January 24, 2023

Why DIY Fence Installation Is a Bad Idea

Many owners of residential, commercial, and agricultural properties consider installing their fences themselves. They are inspired by DIY projects on HGTV and social media, but also by the idea that they will save some money. However, people who do this often end up spending more money than they would have if they had simply hired a professional fence company. For that reason, and more, DIY fence installation is a bad idea.

In this article, we’re going to explain all the work that goes into installing your own fence, why you shouldn’t try to take on a fencing project by yourself, and how spending the extra money on hiring a fence company can actually save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run.

How Hard Is It to Install Your Own Fence?

As you look deeper into the process behind installing your own fence, you’ll find that there are several steps involved. It’s not as simple as just setting up some fence posts and panels in the dirt.

Below is an overview of the steps involved in DIY fence installation.

1. You Might Need to Get a Permit

In some cases, especially if you’re building a fence on your residential or commercial property in an urban area, you may need to obtain a permit. But even if your city doesn’t require you to have a permit, they may still have laws regarding the height and location of your fence. For example, most places restrict fences from being any taller than 6 or 8 feet.

To avoid a fine or a warning, you’ll have to check with your local government first before you start any of the installation work.

2. You’ll Need to Choose A DIY Fence Material

Before you start your fence project, you’ll need to choose the material for your fence.

Unfortunately, this is where a lot of DIY fence projects go awry. Most people don’t know which ones are best for the type of fence they want to install. Wood, vinyl, wire - each of these materials have their own pros and cons and methods of installation that your average person simply won’t know about.

To make matters worse, DIYers will typically source their chosen fencing material from a big box home improvement store, where they can buy it for a low cost. This is a problem because big box stores don’t have a supply chain for professional grade materials - the ones that will last for years and years under all types of weather. The store-bought versions aren’t nearly as high-quality, and they always make a cheap DIY fence.

Only fence companies have access to the supply chain that provides professional grade fencing materials.

3. You’ll Have to Plan, Measure, And Lay Out Your Fence

To accurately place your fence, you’re first going to have to plan, measure, and lay it out using batter boards, string line, and some sort of marker like spray paint. This step can be especially daunting and take a lot of time if you don’t have any experience and you’re working by yourself.

4. You’ll Have to Dig Holes for Fence Posts And Use Concrete To Secure Them

Have you ever mixed concrete before? If this DIY fence installation is your first major home improvement project, then we bet you haven’t. But it’s an extremely important step of building a fence. Before that, though, you’ll need to dig holes for your fence posts in just the right spots. The concrete will be what secures the posts in position.

5. You’ll Have to Assemble Your Fence

After all that work in the previous four steps, it will finally be time for you to put the fence together. But don’t think that you’re in the home stretch, as the assembly process can be just as finicky and time-consuming for a non-expert.

Depending on the type of fence you’ve chosen, you may need to install rails, panels, pickets, and post caps. If you’re installing a wire fence, you’ll have to make sure the wire is stretched tightly enough, otherwise it will sag. And if your fence is made of wood, then you’re going to have to stain and maybe even paint it after you have it all put together.

As you can see, DIY fence installation is a big job - and that’s an understatement.

Is It Cheaper to Install Your Own Fence?

After learning about all the steps that you’ll have to follow to install your own fence, you may still be wondering, “But is it cheaper than hiring a professional fence company? Maybe I’m willing to take on all that work as long as it costs less.”

The answer to that question is both yes and no.

From the outset, the answer is yes. By buying your own tools and materials and installing your fence yourself, you’re avoiding paying the installation fees that a fence company charges. Plus, you’re probably purchasing lower quality materials than a fence company would use, so that’s another cost-saving measure.

But by the end of your DIY fence installation, you’ll probably find that the project is just as expensive, or even more so, than hiring a professional. Here’s why.

1. You’re Going to Make a Lot Of Mistakes

The reason for that is you’re going to make a lot of mistakes, especially if you’ve never undertaken a DIY fence project before. These mistakes may be such that you don’t know how to correct them, which means you’re going to have to call a fence company to come make repairs for you.

2. You’re Going to Waste Material Through Trial and Error

As you figure out how to build a fence, there’s a good chance that you’re going to waste material through trial and error. That means more trips to the store and more money out of your pocket.

3. The DIY Fence Materials You Buy from The Store Won’t Last As Long

There’s a reason that fence companies use higher grade lumber and higher quality materials than what the big box stores sell. With proper treatment and materials, your professionally installed wood or wire fence will last for up to 15-20 years (even longer for vinyl).

Even if you build your fence perfectly, the materials you bought from the store simply won’t stand up to weather and general wear and tear for long. You’re going to find yourself in the position of having to replace the fence you spent so much time and money on in just a few years, instead of after a couple of decades.

For those reasons, your DIY fence installation is likely to cost you thousands of dollars more than you initially spent for supplies. That means that overall, hiring a fence company to install your fence for you is going to be the cheaper route.

Why Is DIY Fence Installation a Bad Idea?

There is one more reason installing your own fence, whether you have any prior experience on a project like this or not, is a bad idea.

It wastes your valuable time.

From getting a permit (if your city requires you to have one) to designing a fence and then executing it, the amount of time that building your fence is going to take is simply not worth the money you’re spending on it. A project that a whole team of professionals from your local fence company could complete in just a day or two, could take you up to a week, at least.

You’re working by yourself - or let’s just say, with one other person - you have a limited budget, your materials are cheap, and you don’t have a lot of experience. That’s a recipe for a long, drawn-out DIY disaster filled with mistakes, frustration, and headaches.

All those problems can be avoided, and all those extra expenses can be saved by hiring a fence company.

How Is Hiring a Professional Fence Company a Better Alternative?

A professional fence company can provide you with a painless, stress-free fence installation that will last for decades to come (with proper maintenance). Here are just some of the benefits you’ll experience by hiring professionals to install your fence instead of going through this difficult process on your own.

1. They Will Use the Highest-Grade Materials For A Sturdier, Longer Lasting Fence

We mentioned earlier that fence companies have access to supply chains that big box stores don’t. That means that they will use the highest grade materials - wood, vinyl, fiberglass, wire, and more - to build you a fence that is sturdier and longer lasting than the cheap materials your local Home Depot has to offer.

2. They Will Be Quick Without Being Careless

Fence companies that have been in the business a long time will have built thousands of fences. This means they can go about this process quickly without being careless. This means they can put together a strong, beautiful fence in a matter of hours or days.

3. They Will Have Years of Experience and Plenty Of Expertise To Draw From

Professional fence companies like ARK Fencing have been making fences for 17 years. In that time, we’ve become experts in every step of the fence installation process, from the design to execution. We know all the variables to watch out for, we know everything that could go wrong, and we take steps to ensure that each installation unfolds as smoothly as possible.

At the end of the day, we want you to enjoy the happiness of seeing your new fence built properly, just the way you saw it in your mind’s eye. The best part of it, though, will be that you didn’t have to lift a finger to make it become a reality.

Get A Free Quote for A Professionally Installed Fence From ARK Fencing

A professionally installed fence for your residential, commercial, or agricultural property in southern Indiana is just a free quote away! Click here to get yours from ARK Fencing.