What are the Best Tips for Installing a Vinyl Fence?

T. L. Childree

Installing a vinyl fence can be a fairly easy project to undertake, but there are some tips that may help avoid common mistakes. Among the best tips include working in an area that is clean and free of debris to avoid damaging the panels. When installing a vinyl fence, it is also a good idea to use only stainless steel or galvanized hardware to prevent unsightly rust stains in the future. In addition, it is important to maintain the proper spacing between panels to allow room for expansion. Remember to install the panels one at a time, and keep all fence components straight and level.

Vinyl fences can be relatively easy to install and are intended to be mostly maintenance free.
Vinyl fences can be relatively easy to install and are intended to be mostly maintenance free.

Vinyl fence panels typically have an attractive factory finish that tend to last for many years. To keep this finish from being marred during installation, clear away any tree limbs, shrubbery, or other kinds of debris from the work area prior to installing a vinyl fence. Stains from rusting hardware can also affect the appearance of the fence, so only galvanized or stainless steel mounting hardware should be used with this type of project. Most varieties of rust-proof hardware will last for the lifetime of the fence.

Installing a vinyl fence requires precision measurements to prevent the panels from bowing or buckling at higher temperatures. If you install this type of fence during cool weather, leave sufficient expansion space between the panels. A specially designed fence post level should be used to make certain that the posts are straight and level before setting them in concrete. Use the smallest amount of water possible when mixing the concrete for the fence posts. It may also be necessary to use shims or braces to keep the posts level during the curing process.

Avoid rushing when you are installing a vinyl fence; work with one section at a time. Make sure that the mounting brackets and rails are correctly spaced before proceeding with the fence panels. Failing to ensure that each individual component of the fence is both straight and level could greatly affect the outcome of the project. If a panel is too wide to provide sufficient room for expansion, you may need to trim it slightly using a circular saw.

Vinyl fences are intended to be maintenance free. For this reason, you should avoid applying any type of paint to the fence. Any attempt at painting a vinyl fence is likely to result in a spotted, cracked, or peeling finish. Before installing a vinyl fence, carefully consider the choice of color. Using any type of cleaner containing chlorine on a vinyl fence may cause the color to fade dramatically.

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