Checking the local building codes for the fence
To do this kind of estimation, it involves many variables. There are many materials like vinyl, metal, chain link, copper pipe and wood with a lot of sizes and styles that can make the estimation of the number of posts, gates, panels or boards to be quite hard.
- Check the entire area where the fence will be placed including permanent structure, sidewalks, trees and planting beds.
- Measurements are required for the fence, the gate, the distances between the structures, sidewalks and plantings. All of them should be marked on the previous sketch.
- Using a graph paper, you will create a site map with all the information gathered by using a pre-established scale for all the lines and locations. For example, if the estimation for the fencing materials is 12-foot by 20-foot rectangular fence and the graph paper has around 20 blocks horizontally and vertically, then a good scale would be 1 foot for each block.
- The number of posts will be determined by dividing the fence length by 4 feet, 6 feet or 8 feet depending on the width of the panel. If the result has a remainder, you can distribute this equally among all the bays or just between the first and the last one. You need to also include two support posts for the gate and a post with a 45 degree angle.
- The number of panels will be determined by dividing the fence length to the width of the panels. The total will have to be multiplied by the number of rails or wires. If, for example, the fence has a length of 64 feet and the panels are 4-foot wide then you will need 16 panels in the end, without gates or posts.
- The posts will need post caps, hinges and post spikes.
- The local building codes will need to be checked before starting to work at the fence.