As well as adding a little rustic or modern charm to your landscaping, a garden fence gives you privacy, security and peace of mind. Essential for protecting your plants and vegetables from uninvited intruders, a fence is easy to maintain, inexpensive to install and – if you choose quality timber – long-lasting.
To install a fence, you will first need to check your title deeds and be absolutely sure whether a boundary belongs to you. Then, take a look at the size and design of fencing that suits your garden and your needs:
- Featheredge fencing is made up of overlapping vertical boards of timber. This is the strongest and heaviest panel, giving you complete privacy and is ideal for boundary fencing.
- Waneylap fencing is made from overlapping horizontal timber boards, a cheaper fence that offers high levels of privacy.
- Palisade fencing allows you visibility and good security in the form of a traditional picket-type fence.
- Trellis fencing can be used on its own as open screen fencing or as a decorative panel on top of an already solid fence.
The next step is to choose the right fence posts. There are pros and cons for both wooden and concrete posts: Concrete posts ensure you have a good strong fence, but they do need a quite a lot of work to put up whilst wooden posts are easier to handle, but as they’re buried in the ground, there’s a slightly higher risk that they will rot.
Next, decide on the height of your fence and work out the length of the posts to buy before calculating the number of panels you will need. Whilst our fence panels and posts are pre-treated, it is a good idea to treat them with an all-purpose preservative.
Before you start erecting the fence, use a string to mark the boundary line. Clear away vegetation and treat the area with weed killer, then lay out the posts evenly along the string.
Once you have checked the location of water pipes and power cables, make a line of evenly spread holes using a metal spoke, rod or bar. The holes for your posts should be three times as wide as the post and 2ft deep. Once the posts are in place, pack broken brick or stone hardcore into the base of the hole to support the end of the post. Then, half-fill the hole with water and pour the postcrete mix on top. When the concrete reaches ground level, trowel the surface smooth, sloping the concrete away from the post to allow water to run off. Using a spirit level, check the post is vertical on two adjacent sides then prop it up with one or two timber battens to hold it in position while the concrete sets. Leave the concrete to harden for at least an hour before attaching the fencing panels.
When the concrete is dry, screw the fence panels to the posts using two or three post clips per panel. Add treated or concrete gravel boards along the bottom or leave a gap of at least 100mm to keep the fencing panels off the ground and prevent them rotting. Then, finally screw the panels to the posts using two or three U-shaped post clips per post or there’s no need for clips if using concrete posts, as they are pre-slotted.