How to Install Prefab Fence Panels

How to Install Prefab Fence Panels

Prefab fence panels are one of the fastest ways to build a new fence. Panels come in a variety of designs, from picket fences to board fences topped with lattice. It pays to shop around for the panels that best suit your house, your pocketbook and your tastes. Compared to other fencing styles that require a lot of cutting and nailing, prefab fencing is both fast and easy. Dig holes for the fence posts and put the posts in place. But before you plumb the posts and fill the holes, attach the fence section to each post so the fence fits perfectly between the poles.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Time:
  1. Step 1 Install an End Post

    Install an End Post

    Plumb the end post, brace it, then fill in the hole with concrete. Measure and mark layout lines where the top and bottom of a panel will meet the post. Brace the next post temporarily in place, then transfer the layout lines with a mason's line and line level. 

  2. Step 2 Install Hangers

    Install Hangers

    Extend the layout marks to the inner faces of the posts using a square. Measure from the top of the fence to the rails and nail hangers this distance from the mark you made. Bend down the flange on the top bracket before nailing the bracket in place. Don't bend the flange on the bottom bracket.

  3. Step 3 Put the Panel in Place

    Put the Panel in Place

    Put the first panel between the end post and the next post, sliding it into place until the bottom rail sits on the hangers. Check the panel for level and adjust the braces if necessary. Plumb the loose post and fill the holes with soil, tamping the soil as you go.

  4. Step 4 Nail the Fence in Place

    Nail the Fence in Place

    Nail the sides of the brackets to the panels. Once the first panel is installed, work your way down the fence, installing one panel at a time. Set any gate posts, corner posts or end posts in concrete.

  5. Step 5 Cut Off the Posts

    Cut Off the Posts

    Draw a line where you want to cut the posts. Because most circular saws don't cut deep enough to cut through a fence post, use a combination or speed square to extend the line all the way around. Clamp a speed square to the post to guide the saw, cut through the post, then move the saw to the opposite side of the post and cut again.

  6. Step 6 Install Caps on the Posts to Protect Them From Water

    Install Caps on the Posts to Protect Them From Water

    Spread construction adhesive or exterior glue on the post, centre the cap, and drive in two 2-1/2-inch nails at an angle.

What You Need for This Project

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