5 out of 5HardEven a relatively short fence requires a lot of digging.
$100 to $400 per 8 linear feet, depending on fence quality
3 to 4 days
In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook works with a fencing contractor to install a vinyl privacy fence.
Steps on How to Install a Privacy Fence
- Use an electric jackhammer to cut away part of the asphalt driveway at the first gatepost location.
- Stretch a taut mason line from the first post location to establish the position of the second post.
- Use a posthole digger to excavate a 30-inch-deep posthole for each gatepost.
- Slide an aluminum I-beam into each vinyl post and secure them with ¾-inch self-tapping screws.
- Pour one 80-pound bag of concrete into a wheelbarrow, add six pints of water, and mix well with a shovel.
- Dump two full shovels of concrete into the first hole.
- Set an aluminum-fortified vinyl gatepost in the hole and plumb it with a level.
- Shovel more concrete around the post, filling the hole to within 3 inches of grade.
- Tamp down the concrete with a steel bar, then smooth the concrete with a trowel.
- Repeat Steps 6 through 9 to install the second gatepost.
- Set a vinyl post cap on top of each post, then allow the concrete to cure for 24 hours.
- Use a reciprocating saw to cut away the old wooden fence.
- Pull up and discard the old fence posts.
- Starting at the high end of the property, use the posthole digger to excavate the first 30-inch-deep fence-post hole.
- Cut a pressure-treated 6×6 to span from the bottom end of a fence post up to the lowest mortise.
- Slip the 6×6 into the bottom end of the fence post, then stand the post in the hole.
- Check the post for plumb, then fill around it with 12 inches of concrete.
- Compact the concrete with a steel bar.
- Stretch a mason line from the first fence post to the far end of the fence line. Tie off the string to a wooden or metal stake.
- Dig the intermediate postholes along the fence line, as indicated by the mason line.
- If your yard slopes down, stretch a grade string across the fence line, positioning it 6 inches above the ground.
- Install a vinyl fence panel against the first fence post. Secure the panel by driving 2½-inch deck screws through the post and into the horizontal rails.
- Conceal each screwhead with a snap-closure plastic cap.
- Install the next post to support the opposite end of the fence panel. Check to confirm that the lowest mortise is even with the grade string.
- Secure the panel by screwing through the second post and into the rails.
- Pour 12 inches of concrete around the post, then backfill with soil.
- Repeat to install the remaining panels and posts.
- Install a vinyl cap to the top of each fence post, then remove all the grade stakes and strings.
- Fortify the vertical frame of the gate with pressure-treated 4x4s.
- Screw the gate hinges through the vinyl posts and into the aluminum I-beam.
- Then install the gate handle, latch, and cane bolt.