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fence panelsMany homeowners, especially dedicated do-it-yourselfers, ask us about panel and custom fences. What’s the difference between a fence that’s assembled from pre-made panels and one that’s built onsite, picket by picket?
Plenty. Let’s take a look at each.

Pre-made Panels

The most obvious difference is that pre-made panels are a lot less work. While they come in different sizes, an eight-foot width and six-foot height is probably the most common. And how wide is a single picket? Common sizes are 5/8” or one-inch wide. Even those of us who weren’t brainiacs in math class can figure out that putting up one eight-foot panel is a lot quicker than pounding in approximately 96 individual pickets that will cover the same expanse of your property line. Pre-made panels have the added advantage of costing less than buying all those individual pickets.
Sounds too good to be true. So there must be a catch, right? Yep, there is. Unless you have a very flat, level yard, pre-made panels will result in odd gaps under your fence. Even yards that first appear flat may have hidden slopes. If your yard has just the right amount of slope, building a fence with pre-made panels can result in an aesthetically pleasing step effect. Otherwise, it will look like shoddy construction.

Custom Build

The downside here is that custom anything generally costs more than prefab. But the upside is an attractive fence that you’ll be happy to see every day when you come home or hang out in the yard. Building a fence picket by picket is not easy – unless you’re a seriously talented do-it-yourselfer, leave this job to the pros. A custom build involves sawing, cutting, planing, sanding and having an eye for design and a grasp of the big picture as well as the details. A custom fence built by experts is the best bet if your yard has hills, slopes or other quirks that give it character.

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The Bottom Line

Is your yard level and flat with a length and width divisible by eight? Are you adept at hammering and measuring, and like to spend your weekends on home projects? Then a pre-made, DIY fence is for you. But for everybody else, do your family and neighbors a favor and leave fence building to the pros. Give your friends at Buzz a call and we’ll take care of the fences while you watch the game, take your kids hiking, or whatever you like to do on the weekend.