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Common Fencing Mistakes to Avoid

by Judy Knowler

Your fence is one of the most important tools on any property. It helps keep your animals in and keep pests and other creatures out. However, your fence can only provide you with all these benefits if it is installed and maintained properly. A poorly built or badly installed fence can actually cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Here are a few of the most common fencing mistakes that you should avoid on your property.

Fence Placed in the Wrong Spot

Installing a fence is not an easy feat. You have to map out the area, dig the posts, stretch the wire, hang the gates, and more. And nothing is more frustrating than spending all that time on back-breaking work… only to discover that you put the fence in the wrong place.

Before you start installing, make sure that your fence is set to be exactly where you want it and that the fenced area is large enough. Ensure the gate is in a convenient place and confirm your property lines if necessary. Trust us, you won’t want to re-do your fencing if you make a mistake!

Not Calling the Utility Company

You may need to call the utility company before you start building any fences. Talk with them about your project and make sure it’s ok to dig your fence posts in the area you plan to use. If you don’t get the utility company’s approval, there’s a chance you could hit a pipe or buried wires during the installation process, and ultimately be responsible for the cost of repairs.

Improper Installation of Fence Posts

Depending on the size of your fence, you may use only a few posts, but they are critically important to the integrity of the whole project. Therefore, you must be sure you install your corner posts and bracing, wooden posts, and t-posts using the proper method.

Dig post holes about one-third the length of the post. For t-posts, firmly secure them by tamping the ground that surrounds them, or in the case of wooden posts use cement; this will keep them standing during storms and other rough weather. Space your posts 8-12 feet apart from one another. And finally, take care to buy the right-sized posts for your fence (about 6-8 inches in diameter).

Choosing the Wrong Fencing Type

There are many fences available today — vinyl, post and rail, woven wire, barbed wire, electric — and they each have different uses in different scenarios. The trick is to find the fence that best suits your purposes.

Do you have goats or small horses? A woven wire fence will do the best job keeping them in and preventing them from getting stuck. Do you want your animals to stop chewing on the fence line? An electric fence might be the perfect deterrent. Do a little research and find the fence style that accommodates your needs and you’ll have much more success.

Wire Fence is Overstretched or Not Taut Enough

When you install woven fencing, the wire should be taught, but not so tight that the ‘bend’ is pulled completely out of the fence. These special crimps allow the fence to react to changes in the weather. A good rule of thumb is to stretch it so that about half or the bend, or curve, is pulled out of the wire during installation.

If the wire isn’t tight enough, the fence may sag. If the fence is too tight, the wire could snap during severe weather changes. Use a wire stretcher or ratchet to pull the fence during installation. Do not use a tractor, as it will likely be too powerful, resulting in over-stretched fencing.

Not Having the Right Tools

A woven wire stretcher is just one of many tools you’ll need to have on hand if you want to install your fence successfully. Before you begin setting up your fence, you’ll want to make sure you have tools like:

  • A post hole digger
  • A shovel
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Fence staples
  • A crimping tool
  • A tensioner (if you don’t have a fence stretcher)
  • Tamping tool
  • Leather gloves

Don’t forget to pick up these essential tools before you start working on your fence. You’ll be glad you did!

Failing to Maintain the Fence

Finally, maintenance is essential for keeping your fence in pristine condition. You should be inspecting your fence regularly for weather damage, overgrown weeds or debris that could be tangled in it, or damage caused by your animals.

Make your investment last and protect the animals that depend on you by avoiding these mistakes. Visit Red Brand online today to learn more about woven wire fencing and find the right fence for your project.

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