Looking for the easiest fence to install yourself? All homesteaders will need a privacy or garden fence at some point. Your options are hiring the local fence-building guys or doing it yourself. Unfortunately, perimeter fences aren’t cheap. And the local fence-building guys are out of your budget, so all you have left is the DIY option.
But – which is the most straightforward fence to install yourself? Well – in this DIY fencing guide, we’re about to showcase the cheapest fence-building options. We’ll also reveal the best tips for erecting a fence around your yard without help. And without breaking the bank.
Then let’s continue!
- Fastest and Easiest Fence to Install Yourself
- Why Homesteaders Should Build Their Fence
- General Steps to Easily Install a Fence
- What Is the Cheapest and Easiest Fencing Material to Install Yourself
- Conclusion About the Easiest Fence to Install Yourself for Your Budget?
Fastest and Easiest Fence to Install Yourself
Many pre-assembled fencing options make erecting a fence surprisingly easy. However, the following fence styles are our favorite fast and easy fence options to install yourself.
Easy Fences to Install Yourself
- Wooden fences
- Post and rail fences
- Stockade fences
- Vinyl fences
- Metal Fences
- Wire fences
- Natural hedges
One of our editors built a small post and rail fence around their backyard over ten years ago that still stands today. It only cost a few hundred dollars.
(The secret was using solid wooden fence posts, burying the fence posts at least 12 to 16 inches deep, and securing the fence posts with cement. The fence is so secure – it has withstood climbing black bears and many frigid winters without budging.)
But – make no mistake! Even though building a fence is easy and cheap – it still requires plenty of elbow grease. However, if you heed the following instructions in this guide, you’ll hopefully have an easier time installing your fence.
Before we begin, let’s quickly discuss the advantages of building a fence in the first place.
Why Homesteaders Should Build Their Fence
As a rough generalization, there are a couple of reasons why most homesteaders will want their new fence. And they are for the following.
- Keeping animals separate
- Protecting livestock like chickens, goats, cows, et cetera.
- Keeping the kids in the yard
- And for dividing areas
There are more, but most of us will fit into the list above.
We’re going to assume that since you’re researching this topic, you’re looking for a fence that won’t require too much effort. So let’s break down the easiest backyard or boundary fences to install yourself and the general steps you’ll need to take to get yourself there.
General Steps to Easily Install a Fence
With any DIY fencing project, first, you want to draw up a budget and double-check prices. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy the fence off the shelf, saving you time (which is also money). If your budget allows, there are many premade fences on Amazon. While this might seem like a lazy option, if you are a homesteader with capital, lightening your workload is always worth it.
But if you are broke, and all the money has evaporated due to inflation, fuel, or food, then you’ll have to build the fence yourself.
Secondly, get to know the language of fencing. The uprights are called fence posts. Fence posts get connected by various materials, such as boards, wires, rails, or netting.
Before you build a fence, there’s one thing you can’t skip.
We’re talking about your fence boundary. Or the fenced plot.
If you get this wrong – nothing else will work!
Here’s what we mean.
Let’s Have a Look at the Plot Where You’re Installing This Fence
It’s always in your best interest to measure the perimeter twice. You can do this with a chalk string, laser measuring tape, or exceptionally long measuring tape. The scale of the fence will determine your method.
If there is a slope around the area you’re planning on erecting a fence, you’ll need to plan accordingly, which means terraforming the ground, so it is as level as possible.
The next step is to familiarize yourself with the local legalities for yard fencing. Ordinances in your state can vary depending on the materials used.
We’d also highly recommend talking with your neighbor if you erect a fence on the property line. It’s neighborly and polite. And it prevents your neighbors from frantically Googling whether or not you’re legally allowed to erect a fence without their permission! (It’s an awkward conversation to have after the fact. It’s always best to ask first.)
If you are fortunate to live on a property far from your neighbors, or if you’re on stellar terms with your neighbor, then you can probably skip this step.
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Consider Why You’re Erecting the Fence
The materials you use are going to matter. We often get caught up in Pinterest posts about excellent pallet fences and living walls. But if you’re looking to secure your property, then a fancy living hedge will not work.
Another factor to consider is the environment. If you’re going to install a fence in Florida, you’re going to need to consider humidity.
And don’t forget about moisture. It’s a famous fence killer! You should treat your wood and fencing to ensure the elements don’t ruin them.
You’ll need to consider the icy weather – especially if you live in Minnesota or other cold US states. Do you deal with frigid winters? If so, steel is generally your best bet, but you’ll have to treat it correctly to stop it from rusting.
Weather elements also affect how deep you’ll need to dig the anchor points.
Also, consider your fence posts. They’re one of the most underrated (and crucial) fencing components if you want your fence to last.
Installing the Posts Yourself
When erecting any fence, assemble it on the ground before digging post holes or installing posts. Doing so helps you plan the fence’s perimeter and the post-hole locations.
Start by laying the fence out on the ground along the perimeter. Your homestead fence will need regularly spaced posts that get sunk into the ground. And the length of the panels will determine where to sink these holes.
If you’re wondering the following questions:
- What is the easiest way to put up a privacy fence?
- What’s the best pet fence?
- What’s the best child-proof pool fence?
You can probably get away with a no-dig fence, but be warned! Without proper dug-in posts, your yard fence can always get pushed over. One windstorm can wreak havoc upon your homestead fence. But if you’re looking for a quick, simple solution? Then no-dig yard or garden fences can suffice.
If you’ve decided to go with fence posts, there is a process to follow. When sinking the foundation for the pole, you will want to ensure that the hole is at least three times as wide as the post. Be careful if you live in an area with freezing winters. The constant freezing and thawing can push the poles up. So – build your fence posts deep! And – consider securing the fence posts with cement.
The depth of the holes should be at least half the height of the fence. While you can dig the hole with a spade, you can also use a specific tool like a post-hole digger or an auger.
You want to ensure your fence poles can’t uproot themselves when the pressure gets applied.
The building aggregate you will use for the foundation will most likely be a fast-setting concrete mix, like Quickrete. Quickrete sets within twenty to forty minutes and is perfect for setting posts.
You might also have seen the rapid-setting pole foam on Instagram (or any social media feed). These rapid-setting pole foams are new to the market and, according to Super Skin System’s website, will be set within one to two minutes.
While we love innovation, we’d recommend Quickrete as the solid and reliable option.
But if you want to try something new and exciting, get foam products and give us feedback about how it works! (We love hearing about your experience working on outdoor projects – especially DIY yard fences.)
In both situations, you will need to support the fence post. Keep a level on hand to ensure it is not lopsided.
Now that you’ve set the posts where they belong, it’s time to install the paneling.
Installing Fence Panels
When installing the panels, you must ensure you’re coupling them with fasteners, screws, nails, and weather-resistant ties.
If you install chainlink fencing, you will want to tie it to the post with galvanized wire. With wooden fences, you can use stainless steel screws. These hardware options don’t weather fast at all. And sometimes, they can outlast the fence posts and panels.
And as we mentioned before, weather conditions will require unique sealants. Always check if the building material is pre-sealed.
If you bury the fence, treat the bottom with a plastic or rubber coating. If not, at least offer a gap between the ground and the fence’s base.
If the fence is flush with the ground, this will only encourage the deterioration of the paneling. Rot and insects can creep into the wood when homestead fences meet the ground.
And like that, you will have a working fence. But as you may have noticed, the steps for installing a fence can vary widely depending on your materials.
(Snow, ice, water, and winter will also annihilate your fence unless you protect the bottom sections or give it a few inches of clearance off the ground.)
What Is the Cheapest and Easiest Fencing Material to Install Yourself
Buying premade fences from Amazon is the simplest method for easy fence installation. By far!
Usually, these kits are easy to assemble and require a peg in the ground. These fence pegs will be available in most materials.
And in regards to a fence that’s for privacy, it’s probably best for you to buy it from a shop. Privacy fences are usually larger and taller than other fences. For that reason – they might be trickier to erect than other, smaller fence designs.
The time and effort that goes into building a fence yourself are significant, and that’s before you factor in the cost of the materials.
But – how much time and effort do you need to build a fence? Exactly? It depends! Let us break down how easy it is to install a homestead fence by the materials you can use.
Home Depot says the average cost per panel for pressure-treated Redwood is between $95 and $139.
This can, again, vary widely in cost depending on the type of wood you’re using. But if you plan on upcycling pallet wood, you won’t need to worry about wood costs.
Split rail fences are a timeless classic for those looking to keep livestock in their areas. While you can purchase these ready-made, many homesteaders will make them from scratch.
Creating a split rail fence will be difficult for novice fence builders because you need to know how to cut mortise and tenon joins. But a split rail fence is practical for homesteaders because it can get modified to keep in large or small animals.
Bamboo fences also fall under this section and, in our opinion, are sustainable. You can even grow your supply.
Pallet wood is created from cheap pine and needs to get disassembled. You also need to remove the nails. You then sand the panels and re-join them to create a fencing panel.
While cost-effective, it’s not easy. On a personal note from the writer, taking apart a pallet, treating it, and joining it back together can take three to four hours. And often, you will lose some planks due to breakages.
If ease of installation and pricing matters, using semi-disassembled pallets is the simplest method.
Remove the lower level of the pallet, or bottom deck boards, with stringer and lead boards.
Use the top deck boards and fasten them to anchored posts. Make sure to treat them with a varnish or deck sealant.
Metal and Wire Fences
Chain link might be frowned upon as an option that provides little to no privacy, but it is cheaper than wood.
According to the Home Depot quote above, six feet of chain link will cost between $85.00 and $139.00. If you are in a remote area, have crops, or garden on the outskirts of the property, you can grow creepers to help enhance privacy.
If you consider growing raspberry vines, you’re adding an excellent security barrier. If the chain link fence bothers you, you can erect bamboo fencing in front.
If you want more privacy, you can build a corrugated metal fence. Be warned this will hike up the budget quickly, but corrugated metal is easy to attach to posts. And if you want to give the space a chic-looking industrial feel, this could be for you.
Chicken wire is also not the best-looking material aesthetically, but it is cheap and, as the name suggests, perfect for keeping fowls inside.
Generally, installing wire fences is much easier than installing wooden fences. As long as your poles are in position, you can roll out the wire, attach it, and then you’re done.
A barbed wire fence is also easy to install, but wear gloves and long sleeved jacket, as you’re bound to get a cut every so often.
Recently, I installed razor wire to the top of my chain link fence on a boundary. Thick leather gloves and a jacket were lifesavers! While this isn’t very attractive, we’ve decided to use it as a trellis for our climbing veggies.
But what if you have a massive budget? Well, you can always install a wrought iron fence. But this is not an easy DIY option or budget-friendly.
Vinyl fences are, without question, the most straightforward fence for homesteaders, gardeners, or ranchers.
Vinyl panels get molded to the exact shape and size of a fence. The fence panels fit neatly into position over the anchoring poles. Home Depot, Tractor Supply, or Amazon have a million and one different options, and many look professional. While plastics get a bad rap these days, they work for fences.
If treated, installed well, and maintained correctly, vinyl (and some plastic) fences will last for eons. If you are environmentally conscience, this isn’t plastic’s highest selling point, but if your garden fence is standing in place for the lifetime of the farm, then it’s a real bonus. An installed vinyl or PVC fence is estimated, on average, according to HomeAdvisor, to cost anywhere from $2,270 to $5,711.
But if you don’t like the idea of a non-biodegradable fence, you can go in the opposite direction.
You can always grow your fence. Creating a living barrier will take time and dedication, but it’s worth it. Wildlife can live in it, and you can cultivate your produce and construct privacy all at once.
If time isn’t on your side, and you want a natural-looking fence, you can always build a wattle fence. These are old-school privacy fences made by weaving flexible branches from willow trees. Willow tree fences will be 100% natural and require no hardware or tools. You can have a beautiful garden fence by leveraging tension and weaving.
Be sure to harvest young branches somewhere between being green and developing into rigid tree branches. Too green, and they will be too flexible and collapse. And if they get too dry? The tree branches will snap.
It’s a delicate balance. But once achieved will give a timeless look and feel. You can also grow a full privacy hedge from native shrubs and bushes. But be warned that a native living hedge can take decades to mature and manicure.
Living hedges, while one of our favorite options, is not the fastest (or easiest) fence to do yourself, and not many gardening experts tout living hedges as quick or easy. (They require time, planning, love, and ongoing care!)
Options That Aren’t Fences
While crawling over the internet, many sites will suggest that dry rock walls, or brick walls, are a fence – they are not.
What you’re building is a wall. So, that’ll need a whole new article. So, what are the conclusions?
Conclusion About the Easiest Fence to Install Yourself for Your Budget?
Installing a vinyl fence yourself is the easiest. It is molded in a factory and will require little expertise to install – but it costs a small fortune. Not to mention it’s overkill if you’re looking at keeping chickens in their tractor or chicken run.
Wood fences are cheaper if you source the correct wood. Pallet wood! But maintenance will need to be constant.
Metal fencing, or chain link, is surprisingly easy to install, decently priced, and available from most hardware stores. So – which fence wins? Chain links or metal fences are the cheapest and arguably the easiest to install, especially if you’re keeping the chickens in and using chicken wire. Vinyl is also perfect if you have the cash to spare, want something easy, and something that will last. Overall, either choice wins, depending on your needs and budget.
Not to forget, you can beautify your fence over time. So, if you’re looking for a natural fence buffer or a climbing plant habitat, either fence material is a great option.
What about you? Which fence idea is your favorite?
Or – maybe you know a fence option we have yet to consider?
We value your feedback in any event.
Thanks for reading.
Have a great day!
Wednesday 16th of November 2022
Just an FYI: vinyl fencing does look nice: However, it will mold, (and black moldy fencing doesn’t look good) it will shrink and allow the bars to sag or fall out. (usually when it is very cold, or snowing or heat allows the vinyl to contract and expand) So unless you are prepared to do a lot of maintenance, I would NOT opt for vinyl, especially if you have livestock. I have seen far too many vinyl fences looking pretty nasty due to no maintenance on them. I used to deliver mail in rural areas and saw many vinyl fences. Some looked good but most were looking pretty bad because they were not maintained.
Tuesday 22nd of November 2022
Great advice, thank you Carol!