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Do It Yourself or Not: Build a rail fence

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

A rail and post fence is one of the easiest fences to build. Its horizontal rails fit into pre-cut holes in the fence posts, so they go together like pins in a slot. Originally, it was a fast way to keep livestock from straying into a nearby homestead; today, its natural good looks make it an attractive addition to just about anyone's home. That’s because it defines property lines without putting up barriers or obstructing a view. The height of the fence is determined by the height of the posts and whether there are two or three rails.

Before you consider building any type of fence, look at your property survey so you know exactly where your property begins and ends. A building permit is required in most areas, so check with your local building department to see if one is needed, and learn about any height restrictions or other requirements.

A fence contractor will charge $1,525, which includes labor and material, to build a 50-foot-long rail fence. You can buy the materials, including rails, posts and gravel to secure the posts, for $1,100. You’ll save 28% by building it yourself. Fence building is not for the faint of heart, so be prepared for a good workout.

You’ll find the materials sold at lumber yards and home and garden centers. For equipment and tools, you'll need a post hole digger, shovel, carpenter's level, tape measure, string and stakes.

Pro Cost: $1,525 — DIY Cost: $1,100
Pro time: 8.3 — DIY Time: 21.5
DIY Savings: $425 — Percent Saved: 28%

 

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To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

©2022 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

 

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