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The aluminum fence panel is a great thing, providing both beauty and security for your home and its surroundings. It’s not hard to install an aluminum fence, and it’s even easier if you follow a few simple steps to prepare for it.

Check With Local Authorities and Utilities

Communities often have local regulations, and these can differ. You may be limited in the type or height of fencing you can install, and sometimes you can’t put up a fence at all. Note that there are very specific requirements for fencing around swimming pools.

Depending on your community, you may have to erect your fence at an offset, such as a certain distance back from the property line. It’s a good idea in any case to know where the boundary lies. You can hire a surveyor to determine this.

Check with your homeowners’ association if you have one. Associations often issue regulations for fences. These may stipulate the materials you can use along with design elements and possibly colors. These rules can be quite specific.

If you will be digging, which you will have to do if you’re planning an in-ground fence installation, it is essential that you contact local utility companies, which commonly run electric and gas lines underground. You have probably seen signs posting phone numbers to call before you dig. Make the call, or check the company’s websites for contact information.

You will be digging post holes as deep as three feet. Striking utility wires or pipes can be a disaster, causing damage and holding up your fence installation. In addition, you don’t want your fence running on top of utility lines because if the utility company ever needs to dig, your fence will be the first thing to go. Remember that holes for gate posts will generally be deeper than those for fence panels because of the weight they will bear.

Choose the Right Grade of Fence

You can buy fencing in three grades: residential, commercial and industrial. A residential aluminum fence panel will make a fine fence for most homes. Commercial fence panels have larger pickets and horizontal rails, and they contain more metal. These are good for high-traffic and retail applications. Use industrial aluminum fence panels for maximum strength and security. You can’t beat them for schools, hospitals and other high-traffic situations requiring additional security.

Prepare the Area

Walk the lines where you plan to install your fence. You can stake the corners and string lines along the proposed fence route. This can tell you if something isn’t going to work very well or if the planned fence will have a cockeyed configuration. You will also see potential obstructions that you can move or plan around.

Take the time to measure out the fence run. Mark the places where you will install fence posts. You can mark these with a bit of paint, or you can drive stakes. Be sure you make your marks at the post centers. After you make your measurements, go back and do them again. You want to be absolutely certain they are correct.

Remember that your installation should start with the gate. Place your gate posts and work outward from there.