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How hard is it to put up a fence?

(15 Posts)
BoBoo Wed 20-Apr-16 07:45:59

Our back fence, about 6 panels, needs replacing. We've been quoted around £750-£1000 for the labour and I'm wondering how hard it would be to do ourselves as we don't really have the money.

I know you need to make sure the posts are deep enough; the part I'm most concerned about is if the panels don't fit exactly. Any tips?

Ifailed Wed 20-Apr-16 07:56:52

how do you intend to fix the posts - concrete in or use spikes?

BoBoo Wed 20-Apr-16 08:21:20


gingeroots Wed 20-Apr-16 08:53:17

Are there fence posts already in place ?

There's stuff called post crete ( something like that ) you buy a bag ,dig a hole ,pour the powder into the hole ,stick in some water and it turns into the concrete base for fence post .
This was huge revelation to me ,but I imagine it's well known smile
There's bound to be a million you tube videos on putting up fences .
Maybe pigletjohn will come along and advise .

ABetaDad1 Wed 20-Apr-16 09:00:02

That should be no more than 2 days work for two people. Its hard work digging holes and manhandling panels and it isn't easy to do yourself but 2 days labour is 30 man hours and that is about £600 if you have an experienced person plus a NMW labourer.

I would say £750 - £1000 FOR THE WHOLE JOB (I.e the labour plus materials including VAT).

gingeroots Wed 20-Apr-16 09:30:27

The panels are more unwieldy than heavy . Would certainly need 2 people .

Digging holes is only what a lot of people do everyday in their garden .

Two whole days seems a lot .

PigletJohn Wed 20-Apr-16 11:56:03

Digging holes two feet deep is hard work. There will be roots and stones. It is especially difficult if there is an old lump of concrete in the ground for some old wooden post that has rotted away, and professionals will leave it and dig new holes between the old lumps to avoid this work. Fences that were put up by builders are particularly prone to having large lumps of concrete, but often too shallow. This is so hard that I have resolved never to use wooden posts again, only concrete. Wooden posts rot and beak off at ground level, where the moisture and air content are optimum.

A concrete post is very heavy, though two sturdy people can manage it. Same with concrete gravel boards, which I also recommend for the same reason.

It is kind to leave a hedgehog gap, perhaps at the end of the run, or leaving out one of the gravel boards .

You can get a special spirit level attachment that straps onto the post. As a beginner, put the first one in, get it perfectly upright, wedge it with bits of brick or concrete while you shovel in the mix, ensure it stays perfectly upright and nothing happens to move it for at least a day. To prevent a large expanse of lumpy concrete showing above the ground, you can make a simple shuttering box around the base of the post at ground level so that the top few inches are small and neat. You can then dig the next hole, and by the time you have done that, carried the post out and had a tea break, the concrete in the first hole will be stiffening, though it will have no strength, so you might like to wait until the next day before you position the gravel board and fence panel and position the next post against them (not so tight that you can't slide a new one in from the top when required).

If you are an amateur I would be quite happy to do only one post a day so you can be confident you will not loosen the previous post in its concrete before it has time to harden. Otherwise, do them quickly enough that the concrete is still fluid and you can tamp it down again if it moves. On a windy day the panels will rock the posts and loosen them in soft concrete. If you are working fast, you need each hole to be ready before you start fitting the preceding post. This will need about three people. A straight-sided hole the shape and width of a bucket is better than a great wide crater.

amarmai Wed 20-Apr-16 14:09:49

I did this across my driveway in my late 60s=you can def do it! I dug the holes with an old pot till they were as deep as my armpit, mixed the concrete as per instructions and my older neighbour came over and put a mix of stones in the bottom of the hole and we stuck in the 4by4 post. There were 4 holes altogether as i also made a gate. Used old wood from the garage i had demolished but new for the posts.

Ifailed Wed 20-Apr-16 18:58:17

Concrete takes time (even if you go for the quick-setting stuff) and you need to support the posts so they remain absolutely perpendicular as they set and not end up skeewiff so the panels don't fit correctly, ie they are not rotated in the hole.

gingeroots Wed 20-Apr-16 19:58:03

It seems I've rather underestimated the effort and time involved !

Sorry to have misled ! blush

yomellamoHelly Wed 20-Apr-16 20:08:04

We paid someone to do our fence. It's beautiful.
Our neighbours did theirs themselves and none of it is straight. When you look down on it from the bedroom windows you can see how much it snakes. They had a week off work and worked really hard on it.

cooper44 Wed 20-Apr-16 20:38:04

£1000 to put in six fence panels seems a bit steep.
We did ours - it's dead straight. It took about a day I think but not including very careful preparation.
I just watched some videos of men doing fences online - it's not tricky but you need to be very organised and admittedly I wasn't the one digging the holes which is the hard graft.
Once we'd dug down we put in some gravel and then set the post in with the post-crete stuff. It hardens very quickly so you need to hold it dead straight.
Also you can get a long narrow spade for digging the holes.
We did all the holes first.

Ifailed Thu 21-Apr-16 07:35:11

I would add that the ease/difficulty of erecting a fence is strongly affected by the soil. We live on heavy clay (at about a spades depth), along with the remains of an air-raid shelter at the same level! Digging anything is a PITA, at one point we unearthed a long piece of aluminium that a neighbour told us was from a plane!

ABetaDad1 Thu 21-Apr-16 09:26:56

Have you considered putting up a simple post and wire fence to mark the boundary and growing a hedge instead?

You could do that yourself.

gingeroots Thu 21-Apr-16 10:53:19

what an excellent idea - loads of help over on gardening regarding planting the hedge bit .

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