Fence Installation Calgary

How to Build a Fence

You have decided to build a fence, upgrade, replace, or improve an existing fence.


The first thing is to be sure you won’t need a permit.  Each municipality has its own set of rules, and they can change over time.  It is better to be safe than sorry, especially to the point of having to pay a fine or remove the fence you just put up.

Fence Building Tips

Also check your survey for any easements and to assure you understand where the property line is.  It is also possible that the neighbour is also thinking about adding a fence and you could share some costs.  Be sure to have a written agreement, just in case.

Although it is not necessary, it would be courteous to notify your neighbours of the impending work.  It is nice to avoid squabbles over work/sleep schedules, children’s nap time, or a planned big party.

Actual Work

Be sure the fence line is clearly marked with stakes and a taut line.  For a wood fence, mark about six inches from the property line to accommodate posts.  If you are putting in a chain link or metal fence, less space is required.

Slopes can pose a problem.  You can place the horizontal bar between fence posts (rail) parallel to the ground.  Or you can choose a stepped format, in which case you will need to cut the panels individually to follow the slope.

For a wood fence a 6 foot by 6 foot post will be stronger and easily handle a gate.  Brace the posts during building and setting.  The posts should be at least 36 inches deep and at least six inches below the frost line.  The deeper the post, the more secure the fence.  Fill the holes with mixed concrete.  Add gravel to the bottom of the hole for better drainage and to avoid frost heave.

If you use three sets of hinges in lieu of two, you will have a gate with better support.

Make sure all posts are plum and the fence is level.


Wood is the most economical.  Pressure treated is preferred.  Painting or staining will help preserve it and should be repeated every two or three years.  Cedar and redwood are resistant to rot and insects and with a preservative will help it stay looking nice.

Composite is manufactured from recycled fibers, plastics, and adhesives.  It is durable and easy to maintain.  It won’t need to be stained or painted but over time it will sun fade, scratch and stain.  The cost is about twice as much as wood.

Vinyl is another composite that comes in a number of styles, colors and textures, but it does look plastic.  It is very durable and won’t warp, splinter, blister, or rot.

Metal is usually coated galvanized steel or aluminium.  It can rust, which is treatable with a rust primer and paint.  It is more expensive than wood, but still reasonably priced.

Chain Link is durable and economical but very industrial looking.  They are good for large areas.

Check with your local landscaper to see their opinions about the area you are going to fence and what might be the best choices for you.  They can also do the work, which may be the best option in the long run. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your fence building projects.