Fence Repair 101

October 28, 2021

If your fence is looking a bit worse for the wear, you’re probably considering your options.

In many instances, it may be advisable to complete a full replacement. However, if a repair is the best option for your property then there are some basics you should consider before hiring a fence contractor for the work.

To better understand the process, check out this fence repair information. 

Why Repair Your Fence?

There are multiple reasons why you may prefer to repair your existing fence instead of investing in a full replacement. Repairs are less expensive (at least in the short-term) than a full replacement, which helps those with on a tighter budget. While many contractors have a project minimum for repairs, it is usually lower than the required project minimum for full replacements.

Additionally, there may only be some elements of your fence that need replacement while the rest of the fence remains in good shape. It’s a good idea to address the fence elements are are compromised, as they can pose safety threats, prevent you from keeping animals in (or out) of your yard, and generally create an eyesore around your home. 

If your fence is a good candidate for a repair, it’s highly recommended that you use a licensed contractor

It’s important to note that fence repairs typically do not carry a warranty, whereas newly constructed fences installed by reputable contractors will have some length of warranty.

Types of Fence Repairs

The general offerings for repairs will usually fall into one of three categories: full repairs, mixed repairs/replacements or labor only repairs.

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Full Repairs

A full repair can address different problems with your damaged fence.

For example, adding support posts (also called sister posts) right next to the existing post and then attaching them together. This fix is ideal when fences are sagging but the post and rails are still attached to the rest of the fence and in relatively good condition.

Support post added to an existing post

If there is a compromised picket, a picket replacement might be needed. If there is a very specific part of a fence line, one which has been damaged, blown down by the wind, etc. then a panel replacement might need to be completed.  

Mixed Repairs

As the name suggests, a mixed repair involves replacing only a partial area of your fence. This option makes sense if there is one specific section of your fence that has incurred damage, while the rest of the fence still looks good. As this picture illustrates, however, mixed repairs/replacements can create a mis-matched look for your fence. This is because the color of wood changes and fades over time, so it will look quite different than a newly installed section of fence. Additionally, sometimes the contractor will not be able to source the exact matching picket width, which can lead to a non uniform look unless you replace the entire panel.

Mis-matched fence colors that can occur with partial replacements

Labor Only Repairs

If you have the materials you want used, sometimes it’s possible to hire a contractor and pay only for the labor involved with repairing your fence. However, this option may not end up saving you very much money, as many times established contractors can source materials at a lower cost than an individual purchaser. 

When Fence Repair Isn’t Feasible

As previously mentioned, if there are large sections of your fence that are structurally compromised or extremely old, repair work won’t be the best route. There are additional factors that can also rule out the possibility for a repair. These include extensive termite damage, widespread rotting, or damage to a base element like the kickboard or retaining wall. 

When in doubt about what’s best for your fence, you can always reach out to a fence contractor who can help answer your specific questions.

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