Installing a vinyl fence

Hello,
I am going to be installing a vinyl fence this weekend. I'm looking for some tips. What is the best way to make sure the posts are all at the same height? Also is there a trick to making sure the posts are perfectly lined up? I'm concerned the fence will end up being twisted and facing different directions. I'm up in central New York. How deep should the holes be? How much gravel and concrete will I need per post? Lastly there will be a gate connected to a brick wall. Any thoughts on how best to latch it to the wall?
Any thoughts on these questions and anything else will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks...
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David DeBoer wrote:

Set a string across the line of the fence secured to brick wall and beyond the last post. The hole depth will depend on how tall you posts are, the fence supplier should be able to give you recommended depth. Between 100-150 lbs of concrete per post is normal. (Again you can check the supplier too) For the gate attaching to the brick wall, you can either mount the hardware with a good set of anchors and bolts or put up a post next to the brick wall and attach the hardware to it, the later may be the easiest
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My parents had one and did not like it because the vinyl was hard to clean.

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Normally the gate posts have rebar and concrete halfway up the tube. Since one side of it is going to brick then you only have half the work.
Make sure that the gate itself is installed first. (you can make the gate or have it made. When installing it make sure you have a few inches under it to clear the ground.
Use the rope line from the center of the post of the brick to the last post. I would take a 4 foot level here and there to make sure things are plumb and level. Depending an how much fence you are using, RENT a hole auger! Using a pole digger SUCKS if you have allot of holes to dig.
Are you using the home depot stuff or going to a real fence company and getting better fence. No offence to people who use the HD stuff, but its not that good quality (the use wood supports in it) while others use steel on the bottom brackets. The HD stuff also comes ONLY in 6 foot lengths. The ones the fence companies usually use are 8 footers.
Tom
David DeBoer wrote:

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David - I'll answer in-line below
David DeBoer wrote:

Tape measure - Remember, measure once cut twice. Or ah, something like that.
Also is there a trick to making sure the posts are perfectly lined

String
I'm concerned the fence will end up being twisted and facing different

Four feet probably
How

More than you think - You can do it w/o concrete. Ever see a telephone pole set into concrete?
Lastly there will be a gate

Tapcon screws - they are blue though. masonry anchors otherwise.

Want more info? Just ask.
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David, I did this last year and learned quite a bit. I put a carpenters square alongside house and used that to direct a taught stringline. All posts must hit that line. As for gate, I put a 5' on one side and 4' on the other side of house. I did not put aluminum insert into "hinge" post nor fill it up with concrete. That 1/4" thick post is not holding the gate up enough. I need to remove the hinge screws and get the aluminum insert down into post to get the strong spine established. When you install posts, I measured forever and found it easiest to dig (power augers are too much work) each post hole around 12" diameter. Get the $40 post hole digger from Depot and the $30 big thick heavy steel "shale" bar with points on each end. They are in same aisle as post hole digger. The digging went very quick in my New Jersey clay/shale soil. When I installed gate posts, I tool (2) 2x4's and clamped them horizontal to ground across the gate posts. One at ground level, the other at top of posts (now in hole). That sets the gap between gate posts at exact dimensions. This is a very critical step. When all posts are in position, pour cement into each hole. I filled hole till about 8" below ground level. Also, I wanted my truck to get into back yard, so I got a set of "clips" that screw into posts. I "just" slide the fence section in or out and it takes 2 seconds to open fence to get my truck thru.
The manuf. typically suggest you drill holes in the lower section of posts and put a piece of rebar thru. That would be embedded in the cement and otherwise lock the post from creeping up. This is great, if you will NEVER need to remove a post. I did not do this, and its a good thing because I need to remove a fence section due to some remodeling.
Good luck, I don't regret it but now need a power washer to keep it clean. More tools !
Tom
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Thanks for all the info. It will definetly help. One other question that I forgot Earlier. I will need to cut a section of the vinyl fence in half. What is the best tool for this? Hack saw??
Thanks...

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David, use a jigsaw. It is very easy to drift off the marked line, be careful.
Also, did you plan on designating a section for "simple" removal ? This is very important when selecting the posts. If your gate is > 4 feet, you must get the aluminum insert into the hinge post before you screw the hinges on. My wheelbarrow and motorcycle did not fit thru the 4 footer with enough clearance so I had to put a 5 foot gate in. Keep in mind, the gate width + 1/2 the hinge must be subtracted from the clearance of the gate opening since they typically do not swing past 90 degrees thus remain in the opening. Example for me; (4 foot gate ) - (6inches gate width + 2inches for hinges) = 40ish inches This is NOT 48inches. One last thing, get the height of posts set before cement. You don't want to cut the tops of fence posts.
Good luck, Tom
..... help! I cut it TWICE and its still too short !!
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David DeBoer wrote:

How tall is the fence? Taller fence would need a deeper hole. I'm in southern NY. I put 4' high picket type 8' vinyl fence around my in-ground pool. My 4"x4" PT posts are only about 3 feet into the ground with no concrete. I used string to get them aligned. The fence sections are not 6 or 8 feet long, they are shorter and are meant to fit between posts that are installed on center at either 6 or 8 feet, so I used a section of fencing to locate the next hole, putting the fence on the ground after the last installed post and then digging where it ended. I installed the fence as I went along, attaching it to the posts and adjusting each hole as needed. After all posts and fencing was installed, I aligned and squared up the posts and filled the holes with dirt. I also bought 2 lengths of 2"x3"s for each section and stuck them in the fencing's hollow rails for more strength. On my pool fencing, I hinged two 8' sections, one on the back and one on the side, for emergency access into the pool area (in case someone needed help in the pool). A hasp and staple secures them. You can almost use any type of hand saw to cut the vinyl. I wouldn't use a power saw which tends to melt the plastic around the cut.
Bill In Hamptonburgh, NY To Email, remove the double zeroes after 'at'
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David DeBoer wrote:

-CF
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David DeBoer wrote:

Don't know whether this will be of value to you, but here it is:
We just got back from a visit to our son's home. The fence at the back of his yard (belonging to his neighbor) is vinyl, with vertical posts 4 or 5 inches apart.
My son has a 75-lb "golden oodle", which is a combination of a golden retriever and poodle. He is much wider than 4 or 5 inches. But he has discovered that if he hits the fence right between two bars, he will punch right through (the bars flex; it really is something to watch).
Might be something to think about if your fence is there to enclose a dog.
Jim Thomas
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