Installing composite fencing is presented as quick, simple and easier than other materials, but just how easy is it to install? Composite fencing systems come in two types of installation. The installation process will very much depend upon the existing post you have in your home. In most cases, minimal to no tools are required to complete installation and can be done by yourself with little or no experience required.
Most homeowners tend to have concrete posts in their homes, and for this, you will require our concrete post system. This consists of two U shape channels, one aluminium bottom rail, one aluminium top rail, two post caps and ten composite fence panels.
Gardens with timber posts that are looking to upgrade or replace their current fencing system will need to use our aluminium post system. This system consists of one aluminium post, one aluminium bottom rail, one aluminium top rail and ten composite fence panels.
Let’s take a look at a step-by-step guide on how to install the different composite fencing systems and see how easy this really is. Do you need a fitter, or can you complete the project yourself?
What You Need to Build Your Composite Fencing
To build your composite fencing, you must ensure you have all the tools and materials required. Homeowners can purchase composite fencing systems from a supplier.
Tools you may require that aren’t in the system are:
- A shovel or spade
- Skip or Bin
- Hammer drill or drill
- Circular saw, or hand saw
- Poles or lose timber with a clamp to hold any posts in place
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
- Correct fixing and bolts
- Pegs and String line, if required
The digger will come in handy when you want to dig the holes you are fixing the posts of your fence in. You will use the shovel to clear the area of dirt, soil and tree roots. The wheelbarrow will assist you in moving dirt away from where you want to install the fence. You will need a tape measure to enable you to know the length and width of where and how you want to place and position your new fencing. Also, it is imperative to ensure your existing posts are in good condition, or else you will need to replace the posts too.
Since you might have to cut your composite fencing panels, you will need a saw for the task. Aside from that, it would help if you had pegs and rope to help you measure and mark the place you will install the fence. You can use screws or clips to install your wood-plastic fencing material, so you should get them ready.
How do I build a Composite fence using an aluminium post system?
Step One – Map Out the Spot
Mapping out the spot means measuring the length and width of your garden. For a better result, it is best you draw a rough sketch of where you plan to fit your fence on paper first.
Also, it is significant to know the topography of the garden space. The topography is important because it lets you know if there are slopes or high grounds in your garden. This will be necessary for ensuring water drains away from your house and if your fence will be installed on them.
When you have mapped the spot, you can clear it and make sure it is ready for the next step. This means that you should use pegs and ropes to measure a straight line. Also, corners should be noted.
Step Two – Dig Holes for Posts.
Before you commence digging the holes, you must confirm that water pipes or any other underground structural facility are not below the fence. To check this, you can reach out to a drainage expert, local council, or local water and gas authority or even double-check with a metal detector over the area in which you plan to dig. It’s also good to double-check you have a permit to build a fence. This will stop any possible future issues which could appear.
Also, ensure or remove any plants or fixed objects that will create an obstruction or issue during or after installation. This could include small trees and roots.
Once all is checked, you are set and can start to dig. It’s advisable to dig a hole that is three times the width of your fence post. The whole depth should be at least 500mm.
Posts can also be fitted using a steel base onto concrete. For this option, you will need tools to complete, and it takes around 30 mins and 2 people. The tools required are:
- A drill bit, e.g., a masonry drill bit
- A drill e.g. hammer drill
- Concrete fixing bolts
- A spirit level
Place the steel base onto the concrete and mark the holes with a pencil or drill. Once marked using a hammer drill and masonry drill bits, pre-drill the 4 marks in line with the steel base. Once the holes are pre-drilled, place the steel base over the holes and use the concrete fixing bolt to fix it into position. Once completed, slide the aluminium post over the top, and you’re ready to slide your composite fence panels into place.
Step Three – Set Post in the Holes
After digging the holes, you should set the posts in the centre of the holes. You should determine the height of the fence at this stage. If the height of your fence is 6ft, which is the average used here in the UK, ensure that your post is at least 1.83m in height after being stuck into the ground. Using our 2.4m post, which will be sunken in the ground, the height will be 1.9m, which can then be cut to whatever desired height you require.
Note that the height of a fence varies according to your need. If you require a simple partition, you can build a small fence. But if it is the complete privacy that you need, you can build a high fence to the standard of 1.83m or above. Simply cut to your project size at this stage.
You will need to repeat this process for connections to the next post and ensure you have measured the correct width apart, which average in the UK is 1.8m or 6ft.
Step Four – Level and Set
When you are sure that the posts to your projects are the correct size. Please check with a spirit level to ensure they are straight, and then simply cover them with cement.
You should be certain that the posts are levelled and squared, so your fence doesn’t lean or bend. As you can’t hold them together for long periods using scrap timber or poles, clamp them into a fixed position. Then, you should wait for 24 hours so that the cement will dry.
Step Five – Fix the Bottom Rail
Once your posts are in a fixed and straight position, double-checking is never a bad piece of advice, so check over with a spirit level and then slide your bottom aluminium rail into place.
Step Six – Attach the Panels to the Posts
The next step is attaching the composite fencing panels to the post is the next step. This is very easy to do by sliding the fence panels down the channels already made in the aluminium post. The composite fence panels should connect together by tongue and groove so that they interlock.
Then, you can repeat the process for all the panels and posts. When you are done, your fence is ready. You should tidy the surroundings and remove any leftover material to retain the appearance of your exterior space.
Installation Of Composite Fencing with Posts
Step One – Preparation
Using our existing concrete post system, you will need to measure the length and width of your fence to ensure that all the sizes are correct and cut if necessary. Once this is checked and confirmed, you can then start to remove the old panels if you already haven’t.
Step Two – Connection of the U shape Channels
The U shape channels, after correct measuring, should simply slide into the groove of the concrete posts. These can be fixed at 500m intervals, ensuring not to cross over with the following holes on the other side. Please ensure you use a hammer drill and masonry drill bit. Pre-drill concrete post ready for the rare plug and screws.
Alternatively, you can slide the U shape channel in place without fixing it if you wish, but this could create an issue over time. Therefore, keep an eye on any movement during the years of use.
Step Three – Sliding bottom rail, Panels and top rail
Once both U shape channels are in position, simply slide the bottom rail making any cuts to size if required. This will then be followed by your composite fence panels, which are connected by tongue and groove and interlocked into place. Repeat this process 10 times until all composite fence panels are in place. Finish off with your top aluminium rail and post caps.
Now repeat for all posts ensuring you mark where holes are on the other side of your drill to screw your U shape in place.
Installing or building a composite fence is easy and can be done with just two people. The material is lightweight, and its easy tongue and groove connection enable the composite fence panels to simply slide into place. The existing fence system is extremely simple and easy to install and has to be our favourite for long-term performance versus upfront cost. Get yourself a sample of the composite fencing panels and start the process of creating your modern, low-maintenance garden.