Things You'll Need
4-by-4-inch posts, 8 feet long
Post hole digger
Nails, 2 1/2 times as long as the thickness of the panels
Check your local laws. Some localities require that you put the bad side of the fence facing inward, giving your neighbors a clean appearance.
If the fence is running on a slope, you must still level the posts and the fence so there will be a slight opening under the fence on the downhill side for each panel.
If your privacy fence backs on another fence or against the side of a building, it's best to leave several inches open at the bottom so you can clear out weeds.
Wood fence panels provide shade and create structure in the landscape. You can use the fencing to mark the end of your property. A wood fence can block your view of an unsightly area, such as an air conditioner or garbage cans, as well as provide privacy. Which wood your panels are made of will affect the cost as well as the appearance. Installation of 6-by-8 foot panels will be the same no matter what materials you've chosen.
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Run a string line between the two ends of the fence. It's easiest to use whole sections of fence, so plan accordingly. To run the string line, pound a stake into the ground at either end of the fencing. Tie the string around one, walk the string to the other stake and wrap it a few times around the second stake, making it tight before tying it off. The string line will be the guide for positioning the posts; if there is another fence behind the privacy fence, leave enough room to place the panels. The "good" side always faces away from the posts.
Measure each panel and place the posts so the fence panel will reach from one post to the other and will be in the center of the post. You will be hanging two panels per post except for the first and last posts.
Dig a hole with a post hole digger 10 inches wide and 2.5 feet deep.
Pour 6 inches of gravel into the post hole and tamp it down using the post.
Mix concrete in a wheelbarrow by adding water slowly to the concrete mix, mixing well before adding more water. Add water and mix until the concrete is completely wetted but thick and not runny.
Place the post in the hole and have a partner fill in around the post with concrete. Make sure the front face of the concrete is aligned with the string to check that the panel will be sitting flush and in line with the other panels.
Check that the post is vertical with the level. Nail a 2-by-4 to the side of the post and slanted down to the ground. Pound a stake in the ground next to where the 2-by-4 touches the ground and secure the 2-by-4 to the stake with a nail. Repeat on the other side so the post is secured.
Repeat these steps with each post. Allow the concrete to dry before proceeding.
Locate the panel so the horizontal braces are against the post and so the joints where the panels abut each other is centered on each post. Nail the panel into the post using at least three nails per panel per post.
Writing fanzine-based articles since 1985, Kasandra Rose writes and edits articles for political and health blogs and TrueBloodNet.com and has an extensive technical writing background. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in biology from Wayne State University.