First Things First: Planning for Aluminum Fence Installation
You can’t beat aluminum fences. They’re easy to install, versatile and simple to keep up. However, like anything else, you need to take the time to plan the project. A small investment of time will pay off in spades when your fencing arrives and you experience a smooth, painless installation.
Rules and Regulations
Fence installations are usually subject to regulations. Be sure to contact local authorities and your homeowners association if you have one in your community.
Your local government may have specific requirements for fencing. Some communities require that fences be installed at an offset, which means that you have to install aluminum fences some distance behind the property line. This necessarily requires you to determine the line, which is something you should know anyway. You certainly don’t want to risk pulling up part of your fence because you inadvertently installed it on your neighbor’s property. You can engage a surveyor to mark your property line.
Homeowners associations often have requirements for fencing, typically for aesthetic reasons. You may need to limit the height of your fence, use certain types of finials, or purchase the fence in a specified color, for example. It’s even possible that you won’t be allowed to put up a fence at all.
The rules can become quite specific for pool fences. This is for the safety of you, your family, and your guests – especially children. Pool fences are meant to keep small children out so they won’t accidentally drown.
Call Before You Dig
Unless you are surface-mounting a fence, such as for a deck, you will need to dig some holes for fence posts. You may dig down three feet into the ground for your post holes. Whenever you dig, you must check with utilities that may have underground gas or electric service beneath your property. Make a call to your local gas and electric companies and they will make sure you’re on solid ground, so to speak. You don’t want to make Miss Utility angry.
Preparing for Installation
Walk along your proposed fence route. You need to do this in any case in order to know what materials to order. It’s useful to get a string and some stakes to mark out the lines. Seeing it staked out can tell you whether your fence makes sense. You can see if something will interfere with a fence run, and you can also envision the fence in its intended surroundings. Does it look right in your mind? A look around can inform your decision on the fence’s color. You can select a color to contrast with or complement the surroundings or to better define a space.
You should also take measurements of your fence runs. Mark where you will dig post holes. You can use stakes for this, or put a dab of paint on each spot. Take your measurements twice. You want to order the right length of fence. Count out all the posts you’ll need. After you’ve determined the materials you will order, go back and think through it all again so you can be sure you’re ordering correctly.