We’ve run into a slew of talented do-it-yourselfers (DIY) over the last decade. You know who we’re talking about. Guys and gals who know their way around a tool box; The retirees and empty-nesters who aren’t afraid to jump in and take on the most challenging home improvement projects imaginable; Single folks who live for weekend painting projects. But no matter the project, many of these same folks have problems because of a classic DIY failure: The inability to accurately estimate how much supplies and materials are needed.
At Toronto Deck and Fence Company, our expert design and installation professionals have more than a decade behind them when it comes to deck & fence material calculation – but they never take the process for granted.
There are several fundamental steps necessary for accurate deck & fence material calculation that anyone building either project should be aware of.
Calculating fence materials, follow these steps:
- Sketch the area where the fence will be installed, paying attention to the placement of sidewalks, shrubs, and other landscaping or permanent features.
- Take overall measurements for the entire area.
- Transfer the sketch to graph paper, and select a scale you’re comfortable with before adding all the features from the original drawing.
- Calculate the number of posts needed for each fence line by dividing the overall fence length in increments of 4, 6, or 8 feet depending on fence panel width.
- Calculate how many fence boards or panels will be needed by dividing the overall fence length by the width of the boards and any spaces or panels. Don’t forget to multiply the total by the amount of rails or wires for those fences.
Calculating decking materials follows a similar process:
- Create a drawing of your deck plans to scale, including measuring the length in the direction that is perpendicular to the joists. Round off all measurements to the next highest foot.
- Calculate how many planks you will need by measuring to scale.
- Next, estimate how much concrete you’ll need. Unless using ready-mix, you’ll need to estimate how much cement, sand and gravel is required. This mixture should represent at least 1.5 times the volume of in-place concrete after curing and drying.
- Metal hardware is calculated by simply counting the number of posts, beams and joists in your plan.
- Add in any extras that you are planning to install, such as electrical fixtures, railing, and other accessories.
For an accurate deck & fence material calculation or to learn more about the process, contact Toronto Deck and Fence Company for a free consultation.