Fence Installation Checklist

By HomeAdvisor

Updated August 29, 2017

Vinyl fence
Fences can enhance the safety, aesthetics and privacy of your home. So, it’s important to choose the material and design that will best suit your budget and needs. Here’s a checklist to help you build the perfect fence.

Choose your application: 

☐ Privacy: Cramped neighborhood? Busy nearby street? Choose a privacy fence to break up the line of sight from the surrounding houses and street traffic.

☐ Security: If you live in a busy area or have security issues, install a security fence.

☐ Pet containment: Define your backyard and keep your pets safe with a smaller containment fence.

Choose your material:

Aluminum: If you’re looking for a maintenance-free material, choose aluminum. Aluminum fences are sturdy, simple to repair and much stronger than other materials. But, aluminum can’t be stained or painted — and it sometimes suffers from scratches and dents as well. Perfect for: Security and pet containment fences.

PVC/Vinyl: PVC fences are strong, low-maintenance, and great in all kinds of weather. Plus, they don’t show scratches or dents. The downside to aluminum is that it can’t be painted or stained. If your fence requires additional strength (in the case of extreme weather), aluminum is a better choice. Perfect for: Privacy and containment fences.

Wood: Wooden fences are attractive, easily repaired and 100 percent natural — and they also come in custom configurations (not found in vinyl and aluminum fences). Perfect for: Privacy fences.

Choose a contractor or DIY:

Installing fence is an easy home upgrade. But, for some homeowners, the time constraints and physical demands of a DIY fence install can be too much. Here are the pros and cons of each:

DIY: If done correctly, a DIY install will save you money. But, tackling a job without a pro means you run the risk of mistakes — which always leads to additional costs. DIY jobs are perfect for smaller installs like containment fences. Consult a professional if you’re looking for larger security or privacy fencing.

Contractor: Hiring a professional will cost more than a DIY job. But, a trusted contractor will complete your job on time and in a quality manner. Hiring a pro is recommended if you’re installing a large privacy or security fence. Always interview at least three professionals before hiring your pro.

Need help finding a trusted professional? Visit HomeAdvisor to find the best in pre-screened, get-the-job-done-right (the first time) pros.


  1. Buddy, February 11:

    Can’t stress enough the value of choosing a qualified professional contractor. I have helped far too many DIY’ers fix the mistakes they made trying to put up a fence by themselves.

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