Tips for Tearing Down an Old Wooden Fence

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Generally, fence removal should be left to an expert, but if you’re intent on doing it yourself, there are a few tips to bear in mind.

Ownership

First, since fences are often shared with neighbours, you need to be sure that it’s yours to tear down. Talk to your neighbour about your plan, which may actually work to your benefit if they are on board.  This can mean that you will not need to shoulder all the costs.  As well, it is advisable to visit your local municipal office to find out if they can help determine where your property line is.

Utilities

Another issue to be mindful of is the presence of utility lines underneath the ground, before you start digging. Taking down the fence can mean pulling out the concrete posts that hold it up.  You wouldn’t want to inadvertently strike a cable line and disconnect the internet services of some of your neighbours, which will likely bring down your likability rating drastically. Here in Ontario, you can contact Ontario One Call, and they will dispatch a representative to surface mark all underground utilities on your property for free.

Make a plan

The last step is to plan out your job. Think about what is required by looking at your options on the internet, via instructional videos, for example.  Consider what tools will be needed and if they need to be rented, any materials that need to be purchased, and what the associated costs will be. This should include disposal of the wood and concrete, as well as any additional help you might need (i.e. paid labour). The plan should be flexible enough to account for unexpected costs (allow for 20% contingency is the general rule) and delays due to weather. That said, having a plan will go a long way in keeping organized and staying on track with the project.

Here is a do-it-yourself guide that you might want to read as a starting point to see if you’re up to the task. If not, give us a call, and we will see how we can help without breaking your budget.

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