How to Build a Garden Fence? – Complete DIY Guide

Looking to give your garden a new appearance? Then you probably need to build a garden fence.

It may seem like overkill. But it’s not. Garden fences are among the most practical things you can build on a yard. 

And it is not only about looks. Garden fences offer a wide array of benefits – including safety and organization. You can make even the messiest of gardens to be a lot tidier and more pleasant to see.

But they’re not easy to build. While it may seem like a piece of cake, building a garden fence may take a little more effort, time, and money than you may think. Luckily, it is not rocket science either.

If you follow the right steps, have proper guidance, and know what to consider when building one – then it will be a lot easier. And here, we want to help you with that.

You’re going to learn everything there’s to know about building garden fences, so you can set up your own and make your garden look amazing.

Care to learn more? Then take a peek below for more info!

Advantages of Building a Garden Fence

So you’re eager to start setting up the garden fence – but you don’t know whether it is genuinely a good idea.

Well, let us convince you. Here are a few benefits that you’ll enjoy with a garden fence (that no other garden accessory can offer):

Security

First and foremost – what are fences used for? They’re used for nothing less than safety and security. Keeping things away from burglars and trespassers and making sure the stuff inside the fence is far from reach from those who want to take them away or damage them.

If you want to build a fence around your garden, then it probably means you don’t want animals, humans, or vehicles inside. And sure enough, a fence works like a charm for that. 

A fence also offers the most long-lasting solution for garden safety. A well-made fence can last decades and keep the garden away from trespassers while it lasts. 

Privacy

Want to separate the garden from the lawn? Looking to make people know it is your garden? Don’t want anyone photographing your plants? Well, few things will help you more than a well-made garden fence.

It can offer the privacy you need for any purpose. Whether it is keeping it away from unwanted eyes or just separate it from the rest of the garden – a fence can be an excellent addition either way. 

Organization

A tidy garden is more beautiful than a messy one, without a doubt. If you need to divide the concrete on your patio from the lawn – a garden fence makes it all possible.

Let’s say you want the flowers separate from the shrugs or you want to keep the lawn away from the small trees. But you want everything to look organized – then a garden fence can be your best bet. You can reorganize everything so it looks neat – preventing the usual messy appearance that gardens have. 

Decoration 

Last but not least, you can’t forget about decorative garden fences. You probably want some protection for your plants, a little privacy, and more organization. But what about improving the beauty of the garden?

That’s something you can achieve with a garden fence. You can achieve any style you want with the right posts and colors, combining with the plants or close building. A garden fence can quickly become an attractive garden decoration. 

Types of Garden Fence you Can Build

Having a fence can bring all the advantages above. But it also depends on the type you have. 

Here are a few fencing options you can pursue: 

Mesh Fence

build a garden fence

Probably the most common type of fence, and the easiest to make – it protects and organizes. For people on a low budget who don’t want to waste any time or effort building a fence, this one will come like a gem.

You just need a few wooden posts and mesh wire. Along with some hardware, you can build this one in almost any garden. That’s why we’re choosing this one for the guide.

Closeboard Fencing 

build a garden fence

Using vertical wooden boards overlapping each other and put together into a sturdy fence – then that’s a closeboard fence.

You won’t find a more robust, protective, or private type of fence. But just as it is effective at everything, it is also one of the most expensive and tricky to build.

If you have a large budget and don’t mind spending some time building the fence, this can be an excellent choice. 

Overlap Fencing

make your own garden fence

Instead of having the boards in a vertical position, you need to place them horizontally and overlap them together until they form a fence.

The level of privacy and protection you get is tremendous. And it is still decently resilient and protective, keeping your garden safe for long.

Sure enough, it is also affordable (much more than a closeboard fence), and you won’t have to waste weeks building it. If you want a wooden fence that’s cheap and easy to make – this idea will meet your demands. 

Picket Fencing 

make your own picket garden fence

The easiest to make behind a mesh fence, the picket fence is just a set of timber pickets put together with a small separation in between. To hold them together, two or three boards go horizontally across the fence length.

These offer excellent views of the garden while adding decent protection. You won’t receive the most private or more resistant fence, but it still works if you’re on a budget and want something well-made. 

Trellis 

easy way to make garden fence

Also known as the decorative fence, it can also be protective and practical for your needs. It offers decent visibility, protects well enough, and sure enough – it looks superb.

Building one of these is more complicated than many others. So it is usually recommended to buy trellis panels instead of building them from scratch. 

Still, trellis has no competitor when it comes to looks. You can make even the ugliest garden into a cute one with this type of fence. 

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Build a Garden Fence

Now that you have a clearer idea of what items you need to gather for the job, it is time to start the building process. 

Remember, this guide is about building a sturdy and good-looking mesh fence. So, without much further ado – here are all the steps you need to follow: 

1. Measuring the Materials

First and foremost, make sure you gather the ideal materials before you start building a garden fence

You don’t want to fall short while building the fence. And you don’t want to get something that eventually doesn’t fit in your garden either. 

What’s the solution? Make all the calculations first. Here’s a better idea of what to do: 

For the Fence

diy garden fence

For the fence, you need to imagine or design how it’s going to work in your garden. It should meet the size, the height, and the length that fits. Also, you need to consider which type of fence you want accordingly. 

  • Calculate how long you want the garden to be. Then look for mesh wire that’s at least 5 feet longer than that. A longer roll of mesh wire will come in handy in case you fall short later. 
  • Some mesh wires for gardens come in panels going from 2 to 10 feet. This can be an excellent choice that could make the building easier. In that case, divide the length of the fence with the length of the panels (e.g., 50-feet fence by 10-feet panels = 5 panels in total)
  • Consider the height of the fence you want. If you want a tall fence, then go for a tall mesh fence. But if you want something small, then choose accordingly.
  • Mesh wire for fences also comes in different materials and thicknesses. Consider those that meet your demands in sturdiness and ease of use. (e.g., a thick mesh wire will last longer, but it will be harder to use).

The fence is the most crucial part of building a garden fence. If you don’t measure and think well before starting to build it, the project may not go as expected. So be extra careful with this one. 

For the Posts

diy garden fence

The posts are what keep the fence together. You can have the thickest and most reliable mesh wire, but without pillars, it won’t stand on the ground. 

At the same time, you need to consider the style of posts you want (something rustic or something stylish, etc.), the size of the fence you want, and how sturdy you want them to be. Below, you’ll find a few helpful tips to follow.

  • Posts can be wooden, metal, or concrete posts. Every type has its advantages and disadvantages. But of course, the stronger the material, the more durable the fence will be, but the harder it will be to take away when needed. 
  • If you want to build a pretty sturdy and reliable fence, then metal and concrete are ideal. But if you want something more versatile and practical, then wood can be an excellent choice. Similarly, concrete is hard to build, while wooden and metal are more straightforward and less pricey. 
  • We recommend placing a post every 2 to 6 feet. So try measuring the length of the fence and choosing the number of posts according to this separate. (e.g., 30-feet fence by 6-feet separation = 5 posts you’ll need).
  • The posts should be taller than the fence because they’re going into the ground. This is the only way you can ensure the posts will hold the fence sturdily and prevent them from falling. We recommend at least a foot more than the fence height (this extra length will go underground).
  • Last but not least, choose the right style of fence posts. Standard wooden or metal posts are versatile enough to meet any building/house decoration.

As you can see, the posts are not easy to pick either – so be careful when choosing. And lastly, remember to get at least one additional post just in case. That will prevent you from falling short. 

2. Gathering the Supplies 

method to make your own garden fence

Following the previous step, you can start gathering the items you’ll need for the job. Here are the materials, supplies, and tools you’ll need:

  • Fence posts (size and number depending on your needs)
  • Mesh wire (panels or rolls)
  • Zip ties
  • Fencing staples 
  • Ground stakes 
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Wire-cutting pliers
  • Concrete
  • A level
  • Shovel / Spade / Post-hole Borer (for digging)
  • Paint for the posts (Optional)

In case you don’t want to waste any time figuring out what you need, then you can always get a complete garden fence kit instead. It comes with everything you need to arm the fence, and it offers a specific size and length. 

3. Dig the Post Holes

making your own garden fence

Once you’ve measured everything and gathered all the supplies – then it’s time to start digging the holes for the posts.

These holes will work as the base for the posts, so they stand sturdily and can hold the fence all across its length without falling or shaking. 

Before you start, however, follow these tips:

  • Measure the entire fence you want to make. Then measure the separation you wish to have between posts (2 to 6 feet) and mark the floor accordingly. 
  • The holes should be precisely marked so they follow a straight line depending on the shape. If they’re not well-located, then the fence will look unlevelled.
  • You’re going to dig about thrice as wide as the posts. Remember, you’re also adding concrete inside, so the holes need to be wide enough (e.g., a 1-inch post needs a 3-inch hole). 
  • Remember that posts need to go at least 1 foot underground (so the holes need to be that deep). 

Once you have these things figured out, then you can start digging. After digging, pour the concrete in. 

4. Pour the Concrete

With the holes ready for the poles, then you need to pour the concrete inside. This won’t be easy, so we have a few tips for you to consider:

  • Sure, prepare the concrete only once you’ve dug the holes and have the posts ready. Use a bucket or concrete mixer to pour. 
  • Before pouring the concrete, you need to place the post inside the hole. It should be as straight as possible, so you don’t get an inclined post that makes the fence look weird.
  • Start pouring the concrete inside until it covers the hole completely. The cement should be above ground level for the post to stay sturdily enough.
  • Remember to work quickly. Concrete tends to dry up very fast, so you’ll want to pour it all on the post holes in 10 to 20 minutes max. If the fence is very long, then you can always make more concrete later instead of mixing all at once for the whole job. 
  • Once you’ve poured the concrete, use a level to be sure the posts are straight. Move them as needed without taking the concrete out of the hole. Do this within the first 10 minutes after pouring the cement. 

After pouring the concrete on each post, you will need to leave them to cure not less than an hour (follow the package instructions). 

Still, we recommend coming back the next day, so the concrete is wholly cured before you start attaching the mesh wire. 

5. Paint the Posts (Optional)

making your own garden fence

Let’s say you want a decorative garden fence in your yard. In that case, why leave the wooden posts unpainted?

Grab your favorite paint color, make sure it matches with your house/building and get the job done.

It doesn’t have to be color only, though. You can also stain or add a polyurethane coat as well. Anything that protects the wood can also be an excellent idea. 

Because you haven’t mounted the mesh wire yet and the concrete is already dried – you can paint with total freedom.

Just be sure to pick an exterior paint for woods. You won’t like to pick something that eventually brittles away after a rain or sun exposure.

After painting, leave it to dry for about 3 to 10 hours (read the paint instructions), then you can start installing the fence. 

6. Install the Fen

The fence won’t be easy to install. But now that you have the posts ready, there’s no other step to take. Here’s how you can make this happen:

  • Start by placing the mesh wire on the outside of the posts. That means the opposite part of the garden you want to cover. This way, the posts can keep the wire grabbed sturdily, so no animal can detach the fence by pushing it. 
  • If you’re using wire panels or sections instead of rolled wire, then be sure to place with their center attached to the posts using the zip ties. And then attach their ends with the other panels/wire sections using zip ties again.
  • While placing the panels and/or mesh wire roll, be sure to straighten it as much as possible. A straight fence looks better but also protects more. So straighten it up before you start securing it. 
  • The fence should be no more than a few inches away from the ground. If you can make it touch the ground a little, then that will secure the fence even better. 
  • Once you’ve attached most of the panels or wire to the posts, then you can secure them using fencing staples. These staples attach the wire sturdily to the posts, so you can be sure they won’t detach easily. 

By now, the fence should look almost finished – you just need to attach the bottom of the fence to the floor. 

7. Attach the Bottom

diy garden fence

The DIY garden fence is now secured to the posts. But the bottom of the wire mesh is flying around. It doesn’t attach well to the bottom, so any animal or person may easily lift the wire and trespass into the garden. Luckily, attaching the bottom doesn’t take too much effort or time. 

  • For this, you need ground stakes. These metal things will help you attach the wire to the ground firmly. You just need to place the rounded hook-like part on top of the last wire of the fence and hammer it down to the ground. 
  • We recommend hammering the fence at least every 1 foot. If you have a 2-feet separation between posts, then it should be in the middle. If you have a 6-feet separation, then you should use at least 5 ground stakes to attach the wire mesh to the ground. 

Once you finish attaching the mesh to the soil, then you’re finished. You’ve successfully built the garden fence. 

Bottom Line

So, did you learn something today? We’re pretty sure you did.

Learning how to build a garden fence is not a piece of cake. But with our advice and recommendations, it should take you more than a day or two to get the job done.

You could easily build the most protective and good-looking fence at home. And you won’t waste that much time or effort with this article.

What are you waiting for then? Build your DIY garden fence now – you won’t regret it!

Brice The Botanist
 

Growing up in Ventura, California famous for it's rich gardens. Brice has spent most of his life trying to help make the world greener. Studying Botany at CSRA, he's made it a lifelong passion to greenify every home.

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