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.
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.
Most fences can easily be scaled.
In fact, in a lot of cases, people can just jump over them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It didn’t destroy the entire fence.
You could just easily replace the fence panels.
If the dislodged panels are still usable, you can just put them back 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.
The stain could be permanent.
When that happens, you have to replace the stained ones.
You could have a warped fence.
Again, this is usually caused by natural elements.
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.
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.
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.
A fence provides safety.
It can also give you privacy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Cut wooden board
Screws – 4 for each panel
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.
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.
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!