Build a Redwood Fence

Fences are built for many reasons: privacy, containment, security and aesthetics. Whether  fencing off an entire yard or just a section, a redwood fence can have a huge impact on the quality, value and appearance of the entire property. Building a fence is an investment and it’s worth it to get things right the first time around. To do that you’ll need to plan accordingly and research fence design ideas to find the best option for the property.

Steps Before Starting Redwood Fence Projects

Before you can begin building a redwood fence, there are a few steps to be taken to ensure that you will have a project completed successfully.

  • Know the neighborhood and zoning restrictions. All cities have ordinances for residential building. Likewise, some neighborhoods will have restrictions on how you can alter the exterior of your property. If the neighborhood has an HOA ask the architectural board about any rules in regards to building a fence. You also may need planning and/or building approval and permits from the city as well. Contact the entity in charge of zoning to find out what approval is needed before you begin any redwood fence projects.
  • Know where your property line lies. Many homeowners have found themselves in precarious situations because they didn’t check the property lines before building their fence. Use the survey for the home (usually received at the time the home was purchased) to determine the exact lines for your property. If the survey is questionable, or if it’s not available, you can hire a licensed surveyor to come out and determine the property lines. They will stake off the boundaries of the property making it easy to string lines for the fence between the points. One suggestion we strongly recommend is to build the fence a little bit inside the property line just to be safe and avoid encroachment on your neighbor’s property.
  • Discuss the fence with your neighbors. As a courtesy, the neighbors directly beside the property and behind the property should be informed of the plans to construct or replace an existing fence. After all they’ll have to look at it too, and depending on the situation it could affect their property as well. They may be willing to share the cost of the fence, and you can discuss whether the fence should straddle the property lines. You and your neighbors may also want to agree to build a “good neighbor” fence that is attractive from both sides.
  • Draw out a site plan. A site plan can bring your redwood fence projects from conceptual to visual. Starting with a plan or existing sketch of your property, you can begin experimenting with different fence line schemes. Take into account the property line, your home and any outbuildings, driveways, patios, etc. Once you have a rough sketch, walk your property with a 50’+ measuring tape and someone to hold the other end. Precision is important – take field measurements and note them on your sketch. Revise your site plan to accommodate for any issues you discover in your field measurement and remember to include the location of any needed gates in the plan.
  • Know what grade of wood you want to use. Wood grade affects everything from the look and feel to the durability of the materials. Those that choose to use Humboldt Redwood will be happy to know that virtually all redwood grades are suitable for outdoor use.

Tips for Building a Redwood Fence

Below is a list of tips for homeowners and contractors that have everything planned out and are ready to build. Want to jump right into the in-depth information and instructions on how to build a redwood fence? Get everything you need to know plus tons of fence design ideas by reading the Redwood Fences for All Reasons booklet.

  • Before beginning, decide whether you want to set all the posts in place then install the rails and boards, or if you want to do it in sections. Sectional building may work best if you’re using pre-fab fencing.
  • The first step in building your fence is to decide the exact course the fence will take, and mark the line with stakes and string.
  • Next determine where each post will go. Posts are generally spaced 6 to 8 feet apart, depending on the style of the fence. Measure and mark the center locations of all posts with chalk or paint.
  • Now it’s time for the hardest part of building a fence – digging the holes and setting the posts. Posthole diameter should be 3 times the width of the post. Post depth should be 1/3 the above ground height plus an additional 6 inches for the rock or gravel bed. Working carefully, set the posts, making sure each one is plumb and kept from moving with braces staked to the ground. Types of tools include: post-hole diggers, power augers, clamshell-style diggers and digging bars.
  • Next pour ready-mixed concrete into the holes. Allow the concrete to set for at least 2 days before attaching rails.
  • Once the posts are set, it’s time to start giving form to your fence by adding the rails. There are a number of different ways to join the rails to the posts including mitered, butted, notched, toe nailed or fastened with a block or metal brace.
  • Last but not least, you can begin attaching fence boards so that your fence takes on its final form. This step in the process is rather enjoyable because the hardest tasks are done, and you’re close to having a completed fence!

Now all that’s left is getting high-quality redwood fencing materials for a fence that will stand the test of time for many years to come. Find out Where to Buy Humboldt Redwood and how you can get a firsthand look at all the redwood grades for fence building.


contact US

Humboldt Redwood Company 125 Main Street
P.O. Box 565
Scotia, CA 95565

(707) 764-4472 – Main Number
(707) 764-4444 – Fax

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