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How to Measure Your Yard for a Vinyl Fence

Calculate Vinyl Fence MaterialsVinyl fencing is becoming an increasingly popular choice in the Pacific Northwest, in part because doesn’t require much maintenance and in part because it’s easier to install than many other fence materials. Salem is quickly becoming a hub for vinyl fence production, and many Northwest homeowners appreciate the ease with which vinyl fence panels can be assembled.

One of the most important elements of a do-it-yourself vinyl fence project is the measuring stage. If you goof up on your measurements, you will end up with a flawed or uneven fence. Correcting such mistakes later involves digging up sections of your fence and requires more time and more work. However, you can avoid such situations by taking accurate measurements and making careful calculations before ordering your fence materials. Salem homeowners should keep the following tips in mind when measuring a yard for vinyl fencing.

Plan Ahead

Before you even begin measuring, there are a number of preliminary steps you should take to avoid running into major problems during your vinyl fence installation. These include:

Confirming your property line. In order to get accurate measurements, you need to know exactly where your property line is. Decide whether you want to build your fence right on the property line or a couple of feet inside (so you’ll have full control over both sides of your vinyl fence).

Locating underground utilities. Underground utility lines will affect where your fence posts can be placed. It’s better to find them now and plan around them.

Researching local zoning codes and restrictions. Some cities and neighborhoods have restrictions on fencing that may govern its placement, height and other measurements – particularly for front yard fences. If you get it wrong, you could find yourself tearing your vinyl fencing down and rebuilding it.

Checking for obstructions along the perimeter of your building area. Trees, slopes, dips and large rocks can all impact the placement of your fence, which in turn will affect your measurements. It’s best to account for these from the beginning.

Chart your Course

Now it’s time to begin measuring. The best way to accurately measure the perimeter of your fence is to place a stake in your yard for each corner, and measure between them. Add up the measurements for the total length of fencing you’ll need. Don’t forget to think about where you’ll place your gates, and measure accordingly.

Once you’ve got the general outline of your fence laid down, commit your plans to paper. This will help you visualize how much fence you’ll need to order. Draw an outline of your yard, and mark where each fence post will go. Most vinyl fencing comes in eight-foot panels, so include a post for every eight feet of fencing. Take note of how many posts you need, including how many are located on corners and how many will be “end posts,” or posts that connect to only one panel of fencing. These are usually located anywhere the fence ends, such as next to your house.

To find out how many vinyl fence panels you’ll need, take the total length of fencing and divide by eight. Alternatively, you can use an online fence materials calculator to figure out what materials to order. A simple calculator will allow you to plug in the total fence length and find out exactly how many panels, posts and other supplies your fence will require.

When ordering vinyl fence materials, Salem homeowners should keep the diagram and measurements handy in case any questions arise during the ordering process. If possible, ask your local fence supplier to go over your plans with you to ensure you’ve correctly counted the materials you’ll need and have covered all of your bases.

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