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How to repair and fix my leaning or broken backyard fences with minimum cost, and without hiring an expensive contractor? I am on a tight budget. I don't have the skills but am willing to learn.

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My backyard fences is old, leaning and broken in some places. It's looks like it could fall down any moment. Temporarily I had tied a rope from nearby tree to the fence post to hold the entire fence. Until then I need a more permanent and cheap solutions to fix and repair them. Winter months are of great concern to me due to strong winds, which could break the entire section of my backyard fence.

I got some quotation from some private fence contractors and the price quoted were really ridiculously expensive. It cost about $3000 plus tax for only 24 ft of wooden fences. I believe I could do it for way cheaper if I did it myself. I know it takes time for me to do it myself and I do not have the skill sets but I am willing to learn and gain experience. 

I did watch some YouTube channels videos on how to fix and repair fences but none of them seem to work for my situation. I mean I needed the lower part of fence post to be above the concrete instead of inside the concrete to prevent rapid rotting of the wooden fence post. 

I like to also know what sort of tools are required to successfully complete this project. The length of the project duration is not much concern for me but I want it to be of minimal cost since my budget is very much limited.
asked in Markham / York Region by George

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1 Answer

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Fixing a backyard fence DIY (Do It Yourself) isn't a very tough job to do, as long as you have a basic idea of using some simple tools. You may find it tiring to do the project at first, but once your body gets used to some physical activity and lifting, you should be okay then after. 

I successfully completed an entire section of my backyard fence that was rotten completely and no hope of being fixed, using my own ideas and youtubers. I had to replace those fence posts along with the fence panels which was getting too old, creaky and weak.

I did bump into some problems along the way but I brainstormed my own solutions and learned new stuff, taking ideas from online videos and also from friends. I must mention that you should need at least 2 weeks vacation days from your day job, to properly complete your project, if you plan to work alone without help from others. I only had some occasional help from a relative living nearby, otherwise I was working alone most of the time. 

This much time is necessary only if you decided to replace an entire section of your fence including the wooden panels as well as the fence post. Some hardware stores sells ready made fence panels and it makes your work a lot easier, since you do not have to create the fence panels from wooden fence pieces. Just replacing a few "Fence post" won't take many days, a couple of days is enough. 

You can either only replace the broken fence post, or replace the fence panels as well. You may need to make several trips to Home Depot, Lowe's or Rona to fetch those wooden fence pieces and hardwares. In some cases, if your fence panels are still in good condition, you can simply replace the wooden fence post, to save money and time.

Follow some simple steps below to replace your old leaning fence (Without replacing your fence panels, only replacing your Fence post):

1. Take photos of your old wooden fence from different angle and store it in your phone. This is important because you want to recreate your new fence exactly in a design similar to your old fence. 

2. Take measurements of your Fence Posts (Usually 4 x 4 inch or 6 x 6 inches size) . Count approximately how many pieces of those wooden fence post you may need for your project. 


3. Place some wooden support to prop up the remaining fence panels because once you unscrew the Fences brackets on both sides of the fence post, your entire fence section could fall off without any support. 


4. Unscrew the Fence Brackets screw which was originally used to install in the past, otherwise if nails was used, then use an Iron crow bar to pry loose the Fence Brackets. 


5. Start digging into the concrete base of your fence post until you are able to entirely remove the concrete blocks from the bottom of the ground. One tip to make digging easier is to spray water from your hose to soften the soil, wait for few minutes and continue digging for faster results. You may also pull at the fence post as you are digging deeper to give it a leverage force, to bring the concrete out of the ground. 


6. Once the concrete and the old fence post is out, wait for about a day for your soil to dry up and become hard as usual. 

7. Make sure you dug out the hole for about at least 2 feets deep into the ground and 2 feet wide.

8. Cut to a height of about "2 feet" for the 12 inch "Concrete Form Tube" and place it in the centre of the hole. Test the required distance of the fence post by placing a "New" fence post "Temporarily" into the 12 inch "Concrete Form Tube", to see where you would place your final fence post, in relation to the fence panels and Fence Brackets to the sides. Also check that the top head of the 12 inch "Concrete Form Tube" is in same level as the ground level. 


9. Remove the "New" fence post from the empty "Concrete Form Tube" hole.

10. If needed, you can throw in some smaller gravel and stones pieces of about 1 inches thickness into the dug out hole and tamper the soil with a heavy flat object, until the soil is compacted inside the hole.

11. Mix approximately 2 bags of "Quikrete Fence Concrete Fast Setting" and pour them into the 12 inch "Concrete Form Tube". Mix enough water to make it look like "Porridge" texture. Let it dry for about half a day at least or overnight for better curing.


12. Install the "Fence Post Holder" using some "Concrete screws" onto the concrete base, that you just created.


13. Place the "New" wooden fence post into this "Fence Post Holder" and screw them tightly using some deck screws of about 2 inch long at least. 


14. Install the "Fence Brackets" on to the sides of the "Fence post" using 1-1/2 inch screw. Make sure the "Fence Brackets" are aligned to the exact height of the "Horizontal bar" of the remaining fence panels. 


15. Slide the "Horizontal bar" of the remaining fence panels on to the "Fence Brackets", and screw tight with deck screws of 1-1/2 inch.


16. If the height of the new "Fence Post" is too high, cut the top off with a circular saw and bring it to same height as rest of the other nearby "Fence Post".


17. Put a new "Fence Post Cap" on top of the "Fence Post" and screw tight with 1-1/2 inch deck screw.


18. Cover the rest of bottom hole with soil and tamper the soil with flat heavy object nice and tight to level it with the Fence Post concrete base.


19. Job is done and your new fence is looking as great as any professionally done Fence, without breaking your wallet.

answered by Aaron

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