Extra steps are necessary when installing a 6 foot tall wind-resistant privacy fence as opposed to installing a fence in an area with mild winds. The broad flat surface of a closed plank privacy fence bears the full brunt of strong, prevailing winds. According to Purdue University, "When wind increases from 10 to 30 miles per hour, the force on a solid fence increases nine times." Special skills or tools are not necessary to build a strong fence. More materials are required because the fence posts are spaced closer together, sunk deeper and braced with additional girts, or crossbeams.
Things You'll Need
- Wood stakes
- White sand
- Posthole digger
- Measuring tape
- Fence poles, 9-foot long and 8-inches in diameter
- Quick-set cement
- Carpenter’s level
- 3-inch long deck screws
- Girts, 2-by-8-inch-by-6-foot
- Electric screw gun
- Fence planks, 6 foot
Strong Fence Frame
Mark the fence line by driving wood stakes at the beginning and end, drawing a cord tautly between them.
Make a mark with white sand on the ground at the start of the fence line and every 6 feet along its length. Make another mark at the end of the fence line.
Dig holes with a posthole digger at each mark that are 3 ½ feet deep and 10 inches in diameter.
Put a fence pole into the middle of the first hole and fill it in with quick-set cement, mixed according to the directions on the bag. Lay a carpenter’s level against the side of the fence pole and adjust it so that it is level and in plumb. Brace the post in position and allow the cement to set up overnight.
Repeat the process of setting a fence pole at each mark you made along the fence line.
Measure a distance of 8 inches up from the bottom of each fence post and use a marker to draw a line on the post.
Put a 2-by-8-inch-by-6-foot girt or cross-brace between the upright fence posts with its lower edge resting on the 8-inch mark you previously measured. Use 3-inch deck screws to attach the girt to the fence posts.
Continue down the fence line, cutting each girt with a saw to fit as necessary, and screwing them end to end with the previous girt onto the upright fence post.
Start again at the top of the upright fence posts and measure 8 inches down from the top. Rest the bottom edge of a girt resting on top of the mark and screw it into the post. Repeat the process of attaching each girt to the top of the upright fence posts.
Measure the distance on each fence post that is midway between the upper and lower girt. Mark the spot and install another row of girts.
Install Fence Planks
Begin at the first upright fence post and put a plank straight up against the three rows of girts. Use the carpenter’s level to ensure the first plank is level and in plumb.
Drive three 2-inch deck screws through the plank into each girt. Arrange the screws in a straight line, evenly spaced, up and down.
Put another fence plank adjacent to the first one and attach it to the girts. Continue until all of the planks have been installed on the fence.
Tips & Warnings
- Stain the pretreated fence panels after the first 6 months of use to extend the life of the fence.
- Wear safety glasses when driving screws into the fence with an electric screw gun.
- Work with the local zoning commission to determine what regulations are necessary for you to follow before building the fence.
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