Easy Do It Yourself Vinyl Fencing Instructions

With our help its easier than you think if your handy

Posted in Contractors and DIY

How to Install a Vinyl Fence

Vinyl fencing is a great way to add beauty, curb appeal, safety and resale value to your home. Vinyl fencing is virtually maintenance free and comes in a variety of styles and colors.

Are you fencing in a large area? Do you need vinyl privacy fence or semi-privacy fencing? --Maybe just simple vinyl picket fencing.  

Before taking on any do it yourself fencing project, take the time to educate yourself on the quality (as there are many) from economy to professional series. Choose the right quality vinyl fencing and style that will be right for your home and that works best with your home’s architecture? 

Once you’ve determined the style, color and post cap options you want on your vinyl fence,Its time to prepare for installation. The following simple fence installation guide will provide you with step-by-step fencing installation instructions, as well as some needed time saving tricks used by professional fence installers.

Before You Begin
Before starting any vinyl fence project,make sure you check with the local building inspectors office to see if a permit is needed check local codes concerning vinyl fence installation. You may be required to provide a setback from your property line to the fence line. In most instances, your fence should be placed 3-6"” inside the property line. 

VERY IMPORTANT. Make sure to call your local DIGSAFE (call 811) for utility locating services to mark telephone, cable television, gas lines and other utilities. This is critical. Also remember they will not mark lines going to sheds,pools,garages. These are considered personally owned lines.


1. Job Site Preparation
Job site preparation for vinyl fencing installation is minimal. Obviously, all large obstacles must be moved or fenced around. If the area to be fenced is on a slope, you must determine how the fencing will be contoured to the landscape. Your vinyl fencing can be angled or stepped up/down to accommodate the grade depending on personal taste.

2. Laying Out The Vinyl Fence Post 
Begin your layout by staking each corner of your fence perimeter. Concrete form stakes work best, but wooden stakes may also be used or rebar.

Once your fence perimeter is staked, tie masons string line between each stake and pull tight. Determine whether the string line represents the outside or inside edge of your posts. Don’t forget to stake out all gate openings.
With your corners staked and string line in place, you’re ready to measure and mark for each post hole. Vinyl fence Posts should be placed every 95.5" or 96" on centers. Measuring can be done with a large tape measure, spray a mark 2 1/2” from the string ling to accommodate the width of a 5” post to start off.

3. Digging the fence post
The fastest, easiest and by far, the most headache-free way to dig post holes is with a power auger. Augers can be rented by the hour from a tool rental supplier. Unless your project is very small you can use hand diggers on but anything more than 3 holes. Some kind of power auger is highly recommended.

Each post hole should be approximately 36” deep. For 5” posts, hole size should be 10” diameter and for 4” posts, hole size should be 8-9” diameter.

4. Proper Setting of Vinyl Fence Posts
Begin by placing a post in each hole. Set two 80# bags of Quikrete 5000 next to each hole. Each post will use 2 full 80# bags. We recommend the 5000 psi concrete. It is stronger with greater freeze and thaw durability for your fence post.

When all of your materials are in the yard and laid out, place all your fence post on the ground in a row and drive 3" coated deck screws (any kind) into the vinyl post only about halfway 1 on all 4 sides. this will bind the concrete to the vinyl and act like pins.

Now place your first post. Fill the hole around each post with concrete approximately almost 1” below grade. Ensure the mix is fairly stiff—enough to support the posts as you plum each one. When the hole is full, tamp the concrete mix with a thin piece of metal to eliminate air pockets.

At this point, you should leveling each post in 4 directions.

5. Installing The Vinyl Fence cross Rails
At this point, all posts should be plumb and level and have had ample time to set up.

Now you are ready to install the fence rails. This is where fencing varies greatly. There are many types of fencing systems…each with their own mounting and installation methods. Consult the manufacturer of your vinyl fence for specific installation instructions for your vinyl fence.

The most common rail installation method involves notching the end of each rail, then attaching a metal insert, which snaps into the notches. The insert serves to join neighboring rails within the post.
Begin with the bottom rail first. DO NOT INSTALL THE TOP RAIL AT THIS POINT.

6. Installing Tongue and Groove Fence Boards
Installation of fence pickets is fairly simple. Most vinyl fencing pickets are designed with a U-channel which allows each piece to fit securely within the next…similar to the tongue and groove system used in hardwood flooring.

Your fencing system will most likely include a separate U-channel piece. This piece is designed to be mounted to each post as an anchor for your picket slats.

Begin by installing the stand-alone U-channel, then insert your first picket. Work your way down each 8’ section until you are approximately 2/3 down the rail. Then begin installing rails from the opposite end, working toward the middle. At this point, your last picket should slide in from the top, connecting the two portions of fencing.

When all pickets are installed, cap off the section with the top rail. Begin at one end and gently work the top of each picket into the U-channel on the bottom of the top rail. Once all of the pickets are in place, insert the loose rail end into the post.

7. Installing Post Caps
Post caps are the finishing touch for your project. The Vinyl Outlet stocks over 50 fence post cap designs

To apply, simply apply a nickel size dab to the 4 inner edges of each cap with PVC glue and press firmly on each post to ensure proper adhesion.

8. Installing Gates
Gates must be pre-assembled before installation. Gates are assembled much like a section. Installing the bottom rail between two posts, then placing pickets and capping the gate with a top rail. Then glue a ends into the gate pocket.

Different then a section of vinyl fence, gates use a diagonal brace to provide support. Your gate brace should extend from the top rail on the latch side to the bottom rail on the hinge side or vice versa. The brace is to be secured to the gate by inserting a 1 1/4” screw through the brace and into each vinyl fence picket.

At this point you are ready to attach the hinges. Begin by marking where you will attach each hinge…one side to the gate anchor post, one to the gate post itself. Attach each hinge with 1 1/4” stainless steel screws.

Moving to the opposite end of the gate, install the latch similarly. Mark where you will attach each side of the latch, then using 1 1/4” stainless steel screws attach both parts