Home Improvement

How to Build a Custom Deer Fence for Your Garden

When I started my garden, I had a fence using T posts and plastic deer fence. It worked for deer but didn’t keep out smaller animals that would come in underneath it. This year, since I was expanding the garden, I wanted to improve our garden deer fence as well. We decided to build a permanent wood and welded wire fence that extended underground with hardware cloth.

Building a deer fence on a sloped yard

My garden is on a slope, so that made it a little bit more challenging. I looked at a bunch of pictures online and brainstormed my ideas with Dad. He helped me decide for sure and helped me come up with a list of what to buy.

My fence varies in height due to the slope, but is around 5′ to 6′ high in most places, but ranges from 4′ to 6 1/2′. Technically it should be a little higher for deer, but my old fence was much shorter and less sturdy and it kept my local deer out.

Materials Needed

Gather the necessary materials based on the dimensions and slope of your garden. You’ll require 4×4 treated pine posts, spaced approximately every 8 feet along the fence line, with extra posts positioned at corners and near gates for added stability. For rails, opt for 2x4s to serve as top and bottom supports, providing structural integrity to the fence. Fast-setting Quikrete concrete will be essential for securing the posts firmly into the ground, ensuring stability and longevity. Choose 12.5 gauge welded wire fencing for the panels, which offers durability and resistance against wildlife. Additionally, acquire 19 gauge hardware cloth to serve as a barrier beneath the fence, preventing animals from burrowing underneath. Outdoor-rated screws will be needed for attaching rails, while poultry galvanized staples are ideal for securing the fence panels.

Cost Consideration

Estimate the cost of materials based on the linear footage of your fence. For a 52-foot linear fence, anticipate spending approximately $640 on materials, which includes the cost of renting an auger if needed for digging post holes. Keep in mind that actual costs may vary depending on local prices and specific garden dimensions. Budgeting accurately from the outset will ensure a smooth and cost-effective construction process. Be prepared to make adjustments based on your specific needs and budget constraints.

Choosing the Right Fence Material

Opt for a 5-foot welded wire fencing over larger cattle or hog panels for several practical reasons. Firstly, this type of fencing is more affordable and easier to transport, especially if you don’t have access to a truck for transporting larger panels. Secondly, the smaller hole spacing (2×4 inches) of welded wire fencing effectively deters smaller pests like rabbits, raccoons, and squirrels from entering your garden. While not as heavy-duty as cattle or hog panels, welded wire fencing provides sufficient sturdiness for most garden protection needs. Consider the specific wildlife threats in your area when choosing the right fencing material.

Building Steps Simplified

Follow these simplified steps to successfully construct your deer-proof fence:

  1. Mark OutPost Locations: Use spray paint or stakes to mark where each fence post will be positioned along the fence line, ensuring even spacing and alignment.
  2. Dig Post Holes: Consider renting an auger for efficient and precise hole digging, especially if the ground is hard or sloped. This will save time and effort compared to manual digging and ensure that posts are securely anchored.
  3. Install and Secure Posts: Set the 4×4 treated pine posts into the pre-dug holes and brace them using temporary supports. Pour fast-setting Quikrete concrete into each hole to secure the posts firmly in place, ensuring they are straight and level.
  4. Attach Rails: Use 2x4s to create top and bottom rails between the posts, ensuring they are level and securely fastened with outdoor-rated screws. This will provide structural support for the fence panels.
  5. Install Fence Panels: Measure and cut the welded wire fencing to fit between the posts, attaching it securely to the inside of the fence using poultry galvanized staples. Ensure that the panels are taut and properly aligned along the entire length of the fence.
  6. Prevent Digging Animals: Bury the 19 gauge hardware cloth beneath the fence line in a trench dug along the perimeter. Extend the hardware cloth at least 6 inches below ground level to deter animals from tunneling underneath, ensuring that there are no gaps or openings.
  7. Gate Installation: If a gate is required, construct it using appropriate materials and install it securely within the fence line, ensuring it closes tightly without gaps that could allow wildlife to enter. Consider adding additional hardware cloth or fencing material at the base of the gate to prevent animals from squeezing underneath.
  8. Finishing Touches: Trim the tops of the posts to make them even with the top of the fence for a neat and uniform appearance. Mound soil around the base of the fence to deter animals from digging underneath and facilitate easier access with a wheelbarrow or other garden equipment. Consider adding landscaping features or additional barriers to further enhance the effectiveness of your deer-proof fence.


Building a deer fence on a sloped yard requires thoughtful planning and the right selection of materials. By following these simplified steps and using basic tools that are readily available to most homeowners, you can create an effective barrier to protect your garden from wildlife while maintaining affordability and functionality. Take pride in your craftsmanship and enjoy the benefits of a well-protected garden that yields healthy produce year-round.