How To Install a Garden Fence Using Fence Panels

By following these steps you'll learn how to build a beautiful garden fence using fence panels. Read on to prepare for your garden fence installation!
Jimmy Soldatos
Jimmy Soldatos
Last Update:
January 9, 2023

Interested in installing a garden fence on your own? Using completed panels will make the job easier and give the final result a uniform appearance. By following these steps you'll know how to build a new fence for your garden. Note that it'll be difficult to do this alone, and this is a job best done with at least one other person.

Tools You'll Need 


Preparation and Safety

Before starting the installation, you'll want to plan and measure accordingly. Be sure to clear the area you'll be installing your fence and call your local utility department to survey and mark underground wires and lines. Measure and mark the layout of the fence using string and batter boards (temporary wooden frames to mark corners). Determine where you'll be digging your post holes and mark with stakes. The positioning of your posts will typically be based on the length of your panels.


Installing Posts

Once you've determined where to position your fence posts, you'll use the post hole digger to dig the hole for each post. The holes should be three times the width of your post and the recommended depth is one third to one half of the above ground post's height. Put the post in the hole, making sure it stays straight and upright, and add concrete to secure it. Don't fill the concrete all the way to the top of the hole, leave a few inches of space. By sloping the concrete away from the post, you'll help with water runoff. This is important if you want your fence to last. Do the same for the rest of your posts. It's best to leave the concrete to set for at least a day to allow the posts to be secure before installing the panels.


Installing the Panels

After the posts are secure, it's time to install the panels. Raise the panel and fit it to the post and fasten it to the post with nails using either a hammer or nail gun. Use the level to make sure each panel is even before fastening them. A second person to help hold up the panels or a stand are useful in this situation. Repeat this for each panel until you're complete.


Final Steps

Some fence panels may need to be stained or finished. It's recommended to wait 1-2 months after installation before staining your fence when dealing with untreated lumber. If your fence uses pressure treated materials, you should wait 3-4 months before staining it. If the panels you bought were pre-finished, you'll be all set after installation.


Common Questions

What's the best time of the year to install a fence?

This mostly depends on where you live. It'll be hard to install a new fence if the ground is frozen in the winter, or during a muddy spring. For that reason, summer and early autumn are some of the most popular times to install fences. However, it is possible to install a fence during any season, especially if you live in a more moderate climate.


What about permits and regulations?

A building permit isn't necessary if your fence is under 7 feet high, according to the California Building Code, Chapter 1, Section 105.2.  

Though, it's always a good idea to look into your local regulations before building anything on your property.


You can read more about fence types and materials in our blog post here.

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