How to Build a Hog Wire Fence: Steps Outlined

If you're thinking of installing your own hog wire fence, but aren’t sure how, this guide explains the process step by step! Read on to learn more.
Renee Lewis
Renee Lewis
Last Update:
October 2, 2023

What began as a hog fence used on farms to keep small animals like pigs inside has become a trendy alternative to chain link fencing in urban settings. The simple design is easy to install and affordable compared to other types of fences like wood fences. Hog wire fences are being spotted more and more in town for purposes like enclosing a vegetable garden, as a trellis to let plants grow up, or as common front or back yard fences.

What is a Hog Wire Fence?

A hog wire fence is a great alternative to the classic chain link fence. It is similar to a chicken wire fence, and also originated from use on farms as a pen for small animals like . With a hog wire fence, the fence posts are wooden, instead of metal like chain link fences. A hog wire fence - also known as wild hog railing - has galvanized wire fencing in which the wires intersect forming rectangle or square shapes. The wire fencing is galvanized to protect it from corrosion. While it was first used in rural settings, hog wire fences are perfect for urban front or back yards of homeowners looking to set up a boundary to keep animals or small children inside without blocking the view! It is an affordable style of fence that is a good option for taking on as a DIY home improvement project as the process is easy compared to other types of fences.

What are the Dimensions of a Hog Wire Fence?

The hog wire panels that are used to build a hog wire fence come in many different sizes and shapes. That includes both the overall dimensions of the wire mesh as well as the size and shape of the intersecting galvanized gauge wire. Check out your local options at the tractor supply store, Lowe’s, Home Depot or other home improvement store. You can decide what size the fence panels are, as you will be the one choosing the treated lumber to create the borders for the hog wire fencing. An example of dimensions for a typical project to build a hog wire fence would be five feet by five feet panels. The fence posts would be 4” by 4” by 10"‘, to be cut into two fence posts. The top and bottom rails would be cut from 4” by 4” by 12’ pieces of treated lumber - cut to the correct lengths. The top rails are set on top of the fence posts, while the bottom rails will be cut to the width of the space between the two posts.

​​How to Build a Hog Wire Fence in 6 Steps

Building a hog wire fence is one of easier than you would think - and doesn’t require too many special tools or materials. It is a fairly simple fence design and is not complex as far as materials go and fence installation go. Hog wire fences are definitely the type of fence that would make a great diy project if you were so inclined. We will go through the process step by step to show you how easy this fence build could be. Additionally, there are other types of video tutorials you can find online if you are more of a visual learner!

Step 1: Plan and Measure

Step one is to prepare the area where you plan to build the fence. Before you begin your actual fence installation you must first plan and measure to make sure that everything is in order. First, determine your fence layout, or path, and mark boundaries - these could be between your property and your neighbor’s, for example. Next, you should measure and mark where your fence posts will be placed. You want the fence posts to be evenly spaced. Finally, call your local Call Before You Dig number to find out if there are any buried utility lines on your property and if there are, have someone come out to mark them so you do not dig in those spots.

Step 2: Set Corner and End Posts

Next, as with all fence projects, you will want to start with your corner and end posts. Dig holes for the corner and end posts using a post hole digger. You will want the hole to be between 14 and 18 inches deep in most places. Pour in a couple inches of gravel to help with drainage and to prolong the life of your fence post, then insert the posts and use a level to make sure they are plumb. When they are level and ready to be set, secure the posts with concrete. Now, measure and mark where your intermediate fence posts will go and repeat the process.

Step 3: Attach Horizontal Rails

Once you have all of your fence posts set in concrete, it is time to begin adding the horizontal rails. The top rail is a bit easier, you will be setting this on top of the fence posts. Use your 2” by 4” treated lumber for the top rail and cut to the length you need. Attach to the 4” by 4” fence posts using screws. If you have to join two 2” by 4”’s together on the top rail, measure and cut so that they will be joined on top of a post. Screw in the end of one to about halfway across the post, then after drilling a pilot hole, screw into the end of the next rail. For the bottom rails, these will be cut to fit the width of the space between posts and joined using screws. Be sure to drill angled pilot holes before setting these and use two deck screws on each side of the posts for the entire length of the fence.

Step 4: Install Hog Wire Panels

Now for the really simple part of the process - adding the hog wire panels. Unlike a chain link fence, there are no fancy come along tools or anything needed to really stretch the wire mesh out. To install your hog wire panels, simply unroll the hog wire mesh, ensure it is taut and aligned, and then fasten it to the posts as well as the top and bottom rails. For this process, you can either lay out the wire mesh continuously along the fence posts and rails or cut a piece to match the size of each section between posts. Staple the hog wire panels to the posts and rails when you are happy with how they are aligned.

Step 5: Gate Installation (Optional)

Sometimes you need a gate in your hog wire fence to get in and out easily. For this process, you will need to set your gate posts specially and prepare for attaching the gate hardware by drilling holes for screws and other attachments. Once the posts are ready, hang the gate securely and attach using gate hardware. Most times, you can buy a fence gate and all of the associated hardware in a fence gate kit.

Step 6: Final Checks and Maintenance

Once you have your fence posts, top rails and bottom rails, wire mesh and gate - if you choose - in place, it is time to inspect everything and make any necessary adjustments. You will want to look for things like stability. Are all of the posts solidly set? Are the rails attached securely? Is the wire mesh pulled straight and taut? Now is the time to adjust those things if you need to and not wait for bad weather to damage your fence. This is also the time to think about whether you would like to add any protective coatings to help the wire mesh or lumber last longer.

5 Hog Wire Fence Ideas

This surprisingly simple but aesthetically pleasing fence comes in more than just one style. There are styles that hearken back to the agricultural past of the hog wire fence and there are more modern takes on this type of fence. Some use different patterns of wire mesh, some use the classic outline shape of the hog wire fence with other materials besides intersecting wire strands. Check out the ideas below to find the one that matches your project goals the best!

Modern Hog Wire Fence

The classic hog wire fence, similar to the chicken or box wire fence, consists of boxes made of wooden posts and top and bottom rails. To modernize this look, a modern hog wire fence uses metal posts and rails and privacy panels instead of galvanized wire strands. This achieves a modern look for your new fence as well as adding some privacy.

Wooden Hog Wire Fence

If you like the look of a wood fence but also want the affordability and view of a chain link fence, you can put both ideas together! Instead of the traditional square or rectangle shapes in the classic hog wire fence, you will use chain link mesh for this fence with the diamond patterns. And in addition to the wooden fence posts, and top and bottom rails, this fence adds a third wooden rail halfway between the top and bottom rails.

Rustic Hog Wire Fence

A rustic hog wire fence looks like the type of fence that has been used on farms for decades. It is a simple fence made using wood for the posts and rails and a galvanized wire mesh for the fence material. The squares or rectangle shapes that the intersecting wires make can be adjusted depending on what you think looks best or best fits your needs.

White Hog Wire Fence

Imagine combining the classic look of the white picket fence with the rural hog wire fence look. This is what a white hog wire fence can be. Use wood for the posts and top and bottom rails but paint them white ahead of time. Now, add the wire mesh. The wire mesh for this project will be coated in white vinyl, or PVC, to match the posts and rails. This fence has a clean and traditional look!

Black Hog Wire Fence

With a black hog wire fence, the posts and top and bottom rails will be made from black, vinyl coated metal. They will be installed in the same shape as the classic hog wire fence. In between your metal posts and rails, instead of galvanized metal wire strands you will use black vinyl coated wire strands. This not only prevents corrosion but gives the fence a modern, urban look as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions? Read our FAQ below to find out more!

How do you attach a hog wire to a T post?

If you have decided to use a T post for your hog wire fence instead of the classic wooden post or other square type of metal post, we will tell you how to attach your hog wire to it. Start at the top, and wrap a wire clip around the back of the T post. Place the ends of the clip around the wire on either side of your fence post and then squeeze the ends of the wire clip using pliers to secure it tightly. Use 4 to 5 wire clips spaced evenly down the T post.

How long does it take to install a hog wire fence?

The entire process of installing a hog wire fence can be completed in one or two days. One of the biggest factors in time for the average sized fence is whether or not you will be using concrete to set the posts. If you are, the concrete will have to dry and set before you move on to the next steps. If you are not using concrete, and just filling in the holes with a little gravel and then dirt, you could certainly finish the process in one day if properly motivated!

What is the height of a hog wire fence?

The height of a hog wire fence depends on your preference. But you can typically buy the hog wire panels in heights of 3 to 8 feet and the panels usually come in 16 foot lengths. A hog wire fence is typically built to be shorter than a wood fence, so seeing a full height hog wire fence is not common. But it is possible. For example, if you used a middle rail then you could conceivably double the height of the fence.

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