Tips for Calculating Wood Fence Materials For A New Privacy Fence

It is said that a wise man calculates the cost before building. Read on for our tips on calculating wood fence materials to keep your privacy fence on...
Monday, 23 November 2020

It is said that a wise man calculates the cost before building. Read on for our tips on calculating wood fence materials to keep your privacy fence on budget.

Properly calculating wood fence materials required to build a new privacy fence in Colorado will help you stay within your budget and prevent back and forth trips to the fence company. If you have the time, a strong back, and some carpentry skills, it is possible to build your own fence. But, there’s nothing wrong with handing a job like this over to a reputable Colorado fence contractor that can save you plenty of time and frustration. 

So, how can you create an estimate for your new fence installation? Here are expert tips to help when you are calculating wood fence materials.:

Measure the Fence Length

The first thing you should do is find a good tape measure to get a sense of how much fencing materials you’re going to need. You can walk the perimeter of your proposed fence line with your tape measure. An alternative is to use an existing site map of your property or the Google Maps Distance Tool to measure it virtually. 

Measure the Fence Height

Next, decide how tall you want your fence. If it’s for privacy purposes, three feet is probably too short, but eight or ten feet might be overkill (and could violate Colorado Springs zoning requirements). Whatever height you choose will become a factor in calculating your wood fence materials. Also, remember to consider your HOA requirements.

Further Reading:  

Colorado Springs Fence Height Requirements

Denver Fence Height Requirements

Count Your Corners and Gates

How many openings and corners will your fence have? Remember that each opening will require adding additional posts to your materials order, one on each side of the opening(s). If you arere planning to order prefabricated gates, you will add those to your costs but can subtract the width of those gates from your total fence length. 

Draw Out Your Privacy Fence

Fences, gates, corners, and posts are easier to estimate and build when you have a visual representation of what you plan to create. Make a rough sketch of your yard. Don’t worry if it’s not a masterpiece or even to scale. The idea is to include the lengths of each fence section, plan where you will place any gates and openings, and determine how many posts you’re going to need. 

Note Any Hills and Slopes

Are there any hills or slopes on your property? If so, this is going to impact your materials order and complicate your project. Make note of these on your sketch, and consider speaking with a local fence company about your plans before you begin. 

Will Your Fence Be Attached or Free-Standing?

The number of posts required for your fence is something you’ll need to determine. Whether your fence will be attached to a building, like your home, or will be freestanding could impact how many posts you need. If you decide to attach your fence to a building, you will also need some specialized hardware to make it secure. 

Pick a Privacy Fence Style

Most people have a general idea of the type of privacy fence they’d like. Some options include cedar privacy fencing, shadowbox fences, stockade fences, and solid board fences. Keep in mind that each type of fence will have different materials requirements depending on your desired height and length. 

If you aren’t sure what you want, drive around your Colorado Springs or Denver neighborhood and take a look at what fences catch your eye. Take some photos (without looking creepy) and contact your local fence contractor. The fence company will be able to identify the fence styles for you and give you some suggestions. 

Understand Your Widths

Once you’ve chosen a fence style and know the size of your overall project, it’s time to estimate your fencing materials. You can start by selecting the size of your fencing planks and deciding if you will have gaps between the planks. For a privacy fence, you will likely opt for no gaps between the planks.

Do The Math

Calculating wood fence materials for your project should be simple enough with the information you’ve collected up to this point (height and lineal feet of fence, fencing style, and plank width). All you need to do is multiply to get your total requirements. 

For example, if your fence will be 100 lineal feet long and your boards are 4 inches wide without gaps, you’ll need three boards per foot = 300 boards. Also, consider the length of each plank in relation to your fence height. If the planks are 12 feet long and you want a 6-foot fence, you get 2 usable boards out of each plank. It’s also a good idea to add about 10% to your materials order to cover shortfalls. 

Add Up Your Posts And Rails

The prior calculation does not include your posts and rails. In this final step, you will add up the number of posts you will need for your fence. In some municipalities and HOAs, you might have to adhere to a minimum distance between posts. 

The final piece is your rails, which are the support between your posts for your fence planks. Most vertical privacy fences have 2-3 rails. If you have a 6-foot or taller fence, you’ll likely need three rails.

Get Help Calculating Wood Fence Materials

Not every homeowner wants to run through the exercise of measuring and calculating wood fence materials, not to mention hauling the materials home and building the fence. If you’re looking for quality fence companies in Colorado to lend a hand, look no further. Blicks Fencing is your ideal choice. 

A locally owned and operated fence repair and installation company, we serve customers throughout the Denver and Colorado Springs area. We look forward to providing you with an accurate fence repair estimate and earning your business. 

Read More About Privacy Fencing:

Need A Fence? 9 Reasons You Should Hire A Fence Company

Backyard Season Will Soon Be Here! Winter is a Great Time to Start Fence Design

Fence Design to Create an Outdoor Living Space in Colorado