand will allow for a swift, problem-free installation.

What Not To Do When Installing An Aluminum Fence

DIY Aluminum Fence Installation
DIY Aluminum Fence Installation

There are some great tips out there to help when you’re installing a new aluminum fence, but there are some things you definitely want to avoid!

When starting any big project, first you need to do a bit of planning. After all, if you miss some important steps at the beginning, it could spell disaster when you reach the finished product. That’s why knowing some common mistakes can help your project run smoothly.

Installing any fence can come with some challenges. Metal fencing panels are one of the easier fences to install yourself, with aluminum panels being one of the most popular. Aluminum fence panels last a long time, need minimal upkeep, and can stand up to any weather conditions. The challenges of installation have nothing to do with the aluminum material itself. Instead, they arise when you don’t do enough planning and preparation before embarking on installing the fence.

Don’t forget to get permission

Anyone who has had a fence on or next to their property can tell you that property lines are nothing to mess around with. It is so incredibly important to know exactly where your property begins and the neighbor’s begins. On top of that, some municipalities and homeowner’s associations have specific rules about how close a fence can be to the property line. It is polite and respectful to also speak with your neighbor about your plans to erect a new fence.

Don’t make presumptions about the posts

Metal fencing panels mean you will have metal fencing posts to install first and foremost. Don’t assume this will be a similar process to your last fence project because different materials and different soil types can really change a project. Do some research into the size and method of the holes you must prepare for the metal posts so you are fully ready once the materials arrive.

Don’t skimp on latches, hinges and locks

There are times you should try to save a buck or two, and there are times you really shouldn’t. When it comes to fence latches, hinges and locks, it is not a time to choose the budget option! What you purchase is completely up to you, but it is worth giving a second thought to what degree of quality you buy. Depending on where your gates and entryways are and how much traffic goes through them, the hinges and latches might be used quite a lot each day. Getting a higher quality for these parts can mean longer-lasting safety and security for your yard.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help

There is absolutely no good reason not to ask a fencing professional any question you might have when preparing to install a new fence. The company from which you purchase your metal fencing panels will be able to help you with any question, big or small. Moreover, when it comes to the actual installation, it can be quite a big job! If it is your first time or your fence job is going to be a bit more than you can handle, ask someone to help you with the DIY project to ensure it gets done perfectly the first time.

Again, it all comes down to planning and preparing. This doesn’t mean just deciding that you want a fence and ordering the parts; it means asking the right people about the placement of your fence, getting the right tools and parts, and getting any help you need to make your installation a piece of cake.

A Match Made In Heaven

Aluminum Fence ArborFinding the right balance for your home décor can be challenging. Once you find the perfect blend, you will have a great flow through the whole property.

Similar to fashion and indoor home décor, outdoor spaces can also have too many matching elements. Wearing bright yellow pants with a bright yellow sweater and yellow boots would be considered too much yellow, right? The same goes for your indoor and outdoor décor. There can actually be too much of a good thing, so even if you are using a high-quality décor piece, you definitely want to be careful to not overdo it!

Going classic

There are times when using one color for everything can work out, and one example is when you are using classic colors. Having a black aluminum fence, black driveway gates, black roof and other black elements can be quite desirable. Similarly, having all white (including white shutters on the windows) can be just as nice.

This is because of the classic look. Using white, black, gray or beige can give a timeless feel to a place. It also allows color to pop in flowers, trees, and other décor pieces in the yard. If you happen to have a unique part of the house you want to highlight, such as an all-glass wall or an outdoor pond or even a bright red door, using these simple colors as a majority will allow the other aspects of the house to stand out.

Decor and Style

What are some of the décor pieces that can brighten up a monochrome fence? Choose flowers or plants in a similar color palette or in complementary colors such as pinks and purples. Place them evenly throughout the yard, with some near the fence as well. Allow the color to pop up in and around the property, bringing everything together.

If you have an outdoor area you really want to draw attention to, such as a pond or fire pit, use the flowers and shrubbery to lead the eye to the area. Choose light-colored plants furthest from the centerpiece, with a gradual change in color toward the area. Choose unique plants or lawn furniture to give it a style all your own and make your home stand out on the block.

Matching railings and fences

Livening up a white or black aluminum fence with landscaping isn’t the only way to have the perimeter of the yard match the rest of the property. You can also match the fence and any railings on the property to each other to keep everything in the same theme. If you are using a deep green fence to avoid distracting from elaborate landscaping or a specific style home, ensure any railings on balconies, stairs, gates and entryways are also the same deep green.

You can always liven up the railings, fences and entryways with unique features, such as vine plants or lawn ornaments. Just don’t go overboard in one area of the yard. Be sure to spread out the décor pieces and color so the whole yard is one cohesive unit. Whether you choose black, white, silver or go bold with a colorful fence, as long as you consider how the fence will fit in with the whole yard, you will be sitting pretty—in a pretty yard!

Navigating Corners On Your Property

commercial fencingThere are yards with perfect 90-degree corners, and then there is every other yard. Thankfully, aluminum fencing can navigate all types of layouts.

A perfectly squared yard layout is rare. Properties come in all sizes, with all different kinds of boundaries and property lines. If you are planning a big DIY fence job for your property and you have a unique yard to work with, don’t panic. Buying fence panels and installing them yourself does not require only straight lines and 90-degree angles. There are plenty of ways to work with the yard you have and still have a successful fence.

Rounded corners

Perhaps your property line comes with a few odd instances of short lines that would not look right with a fence directly following them, or perhaps you think you would like the more rounded look for your yard. Whatever the case, a curved or rounded fence is doable and can give a seamless look to your yard’s unique situation.

Rounded corners can be achieved even with straight fence panels, and you don’t have to break the panels to create the look. You just need to set them up to give the illusion of a gradual rounded corner. You do need to have enough room for this to happen, so quite a bit of measuring and planning must happen first and foremost.

When in the planning stages of the DIY fence project, some people opt to lay out the fence using spray paint or rope. Measure the length of your panels and lay out segments of rope to see how rounded you are able to make the corners in question. Play around with angles until you get the desired look.

When ordering the fence panels, be sure you get the right hardware for the project. This might mean special hinges for gates on corners or special posts for the rounded look. Line, corner or end posts with a slight angle will be needed for a slightly angled look. For more severe curved areas, a swivel mount will be needed. Always ask the fencing professional selling the panels and posts to ensure you are getting the right mounts, hinges for gates, and screws.

Gates and privacy

What happens when you want to have some privacy on your rounded corner? Your fence panels are not limited to the standard type when installing in a curve. You can still add puppy panels, privacy panels, and even gates to the area. Depending on what surrounds your property, you might be looking for only one section to include privacy panels.

Try to imagine the flow of this when it comes to a rounded corner. With a right angle separating different sides of a fence, it’s easier to demarcate one side for privacy panels and one for standard panels with spaces between the pickets. With the rounded section, it might make more sense to continue one look until a gate and then switch from the other side of the gate. Of course, this is all personal preference and may also be dependent on whether you have a pool on the property or other homeowners association rules and regulations.

Whether you choose to install your DIY fence with very rounded corners or just cut off the corner with a single panel, you will be able to do it all with ease thanks to good planning and excellent aluminum materials.

To Attach Or Not To Attach, That Is The Question

Commercial Aluminum FenceFences can be free-standing entities that attach only to themselves, or they can be attached right to your home or building. Is one better than the other?

Imagine you are putting a new fence around a pool in the middle of your yard. The fence will attach to itself, or a gate or doorway will exist where the fence begins and ends. Now imagine you are putting a fence around a yard but the fence begins and ends at a wall of your home or other building on your property. What does the fence attach to? Does it even need to attach to anything?

It is really up to you which way you choose to finish a fence that goes straight up to the outdoor wall of a building or structure. There are some things to keep in mind when deciding, however. The material is a big deciding factor. Aluminum fence panels are ideal for attaching to a building if that’s the look you want. Similar-looking wrought iron and metal fencing can be too heavy for some building structures, so your choice might be made for you if that’s the material you want to go with.

To attach…

It is very important to know a lot about your building before attaching anything to it. If this is a very basic DIY or one of your first DIY home improvement projects, it would be best to consult a professional or the fencing specialist where you are buying the fence panels to get advice on your specific building material. If the building has any kind of structural issue or you plan to change the outer look, such as by adding new siding, it might be best to avoid attaching anything to it.

Extreme weather comes into play here. While aluminum fence panels can stand up to any weather condition with ease, it is very important for the building to be able to withstand not only the same weather conditions but also the pull of a large fence panel simultaneously. Attaching the fence to the building is sometimes the only option, such as when digging a hole deep enough for a fence post so close to the house could damage some of the foundation, depending on where you live.

…Or not to attach

If your foundation is solid enough that you can put a fence post pretty close to the side of the building, you might find a detached fence fits your property better. This might be a good option for someone who isn’t ready to commit to drilling into the side of the building or has future plans that might involve expanding the fence or building. Keep in mind that a detached fence post might leave a few inches of space between the fence and building that can either be beneficial for you or detrimental, depending on your personal situation. It’s also important to check on any homeowners association rules or regulations before deciding in case a detached fence is the only permitted route to take, or vice versa.

The beauty of deciding whether to attach or not is that when you weigh the pros and cons, there is often a clear winner. This is because so much of the decision is dependent on your geographical location, the material of your home, the configuration of your fence, and even just your personal aesthetic preference. As long as you do your research before installing the aluminum fence panels, whatever you choose is sure to look great.

Fully Customizable Privacy

Privacy FenceWhatever your unique circumstance is for needing or wanting a privacy fence, ordering panels and doing it yourself will give you the fence you hoped for.

The first thing people see when they arrive at a house is the outdoor space. The fence, gate, and driveway can make or break a house. If any of these components aren’t looking top-notch, it can deter buyers. You might be the buyer who is deterred by a dilapidated fence that gives little to no privacy. If that’s the case, there’s no need to worry. You can always update to aluminum fencing and an aluminum gate with a do-it-yourself project.

Why aluminum?

Aluminum fencing has many great qualities. From being extremely weather-resistant to needing little to no maintenance, choosing aluminum can fit most budgets and meet most of your “must-have” list. Aluminum is the top choice for driveway gates because the material is incredibly strong and stands up to a lot of use. To keep things fluid, it’s good to have a matching fence and driveway gate, using aluminum the whole way around the property.

Privacy FencingSafety and security is on many people’s minds when it comes to the home. Any aluminum fence will be very safe and secure, but you also have options to increase your security and privacy. The most common way to do this is to purchase privacy panels for the fence. These panels leave little to no space between the pickets of the fence, allowing for more privacy in the yard and the home. Privacy panels are a great option when your house has ground floor windows that face a busy street or directly to a neighbor. The panels create an oasis in your yard for you and your family, with nobody able to peek in while strolling by.

Fully customizable

Cookie cutter fences might not be an ideal situation for you. Thankfully, you can customize aluminum fencing to fit your needs. If you only need privacy on one side of your yard, just purchase the privacy panels for that side and regular picketed panels for the other sides. If you only need to block a certain portion of the yard from the view of passers-by, work out the measurements and just fence in that small area.

You also get to choose the color and finish of the fence panels to match with your garden, your home and your neighborhood. Decor-wise, you can add rings or finials to the top of the panels or even arches to give the fence some height and depth.

Quiet and serene

Privacy panels also help act like a sound barrier. If your fence is on a busy road or sidewalk, adding aluminum panels between your yard and the street can keep some noise out. Because less sound works its way in, that also means less sound is working its way out. That equals even more privacy for you when you are outside enjoying your yard.

While it might seem like you are closing in your property by putting up what looks essentially like an aluminum wall, it’s not really closing you in. An aluminum privacy fence is actually just blocking out people and views of other people’s homes and leaving just the sky and any landscape in the distance to be visible from the privacy of your property. You are left with a serene, tranquil and private area that is all your own.

Hand Railing With A Purpose

Aluminum Hand RailingAluminum fences are a great fit for any residential or commercial property, and you can finish off the look of your outdoor areas with aluminum hand railing.

There are numerous reasons aluminum is a superior material for your outdoor fences, from being extremely weather-resistant to having minimal upkeep. Many people are leaning toward aluminum for their outdoor fencing needs. Larger commercial and industrial properties are especially happy to hear how strong aluminum is, knowing that it will be very helpful when it comes to top security needs. Moreover, privacy is not a problem, with special privacy panels that allow for little to no space between fence pickets for additional safety and quietness.

With all of these great reasons to choose an aluminum fence, it’s no wonder that hand rails in aluminum are a superior product, too. Aluminum hand rails come with the same satisfaction as aluminum fences, and many outdoor configurations allow for a smooth transition from fence to hand rail in similar colors and styles.

Patios and Decks

With so many patio and deck designs, it can be tough to decide what materials and design elements to use when installing a new one for your outdoor area. When deciding on material, keep aluminum in mind for the hand rails, even if the rest of the deck is concrete or wood. Having the two materials next to each other can really make the hand rail stand out. The safety of the strong aluminum is ideal when placing a barrier on a patio or deck that is not level with the ground. If you have an aluminum fence nearby, the hand rail of aluminum can really bring together the whole outdoor area.

Stairs and walkways

On various walking paths and staircases, the seamless transition from fence to hand rail can really come in handy. If the pathway is sloped, a double-channel hand rail will fit best for added safety. If you’re ever in doubt that you are purchasing the right type of hand rail for your purpose, ask the company selling the rails to ensure you have chosen the right one. When dealing with stairs or certain walking paths, such as handicap accessible paths, it is important to ensure the whole area, including the hand rail, is compliant with any rules and regulations in the area.

Dividing areas

Hand rails and shorter fences are common in certain outdoor spaces, especially those with commercial uses. For example, in a park, the area for younger children might be demarcated with a hand rail and small gate to allow children to have a safe environment. A hand rail or fence could also come in handy between sports fields or to allocate picnic or camping areas. These hand rails often match the nearby fences of the same color or style to allow for a polished look on the entire property.

Hand rails might seem like an afterthought to those who walk by them every day without noticing them, but for those who are deciding on the right one for a property, it can be a big decision. From patios and decks to walkways and sport fields, there are plenty of reasons a hand rail might be in order. Whether you are attaching it to an already existing aluminum fence or placing the hand rails in a freestanding location, aluminum will be an excellent choice for all of your rail needs.

Does The Height Of Your Fence Matter?

Black Aluminum Fence CostAlthough your fence height is ultimately up to you, there are some factors you might want to consider when purchasing your aluminum fence panels.

With so many decisions to make when designing and setting up the outdoor spaces of your property, some things can be looked over. Many people just assume fences of certain materials come in one standard size that everyone chooses. However, with residential and commercial fencing in aluminum, there is actually some rhyme and reason the size of your fence pickets and height of the fence.

The size of the actual pickets and the empty space between them will be dependent on your fence’s purpose and whether there are pets or small children on the property. The height may also have something to do with these two factors, but there is also a bit more to consider. There are certain laws and rules depending on the type of fence you are erecting, and there are safety and security reasons behind the size of your fence, too.

Rules and regulations

Different governing bodies can have rules and regulations when it comes to a backyard fence. For commercial properties, the rules can be even more specific depending on what is on the property or what type of business you have.

It is important to check with the town or municipality where you live to find out about any height restrictions. Height restrictions can also come from homeowner’s associations when the desired effect is to have a fluid neighborhood with outdoor spaces that blend together.

Safety and security

In addition to restrictions to keep fences from being too tall, rules will also ensure they are tall enough, especially when a swimming pool is on the premises. For the safety of any children in the area, there are very specific rules that ensure a fence is tall enough to keep any tragedies from occurring.

Extra height also means a safer space inside. The higher the fence, the harder it is to climb. This deters any possible intruders from entering your property, keeping your building and those on the premises safe.

If you’re worried about the safety of a tall fence in extreme weather conditions, commercial fencing in aluminum is incredibly strong and can stand up to the toughest wind and storm conditions. Even with a taller fence, wind can go through the pickets. Aluminum is so strong that even if you use privacy panels that allow little to no air to pass through the pickets, the material will still hold up very well.

Landscaping and decor

When it comes to landscaping and décor, you can go completely basic or you can get creative! It depends what your business needs are and what fits with the purpose of the land. In terms of the fence around the perimeter, taller fences do well with tall bushes or shrubs near the posts and entryways. If you choose a basic color to blend in with a building or neighborhood, adding a pop of color here and there with flowers will help add a nice look.

Whether you choose for your fence to be very tall or a bit shorter than the average fence, be sure to check with any rules in your town based on the purposes of your property. Add a bit of pizzazz in the yard, and you’ll have a perfect outdoor space in no time!

Taking On A New Fence On Your Own

New Aluminum FenceA solo do-it-yourself project can be incredibly daunting, but with some preparation, you’ll be on your way to feeling great satisfaction with the finished product.

An aluminum commercial fence might sound like the type of project that should be left to the professionals, but don’t pick up the phone just yet! You can take on this project all on your own if you’re up to it with just a bit of preparation and the right tools.

Preparation is key

There are a few things you will want to keep in mind that you might otherwise overlook if you have never erected your own fence, let alone a commercial or residential one. Being fully prepared is essential, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

One place to call for help is the company where you decide to purchase your aluminum fence panels. They will be able to help you, especially in the preparation phase through to purchasing, and can answer any questions you have about erecting the fence yourself. They can offer advice on how to approach the project and any tools you will need for the panels. You don’t have to figure everything out yourself!

The ground below you

One thing people might not take into consideration until the project is well underway is the type of soil your yard holds. Depending on what the ground is made of, you might need to do a little extra work to erect an aluminum commercial fence.

Soft, loamy soil has a mixture of sand and clay and can be quite soft and flexible. For a strong fence such as a commercial or residential fence, this means you might need to reinforce the soil around the posts. For added stability, choose large posts and consider adding gravel or other heavy, firm material to keep the post steady.

Sandy, clay or silt-like soil will all have different methods of compacting the soil back in place around the posts to ensure the correct stabilization. Check how your soil type holds up in wet and dry conditions to ensure you are compacting correctly. For example, if it’s packed too loosely, sand will not be stable enough, while silt will wash away if kept too wet. Find the right balance and compact the soil very tightly around the post to avoid any movement, no matter the weather condition.

What’s best for your building and your area

Another key consideration before choosing your aluminum commercial fence is what design will fit best for you your home or business and the surrounding area. Of course, you don’t have to match your fence or your building to the area because standing out could be exactly what your business needs! The design is totally up to you, but most people find it’s best to at least choose a fence design that complements the building on the property.

Design elements aside, there are also often rules and regulations that go with your homeowner’s association or municipality that you will want to ensure you are following. This could relate to fence height, color, and even the space between the pickets. Checking on exactly what you need and ensuring you have the right tools for the soil and the job will have you well on your way to erecting a fence all on your own!