How to Install a Vinyl Fence in South Florida or Central Florida
- by William Roberson
- December 26, 2022
- Tags: Installation
Installing a new vinyl fence on your own property can save you close to 50% on new project costs versus hiring a local fence contracting company.
Thankfully, PVC fence materials are modular and fit together in an easy-to-understand way, with no specialized tools or techniques required to install; anyone with a basic understanding of construction techniques and measurement principles can install their own vinyl fence.
This guide will give you an overview of how to install your own vinyl fence, should you have any questions, contact us to speak with a sales representative in your area.
Properly plan your project before you start
It’s important to prepare for your installation before buying your material. Properly measuring and layout out your fence lines and gate locations before you start can save you a lot of frustration further down the line.
Always make sure that you buy the right posts, gate sizes, and corresponding hardware so that you don’t have to stop your construction and return to the shop to purchase more material.
Similarly, you’ll need to buy enough concrete to finish the job, one bag of quick-setting concrete per post.
Being as accurate as possible during the planning phase should be your first priority, it can make the difference between a smooth project and one that is frustrating and time-intensive.
What Installation Method Should You Choose?
When installing a vinyl fence, there are two different methods used:
- Dig all of your holes and set all of your posts in concrete first, then come back the next day and install the panels
- Install your fence one post then one section at a time
Digging all of your holes first can be quicker and more efficient, but you also run the risk of miscalculating the distance between posts. Vinyl fences in South Florida or Central Florida are either 6’ on center or 8’ on center, that is either 72” from center post to center post, or 96” from center post to center post.
It can be a big problem if you dig all of your holes and then find out that each panel is a few inches off either way.
The much safer route for a do-it-yourself project is to install your fence on post and panel at a time. Using this method will ensure that your next panel is leveled and aligned properly with the previous panel, and will make calculating short sections at the end or beginning of fence lines easier to calculate and construct.
Additionally, this method can be made even easier by cutting a piece of PVC or wood to the exact dimension between posts so that all you have to do is lay the piece against one post, to see where the following post should be.
Make sure you ask our sales representative what size to cut this piece for your project.
Digging Holes for PVC Fence Posts
For the majority of installations, holes will be approximately two feet deep, make sure you measure the distance from the bottom of your routed post holes to the bottom of your posts to see how deep to dig your holes.
There must be a clearance of about two inches between the ground and the bottom of the panel, in a six-foot-long post, this measurement is usually twenty-two inches deep.
Some instructional guides online will tell you to add a layer of gravel in these holes, but this is not required by the South or Central Florida vinyl fence building code.
The diameter of your hole should be large enough to accommodate the five-inch or four-inch post that you putting in it, so an extra inch or two depending on the amount of concrete you’re using will do.
- Tip: make sure you run a string line demarking the property line/fence line so your panels and posts are in a straight line.
Setting and Leveling Your Posts
After you’ve dug your hole, you’re ready to install your post by setting it in concrete and leveling it.
Place your post in the hole, and either pour your quick-setting concrete in then water it with a hose or mix it separately then pour it in.
- Tip: Sakrete is most commonly used for vinyl fencing installation projects in South and Central Florida.
Place a level on the sides of your post to ensure that it is properly aligned with the ground.
Insert Rails, Pickets, and U-Channel (if needed)
If you’re installing your fence using the post/section/post/section method detailed above, you’ll immediately begin assembling your panel as soon as you set your first one or two posts.
Insert the bottom rail first, and make sure that the tabs on either end of the rail click into place. These typically insert about one and a half inches into routed posts in your post.
Once your bottom rail is inserted, slide your pickets, and u-channel if installing a vinyl privacy fence, and finally, install your middle and/or top rails, finishing the section.
- Tip: Use a self-drilling screw to secure your top rail in place on the inside of your post, tabs service this purpose, but additional screws will ensure a much more secure section.
Install Your Welded PVC Fence Gates, Hardware, and Accessories
Installing welded PVC gates for your fence is the most advanced part of your project.
You will need to accommodate the hardware and gate frame between your two gate posts – the majority of welded gates in South and Central Florida are made to be one and a half inches less than the opening to allow for the widths of hardware profiles and fasteners, which add an approximate amount of three-quarters of an each to either side of your gate for both hinges and latches.
In a six-foot wide gate, the finished size will actually be seventy-and-a-half inches in finished width.
For double gates, an additional three-quarters of an inch is taken off for the center hardware.
Tip: Always make sure you actually measure your gate width to make sure that you are setting your openings accordingly! Add one and a half inches to your single gate width and two and a quarter inches for double gates.
Options for reinforced gate posts are either heavy-wall post models that are a quarter-inch thick, or standard wall-thickness posts with aluminum I-beam inserts, our sales representatives can help you choose the right application for your specific project.
Get Help With Your Vinyl Fence Installation Project in South or Central Florida by Getting a Material Quote
Here at All Star PVC Fence, we are professionals with years of experience. Our sales staff can teach you how to install your fence, and can answer any additional questions that aren’t covered in this article.
Contact us through our website or call us directly today to get started!