Common Fencing Mistakes People Make when Doing it Themselves

If you are the kind that loves to do it yourself and have decided that your next project will be adding a new fence to your property then this post is for you. Doing it yourself can be as challenging as it is rewarding and knowing some of the common fencing mistakes that get people into trouble may just save yourself a headache in the long term.

Have a read through these before you get started so that you can avoid the difficulties that making these fencing mistakes can generate.

The Wrong Type of Fencing

There are a number of factors that may influence the type of fencing you will use that extend beyond just your personal preference and one of the most common fencing mistakes that people make is choosing the wrong kind.

The factors that will affect your choice include:

  • Local bylaws – check with your local council to find out whether they have any restrictions in your area and in particular where you plan to erect the fence;
  • Permits – what sort of building permits are required if you are building a fence yourself;
  • Supervision – does the building of the fence need to be supervised/planned by a qualified person such as a builder or engineer;
  • Purpose – what is the purpose of the fence, it needs to be appropriate for the task it is being built for;
  • Durability – ideally you want to build a fence that will last for a long time;
  • Maintenance – high maintenance fences take up a lot of valuable time that could be spent doing things that you enjoy. Consider one of the many low maintenance varieties.

Not Anchoring Anchor Posts

The posts of any fence are what keeps it standing and are probably the most important thing to get right. Making fencing errors in terms of your posts can see the whole project unravelling.

You need to be careful selecting them and then installing them correctly.

There is often two types of posts:

  • Stout posts – these are used at key areas along the fence such as gates, corners and curves. They are also referred to as anchor posts.
  • Line posts – these are the posts that are installed at regular gaps along the length of the fence line.

Anchor posts are generally thicker and longer than line posts and need to be installed deeper into the ground. If they are not set deep enough they will fail and the whole fence may fall over.

Gate Locations

Determining the right location for your gate(s) can be tricky but because of the difficulty moving it later it is worth taking the following factors into account before deciding on the final location:

  • Drainage – well drained means that it won’t become muddy and impassable in wet weather;
  • Erosion;
  • Convenience;
  • Space for vehicles to move.

Also take into account the size of the gate and when deciding consider the primary function of the gate and who/what will be using it.

Measuring Incorrectly

You may have heard about fences being placed incorrectly over the property line and having to be torn down because they encroach on a neighbour’s property. This can be a common fencing mistake for someone who is installing a fence themselves.

It is a good idea to engage a surveyor just to make sure that your proposed fence is on your property and not somebody else’s or across an easement or right of way.

Disrupting Underground Utilities

Check before you dig. It can be dangerous and disruptive if you dig without knowing what is underneath so it is advisable to call the hotline in Australia to check if there are any utilities that you need to be aware of in your proposed fence location. This also goes for looking up when installing in case of electricity – especially if you are using steel poles.

If you decide that DIY fencing is the way that you want to go make sure that you avoid these common fencing mistakes otherwise your latest undertaking may just end up costing you more than engaging a professional to build it in the first place.


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.