Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

6 Tips for Simple Installation of a Vinyl Fence

Installing your own vinyl fence gives you complete control over the finished structure. Though a DIY job requires preparation and precision, you’ll build fence like a pro if you follow these six simple strategies.

1. Grab Your Gear

assorted-tools-wood-background

Once you’ve decided that vinyl is the perfect fencing solution for your yard, gather all the tools and materials you’ll need to build your fence. In addition to the vinyl panels and posts, you’ll also need these items:

  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Auger or posthole digger
  • Circular saw
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Clamps
  • Concrete and gravel

Read the manufacturer’s instructions for any other specialty tools or materials needed to finish the fence installation. Bring everything to the center of the work site so it’s accessible.

2. Groom the Ground

Clear the area in which you plan to install the vinyl fence. Dig up and move or dispose of any plants, including weeds and shrubs. Contact your local utility company or call 811 to ask about gas lines, water pipes, or other infrastructure that might run underneath the area. They can send someone to your home to mark those lines so you don’t disrupt them.

3. Measure and Mark

Never try to eyeball fence measurements. Instead, measure the entire perimeter of the fence and mark the locations of the postholes. Use colorful flags or tall stakes so you can see them easily. The width of vinyl fence panels varies from one product to another, so use the manufacturer’s specifications to mark the postholes accurately. Start with the corner posts to make estimations easier.

4. Dig and Drop

man-preparing-to-build-fence-digging-post-hole

A power auger makes quick work of postholes, but a posthole digger or hand auger might suit you better if you lack experience with power tools. Either way, dig three-foot-deep postholes eight to 10 inches in diameter. Drop a post into each one, then measure to ensure each is level with the others.

5. Set Up and Secure

Set out the vinyl panels between the posts. Secure the posts with concrete and/or gravel so they can stand up to heavy winds, blinding rains, and other environmental conditions. Some manufacturers recommend a certain type of concrete or a concrete and gravel mixture, so read the instructions carefully.

Use a level after each setting so you don’t get off track. An uneven fence not only looks sloppy, but it also complicates the installation process.

6. Finalize the Fence

Now you’re ready to install the panels. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the panels to the posts and to each other. Use the hardware that came with your panels or the ones the manufacturer recommends. Otherwise, you risk voiding the warranty or encountering other problems.

white-country-style-garden-fence

Complete the job with finials, toppers, or other decorations provided with your kit. If you use adhesives for any part of the fence, such as the toppers, secure them with clamps until they dry.

Building your own vinyl fence shouldn’t take longer than one weekend. Invite a few friends over to help with the job, play your favorite tunes while you work, and order a pizza to celebrate a job well done.

What type of outdoor DIY projects have you completed before?

Browse our selection of quality Fences here. Find the right fit for your yard.

(9) Comments

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Kristina,

      Thank you for getting in touch! The overall cost will differ depending on the type of product you use and what the installation costs would be. I would suggest getting in touch with a local builder to help cost out your specific project. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  1. I, always trying to get jobs as fast as possible, would probably mess up some kind of measurement. I would probably try to eyeball it. So it is some good advice that I probably should put more into the measuring. I also wouldn’t have thought about the warranty and how using the right stuff for it would affect it. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. That’s true that guesstimating the measurements can cause quite a few problems. It works a lot better if you have exact measurements for things. It will make installing the new fence a lot easier in the long run. We will have to see about getting one of those tools to help us dig the post holes.

  3. I hadn’t considered grooming the ground before beginning this process, but I’m glad that you suggested it! This would definitely make this installation run a lot smoother and enable you to keep everything tidy. I have been nervous to begin this project, because I didn’t know really what to expect. Thanks to your helpful article, I feel confident that I can do this fairly quickly and without complications!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Natalie,

      Thank you for the feedback! We’re glad we could help make your project a bit easier. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if anything else comes up or you have any questions!

  4. Thank you so much for addressing the different types of tools that are needed for installing a vinyl fence! It is especially an easy read because you laid out the six steps so concisely. What would you consider the most important step in the process? Or what might be the easiest step to make a critical mistake on?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you very much for the feedback! The third and fourth set would probably be the most important and easiest to make a mistake on. Measuring and making sure the posts are level can be a bit tricky. I always use the “measure twice, cut once” philosophy from carpentry when installing anything! In this case, measure twice before digging any holes or putting up the panels. Calling your city or local utility company in step two is also extremely important to be sure you are completely safe. Hopefully this helped! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.