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How to erect a wire fence

Updated July 20, 2017

Wire fences have stood the test of time as a good way to keep animals or people either out or in somewhere. Not only do they keep your beloved pets or farm animals confined, but they protect them as well. A well-made fence acts as a constant deterrent to destructive behaviour.

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Installing the fence posts

  1. Run a bottom guideline using baling twine to keep the fence line straight. Space off 2.4 m (8 foot) measurements. Mark the fence-post location with an orange dot using the spray paint. Auger to the desired depth and 1.2 m (4 foot) hole diameter. Repeat this step for all post holes.

  2. Drive a nail in the top of the corner brace to establish the top sight line using baling twine. Establish post height using a premarked tamping stick along with the top sight line. This will identify the hills and valleys along the fence row. You may shorten the distances between posts. If the valley or hill is too great you may need to add another post to help level out your fence line. Recheck to make sure you have the desired height of 2.4 m (8 feet) for each fence post grouping.

  3. Set the post at the checked height always referencing the guideline. Put a little soil in around the pole and tamp firmly. Repeat until the pole is set firmly. Drive a nail into the top of the post and check with the guide line to make sure it is at the desired height. Repeat this step until all posts are firmly set and at the 2.4 m (8 foot) height.

Installing the cross brace and cross pole

  1. Place at one end the cross-brace pole at the base of the first fence post and place the other end on top of the second fence post. Cut the cross-brace pole straight down at the point where it rests upon the second fence post using the chain saw. Once it is cut it will drop down into place.

  2. Screw the upper cross-brace pole to the adjacent second fence post with two screws spaced equidistant using the electric drill. Repeat this with the opposite end of the cross-brace pole.

  3. Place another pole spanning the top of the first and second fence posts. Cut to a snug fit. Notch each end so that it will resist moving out of place. Screw into the first and second posts just as you did the cross-brace pole.

Attaching page wire fence

  1. Lay the page wire on the ground. Note the space between the end rungs and make the widest end rungs the top of the fence. Unroll the page wire the entire length of the fence. Cut straight down in the middle of the rungs when you get to the end of the fence. Bring the open wire ends back over onto itself to strengthen the page wire fencing.

  2. Weave a pipe through the end of the fence. Chain this pipe to a small tractor. Pull the fencing slowly until it is taut. It should now stand straight up. This will take the slack out of the page wire fencing helping to keep the tension on the fence.

  3. Tack up the page wire fencing by driving a double-barbed staple over each rang into a fence post using the large hammer. Repeat until you have the page wire fencing stapled into each fence post and cross poles.

  4. Tip

    Put only small amounts of soil in the post holes. Putting in a lot of soil around the post may cause the post to not set firmly in the hole.


    Slowly pull with the tractor and just until the fencing is taut. If you pull too fast and too far you may put too much tension on the fence, thereby pulling the end posts out of the ground.

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Things You'll Need

  • Round fence posts, 2.55 m by 10 cm (8 1/2 foot by 4 inch) diameter
  • Round fence pole, 3.45 m by 10 cm (11 1/2 foot by 4 inch) diameter
  • Long screws
  • Double-barbed staples, 5 cm by 6 mm (2 inches by 1/4 inch)
  • Electric drill
  • Small tractor
  • Page wire fencing, 8 wire 20 rod
  • Chainsaw
  • Level
  • Baling twine
  • 4 tamping sticks, 21.2 cm (8 1/2 inches)
  • Gas auger
  • Large hammer
  • Spade shovel
  • Axe
  • Nails, 2.5 cm by 6 mm (1 inch by 1/4 inch)
  • Fencing wire

About the Author

Based in Rockford, Ill., Catherine Sutton started writing software reviews in 2006 and blog posts in 2008. She received the Rockford Area Gardeners of America Bronze Award in 2009. She holds an M.S. in agronomy-crop production from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also received an A.A. degree to become a personal technical specialist and another A.A. degree in computers and information systems.

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