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Common DIY Fence Mistakes

Updated: May 23


Do you want to build your own fence for your Katy home? While most fences are a way of protecting the perimeter of your home and will increase your Fort Bend County property value if you were to make some of these common mistakes you may spend double the money of what it would have cost you hiring a reputable fence contract like Emerson Home Enhancements. We know these common mistakes because we often get called out after someone has failed to successfully build their fence and needs fence repairs this is why we have put together this list of things you will want to avoid if you choose to build your own fence.


Check Your HOA Restrictions Before Building A Fence

Those of us who reside in Katy or Cinco Ranch is a part of a community governed by a board of directors and must consider their requirements. Most HOA will restrict your fence according to the type of fencing material used, style, height, and color. The main purpose of your HOA is to protect the investment and enhance the value of the property owned by the residents who live there. In addition to checking with your Katy HOA regarding the restrictions of your fence you also want to check your property lines as building an improper fence can lead you to have to remove the fence and or face legal actions with stiff fines.

Measure Where You Want Your Fence Built


One of the things Emerson Home Enhancements does when we offer a free fence consultation is to measure the border of the area where you want your fence installed or built. If you're doing the fence yourself you want to measure the fence border several times to make sure its precise and save making multiple trips to the local hardware store such as Home Depot to get more supplies, this can not only be time prohibition but with lumber shortage, you want to make sure they have enough material in stock. When you are measuring you also want to factor in the post holes space and any custom cuts you may need to make if you're building a wooden fence.


Before Digging, Post Holes Call 811


Always dig safely and call 811 within 2 to 3 days of building a fence so they can come out to mark the utility lines, this is a free service offered to Katy homeowners. Once you place a call they will give you a ticket number ( do NOT lose it) and will email you when the utility lines are marked, make sure that you leave your gate unlocked or they will skip you and you will have to start the process all over again, It can be a real pain but will be nowhere near the headache you could incur if you were to hit a pipe or underground electrical or phone wire causing massive destruction, injury or fatality.


Not Securing Fence Cost Correctly


Many people including many fence companies in the Houston area make the terrible mistake of not securing the fence post correctly. You want to make sure the post is stable and can withstand heavy windstorms as well as ground shifting. We recommend digging your holes at least 2 feet deep and then anchoring the fence post in a full bag of concrete to anchor the post to hold the panels and rails into place and prevent your fence from sagging. When we built wood fences for our customers in Katy and across Fort Bend County we don’t skimp on the materials we use as this is another common mistake, while it can be tempting to build your fence cheaply it's not recommended to use a post that has not been pressure treated to resist rot and weathering.


Ignoring Slopes


While Katy is a rather flat city most yards still have a small slope to them and can impact your fence installation for years to come. Gaps at the bottom of your fence can take away from your curb appeal so if you have a gap we recommend using a kicker board along the bottom edge of the fence this will also help your fence from sitting directly on the ground and corroding sooner rather than in 15 to 20 years costing you money and time in fence repairs. If you leave the gap, then small pets or curious children can climb under the fence and escape the safety of your yard. Since Katy has many rabbits that will wreak havoc on your flowers or garden you will want to make sure they can’t get into the yard.


Plan Your Gate


Just the other day a customer in Katy called us because he had cut his gate and it was a real mess but because he had a gate where he couldn’t get in the lawnmower, he tried to cut the wood and it cost double what it would have if we had been there before the damages were done. Make sure if you’re building a gate that you choose the proper size and equate enough space for yard equipment or trailers plus you want to use light wood such as cedar because heavy wood such as pine can shorten the lifespan of your gate. You also want to make sure the grounds level and the gate sits up high enough off the ground that it can swing open. When choosing hardwood, make sure to get the best latches because what good is a gate if you can’t open and close it properly.

Use the Best Materials


There is a lot of different types of fence material from wood to compost, iron and ornamental fences, chain link, and vinyl fences. While it’s great to have options available to choose from it can be a bit overwhelming to know which fence material is right but before you go with the cheapest fence consider other things such as maintenance – if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on upkeep steer clear of wooden fences and consider a compost fence or a vinyl fence that’s virtually maintenance-free if you love the look of wood and the price tag then go with cedar and make sure that within 4 to 6 weeks of having a new fence built you weatherproof it with sealing the wood from moisture, heat, and humidity so that it last and does not turn grey. When you purchase fencing, the material makes sure you use a reliable source like Home Depot, check the wood, and if it's warped send it back right away. Never use leftover materials or scrap wood for a fence, you may save money upfront but the headache that’s just a year or so around the corner isn’t worth the trouble.


Contact Katy Best Fence Company


If you do decide to build your own fence and start to run into a snag or it's not as easy as you thought starting out, then contact Emerson Home Enhancements for a fast and free fence quote. We provide a variety of fences including wood, ranch-style fences, chain link fences, compost, or Trex fences just to name a few as well as gates. We serve customers in Katy, Sugar Land, Richmond, Fulshear, Brookshire, Houston, Cypress, and all of Fort Bend County. Our fences come with the longest fence warranty in the area so call us today at 281-545-7740 to schedule a convenient time to meet with you to discuss your fencing project - if you decide to build your fence keep these tips in mind and if you run into a snag don't hesitate to call we can help by offering free advice

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