DIY Fencing Made Easy - A Step-by-Step Guide

July 6, 2022

Aluminium fence panels are a jack of all trades in the world of fencing, and no, we’re not talking about the Olympic combat sport. We’re talking about the fence that goes around your deck.

An aluminium fence shares the same strength and durability as steel, with the versatility and flexibility of custom timber fencing, requiring much less maintenance, with a fencing material that will outlast them all. And, it’s often the cheaper option, making your fence DIY project less of an expense.

With the right tools and equipment, and some professional expertise, you’ll have your aluminium fence installed in no time at all. And for those who enjoy unobstructed views from your deck, we’ll also cover DIY glass fencing.

How to install an aluminium fence?

We’re not going to be installing just any old aluminium picket fence. We’re using Ultralox Interlocking Technology. After taking the USA by storm, their multifaceted array of aluminium fence panels for commercial and residential projects harnessing patented interlocking machines and premium pre-powder-coated aluminium to produce beautiful and durable fences.

Ultralox makes it incredibly easy to install aluminium fence panels thanks to the wealth of instructions on their website, plus an entire library of installation videos on their YouTube that will show you step-by-step how to install an aluminium fence.

We'll cover some preparatory steps to get you started on your aluminium fence DIY project.

Safety guidelines

No matter what type of fence you’re installing, you want to ensure that your site is reviewed by a licensed architect, engineer or local building official before installation.

Ultralox aluminium fences must be installed using the same building principles for installing wood, composite, or metal safety railings, per local building codes and the installation guidelines included below.

What equipment do I need?

Your fence DIY project requires a few tools.

  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Level meter
  • Tape measure
  • Cordless drill
  • Miter saw with a non-ferrous blade
  • #2 Square Drive Bit
  • 5mm Drill Bit

Selecting your panels

  • 1.8m (1830mm actual size)
  • 2.4m (2430mm actual size)

The goal is to use as few fence panels as possible to fence in your selected area.

Installing lower fence clips

Install the 75mm x 75mm posts on both sides of the aluminium fence panels, including any external and internal corners that require a fence railing.

You have two options for post-installation:

Without a lower rail clip jig

  1. Measure 73mm from the top of the casting shoulder
  2. Mark position for the location of the top edge of the fence clip with a pencil

With a lower rail clip jig

  1. Place lower rail clip jig on top of the base plate upper edge with the arrow facing base blate (down)
  2. Place clip inside the hole and fasten with (2) - #8x20mm self-drilling screws

Securing posts to deck

  1. With a 5mm drill bit, pre-drill through the deck boards and into blocking
  2. Level and plumb post using shims
  3. Secure posts to deck with suggested screws
  4. Install post cap and post base vinyl plate cover
  5. If you plan on installing post cap lighting, drill a 16mm hole in the centre of the four-deck screw holes to feed lighting wires

    NOTE: complete wiring before securing posts to the deck surface and installing top rail profiles.

Secure deck fence to post

  1. Slide the bottom channel of the pre-cut fence onto the lower clip
  2. Insert clips into the top track of the fence on each end
  3. Using (4) - #8 x 20mm Self-drilling screws, attach the upper 2-clips to the post
  4. Using (8) - #8 x 20mm Self-drilling screws, secure the upper and lower clips to the fence

Cut and install hand and base rail snaps

  1. Measure between posts at the top and bottom
  2. For Continuous Hand Rail, measure opening from outside of 75mm post to 75mm post
  3. Cut top & bottom snap covers 2mm less than opening
  4. Clean cut areas and apply touch-up paint on all exposed metal
  5. Snap each balustrade snap over the corresponding balustrade channel until properly seated

Install base rail support

  1. For openings greater than 1220mm, install base rail support under the centre of the base rail
  2. Slide base rail support under base rail and mark.
  3. Install two deck screws at the location of base rail support, and install base rail support over screws.
  4. Using (1) - #8 x 20mm Self-drilling screws, secure the base rail support to the base rail

Glass fence panel installation

Unlike the aluminium picket fence installation above, DIY glass fencing must be installed one panel at a time. We recommend speaking to your glass dealer for specific handling and installation guidelines. They’re the glass experts, after all!

Attaching bottom rail receiver

Much like an aluminium picket fence, you must first attach the bottom rail receiver. You can do so with or without a jig.

Without a jig

  1. Measure 73mm from the top of the casting shoulder
  2. Mark position for the location of the top edge of the bottom rail receiver (included with glass fence panels) with a pencil

With a jig

  1. Place lower rail clip jig on top of the base plate upper edge with the arrow facing base blate (down)
  2. Place bottom rail receiver inside the hole and fasten with (2) - #8x20mm self-drilling screws

Attaching rail clip

  1. Measure 75mm from the top of the bottom glass receiver and mark with a pencil.
  2. Align below pencil mark and centre clip-on rail
  3. Secure with (2) #8 x 20mm Self-drilling screws

Set your post aside for the moment while we assemble the bottom rail section.

Assembling the bottom rail section

Included in your aluminium glass rail kit are a bottom rail section (in the shape of an H) and a bottom glass receiver (also in the form of an H).

  1. Lay the bottom glass receiver on the top of the bottom rail section and snap it together using minimal pressure
  2. Skip this step if you’re panel is the correct size. Once firmly attached, cut the bottom rail using a non-ferrous blade. Cut both vinyl and aluminium fence panels at the same time.
  3. Take the bottom rail section and clip it onto the bottom glass receiver on the post. Do the same on the other side.
  4. Temporarily secure each post (4) #8 x 20mm Self-drilling screws before installing the top rail section. Leave fasteners loose for adjusting posts.

Installing top rail section

  1. Skip this step if you’re panel is the correct size. Measure between posts. If the top rail section is too long, cut it to size using a non-ferrous blade. Cut only aluminium glass insert
  2. Turn the top rail section upside down, so the hollow is at the bottom and attaches to the post clip. Do the same on the other post.
  3. Secure top rail #8 x 20mm Self-drilling screws. The tension will keep everything together at the bottom.
  4. Fasten posts to the deck.

Attach centre support leg

  1. Find the centre point of the panel and attach the centre support leg
  2. Screw into place with the white screw bundled with the support leg.

Insert top rail vinyl section

  1. Skip this step if you’re vinyl section is the correct size. Measure between posts. If the top rail vinyl section is too long, cut it to size using a non-ferrous blade. For easy installation, cut a few centimetres shorter than the distance between the posts.
  2. Snap into the top rail to secure
  3. Attach top rail profile. You’ll hear a distinct clicking sound when they’re attached.

Custom glass infill

Because Ultralox only supplies the aluminium fence, you’ll need to contact your local glass supplier with the measurements of your fencing for your custom glass infill. They will then ensure that their glass will be sturdy enough for your fencing and hand railing application. Plus, you’ll be able to leverage their expertise in transporting and installing the glass for your fence DIY project.

 

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Thomas P
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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