Achieve the Perfect Fence Run with Our Complete Guide to Garden Fencing
Posted: September 28, 2021
All You Need to Know About Fencing
A garden fence is a long-term investment in your home so, here at Buy Sheds Direct, we have written Our Complete Guide to Garden Fencing to help you create the perfect fence run for your garden.
In this fence guide, we clearly explain commonly-used fencing terminology and tell you everything you need to know to make informed decisions about your new or existing fence run. This includes identifying which garden boundary is yours; how many fence panels you will need; the appropriate height for those panels; different types of wood treatment; popular fencing styles; essential fencing accessories; and advice on how to care for your garden fence so that it maintains its functionality and appearance for many years to come.
So, without further ado, let’s get started…
Which Is My Garden Boundary?
Look for T-marks on those plans. Whichever side of the boundary the T-mark falls on shows the party responsible for it. An H-mark indicates the boundary is shared between neighbours.
If the deeds do not indicate ownership, talk to your neighbour. If they don’t know, ask other neighbours whether they are aware of any long-standing informal arrangement.
Obviously, once you have confirmed which garden boundary is your responsibility, it is common courtesy to notify your neighbours before installing your new fence or modifying an existing one.
For more information on this subject, visit www.gardenlaw.co.uk/boundaries.html.
How Many Fence Panels Do I Need?
To begin with, measure out your garden boundary. If you are keeping existing fence posts, be very careful when measuring the distance between them as even millimetres can make a difference, particularly with concrete fence posts which are far less manoeuvrable than wooden ones.
The average fence panel is 6ft (1800mm) wide, while a fence post is generally 3-4 inches (70-100mm), but be sure to check the precise measurements detailed in the specification section of the appropriate product’s page on our website.
If you are adding a garden gate, this will clearly need factoring into your calculations too. Gates tend to be 3ft (900mm) wide but, again, be sure to check their detailed specification.
You should calculate all of these things before making your purchase. Knowing the number of fence panels and posts required, as well as their respective sizes, will also help you narrow down the selection to fit your budget.
What Height Fence Should I Choose?
In a back garden, as a general rule of thumb, fence panels should be no taller than 6 ½ feet (2m). For a front garden, if the fence is next to a footpath or public road, it should be no more than 3.28 feet (1m) high. If your planned fence is taller than this, or if the land adjoins a listed building, you will need to seek planning permission from the local authority before erecting the fence.
Now that you know the legalities surrounding fence height, let’s take a look at the role typically played by differently sized fence panels.
3ft fence panels are ideal for front gardens or to compartmentalise your outdoor space. They are unobtrusive and can look very attractive, but provide little or no security unless positioned atop a wall.
4ft Fence Panels
4ft fence panels are perfect for denoting boundaries without obscuring views. You can also use them to compartmentalise your garden. Again, you can use this size of fence panel in conjunction with a low-lying wall.
Use 5ft fence panels to denote garden boundaries or partition areas of your outdoor space. This height of fence panel provides a good degree of privacy and security without being overbearing.
6ft Fence Panels
6ft fence panels are our tallest size of fencing. They provide maximum levels of privacy and security, as well as making a real standout garden feature.
Our superb range of traditional and contemporary fence panels include multiple designs in all of these sizes.
For further information on selecting the right size of fence panel, please click here.
Dip-Treated and Pressure-Treated Fence Panels
It is important that your fencing has been treated with wood preservative to guard against rot and fungal decay, which will extend the fence’s lifespan. We stock two types of treated fence panel:
Dip-Treated Fence Panels
As the name suggests, dip treatment involves dipping the fence panel into a preservative, removing it and then allowing time for the liquid to absorb into the wood.
It is a simple but effective way to protect fencing from rot and fungal decay. Most of our dip-treated fence panels are backed by a 10-year anti-rot guarantee, dependent on annual retreatment, giving you peace of mind that you’re buying high-quality fencing.
Dip-treated fences are easy to recognise due to their orangey-brown hue.
Pressure-Treated Fence Panels
Pressure-treated fence panels are placed inside a chamber and have wood preservative forced deep inside them under hydraulic pressure. This provides them with unbeatable protection against rot and fungal decay.
Pressure-treated fencing is slightly more expensive than dip-treated alternatives but, as no annual retreatment is required, it will probably save you money in the long term. Most of our pressure-treated fence panels come with an impressive 15-year anti-rot guarantee, with no annual retreatment required.
Pressure-treated fence panels often have a slight green tinge when new. Don’t worry about this; it is simply excess preservative and will disappear over time, leaving the wood an attractive shade of light brown.
Different Styles of Fence Panel
Your fence is the frame to your garden and, unlike wallpaper, shouldn’t be taken down and changed on a whim. It is a long-term investment in your home, so you need to make a careful decision about the style of fence panel to use. It should be one that you’ll be happy with for many years to come.
Generally speaking, garden fences fall into one of two categories: traditional and decorative.
If privacy, security and longevity are your main objectives, you can’t go wrong with good traditional fence panels.
There are 4 main types to choose from:
Lap (short for overlap) panels offer excellent value for money. The wooden boards are positioned horizontally, in an overlapping fashion, and supported by vertical battens, so make a strong garden boundary.
As there are no gaps between the boards, lap panels ensure privacy. They also provide excellent rainwater runoff.
Closeboard fence panels are constructed from sturdy vertical boards within a heavy-duty framework.
They make an exceptionally stable and secure garden boundary, which maximises privacy and security.
Feather edge fencing is also constructed from vertical boards, supported by horizontal battens to the rear of the panel. They sport a traditional style and make the perfect backdrop for borders.
Featheredge fencing is sturdy and secure, providing your garden with both privacy and security.
Tongue and groove fencing is premium quality and looks very attractive too. The boards are joined together in a tight, interlocking fashion, making them less prone to rot caused by damp, and providing enhanced privacy and security.
We even stock tongue and groove fence panels especially designed to reduce noise pollution.
Decorative Fence Panels
Decorative fence panels create a beautiful backdrop to your garden.
They come in a whole host of designs, including picket fencing, slatted fence panels, hit and miss, and other contemporary styles.
Yes, Picket fencing is traditional, but it is also decorative. It is a popular and tasteful option for low-lying, informal garden boundaries. The gaps between the pales allow natural light to filter into the garden, and help you keep an eye on your children and pets.
Sometimes referred to as palisade fences, picket fencing is the go-to option for a cottage garden.
Slatted fence panels are perfectly suited to a contemporary garden. Providing a varying mixture of privacy and natural light, they make attractive informal garden boundaries.
They are also a sensible choice of fence panel for windy areas as the gaps between the slats allow the wind to pass through the panel, rather than pressing against it.
Double slatted fence panels allow slightly more privacy but less natural light, while other types of fencing can be fitted with slatted trellis toppers (more of that later).
This involves fitting horizontal boards and vertical battens alternately to either side of the panel, not only making for an attractive fence run, but one that both you and your neighbour can enjoy equally.
At first glance, a hit and miss fence panel can sometimes resemble slatted fencing. The big difference is that it actually provides complete privacy for your garden because the gaps between the boards on your side of the fence are covered by those on the neighbours’ side.
Contemporary fence panels vary in design but are universally sleek, eye-catching and stylish. They make a garden boundary which is sure to be the envy of your friends.
Grey contemporary fence panels are a particularly discerning choice.
To find out more about decorative fence panels, please click here.
Also known as lattice, trellis is beautiful in its own right, but once used to train and support climbing plants, it becomes something extra special.
Trellis panels can be used for a multitude of purposes. Position them against an unappealing brick wall to add a touch of glamour; use them to mask unsightly areas of the garden; add them together to form a complete fence run, with or without climbing plants; or use a trellis topper to increase the height of existing fence panels.
To discover more about garden trellis, please click here.
Essential Fencing Accessories
You can’t create the perfect garden boundary with fence panels alone. For that you need to add fencing accessories. Choose the right ones and you can turn a good garden fence into a great one.
Fence accessories range from the purely practical to the mostly decorative but, one thing’s for sure, your garden fence will benefit from adding at least some of them.
Let’s take a look at the key fencing accessories right now…
Fence posts are essential because they keep your fence panels securely in place. This means they need to be robust and durable, so all of our fence posts are made from either premium timber or concrete.
Wooden fence posts must be treated to prevent them from rotting. Dip-treated posts are the cheapest option and need to be coated in a new layer of wood preservative on an annual basis.
If your budget allows, we advise spending that little bit extra and purchasing pressure-treated fence posts instead. They enjoy better protection against rot and don’t require retreatment.
Concrete Fence Posts
Concrete posts are the most robust and durable option. They also perfectly suit a modern garden design.
When choosing concrete, ensure your measurements are correct before you erect the fence posts because they don’t have the flexibility of wooden alternatives.
We stock 70mm fence posts, along with all the other popular sizes, and are happy to help you match them to your chosen fence panels to create the perfect garden boundary.
Gravel boards are positioned underneath the fence panels to protect the wood from ground moisture, which can rot the bottom of the panels. This means they will prolong the life of your fence panels.
To ensure effective protection, gravel boards must be impervious to rot themselves, so are invariably made from pressure-treated wood or concrete.
Wooden Gravel Boards
Pressure-treated wooden gravel boards are highly-effective and complement the natural feel of most gardens.
Concrete Gravel Boards
Concrete gravel boards are the more expensive, but will last a lifetime. Like concrete fence posts, they particularly suit a modern garden design.
While gravel boards’ purpose is primarily a practical one, they are also aesthetically pleasing and add a real touch of class to a fence run.
Fence Post Caps and Finials
Fence post caps also have practical and decorative qualities. On the practical side, they protect fence posts from weather damage, which will prolong the life of your entire fence run. Naturally, pressure-treated post caps offer the best protection.
Finials can perform the same practical function as post caps but their emphasis is towards the decorative.
Fence Post Spikes and Fence Posts Shoes
Post spikes are a simple, effective way to secure fence posts into the ground. They are made from metal and should be powder-coated to prevent rusting. Post spikes come in a range of sizes to fit the different sizes of fence post.
Fence post shoes perform exactly the same function but are specifically designed for use on harder surfaces, for example concrete.
They can also transform a plain, conventional fence panel into a decorative one. Trellis is our most popular type of fence topper. When used to train and support climbing plants, it allows you to create a completely unique garden boundary.
If so, we stock wooden gates in heights of between three and six feet. They come in a range of designs to complement our fence panels and can be used as side gates too. Many of them are UK-made, pressure treated and have an impressive 15-year anti-rot guarantee, with no retreatment required.
To learn more about fencing accessories, please click here.
We only stock premium wood treatment, so you can rest assured that it offers the best possible protection for your fence.
DIY Fencing Kits
Or perhaps your garden runs along a slope or on uneven ground, and conventional fence panels simply won’t work?
In all of these cases, DIY fencing kits give you the power to create a bespoke fence run to meet your own garden’s exact requirements, as well as allowing you to fill small gaps in an existing fence run.
We stock all of the high-quality boards and brackets you need to carry out any of these tasks.
For a blog dedicated to fence care, please click here.
Buy Sheds Direct – The New Home of Fencing
You might associate us with garden buildings more than garden fences, but we have huge amounts of experience and expertise in both fields.
Speak to one of our friendly, UK-based customer service representatives, who will be delighted to advise you on all matters related to fencing, and don’t forget to view our superb range of garden fencing products.
Remember, Buy Sheds Direct is the new home of fencing.
Main feature image: Forest 5'11 x 5'11 Pressure Treated Contemporary Double Slatted Fence Panel