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Fencing 101

Q. I know I need a fence, but I’m not sure how to even begin, let alone determine costs and select products. Is there a “Fencing 101” or “Fencing for Dummies” tutorial that can help? 

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There are some important fence planning questions you should ask yourself before you begin, and some tools and resources that will help you determine things like fencing perimeter, project cost, and opportunities that might exist for cost-sharing assistance. And because you want to build a fence that will last, fence installation, fence usage and applications, and protective coating considerations are important too. Let’s check out a few key points.

Fence Project Design

Fence project design starts with a plan. Because Bekaert fencing products offer a long life expectancy, a well-designed plan incorporating your ideas for long-term use, future changes, and ideal operation of your fencing system provide you with the greatest return on your fencing investment. Helpful planning tools include aerial maps of your property, which can be obtained from the US Soil Conservation Service, the US Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, your local agricultural Extension service, or private aerial survey firms.

Using the maps, divide the land into assignments for pasturing, hay and other crop production, wildlife areas, and other uses. This will help you determine your current fencing needs, and anticipate any future needs as your operation grows and changes.

Fencing Costs

Fencing costs are always a key consideration for operators, particularly when they form a boundary between neighboring properties. Cost-sharing assistance for boundary fencing may be available through government entities, including the US Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, or your county’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Office.

Project Estimating

Estimating your fencing material and costs from the mapping design is a matter of computing the number of linear feet needed for your project. Using an onsite measuring wheel or string, measure your planned fence line in feet. Total the lengths of each section, then subtract the spaces needed for gate openings to estimate your total linear feet and determine your project cost.

Animal Applications

Application design questions to consider include: 
  • Is my goal containment or exclusion?
  • If my goal is containment, what type of livestock (cattle, bison, horses, sheep, goats, etc) am I fencing for, by weight and protection needs?
  • How many head per pasture am I anticipating?
  • How rough is the terrain?
  • Will there be an issue with rocks or other tough ground conditions?
  • Is electricity accessible?
  •  Is water accessible?
  • Where will my interior fences need to be?
The type of fence you select will depend on your answers to the questions above. To learn more about animal applications and exclusion, the types of fence appropriate for each, and to compare fence types for various kinds of animals, visit our animal fencing section.

Fence Coating

Fence coatings can protect your fencing investment and extend the life of your fence through enhanced durability. Learn more about our fence coatings and compare our industry-leading limited coating guarantees to find the right level of protection for your project.

For more information on planning your fencing project, check out our top 4 fence buying tips, pick up a few basic fence installation tips, and learn about post spacing for fence installation.
 

4 Fence Tips

There are a lot of fencing products available. How do I know which one to buy for my needs?

Coatings

I’ve seen coating information during my fencing research about fence coatings. Do I need to get a coated fence, and what are the differences between the coatings?

Fence 101

I know I need a fence, but I’m not sure how to even begin, let alone determine costs and select products. Is there a “Fencing 101” or “Fencing for Dummies” tutorial that can help? 

Fence Knots

What are the differences between the types of knots on a fence, and which one is the right kind for my fencing project?

Fence Stapling

I’ve got wooden posts and need to staple my fencing wire to them. What’s the best way to do this so I don’t harm the fence?

Fence Tensioning

I’ve decided on a high tensile fixed knot fence for my project, and I know I need to tension it. What are the best practices for doing this safely and effectively?

Fence Tie Off

What is the best way to tie off my high tensile fencing at the braces?

High Tensile versus Low Carbon Wire

What’s the difference between “high tensile” and “low carbon” fence? Is one a better choice than the other for my fencing project?

Pipe Bracing

My fencing project is just getting started, and I’m using some pipes create an H-brace for my corners. What do I need to know about bracing with pipe?

Post Spacing

I’ve chosen my fencing and bracing, but what’s the right space to maintain between my posts to make sure my fence stays upright and tensioned?

Starting a Fence Project

I’m starting a fencing project. Do you have any pointers on how to install fencing?

Stripping a Knot

I’m ready to tie off my high tensile wire to the braces, but I’m out of loose wire. How do I strip knots off the wire ends so I have more loose wire to tie off?

Wood Posts for Bracing

I’ve got some thick wooden posts available, and I’d like to use them as corner posts for a fencing project I’m considering. Are wood posts a good choice for bracing a fence?