Can You Move a Fence? (Hint: It Depends)


Whether you’re coming to this article because you want to move a fence to a new spot, or even just remove it, I have some answers for you. Because there are many different types of fences, the standard processes for taking them apart vary.

Fences can be moved. It is advisable to hire a professional for the job, but it is also possible to tackle the project yourself. Because many fences are secured with concrete, they can range in difficulty when it comes to removal. 

There are a few standard things to do before you begin to move your fence. Make sure to mark where you want the new fence to be and prepare the ground for it (i.e. digging holes), and have all the necessary safety gear on hand (including safety goggles and gloves). With that, let’s dive into the moving processes for some different types of fences.

Wood Fences

Wood fences are probably one of the easier types of fences to remove.

One easy option they offer is to just saw off the posts and leave the concrete in the ground if that’s what the posts were secured with. The other option you’d have if the concrete is used is to have a lever of some sort and use that to get it out of the ground. If no concrete is used to hold the fence in place, the easiest thing to do would be to just try wriggling the posts out of the ground.

Chain Link Fences

For chain link fences, the fence fabric itself is the easy part to remove. Once you’ve checked that it’s possible to take the posts out of the ground, begin removing the bolts, wires, and stakes that hold the fabric to the posts. It’s probably a good idea to roll up the chain link material as you go so that it can easily be moved to its next location. After the material is off, you can work on removing the top rails and any caps or dividers remaining.

Now for the posts themselves. Dig around the concrete to get the posts out of the ground (soaking the ground beforehand with water is suggested to help make digging easier). Your options at this point are to try to push and pull the steel posts out of the concrete, or simply cut them out if they refuse to budge.

At this point, you’re ready to put the posts back in the ground. Make sure they’re straight and where you want them, then begin the process of pouring concrete to make sure they’ll remain stable and upright for years to come.

Vinyl Fences

The probability of moving your vinyl fence without damage depends on how it’s structured. If all the vertical rails are stuck together in each frame with no spaces in-between, like many tall fences in America now are to provide privacy for neighbors, it would be easier for a professional to come to take care of its removal to prevent damage.

If there are spaces between the vertical rails on your vinyl fence, it will be much easier to take apart. The process for this type of fence goes as follows:

  1. Start by removing the caps off the posts. This can be done using a dull knife, spatula, or anything that can just break off the glue and pop off the cap.
  2. Remove the glue placed under the horizontal bottom rails and top rails. After this is done, those rails should be able to shift a little bit.
  3. Remove any screws found inside the fence posts. This will allow you to take the top rail and vertical rails out at least.
  4. The bottom rail will not be as easy because most often there is concrete in the base to keep the fence more stable. Do what you can to get the bottom rails out by pulling them and using flat tools. It’s possible that you might need to simply saw out the bottom rails if they’re not coming out of the posts. Source

Iron Fences

Iron fences, especially wrought iron fences, are some of the most difficult to move depending on what they might be attached to. They will most likely be secured with concrete and may even be attached on the side to brick, marble, or other stone walls. That being said, moving iron fences is pretty impossible unless you’re ready to do a lot of cutting, digging, and possibly welding.

If you are determined to do so, here are your options. If the fence is attached on the side to a wall or column, you can cut the fence apart, into sections if needed, and then work on welding them back together once they’ve been moved. If it’s not a terribly long section of fence and it is secured in concrete, you can dig up the concrete and then get a lot of people to help you lift it up and out of the ground.

Barbed Wire Fences

Barbed wire fences are more dangerous and difficult to take apart. They take a lot of careful work and are best done with two or more people. You will need bolt cutters and some sort of pliers to complete this task, as well as thick clothing to help prevent injury.

To begin, remove the staples from the posts. When you are preparing to cut any of the wire, stand clear of it as barbed wire tends to move unpredictably when cut. Then you can carefully roll up or coil your barbed wire to make it easily transportable.

After that, all that has to be done is to dig up your posts. Then you can fill in the ground where they were and go on to construct your fence in its new location.

So there you have it. There are many different methods for removing fences, so take into account what type of fence you are moving, where you are moving it to, and any materials you might need to take it apart. Remember to use proper tools and stay safe during your project!

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