10 Tips for A Perfect & Pain-Free Fence Installation

Wood fence installation in Montclair, New Jersey installed by Artistic Fence Company

Whether you’ve never had a fence installed on your property before or it’s just been a while, here are 10 tips for a perfect and pain-free fence installation from your chosen fence contractor.

The perfect fence installation can increase your property’s value, add curb appeal, and give you some much-needed privacy, but there are always some potential problems when undertaking a project of this magnitude.

That’s because getting a fence isn’t like other outdoor services like weekly yard maintenance or mulch deliveries. There is more that goes into it since it is the installation of a permanent barrier. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to make the fence installation process a breeze for everyone involved.

Ready for a perfect and pain-free fence installation? Here are 10 tips that will prepare you, your property, and your neighborhood for your new home enclosure.

1. Understand Your Contract

Before we even schedule your fence installation, it is important for you to understand your fence contract. Read and re-read your contract so you understand what you’re signing.

If you have questions about the style, material, or installation process, always talk to your fence contractor before the installation date (ideally before you even sign). Your salesperson should be able to answer all of your questions pertaining to your purchase.

Personally, we want you to love your fence. We do everything we can to make sure you know exactly what we’re installing ahead of time, but sometimes there are miscommunications. What’s more is that sometimes things that seem obvious to us in the business can actually be a little confusing to the people who are purchasing the fence.

If you have questions, please ask them early and often!

2. Clear Your Fence Line

This next tip can range from being very simple to quite the project depending on your landscaping. Fence installers need a clear fence line to dig post holes and install fence sections. You should clear your fence line of obstructions before installation so that everything goes smoothly.

Lots of different plants in a backyard

What counts as an obstruction? Here’s a short list:

  • Bushes
  • Shrubs
  • Flowers
  • Plants
  • Trees
  • Boards
  • Logs

We appreciate everyone who trusts us to install our fence and we do our best to treat your property like our own. If you want to keep plants or shrubs near the fence line, please tie them back and inform the installers. While we cannot be responsible for any plants or shrubs in the way, we will do our very best to be careful and save what we can.

3. Have A Plan for Displaced Dirt

Installing a new fence requires us to dig post holes somewhere between 2 and 3 feet deep. This means that there will be some leftover dirt in your yard. We don’t want that to come as a surprise!

person holding dirt in their hand

That’s why we make it clear on our contracts that the displaced dirt is yours to keep since we don’t have anywhere to put it at our facility. Typically, our fence installation crews will use their best judgement to place the dirt in areas that make sense. For example, they will spread it out in wooded areas or level out areas where your property dips.

What are some things you can do with post hole dirt? If you have planters or raised garden beds, you can always add to it with the soil from your post holes. Don’t need it yourself? Ask your neighbors or local Facebook groups if anyone can use it.

4. Let Your Neighbors Know

The next way to make sure your fence installation in New Jersey goes smoothly is to be a good neighbor and give them a heads-up.

This is a universal tip for any type of work at your property. While you don’t need to broadcast it to your entire neighborhood, we recommend telling your neighbors that you share a property line with. You definitely don’t want to give them the impression that you’re going to change your mind if they have minor objections or suggestions, but just hearing people out can make a big difference!

neighbors talking over a white picket fence

If you’re close, it might help to talk to them before you even get an estimate in case they want to split the cost or add even more fencing to match yours in their yard.

If you have a poor relationship with any of your neighbors already, it’s your call on what to do. We will gladly talk to your neighbors if approached and try to diffuse any potentially uncomfortable situations as we install your fence on your property.

5. Have Your Permit Handy

It is the law in most towns in New Jersey that you have a permit for a new fence. While some towns are pretty relaxed, others will send representatives out the day of installation to check that you have all your paperwork and have paid all your fees.

Hand stamping a permit application with a stamp that says "Approved"

That’s why no matter where you live it’s always necessary to have your permit ready. Many people seem scared by the permit application process, but there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

We always recommend going for the permit yourself and starting the process early. Just call your building and/or zoning department to see what you need.

Every town is unique, so our office staff doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer to the permit process. However, we will be more than happy to answer the questions that we can. We will also help you along the way if you have questions while filling out paperwork.

6. Be Present for Install

The next way you can ensure your fence installation goes smoothly is to be present for the fence installation. We even ask on our contracts that someone be home during installation.


Getting a fence installed isn’t like having an online order delivered. Fences are large, permanent investments that forever alter the look of your property, so we need you there to know you are 100% satisfied.

When you are on the property during installation, our installers can stop and ask you questions, explain decisions, and point things out while they are installing your fence. This communication is key to creating a smooth fence installation process.

Depending on where you are in New Jersey, there can be quite a lot of things underground that might disrupt the process. For example, your home’s foundation may extend outward from your house, forcing installers to leave a larger gap between you home and the fence post.

By being home, you give fence installers the opportunity to explain why things are being done the way they are and offer suggestions. Trust us – this definitely beats coming home to a fence that doesn’t look exactly like you thought it would!

7. Keep Pets Indoors

One of the most common reasons people call us for fence installations is when they get a new puppy or other pet they want to keep safely in their yard.

Older yellow lab in the window of an old stone house

If you have a four-legged friend (or friends!) we ask that you please keep them inside. While we love animals, we don’t want them getting hurt or lost while we are installing or repairing your fence.

Once the crew finishes, your pets will have a safe area to play. But while the installation is going on we ask that you keep them busy inside or take them for a walk around the block.

8. Show Installers Underground Lines

The next extremely important step towards ensuring your fence installation process goes smoothly is showing your fence installers where any underground lines are on your property. This includes:

  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Electric Wires
  • Pipes and Drains

Any time we are going to dig fence holes on a property, we use the New Jersey One Call system to request mark outs of any underground utility lines like gas, sewer, water, and electric. These utility provider-owned lines are typically in the front and side yards of homes in New Jersey.

But what about lines you or a previous homeowner installed themselves?

Underground personal sprinkler system at a residence

Make sure you know where any underground wires, pipes, and/or sprinkler systems are in your yard. Think about electric lines that might run to your pool or water lines that might run to your sprinkler system. If you had these utilities installed, know where they are or have a diagram.

If you’re a planner that wants to mark these ahead of time with flags that’s great, but all we ask if that you point these things out to your installers the day of. We really don’t want to damage your property, but if we don’t know the lines are there, we can’t avoid them!  

9. Bring Up Questions or Concerns

When we’re installing a fence, our biggest concern is you. That’s why a lot of these tips include protecting your property and triple-checking the fence height, style, material, etc. is exactly what you want.

If you have a question or concern about your fence while it’s being installed, please talk to your installers. They will be more than happy to answer you, work on creative solutions to things that you might not have realized or go over options for any unforeseen issues.

10. Give Last Payment

The last thing you have to do on installation day is finish paying for your fence if you haven’t already done so!

Yellow sugi wood fence installed by Artistic Fence in New Jersey

Every fencing company is different, but we require last payment on the day we complete the work.

Whether you’re paying with cash, check, or credit card, it’s important that you are home at the time of completion to not only pay, but to go over the fence and make sure everything looks great. Take your time to go over the fence, gates, and posts to make sure everything looks like you thought it would.

Trust us – it’s much easier to adjust something or fix something on the same day, rather than schedule a time for us to come back. We will always come back – of course – but it goes much faster if you can take a look the day of!

3 Points of Preparation

If you’ve made it this far, you’re dedicated to learning about the fence installation process and working together with your fencing contractor to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, which is awesome!

Whether your installation is next week, or you haven’t even made an estimate appointment yet, we’ve condensed the above tips into 3 points of preparation that are easier to remember:

  1. Paperwork – Check your contract and make sure your permit is approved
  2. Property – Make sure the fence line is clear and you have a plan for the dirt
  3. People – Give your neighbors a heads up, keep your pets inside, and be present for install so you can talk to your installers!

What Do You Want To Know?

These are what we think the 10 best fence installation tips are, but are they helpful to you?

If you still have questions, we want to give you answers! Please send us any questions by clicking the button below and we’ll respond to it in an upcoming blog post!

You can also share the below infographic with the people you know who are getting a fence installed to help them get ready! 

top tips for fence installation infographic