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Panel Fence
Panel Fence

How to Install an Metal Fence

Nov. 10, 2021

Before Your Fence Installation

Before proceeding with any fencing project, a few preliminary steps are in order.

Discuss your plans with any neighbors whose property lies along your proposed fence line. They may even split the cost with you.

Make sure your decorative metal fence panels, or your part of the fence, is on your property.

Check for easements in your deed. An easement is a right of way granted to another property owner or utility company, which may limit the design and location of your fence.

Check local zoning laws, which may regulate the size and placement of your fence.

Check with your neighborhood association before proceeding with your plans.

Apply for the proper building permit if directed by local code.

Metal Fence Style

Metal fence panel comes in panels and posts of varying heights. You can choose a short sheet metal fence for purely ornamental uses or install a taller corrugated metal fence panels to keep people and animals in or out.

Several styles of metal fence panels are available, including flat-top or pressed-point with various decorative details. Metal post caps come in different shapes depending on the style of the fence.

metal fence panel

Posts are predrilled for placement on a corner, on the end or in the line of the fence.

End posts have holes on only one side and are used as starting and stopping points.

Corner posts have holes on adjacent sides and are used to make right angles.

Line posts have holes on opposite sides and are used for straight runs of fence.

Gates attach to gate posts that are similar to end posts but are stronger in order to support the weight and movement of the gate. Don't use a regular end post to install a gate. Order gates when you order fence materials. Be sure to buy the appropriate gate hardware.

black metal fence

Metal Fence Layout

Take time to lay out the fence carefully. An incorrect measurement could result in compounding problems. Sheet metal fence panels works fine with gentle dips in the land, but if you're dealing with extreme slopes, you may need to choose another modern metal fence type.

To plan your fence:

Stake out your mesh metal fence line from beginning to end, including corners and gates.

Tie a string taut between the corner post locations to define the line along which the line posts will be placed.

Use the measurements provided by the fence manufacturer to stake out the line post locations. Ensure that the stakes are touching the layout string so the posts will be in line.

Remember to take any gates or openings into account at this stage.

 metal fence wire

Accounting for Fencing Slope

When dealing with slopes, you have two options:

If the slope is less than 12 inches over a 6-foot run of fence, the panel can be raked or slanted. This will maintain a uniform space under the fence, which is particularly important if you're trying to keep a dog inside the fence. When raking panels, no special posts are required.

If the slope is greater than 12 inches over a 6-foot run of fence, the fence panels should be stair-stepped to accommodate the landscape. When stair-stepping panels, use end posts instead of line posts. The predrilled holes in the posts will work for one side of the connection, and you can make holes in the appropriate places to receive the rails of the stair-stepped panel.

Digging the Fence Post Holes

The most important part of a metal fence railing is underground: the posts. Using a post hole digger or power auger, dig the holes in the depth and diameter recommended by the fence manufacturer. Backfill each hole with about 6 inches of gravel to drain water away from the bottom of the post. Remember to dig the hole in a bell shape, with the bottom wider than the top, to stabilize the post.

Installing the Fence

An metal fence gates is installed by setting the posts and fastening the fence panels between them. The exact instructions for doing this will vary depending on what brand of metal fence system you buy. Pay close attention to recommended measurements for the distance between posts and for the depth of post holes.

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