3 Things You Can Do When Your DIY Fence Begins To Bow And Sway

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Summers Are More Fun with a Backyard Deck

When I was growing up, my family home had a backyard deck. I didn't realize how much I loved it until I later moved into my own home that didn't have one. We used to have family over for outdoor gatherings and cook out on it. It was covered, so if it rained, it never ruined the party! As a teenager, one of my favorite ways to relax was to go outside onto the deck and listen to the rain fall on its roof. The sound was so soothing. After enduring one summer in my new home with no deck, I was determined to have one installed quickly. I found a local contractor who got the job done quickly and accurately, and my house now feels like a "home!" I decided to start a blog to share what I learned during the deck construction process along with some other tips!

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3 Things You Can Do When Your DIY Fence Begins To Bow And Sway

15 May 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


It is probable that you have seen other people's handiwork when it comes to fences. Some are perfectly upright and uniform, while others have begun to bow, sway and curve. If you also installed your own fence and find that it suddenly is creating awkward visual movement, there are some things you can do to fix the problem and make your fence look more like the perfect ones you see surrounding other neighbors' yards.

Check Your Fence's Supports

When homeowners opt to install their own fences, they often purchase the wrong kinds of support or not enough support materials for the fence's planks. If you take a look at prefabricated fencing sections, regardless of their construction material (wood, vinyl), you will see that a basic framework was created first and then the fence planks were attached to that. Most homeowners assume that because they attach a single plank perpendicularly to the middle of each section of fence, the fence will stay erect. That only works when you live where there is no wind to blow the fence down, which is a rare environment indeed.

Do Not Rely on Dirt Alone

Another misconception by homeowners about fence installation is that the deeper they place the post holes and poles, the less they need to rely on cement to keep the poles erect. Even if you insert a twelve-foot fence pole into a six-foot-deep post hole, the rain and shifting of the soft earth will still cause the fence to tilt and bow. It just makes better sense to dig a less deep post hole and use quick drying concrete to set the fence pole permanently erect and in place.

Pretreated Lumber and Untreated Lumber

Another common mistake that DIY homeowners make is using untreated lumber to create their fences. Untreated lumber is quite a bit cheaper, but it needs to be coated with a waterproof sealant if it is going to be outside all the time. If you bought the cheaper lumber but forgot to use a sealant once you installed the fence, your bowing, bending and swaying problems could be the result of either wood warp or wood chewing insects. You will have to replace all of the affected fence planks and treat everything with a waterproof outdoor sealant.

Consult with Fencing Contractors

Sometimes it is just better to admit defeat than to try and fix the problem and potentially make it worse. If your self-installed fence looks as though it desperately needs professional help, you can ask several fencing contractors to take a look and assess the situation for you. Then you can find and hire a fencing contractor who is willing to help you fix the problems with your fence rather than pull it all out and start over, which would be significantly more expensive.