The old carpenters’ saying goes “Measure twice and cut once.” This adage holds especially true when measuring for fencing. It is important to get the measurements right. Having a little extra fencing may not be a big deal. But not having enough fencing can be a big deal, especially if you have had to order your fencing, or are under a time constraint. Get your measurements right the first time!
The Fence Measuring Process
If you are replacing an old chain link fence, you can start by measuring that. It is recommended that you measure old fencing from the outside rather than the inside, whether it be a paneled fence, chain link fence, vinyl panels or any other type of fence. Don’t forget to measure posts as well, as they are a part of the fence, too. Gates require special attention.
If you are installing a new chain link fence, it is best to start by staking out where the fence will go. Place wooden stakes at each corner of the proposed boundary and run a mason’s line between them. Placing a new fence rather than replacing an old one will require a little more research. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, it may be best to check into what the rules are pertaining to fences, some are very specific. Municipal building codes may also factor in, so do your research. There may be specific instructions about what sort of fencing is permitted, how far from a side walk it may need to be placed and even how high it is. You should also consult with neighbors and property surveys to make sure you are not infringing on your neighbor’s property.
Terrain, too, will play into your new fence installation. Most people would prefer an even, level surface when measuring for chain link fence. A hilly terrain will certainly add a degree of difficulty not only to the measuring, but will also make installation much more difficult.
DIY Fence vs. Professional Installation
Of course, with so many things to consider when placing a fence, perhaps the first should be whether or not to DIY or to hire an expert fencing contractor locally. There are many advantages to having a local fence professional do the job for you, beyond time and financial savings. Because they are experienced, they will have a better idea of what the local codes and property owners associations require, and how to determine exactly where property lines lay. They are also more experienced at determining just how much material is needed. With professional installation, you are freed from the grunt work of installation. You also have the satisfaction of seeing that the job is done right.