Hey everybody, it's Melissa from Welcome to the Woods. We recently installed a beautiful privacy fence in our backyard. Big thanks to our sponsor Superior Plastic Products. I'm going to show you how to install this vinyl fence, in hopes that it helps you with your project.
The first thing to do is to look for your property pins and make sure that your fencing aligns with city ordinances. This was a complicated process for us and involve paying for a permit and trying to use this metal detector in my yard, all over the place to figure out where the right of way was on our road. Also be sure to call all your utilities so they come mark them with flags before you dig. The easiest way to line up and lay out your fencing project is to string a line along the entire perimeter of where you want to dig. And then we used wooden sticks to mark every eight feet, because that was the distance between our vinyl fencing products posts.
You certainly can dig your holes by hand, but I would recommend getting a motorized auger. And this was on Dingo, we rented this for about $150 for the day, including a dump trailer where we could put our dirt onto, and it worked so slick. As you can see, it's a machine that just pushes the auger down through the dirt, it even handled rocks up to about the size of maybe your face and it went down as far as we needed. We went about three feet with the holes, we're going to be putting in at least 30 inches of cement on each post.
To dig this all out would have probably taken weeks and Dingo did it in just a day. Now we did have to dig out some rocks by hand, but in general, this made very fast work of the prep process and I would highly recommend getting a machine like this. So for this massive undertaking, I did have help. This is my neighbor, John, and we hired him to come and help me with the fence install because of how labor intensive this job was and because he has an awesome cement mixer that was going to help us with securing down our posts.
You can see here that the holes we dug were quite deep. And I would say that digging the holes is one of the hardest parts of this process to get ready for a fence, so plan accordingly. Now with the dirt we... Like I said, we got a big dump trailer, but Dingo was also helpful for this because they had a bucket on the front that we could shovel our dirt into and then just drive it over and dump it on the trailer. We had a lot of dirt with this project, obviously, and so when you're planning your DIY fence install, you're going to want to plan for where you're going to put the dirt you dig up and how you're going to get dirt to fill the post back in.
We did reuse some of the dirt that we dug up that wasn't super rocky, but mostly we went and dumped it at a local excavating company and they didn't charge us to dump, so that was really great. I want to show you a cool trick here on how to get the majority of the dirt out of your grass. My neighbor, John, told me that if you use a concrete placer, you'll see it here, you can actually scrape up the dirt into a pile much easier. And I cannot believe how clean my grass was after we did this, I would just go about it with a rake, but this worked way better.
Once you've got everything prepared with the holes, you're going to restring your line and dry fit all of your posts. The line is going to serve two functions. One is to keep the fence straight because you're going to align one side of your post with the string line. And then the second thing that it's going to do for us is keep the depth correct. So we are going to be using... Do you see the opening in the post, the bottom of that opening aligned with the string to make sure that all of our posts are set to the same depth so across the top of the fence it looks level. On the corners your string gets tied off both directions.
Some of the holes we had to dig by hand just a bit deeper, because you want to make sure when you're cementing your posts that the bottom bell's out so that there's cement underneath the post as well. Fortunately, John had this big cement mixer that made mixing up big batches of cement and hauling in wheelbarrows a breeze. But I have heard that some types of quick-set concrete can be mixed in the hole so you might want to look into that if you're doing a fencing project.
The fact that Superior's installation instructions included cementing in every single post, is what I believe it gives their fencing the super strength to withstand high winds and terrible weather. Their products come with a limited lifetime warranty and they come with a five-year prorated labor warranty, so that's really cool because whatever it costs us to pay John to help us, they would cover all or part of the cost of labor required to replace the product if something were to go wrong. You can see in this step that we put some cement down at the bottom of the hole, and I am using this two by four, that we cut to a very specific length of 90 and three quarter inches so that it came out that the center of each of our post was eight feet exactly.
Now we are going to check level both ways and John's helping by moving the bottom of the post to get it where we need it to be before we press it down into the cement that's in the bottom of the hole. One method that was very helpful if you need the post to move just slightly to make it level is to put a two by four down into the bottom of the hole and push against the post in the cement. So it's so important that your post is level on both sides, both ways, and not pushing against your line. You want it to be just barely touching the line. This is so that all of the pieces fit together properly when you go to assemble. So in order to keep our level, instead of having somebody come back and check that it hasn't moved, we just braced it both ways. So we created a tripod with these pieces of wood and we clamped it to the post.
The other end of the wood beam that's using to prop up the post got a wooden stick pounded into the ground next to it and then we drilled those two together. This just makes sure nothing moves and it allowed our post to cure perfectly level up and down. Don't forget before you brace the post to check your depth and make sure that the height of the post is aligned with your string. Some of our holes ended up being bigger than 12 inches in diameter because the Dingo pulled up a big rock or something. So then we put a piece of plywood down into the hole and I held that in place making sure there was at least a few inches of cement around all sides of the post.
And I held that in place as John put cement in, and then I would dump dirt behind it to hold it back. We added cement and dirt at the same time to hold that plywood in and then when we were finished tamping both of those into place, then I pulled the plywood out. Between each set of two posts I pulled up our spaced two by four and checked the top as well, just to make sure everything was looking level and correct. We filled all of the holes with cement up to about two to three inches below the grass line and let the cement harden and cure. Then the next morning I came in with a wet washcloth and wiped off the bottom of the post where we had cement slop. This is important to do within 24 hours because dry cement is much harder to get off of your posts.
Then I cleaned up the cement in the grass around the hole and put black dirt as a top layer. Some of them, I had side pieces left that looked a little bit crispy from being out of the ground for about a week, but nevertheless, I laid them in place and really once the soil comes back to life, you would never even know that this post was recently installed. Now we get to move on to the very easy part, assembly. So we're going to assemble the posts by first starting with the bottom rail. And this rail has an aluminum insert to provide extra strength. And then this just has plastic tabs on each end that pop into the holes on each post. Now, what I love about Superior Plastic fencing is that both sides of the fence equally look beautiful, they're basically the same. So your neighbor gets a nice fence and you get a nice fence.
Then you align a small plastic C-Channel on each of the posts, both sides. This is going to cover the ends of the tongue and groove mechanism on the actual slats. These are as simple as screwing three screws into each channel. Now the really brilliant thing about Superior Plastic's design is that it allows for expansion and contraction of the plastic. So vinyl fences that have hardware, I've always been worried about because if you know anything about how plastic behaves in whether it's best if it has a little bit of room. So this design does because of the tongue and groove slats and everything just clicking together with a little bit of play.
Now I'm starting in one of my C-Channels and pushing the slat down into the bottom, as well as into that C-Channel, then the tongue and groove mechanism on each of these, just click together, it's so easy and I can put together one of these panels very quickly. Near the end you want to put the last piece in first and then slide the in-between piece to make it all fit together. The section is complete when you add the top rail in, and this also has plastic tabs that hold into the hole on the post. And so you're just going to slip that over the top of each of your slats and then push those tabs in on both sides and you're done.
The post where you're going to install a gate, you need to put in these metal I-beam inserts to give it enough strength to withstand being used, like open and close like that. We decided to do a double gate so that we could fit a car here, so it's just shy of eight feet wide and we just had two, four foot swinging doors. You can see here the next day that I got that installed, just putting the hinges on, and then we did a latch on the inside so we can lock the gate and keep our backyard super private.
Before our privacy fence was installed, our backyard butted up to a road and now that we have six feet of no visibility, the road is totally cut off. And our yard is so much more private and safe for our children to play, I absolutely love it. Now, if you're looking for fencing, then please check out our sponsor Superior Plastics, because they are American made they're based out of Pennsylvania and they only use high quality materials, so I can definitely recommend them.
Overall I would say that this project is labor intensive, but honestly quite easy. So if you have an extra set of hands and some strength, you can do this yourself. I hope that you learned a lot in my, how to install vinyl fence video. And if you did, please consider subscribing to my channel or following me because I make tons of DIY videos like this and I would love to have you along. Thank you for following along and watching and Welcome to the Woods. We'll see you again next week.
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