Project Overview

When it comes to building a paling fence, it’s important to set the posts correctly because they are a major supporting structure. Follow our step-by-step guide and we’ll show you how to run a string line, how to set the posts out evenly and how to make them secure.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to build a paling fence

Step by Step Instructions

1 Lay a string line
2 Dial before you dig
3 Measure the length of the fence
4 Dig the post holes
5 Sink the posts
6 Cement the posts in
7 Cement the other posts
  • Step 1. Lay a string line

    To run a string line, hammer a nail into the wall that is in line with where the fence will be built. Tie the string to the nail. Run the string out to another fixed point where you want the fence to finish. Tie the string off tightly
  • Step 2. Dial before you dig

    Before you start digging the holes for your fence posts, check with relevant authorities to make sure there aren’t any water, gas or electricity pipelines underground.
  • Step 3. Measure the length of the fence

    Use the tape measure to measure the length of the fence. Work out where you will dig the holes for your posts so that they are evenly spaced and match the length of your timber rails.
  • Step 4. Dig the post holes

    After working out where your posts will be, dig the holes for them. It’s important to make sure the posts are evenly spaced and the holes are deep enough so that the posts are stable. When measuring the distance between the posts, measure from the middle of the post hole and run the tape measure along the string line.
  • Step 5. Sink the posts

    You will need someone to help you sink the posts. Put the post in the hole and use the spirit level to make sure it’s centred, straight and flush with the string line.

  • Step 6. Cement the posts in

    Have someone hold the posts in the ground so that they’re centred, straight and flush with the string line. Follow the instructions on the bag and pour the concrete into the hole, so that it’s just below the surface of the soil. Add the water. Backfill the hole with soil and compress it.

  • Step 7. Cement the other posts

    Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to sink and concrete the other fence posts into the ground.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Dust mask
  • Hammer
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Concrete
  • Fence posts
  • Nails
  • String line
  • Water
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