Fence Removal Guide – Demolition Process & Options

Getting rid of a fence can spring up a whole lot of surprises in terms of difficulty level, job complexity, and other unexpected scenarios that could come up. Here is an article on practical fence removal options.

With the right guide, knowing what to expect becomes much easier and enables you to plan better.

However, is the targeted fence yours? Sounds strange right?

Nevertheless, this is an important question that saves you from making mistakes. A lot of times, people get involved in encroachment-related issues because they didn’t confirm the extent of their property lines.

It’s important not to get caught up in such an error as you could be trespassing on someone else’s property.

Best Fence Removal Options

Before you ever get started, one thing needs to be clear; your preferred fence demolition approach.

By this, we mean choosing between the DIY demolition option and calling a professional. For a lot of people, having a demolition expert performing their fence removal is preferred.

On the other hand are homeowners in love with DIY approaches to demolition.

This article will be most useful for this category of people as they need all the necessary guidance on how to carry out fence removal. So, does that mean the information here will be useless to those interested in calling a pro? Not at all!

Having a fence demolition technician or company handle your fence demolition job is an excellent choice.

Only that the technician is already experienced. However, the information here still gives you an edge as you tend to have a better understanding of how the process unfolds.

We’ll be taking a look at both DIY fence removal and professional demolition. Having such a balance of information enables readers to better understand what goes on under each demolition option.

DIY Fence Removal and Demolition

We begin by asking a key question; why take the DIY route and what benefits does it offer?

Before homeowners get to settle for a demolition method, they weigh the perceived benefits in terms of cost and job satisfaction among other things.

Fence removal cost plays a major role in people’s decision to adopt DIY techniques.

In other words, one of the major goals is to incur the lowest possible cost (if any at all) by handling their own fence demolition jobs.

Now, this is uncharted territory for many and so, the need to have a guide becomes paramount.

A fence removal guide does a lot to help homeowners stick to efficient and safe demolition techniques. All forms of guesswork are eliminated as you get to follow reliable methods and procedures.

  • Safety First!

Note that you’ll be working with a wide range of tools. Also, the work environment needs to be safe enough. Your safety as well as those of anyone involved and people around is paramount. This includes your neighbors too.

Safety begins with having the right protective gear.

These include goggles, gloves, and safety boots among others. Is anyone involved in the project? You should have some help as it makes a lot of sense.

  • Have a Plan

A lot of homeowners handle fence demolition the wrong way.

First, there needs to be a plan of action as fence removal is hard work. You should know that fence posts go deep down and having them removed could be challenging.

Certain steps are crucial to a good fence demolition plan. They include having a chat with your neighbors, adherence to building codes, and calling utilities before digging starts.

Let’s briefly expand on each of these points.

  • Having A Chat With Your Neighbors

You likely have neighbors close by. Your pre-demolition preparations should include discussing with them. Determining the extent of your property in regards to fence location can be tricky.

If you built such a fence, then you’ll be doubly sure about the limits of your property.

However, if you came and met the fence already erected, then you might want to clear with your neighbors. This is because they might have installed such a fence.

By discussing with the neighbors, you get to find out if the fence was indeed installed by them or sits on an adjoining lot.

Fence ownership could also be shared. Even when such a fence sits on your property or was built by you, it’s good to have your neighbors informed of the planned demolition.

That way, they get to make necessary preparations for any inconvenience the procedure might cause.

  • Adherence to Building Codes

There are building codes that guide any form of construction or demolition work.

A whole lot of variables are involved here. These range from fence height, style, fence building permit(s), and approval for change of hardscaping or landscaping.

It’s important to find out what codes apply to your fence removal procedure. This enables you to avoid infringements or violations as fines could follow.

  • Calling Utilities before Digging Starts

Utility lines could crisscross the fence location making it challenging to navigate during demolition. So, it’s important to have a utility service take a look at the area. Their recommendations help avoid accidents.

  • Attitude, Fence Type, and Location

What do these have in common? They are assessments you’ll need to perform or consider before proceeding to bring down a fence. In the case of attitude, how you approach this task is important.

Here, we’re talking about your physical and mental state.

DIY fence removal is a difficult job that requires being physically strong. Otherwise, it’s best to leave it to the experts.

About the fence type, this needs to be ascertained before work commences. Different fence types require different approaches for removal. The most common include chain-link fences, wood, and vinyl. There are also bamboo fences, aluminum, wrought iron, and PVC fences.

Of course, the difficulty involved in the removal processes for each fence type will differ from one fence to the other. So, you have to find out what fence type you have and how to have it removed.

How does location matter? You could be within a location with soils having significant clay content. This creates an extra challenge trying to dig up fence posts or footings. The location of fencing also matters as they could be in a tight spot. You’ll want to ask yourself if it’s worth the try.

Fence Removal Procedure

The following are procedures to follow for the removal of vinyl fences, wooden and chain-link fences. Without further delay, let’s show you how to proceed.

  • Vinyl Fence Removal Guide

If you have a vinyl fence on your property, you’ll need to find out if the fence is held in place by a tab-insert system or screws & brackets. Those with notches will need to be dismantled by pulling up the top rail.

The aim is to have the notches come out of the grooves.

Some tapping (using a rubber mallet or similar tool) will be necessary to pull out the rail before sliding the pickets. Vinyl fences with brackets and screws should be dismantled by unscrewing them.

Start with the top rail and repeat for the others while pulling the brackets from both sides of the rail.

With the posts remaining, proceed to dig a hole in the ground that’s adjacent to the post. This should be deep enough to reach the bottom of the footing. Now, you’ll need to push the post towards the dug hole.

To pop the post out of the ground, you’ll need a fulcrum and lever.

With the fulcrum on one side, the lever should be inserted at the hole previously occupied by the bottom rail. Pull up the lever side until the post comes out. This should be repeated for all posts.

  • Wooden Fence Removal Guide

Removing a wooden fence should begin by taking out the gates and fence pickets. This should be followed by placing or attaching a cleat to the post remaining. A fulcrum needs to be placed next to the fence post.

This can be made of anything from cinder blocks or brick stacking.

Now, you’ll need a lever under the cleat. With the lever being pushed down, the force should be enough to get the fence post out of the ground. You might want to consider using a San Angelo bar for your lever.

Removal of cement footings of a fence can be performed with the help of a jack and sturdy prop.

  • Chain-Link Fence Removal Guide

If you have a chain-link fence installed on your property, the removal technique is quite different. The risks involved are a bit higher as sharp metals are involved.

You’ll need to put on your protective gear before starting.

First, the clamps holding the tension bar will need to be removed from the post. Secondly, weave out the tension bar out the chain link. Next, you’ll need to measure the chain link sections to be cut.

The measured sections will be determined by available working space.

With sections fully measured, cut fence ties along the top rail. At the end of the marked section, the chain-link should be removed from the remaining fence. Now, get the detached section by rolling it out of the way.

With the top rail removed, you’ll need to get the posts out of the ground.

Have a hole dug around the cement footings right down to the bottom before positioning a chain below. The other end of the chain should be attached to a bumper jack resting on a heavy prop to pull out the cement footing.

This fence removal guide and demolition options won’t be complete without making mention of the need to have a professional perform the procedure. This is about the easiest and best option available.