In the first part of this series we looked at knowing your DIY limits and the boundaries of your land before commencing a fencing project. In this second article we'll look at the tools you need for the job, and the first steps in building your fence.
1) Tools of the trade
Firstly, you'll need tools to make sure your fence is accurately built and completely level. These include a measuring tape, pencil, carpenter's square, string line or chalk line, spirit level and a sliding bevel if you are measuring and replicating any angles. If you're all about accuracy, you may even consider hiring a multipurpose laser level.
For hands-on work you'll need a hammer and wood chisels, a drill or electric screw driver if you're using screws, a spanner or socket set for doing up bolts, a shovel or post hole digger and for all that cutting, a power saw.
A circular is ideal for accurate, one-off cuts as well as cutting along a line when your fence is already erected (e.g. levelling off the top). If you are not getting your wood cut to length at the timber yard, then look into hiring a compact mitre saw for highly accurate repetitive cuts.
2) Posting your posts
Mark out your where your corner or end post will be and drive a stake into the ground. Repeat this for the opposite end. Now use your string line to stake out all of the posts in between. Typically you'll want 2 - 2.7 metres between posts. Whatever your distance, make sure it's even all along the fence line.
Dig your holes for your two corner posts - these should be around 600 mm deep. Before placing your posts in the ground you should coat the underground portion with whichever wood treatment product you have selected. Mix your concrete and use it to set your two end posts in place. Brace with battens and pegs to ensure that they are level when the concrete sets.
Run a line again between your two posts to make sure that your posts in between are still accurately placed. Repeat the process above for all posts and leave the concrete to set overnight. Make sure all posts are braced both ways before you knock off for the day.
After at least 24 hours you should be able to remove the battens and move onto your next step. Check back for part three in this series for more.