A wooden post and rail fence is an attractive boundary to your property. Although they have large gaps between the rails and posts they can be made secure by adding weldmesh as we did in this one in Summerveld. Wooden Post and Rail fences are traditionally associated with horse farms as in their normal state they successfully keep horses in without having to build a completely closed off boundary fence.
With a few fencing techniques they are relatively easy to install in that one simply needs to dig a hole, place a post, add a rail and then place the next post. Of course you need to be careful that the top of each post is in a flat and straight line until you get to a point where the ground starts falling faster, at which point you would start a new line. So one would start with the first post and then dig a hole for the last post. Both posts can be set permanently. We use decomposed granite and cement mix so that the post is stable, without the need for concrete. This will prevent the posts from falling, or being knocked skew, over time. The decomposed granite is cheap in comparison to Umgeni sand and works just as well. The mix is a relatively weak mix (1 bag to 4 barrows), just enough to stabilise the decomposed granite without wasting cement.
From your first post dig all your other holes in a straight line. It is not absolutely important to get the holes the right distance apart. Rather set them 50mm or so shorter than they have to be to accept the rail as you can always cut 50mm off the rail to make it fit, but you can’t add a piece on to the rail. If you’re unsure dig shorter lines of posts so as not to find that half your holes need to be re-dug. Marking all the holes at the same time and digging them will save you time, and if you are using a breaker to get through rock, as we did on this job, then
you can get finished with the breaker on day one rather than incur a hire charge for second day or more.
Then you simply place the rail in the pre cored hole in the first post and set your second post. It is better to use a nail, at 45° to secure this rail to the post so that it doesn’t move.
You will see from the pics in this article that every so often the top of the fence changes line to remain parallel to the ground. Don’t change it too often as this will give the top of the fence an uneven appearance, but change it where necessary to remain more or less parallel to the ground.
If the ground is fairly steep you can battle to get your rail in the post as the pre-cored holes are cored at 90° to the post. So you may need to trim the end of the post to get it to fit properly.
There are various types of posts that you can buy. Ends are the posts that have only one hole cored in them. Intermediaries are those that have two holes cored at opposite ends. There are also 90° bends and 135° bends that can be used for either a 45° corner or a 135° corner.
The posts come in various lengths so you can install a 900mm high fence, a 1.2m, 1.5m and so on. You can opt for a single rail, double rail or triple rail. Obviously you won’ get a 900mm high fence with three rails but they are available for the higher fences.
There are two different types of post and rail fence. Some of the poles are grown
and manufactured in KZN. Others are grown and manufactured in The Cape. The Cape Timber is better as it is less prone to splitting, but, at the time of writing, there were not many companies bringing them up from The Cape due to volumes and cost. Be careful not to mix them though as the cored holes are often drilled in different places and the diameter sometimes varies.
Once you posts and rails are up you can install weldmesh on it to keep the dogs, or the kids, in or the neighbours’ dogs out.
Gates can be built from the post and rails and hinged using heavy-duty galvanised gate hinges. On this job we had some hoops fabricated from steel to latch the gate which added a nice finishing touch to the job.
For a free no obligation quote on your post and rail fence, other wooden fences, sun decks or flooring needs, please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.