There comes that sad day in every fence’s life when it can no longer adequately encircle your yard. Beaten and battered, rusted or rotted, sagging or missing slats like teeth in a smile, the poor old workhorse must be dismantled. How do you do it? Well, that depends on the fence. Let’s look at some of the main materials and methods for fence demolition.
Prepare for Takedown
Just as you need to do your due diligence when building a fence, it’s best to be clear about property lines before tearing one down. You should also inform your closest neighbors about your plans.
And have a think about safety. Are you a competent do-it-yourselfer? Do you have the proper tools? You know how you’ve heard that phrase “call before you dig?” This is one of those call before digging moments. Contact your local utility company to check out the situation before embarrassing yourself by knocking out neighborhood services.
Depending on your situation, you might need to extract the fence posts, or maybe just remove panels. Posts can be a bugger to remove, so if they’re in decent shape, consider replacing the panels and leaving the posts.
Cutting through fence panels with an electric saw is one of the quickest ways to remove them. You can cut right alongside the fence posts. Or go board by board, banging boards in toward the rails until the head of the nail sticks out, then pulling nails with the back of the hammer. Yeah, we know. Sounds like a lot of work. Where’s that electric saw?
Chain link fences are easy to remove. Once you’ve taken off the wire ties and metal fittings that secure fence to posts, you can just peel the chain link off.
Now for the trickiest part, the fence posts, which are often embedded in concrete. There are a few ways to approach these. Tom Silva, famous contractor extraordinaire from This Old House, suggests rocking posts back and forth to loosen. If that’s a no go, start digging around the concrete until you can drag the post and its concrete boot out of the posthole.
Terminal posts, those located at ends and corners of fences or on either side of a gate, are the most difficult to remove because they’re reinforced with extra concrete. You may need a mini tractor to dislodge them. A lazier approach would be to cut off the post with a reciprocating saw and leave the concrete alone. Maybe a potted plant would cover it up.
DIYers have also posted online ways to remove fence posts by building fence pullers with 2x4s and a concrete cinder block as a fulcrum.
Or Call the Fence Professionals
Some avid DIYers reading this article are probably already assembling power tools with one hand and holding a beer in the other. But maybe you’re the kind of guy who’d rather watch the game or take his kids for a bike ride than spend a day sweating over rotting boards and buried concrete in the backyard. No problem. Call your friends at Buzz. Not only can we dismantle that old fence for you, we’ll build a handsome new fence that keeps your kids safe, makes the neighbors smile and ups your property value. Give us a call today!