How to Tear Down an Old Wooden Fence

Old Wooden FenceIs the old wooden fence on your property starting to sag and lean? There are ways to fix a leaning fence, but sometimes that old wooden fence just has to come down.

The fence may have become a safety hazard. Or you may just want to put up a new fence now. Either way, that fence has to come down.

First, you need to start by ascertaining who actually owns the fence. You don’t want to start a tear-down project only to find out later that the fence belonged to your neighbor! Break out your legal property description or talk to your neighbor to find out.

Assuming the eyesore really does live on your property it’s time to get a permit. A tear-down project still requires a building permit, even if you’re not planning on putting up a new fence.

Once you have the permit you should call Miss Dig at 811. This safety step simply ensures that there aren’t any utility lines near your fence, as you will have to do some digging in order to bring it down.

Once you’ve dealt with all of these issues you can actually start the project.

Inspect your fence posts. Sometimes the posts are still in really good shape, even if the fence itself isn’t doing so well. You can cut away each fence section with a chain saw (which you have to do anyway) while retaining the post if you want.

If you’re not going to keep the post, cut the tops off as you remove each of the fence sections. Then, you’ll dig around the concrete holding the post in place. You’ll need to use a sledge hammer to break up the concrete so you can remove it in small sections.

Finally, follow your city’s directions for disposing of the debris.

Note that there are hazards associated with this project. You should be wearing safety gear, like gloves and goggles. If you’re not comfortable doing it and if you plan on replacing the fence anyway, you might just want to call us. We’ll handle the permits. We’ll take your fence down carefully and replace it with a new, beautiful, Northern White Cedar fence. If you live in Shorewood, Wauwatosa, or anywhere else in our Milwaukee metro service area, give us a call. We’ll be happy to give you a free estimate!

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