In our first installment on aluminum fencing installation we talked a lot about how easy the process can be. The more detail you put into the planning process the easier the actual labor of installing the fence will be. Aluminum fence is lightweight and easy to maneuver which helps make it so simple to position. In our last piece we went into specifics on how detailed planning and patience make putting your fence in a whole lot easier.
The next phase to in the installation process after you have properly planned is the process of preparing the landscape for the new fence. You must first mark the placement of the aluminum fence. This can easily be done by hammering in metal stakes and stringing a line between them. Make the line as taut as possible. From here marking the location for the posts is the next step. Adjust the location of the post holes according to the size of the panel. Measure twice and cut once is a key element in setting the location of the posts.
The string that is already staked out will help guide you throughout the entire process. It will provide you with a straight edge reference point. Stay consistent in the placement of your posts. None of the posts should touch or push your string as this will push the straight edge in one direction or the other which will mess up the continuity of your fence line.
Dig a few holes at a time; don’t dig them all at once. The holes should be about six inches wide and between twenty four to forty two inches deep. Again don’t dig all of the holes at once, dig as you go. Check to ensure that the posts are positioned plumb and true. It is important that the post is level as the concrete sets. If they become unlevel your gate may not function as it should.
The actual panel installation is quick and easy. Start with attaching one section of fence. This can be done by sliding the notched horizontal rail of the fence into the punched hole of the post. A screw through the post into the rail will securely attach the rail to the post. Continue to level each post and pour concrete into each hole that you dig. It is critical that you level one post and one panel at a time to complete the entire section before moving on. To truly secure each post add dirt over the concrete and pack it in tight.
As you move on be sure to check the previous sections. Add on a section of fence and additional posts while continuing to go back to sections of aluminum fence panels that are in place and make sure they stay level and maintained. Tweak as you go and adjust as needed. Not only should you use tools to make sure the fence is in level but also be sure to use your sight and personal judgment to adjust as needed.
If the fence ends on a corner it is important to remember that the horizontal rails of the next panel is notched to fit directly into the post. Once each post is in place and the fence panels are set into place the post caps need to be snapped into place. You may need a rubber mallet to place them but will not need screws to keep them in place. Be gentle if you use a mallet so that you don’t damage the post cap material.
Next you will install the gate. Make sure it is attached and latches correctly. The gate may take a bit of patience to get into place and working correctly. Make sure the swinging of the gate is in the direction you want it to be. Install the hinges using screws and level out the gate. After the cement is dry and only then is it okay to start using the fence.
With the right tools, a lot of patience and solid directions your aluminum fence should be in place, installed and ready for use after ten to twenty hours after you begin putting it in to place.
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