Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fence Part Four: Installing Rails

After the fence posts were installed, we began installing the rails that would later hold the pickets. We purchased 300 2x4 fence brackets to hold up the 2x4 rails. The brackets were simple to install. We drew a line were the top of the rail would be located, taking into account the height of the picket and the header board. Then we lined up the top of the bracket to the bottom of the line on the back of the post and screwed it in with two screws.
The 2x4 rail fit snugly into the bracket. To determine the location of the bracket on post number two, one person placed a level on the 2x4 and held the rail level. Meanwhile, the second person marked the location of the bracket on post number two. We then screwed the bracket into post number two and set the top rail in the brackets of posts one and two. The rail then was secured with three screws on both brackets - left, right, and bottom.
Tada! One rail installed!  Many more to do.
To determine the locations of the remaining brackets, we measured and marked on posts one and two 36 inches and 72 inches from the top. Then repeated the process of installing the rail.
Because our property slopes approximately 3 feet over 100 feet, we decided to terrace the rails on the sloping side. This would allow us to accommodate the slope and keep a uniform look to the fence. For each successive rail, we raised the bracket approximately four inches.
Lesson Learned: What we later discovered was that due to the length of the 2x4 plus the spaces for the brackets, we would wind up with gaps in our header and fascia boards. To remedy this, we should have spaced our posts closer together by one inch. It would have meant that we would be cutting all of the rails, but would have eliminated the gaps in the front of the fence. The other option would have been to install the posts closer together and screw the rails directly onto the back of the 4x4 posts rather than use the brackets. It would give the fence a different look along the side facing the interior.

On the other side of the house we had to tie into the brick in order to install the rail. The Mister purchased a masonry drill bit and masonry screws to accomplish this task. First, we measured and marked the location of the bracket. With the bracket held in place, we marked the location of the screws.
The Mister predrilled the screw holes for the bracket. He used painters tape on the drill bit to indicate the depth of the screw and where he would need to stop.
Using the masonry screws, The Mister lined up the bottom of the bracket to the line drawn on the brick and aligned the screws with the predrilled holes. We installed the bracket on the post just as we had previously by placing a 2x4 in the bracket and a level on top of it. The Mister marked the location of bracket on the post and installed the bracket.
Repeat two more times and the brackets and rails are complete!

Up next:

     Installing the Pickets


     What Type of Fence should we select?
     Tree and Shrub Removal
     Determining Fence Placement
     Placing the Fence Posts

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