Before you can build a fence, you need to buy the materials. To get the right supplies, you need to measure your yard. If you’re building on your own, you’ll need to measure and plan carefully. If you’re hiring a fence company in Portland, they’ll do the measuring. But, you might want to make preliminary calculations before you call a fence builder. Measuring will guide you in setting a budget and help you communicate with the fencing company.
Here’s how to measure your yard for a fence:
Locate Property Lines
Do you know precisely where your property ends and your neighbor’s begins? You need to confirm the property lines. Don’t rely on a guess. If your fence goes up on the neighbor’s side of the line, it may need to come down. It’s an expensive mistake that happens more often than you’d think. Check county records or have a land surveyor take a look.
Look for Obstructions and Utility Lines
If you have trees or other permanent features, you’ll need to plan around them. Will the fence need to run near the features? In front of them? Behind them? You’ll also need to find underground utilities. These include gas, electric and cable lines. In Oregon and Washington, visit the Utility Notification Center or call 811. The center will notify someone come to your property and mark the location of utilities. It’s a free service.
How to Measure Your Yard for a Fence
Now that the prep work is complete, it’s time to start measuring.
- Mark corners with a stake. The corners are where panels meet at a 90-degree angle.
- Measure the perimeter of the area in feet. Use the stakes as a guide. The tape needs to be taut, so find a helper to make it easier.
- Divide the perimeter by the size of the fence panels you plan to buy. Typical panel sizes range from six to eight feet. The resulting number will tell you how many units you’ll need to fence the area. If you’re building a custom or chain link fence, you can skip the division. The perimeter total is all you need.
After taking a measurement of your yard, you’ll have a good idea of what to budget for the project. Plan on measuring again if you’re going to build the fence. Once you get into the nitty-gritty of building, you’ll want to mark the spot for each corner and line post. You’ll also run a string between the stakes. If you have slopes and curves to account for, you’ll need more detailed measurements.
Pacific Fence and Wire is a full-service fencing company in Oregon. We’d be happy to measure your yard, make an estimate and build a fence that adds beauty and value to your property. Contact us today to get started!