How to Replace a Fence Panel: 4 Easy Steps

How to replace a fence panel header image

Should you replace a fence panel or just replace the entire fence? Obviously, replacing a fence panel is cheaper. If you’re worried that taking one out would just destroy the entire fence, don’t be.

Here are some easy tips on how to replace a fence panel. 


Importance of a Fence


You’ve certainly heard of the phrase “white picket fence,” right?

It’s a common American expression to indicate the ideal suburban life especially when it comes to owning homes. 

In essence

A fence is pretty iconic. 

But is it important?

That’s a valid question

A fence is certainly not to keep away thieves. 

Unless you are using the metallic chain-link fence, which is really not a good look for your home. 

Look

Most fences can easily be scaled. 

In fact, in a lot of cases, people can just jump over them. 

Although

The chain-link fence is really meant to keep people out unless they have been granted entry. This type of fence is usually more common in schools or industries. 

For homes, you are looking at gates that are usually made of aluminum, steel or wrought iron and fence, which is either made of wood or vinyl. 

Now

When you look at gates or the vinyl fence, when one part is damaged, you most likely have to replace the entire thing. 

The good thing is that aluminum, steel, wrought iron and vinyl are not really damaged by the elements. 

Iron fence

What does this mean?

If these materials are damaged, it usually means that it was not natural. 

The wooden fence, though, is usually the one that gets damaged by natural elements. 

Let me elaborate

Natural elements like sunlight exposure could prompt corrosion on your fence. 

Some parts are exposed more to the sun than others. 

This means

Some fence panels are easily corroded compared to others. 

This also means that you don’t really have to replace the entire fence, just the ones that have corrosion on it.

Here’s the deal

Sunlight exposure coupled with rain every now and then or just the general morning moisture could hasten corrosion. 

These are part of nature, though, so it’s not like we can stop them. 

What we can do

We just have to fix whatever nature has damaged. 

Next

Perhaps there was a strong wind that blew in your area. 

Some panels were forcibly removed by the wind leaving a gap in your fence. 

At least

It didn’t destroy the entire fence. 

You could just easily replace the fence panels. 

Or

If the dislodged panels are still usable, you can just put them back on. 

Moving on

It could be a stain. 

A simple stain on one fence panel could be annoying. It could really hurt the entire look of your home. 

If you care about aesthetics

Then you really need to replace this part of the fence. 

Although, if the stain can be removed or can be easily painted over, then that’s good. You could just remove it or paint over it. 

Some cases

The stain could be permanent. 

When that happens, you have to replace the stained ones. 

Another one

You could have a warped fence. 

Again, this is usually caused by natural elements. 

Usually

The warping happens in an entire section. 

So, in this case, you might have to replace the entire fence or an entire section of the fence. 

However

If you notice that one panel is starting to twist or bend, you should just replace that panel right away before the other panels follow suit. 

You have to understand

The above-mentioned damage is a result of aging. 

Just like people, the older the fence, the more wear and tear it will experience. 

Obviously

There will come a time when the fence would have to be replaced. 

But as long as it is still salvageable by replacing the fence panels, then that would be the more practical option. 

As earlier mentioned

In a lot of cases, the fence is not really made to keep out thieves. 

Originally, fences were made to make sure that agricultural animals won’t leave the area. 

For your white picket fences

They are also useful in ensuring that your pets don’t leave your home. 

The same could be said with young children. The road could be dangerous even if it’s just a village road. 

Bottom line

A fence provides safety. 

It can also give you privacy.

Boy looking through hole in fence

In addition to that

A fence could add beauty to your property. 

So, make sure that your fence is attractive and that it is properly maintained so that you don’t have to keep replacing it. 


How to Replace a Fence Panel


Yes, you could call a repairman to fix your damaged fence. 

But why should you?

It’s a simple matter

You could save your money by replacing the fence panel yourself. 

Just add it to the list of your growing skills in home maintenance. 

After all

A fence is also an important aspect of your home. 

Let’s check out the steps on how to replace a fence panel:

1. Check the entire fence

You probably noticed a gap in your fence or a damaged panel.

If you find one gap, then there might be others. 

Not only that

There may be other forms of damage in your fence. 

By checking the entire fence, you will be doing all the work that will be needed in one shot. 

It’s more practical this way

You should also know that the eyes aren’t the only physical resources you could use in checking the entire fence. 

Check with your hands and maybe feet as well. 

How?

Try to move the fence if it’s still sturdy. 

It might turn out that some parts are already flimsy and the panels actually need replacement. 

More importantly

Moving the fence with your hands and sometimes your feet (but don’t kick it) is actually a good way to observe if the posts are still strong. 

There would be little use in replacing a panel if the post from which it is attached is no longer functional. 

Carefully remove the damaged panel

Carefully is the operative word. 

You want to fix the panel and not destroy the entire fence. 

Lady in front of fence

Pretty reasonable, right?

So, pry it off the post and remove the nail or screw attached to it. 

Now, make sure that you put the nail or screw in an appropriate place or at least dispose of them properly. You don’t want your children or pets accidentally stepping on them. 

3. Measure the replacement panels

If you have a straightforward fence that just uses a rectangular slat, then good for you! 

That would mean that they could just have straight edges. 

On the other hand

If you have the triangle-ended panel, then you have to make a little more effort to cut the top bits. 

4. Attach the panels

You might need someone to assist you with this so that it would be properly attached. 

You want them to be straight all the way and help would be needed to accomplish that assuredly. 

Important to note

Nails are stronger than screws, however, the latter have better hold on the wood. 

This is also because of the procedure by which they are attached. 

Plus

There is a tendency that the nail would crack the wood when it is hammered onto it. 

This is particularly possible with really thin wooden panels. 

I guess what I’m saying is

Screws are better. 

That also means you would need a drill to attach the panels. 

Your assistant can hold the panel straight at the bottom part while you drill two screws at the top part of the post or beam of the fence. 

When that’s done

You drill the two other screws on the bottom part. 

Quite easy, right?

To sum it up

The materials you need are the following:

  • Claw hammer
  • Cut wooden board
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screws – 4 for each panel

For uniformity

You obviously need to buy the same kind of wood that was used for your fence. 

However, it can’t also be as uniform as you want the fence to be since the new wood for the panel hasn’t had time with the natural elements yet. 

Face painted on fence

To put it clearly

The new panel will never look the same as the rest. 

A good solution to this is to paint or repaint the entire fence. 


Summary


Do you have a rotten fence panel? Or perhaps it was stained. Or maybe strong winds damaged part of your fence. Whatever elements your fence may have faced, a damage panel could destroy the entire look of your home. 

Not only that, if the panel is rotten, there is a possibility that it could spread to the other panels especially if they are closely attached. 

If this is the case, know that there is no need to replace the entire fence just because of a damaged panel. Fixing it is actually quite easy. So, how to replace a fence panel? There are just four easy steps!


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