Planning your fence thoroughly is the easiest way to ensure that your fencing project goes as smoothly and economically as possible.
- Sketch out a map of your property. Designate different land use areas—grazing acreage, pens, cultivated fields, etc. If possible, get aerial images of your property to use as the base of your sketch. You can get aerial photography from the U.S. Soil Conservation service, your local agricultural extension agent, or even online from sources like Google Earth.
- Now sketch out your fence lines, corners, angles, and gates to scale with your land use map. Don’t forget to take into consideration natural obstacles like cliffs, stream-beds or other dips in the projected path of the fence. Always avoid water gaps if at all possible. Think about the optimum placement of gates for the best vehicle/animal access. Plan ahead for possible facilities expansions and feeding areas.
In planning your fence layout, remember:
- All fences require end braces, regardless of length.
- Post center spacing should be 20-25 feet for high-tensile wire, and 12-16 feet for low-tensile. Post centers are a guideline, not an exact science.
- Use rigid posts in all dips, hips (bumps), and ledges.
- A combination of line bosses and tee posts will give the best results.
- If there is a possibility that other fence lines will connect to the fence in the future, place end posts for the connecting fence now.
- Don’t set gates perpendicular to the fence line. If a gate must be perpendicular, use a gate foot.
- Gates must have close tolerances, and set them so that they swing back against the fence, not through. Plan for equipment height in facilities if you use an overhead gate