Removing An Old Fence: The True Value of Going DIY

Removing A Fence? From termites and wood rot, to loose soil and wind damage, there could be any

Removing A Fence?

From termites and wood rot, to loose soil and wind damage, there could be any number of reasons why it may be time to remove your fence. If it’s any of the reasons we listed, chances are the fence isn’t even doing its job and is only being help up by the stronger posts. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “sure, it looks less presentable, but it still defines the property boundaries”. While this is true, the real issue is the safety hazard the damaged fence poses. Removing your fence may not be a difficult job, but it can be time consuming. Here are some steps to make this process faster and less strenuous.

Removing fence board

Before you start: If you did not build the fence, you need to confirm it is actually part of your property before you can take it down. If your fence is connected to a neighbours, make sure you stay on your side of the property. It’s also important to consider safety. Look for any loose nails or pieces of wood when you are done. The process would go a lot smoother with a partner. Lastly, think about keeping spare nails and wood for a future project – maybe the pieces in good condition can be put to use for your new fence? if you need to get rid of the materials, research where you can take them, as some locations have more restrictions than others.

Now that we have that covered, lets begin removing that fence!

Removing the fence panels

 First, you need to decide if you are taking down the entire fence or just the panels. If your posts are in good condition, you have the option of leaving them in place for your new fence.

If you choose to remove all the panels, you can take an electric saw to saw off the ends on either side of the posts.

Alternatively, you may want to replace select boards instead of the entire thing. You can generally tell which ones need to go, but if you are unsure, give it a light push and see if/ how much it moves. Panels that only sway slightly may just need the bolts tightened or the soil surrounding it to be more compact. Keep in mind it may be the boards on either side that are the source of the problem.

Just to be safe, tap the boards that don’t move. A hollow sound is indication of termite damage or wood rot, in which case it will still need to go. Discolouration, warping, and splintering are other signs to look out for. You can remove individual boards by hammering the board away from your property until the nails begin to stick out. From there you can simply pull them out until the boards come loose.

Removing the fence posts

fulcrum (tipping point)

Fulcrum and lever

If your posts are also damaged, they will need to be removed as well. Unsupported posts can simply be wiggled out until the ground is loose enough to pull the post straight out. Posts set in concrete footings provide a little more of a challenge but is still do-able. While you do have the option of leaving them in the ground, they will have to be removed if you want to build a new fence in its place. There are several ways to do this but here is the easiest and most affordable one I’ve come across so far:

1) Stack two 2×4’s together and nail them to your fence post. For best results use different lengths and place the longer board on top.

2) Create a fulcrum (tipping point) by stacking your bag of leftover concrete (or something of similar weight) next to the fence post.

3) You should use an additional 2×4 as a crowbar or lever by placing one end on top of the fulcrum, and the other end underneath the 2×4’s nailed to the fence post.

4) Pull down until the fence post is loose.

You may remember, this is a big job and it might not always go according to plan. Be prepared to work around any issues that may occur! Need more Simple Solutions? Have no fear, we’ve got you covered!

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