How To Measure Off Your Fence

When you start to kick around the idea of staining your fence, the first thing you should know is how much stain you will need. To determine how much stain needed, you need to decide which fence lines you are going to stain and how long those fence sections are, also known as the linear footage.

At Stain & Seal of Fort Worth, we take it one step further and use the height of the fence to determine the overall square footage. Keep reading for three quick and easy ways on how to determine both the linear footage and the square footage of your fence. If you aren’t a big reader, no worries, just scroll to the bottom and watch the short video. 

Measuring Wheel

Using a measuring wheel to measure the linear footage of your fence is super simple! First things first, determine which fence line you want to measure off. Keep in mind that if you want both the front and back of a section stained, be sure and walk that fence section twice. Walk over to the start of the fence line and hit the button on the wheel that will zero it out. Once you verify the wheel is at all zeros, place it at the beginning of the fence run. With slight downward pressure, begin walking. The downward pressure will help ensure the wheel doesn’t skip over roots, holes, etc. in the grass. At the end of your fence run, if there’s another fence intersecting your fence, bump the wheel right into the intersecting fence. If you want to follow along with that new fence, pick up the wheel and place it up against the fence at your starting point and start walking. When you have walked the entire length of the fence you need stained, just look at the readout on the wheel and that gives you the total linear feet.

You can take it one step further and determine the square footage. To determine the square footage you need to know how tall your fence is. Most fences are 6’ or 8’ in height. Once you have determined the height, multiply the length (so the amount from the wheel) by the height and that gives you the square footage of your fence! Here at Stain & Seal of Fort Worth, we use square footage to determine how much stain we need to purchase to stain a fence. 

Counting fence panels

Simply put, counting fence panels means to count the fence sections between the post supports. If you want the front and back stained, be sure to count that panel twice (once to stain the front, once to stain the back). Once you know how many fence panels you have, you can determine the linear length by knowing the height of the fence. 

Here’s an easy way to determine the length between panels. Typically there are eight feet between posts on a six-foot-tall fence and six feet between posts on an eight-foot-tall fence. Once you know if your fence is 6’ tall or 8’ tall, you know how many feet are between post.  

So count the panels and multiply by the 6 or 8 (dependent on the spacing on your fence) to determine the linear footage. On short runs between houses that are not a full panel long, it’s best practice to just round it up as a full panel length.

If you want to calculate the square footage, just take the linear footage and multiply it by the height of the fence. For a 6’ fence, multiply the linear footage by 6. For a fence that is 8’ tall, multiply the linear footage by 8.

Example: 

I have 15 fence panels on a 6’ tall fence that are in need of staining. 

If my fence is 6’ tall, generally speaking, there’s 8’ in-between each post. 

So, 15 panels x 8’ sections = 120 linear feet

120 linear feet x 6’ tall fence= 720 square feet

Google Maps 

Desktop

  1. Go to Google Maps 
  2. Type in your address
  3. Choose the satellite view and zoom in as close as you can to your property before it adjusts to street view. 
  4. Center your fence line in the screen and right-click (PC) or two-finger click (Mac) on the START of your fence
  5. A drop down will appear — click “Measure Distance.” 
    1. A white dot will appear to indicate your starting point. 
  6. Continue to click along your fence line to obtain your linear footage.
    1. Remember if you are wanting to stain the interior and exterior portions, you will need to double the linear footage in those areas to account for the interior side and the exterior side.   

Smartphone: 

  1. Go to Google Maps 
  2. Type in your address
  3. Use the satellite view and zoom in on your property. 
  4. Find a starting point of your fence and hold down on that point. 
  5. You should see a “Dropped Pin” notification at the bottom of your screen. 
    1. Pull up on that notification and you will see a ruler and “Measure Distance.” 
  6. From there you are can draw your fence line! 
    1. Remember if you are wanting to stain the interior and exterior portions, you will need to double the linear footage in those areas to account for the interior side and the exterior side. 
Quick Video to show using Google Maps on your Smartphone

Once you have your linear footage from Google, multiply the linear footage by the height of your fence to determine the square footage. 

VIDEO

**Using Google Maps not included in the video**

We hope this gives you a few ideas on how you can best calculate the linear footage and square footage of your fence line. Like always, if you have any further questions, shoot us an email or call!

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