‘How to install metal fence panels’ is a question that might encircle your mind many times. Many metal fences are available in aluminum, steel, and wrought iron. While few fences can match a traditional wrought iron fence for ornamentation or staying power, any metal fencing can easily outlast vinyl or wooden fences and enhance the landscape more than a chain-link fence.
Metal fencing comes in kits that include panels and posts as well as all the hardware and fasteners required to attach them are available for metal fencing.
You may not find the gate in the kit that you select. There are many options for gates, and many can be adapted. Installing a metal fence is much easier than installing one made of wood. The holes for fasteners are predrilled, so you don’t need to find them. It’s also easier than installing vinyl fencing.
How to Choose Your Metal Fence
Before knowing ‘how to install metal fence panels,’ you should know how to choose one. It pays to compare the different types of metal fences available. Each has its pros and cons, as well as its stability and cost. Wrought iron is the best choice for ornamental metal fencing, but it’s not easy to find. However, there are still foundries that make wrought-iron materials. Wrought-iron fencing can be difficult to find and costly. It is also notoriously hard to install and requires professional tradespeople.
Modern metal fencing can look like wrought iron, but it is usually steel. This material is much stronger and can be molded into modern shapes and Victorian-era embellishments. Steel fences are just as susceptible to rust as wrought iron ones. To make them more affordable and easier to maintain, they should be made of tubing with hollow cores. An ornamental metal fence is most vulnerable in the corners where pickets or posts meet the rails. If holes develop there, it can threaten its stability.
The most lightweight fences are made of tubular aluminum, which is about four times lighter than steel and virtually rust-proof. On average, an aluminum fence costs $10 to $14 per linear foot compared to $15 for hollow steel, $84 for solid steel, and a budget-breaking $125 for wrought iron. One more advantage of aluminum is its flexibility, which makes it more amenable to gently sloping ground than steel.
What is included in a metal fence kit?
The typical metal fence kit includes enough panels and posts to cover an area of a certain size. Before ordering, measure the area. Although you can buy additional panels and posts if needed, it is better to have all the necessary items on hand before going ahead. With some kits, you can create a hybrid fence using vinyl or wood panels. However, not all kits include rails and posts.
The typical metal fence kit has a corner, end, and line posts. If the area you want to enclose is not rectangular, you will need to order custom-ordered posts. The corner posts can be used to adjust the fence’s direction, while the end posts will go against buildings or other structures—line posts go between corners and ends. The kit should also include gate posts that are predrilled for gate hinges.
All the fasteners required to assemble metal fencing are included, along with all the nuts and bolts. They all come prefinished to match the fence. The concrete mix to set the posts is what you won’t find with a metal fence kit. It’s about 60 pounds per post. You won’t need anything else except string, stakes, and tools to install your metal fencing.
Three Things You Need to Know Before Starting
There are three things that every person should know. The fence must be on your property line. If you aren’t sure, you can hire a surveyor to mark it. If you don’t have a written agreement to share the fence with your neighbor, keeping it a few inches from your property line is best. This is especially important for rural properties bordering public land. You can’t guarantee that the land will remain open forever.
Before you dig, it is just as important to call 811 to have all utility lines on your property marked. You must place the posts 2 feet deep into the ground. This is enough depth to cut through underground electrical cables, water pipes, and telephone lines.
Check with the local building department or homeowners’ association to ensure you are aware of any ordinances that may prohibit you from erecting the fence you want. It’s a good idea to check with your local homeowners’ association or building department before you begin. This will save you time and headaches later.
Things Needed To Install Metal Fence Panel
- Spray paint
- Post hole digger or auger
- 4-foot level
- Screw bit
- Metal-boring drill bit (if necessary)
How to Install Metal Fence Panels?
Step 1: Mark the Positions
Mark the fence’s boundaries with paint and draw the ends and corners. Next, place the stakes on the ground and stretch the string between them.
Use a 100-foot measuring tape to mark the position of the line posts. Spray paint the spacing between the lines using the same width as the panel width.
You may find that a panel will not fit in certain places. This is okay because the panel can be cut, but the spacing between them should be the same as the panel width.
You should mark the positions of gate posts. This will allow hardware to be installed and the gate to swing freely. You will need to measure the hardware or check the specifications for the gate to determine how much extra space you should leave.
Step 2: Dig the Post Holes
Dig the holes using an auger or a post hole digger. The holes should be deep enough for each post to fit in. A standard fence of 4 feet has 6-foot posts buried 2 feet below the ground, while a fence of 6 feet has 9-foot posts buried 3ft deep. The depth of the holes should be at least three to four times that of the post.
Digging holes that are a few inches deeper is a good idea to make sure there is enough gravel underneath the posts. Mark a line at each post to indicate the ground level. This will ensure that the posts are properly positioned, and the right depth is reached.
Step 3: Place the corner, end, and gate posts
You can place new stakes at the corners slightly behind the holes, along the fence line, and then draw tight strings between them. Two stakes are needed for each corner: one for each direction and one each for the end and gate posts. These strings can be used to align the corners of the posts after they are placed.
Place 2 to 4 inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole. Next, insert the post. Make sure that the line you have drawn is at ground level. Mix concrete with water in a wheelbarrow until it is a stiff consistency. Then shovel the mixture into the hole while you level each post using a 4-foot spirit level. The concrete should be poured to 4 inches below the ground. Allow the concrete to be set for at least 24 hours.
Step 4: Install the fence panels and set the line posts
Instead of setting the line posts in concrete and installing the panels, which can lead to miscalculations and a disaster, you should set both the panel and line posts simultaneously.
Then, fill the holes with concrete after you have completed one side. Use the fasteners and a drill/screw bit provided to attach a panel to an end or corner post.
Next, drop a line post into the next hole to connect it to the panel’s other end. Continue to install panels and posts until you reach the end or corner. Next, insert a line post into the next hole and connect it to the other end of the panel.
Step 5: Make panels to fit in smaller spaces
Aluminum fence panels can be cut easily with a hacksaw. They are made to fit the rails into the slots in the posts. Simply cut the panel to your desired length and install it like the other panels. You may need to use a different method for certain fencing materials and designs. Before you begin the installation, make sure you read the instructions.
Step 6: Install your gate
If necessary, assemble the gate and attach the hinges to the posts by driving the screws into predrilled holes. You may need to drill pilot holes if the predrilled holes on the gate don’t match the holes for the hinges. To ensure the screws are securely inserted into the gate, use a bit that is slightly smaller than the screw diameter.
You may need extra support for a gate that is particularly large. It may also slide on a track and require additional hardware and electrical equipment. This procedure may be possible if you are working with aluminum fencing. However, if you are installing a steel fence or wrought iron fence, it might not be possible.