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Can you install a fence in autumn and winter?

Looking out your window and scratching your head about what to do with a broken or old fence?

When the weather changes, and the autumn and winter months draw in, many put garden jobs, such as fence replacement, on the back burner until the spring and summer months come back around again.

However, if your fence is looking worse for wear, not providing adequate security and is starting to gripe you or your neighbours, you may not want to wait until spring has sprung.

lattice top fence

Many people ask ‘what is the best time of year to replace or install a new fence?’.

The honest answer is, there isn’t a ‘best’ time of year as such.

Each season comes with its own challenges, and whilst it may seem less appealing to get outside during the colder months, installing a fence in the autumn or winter months is certainly doable.

Things to bare in mind when installing a fence in autumn or winter

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re installing a fence in autumn or winter.

The ground may be too hard


When the temperature drops and the ground freezes, digging holes for fence posts is not an easy task. However, during summer dry spells, you may also face the same hard-ground issues.

Therefore, if you’re keen to get a new fence installed during the autumn or winter months, it is worth getting on and doing it before the frost, ice, or even snow, hits.

The ground may be too soft


When installing a fence at any time of year, always factor in the ground saturation. The softer ground will be easier to dig, meaning autumn and winter can be a favourable time to install a fence.

However, if you’ve experienced a period of heavy rainfall, the ground may be very soft and soggy.

This will mean that postcrete hardens more slowly, or maybe even not at all. If this is the case, you’ll notice you’ve got wonky fence posts, and eventually, what should be an easy task of slotting in fence panels or fixing together close board panels will become hard work.

What’s more, pooling water in post holes will mean that timber posts are more likely to rot and decay more quickly. If you’re worried about this, you should choose concrete fence posts or Duraposts.

Ultimately, if the ground is too soggy and wet, you should certainly hold back until the ground dries out.

Paints and stains take longer to dry

If like many, you’re planning to stain or paint your fence once installed, it’s important to bear in mind that during the cooler months, any wet treatment will take longer to dry.

In the summer, paints and stains dry quicker, and you’re more likely to get a good few dry days to allow the treatment or colour to soak in.

When is the best time to install a fence?

Robin on fence panel
The best time to install a fence is when it is fairly mild, humidity is low and rainfall is low.

Top tips for installing a fence in autumn and winter

fence with lattice top
Avoid extreme weather conditions

Trying to install a fence when it’s pouring with rain, snowing or freezing cold isn’t going to be fun.

Make lighter work for yourself by picking a few dry days, when the air temperature is mild, or at least a fair few degrees above freezing.

Try to get the fence done in one hit

Once you’ve got all of the fencing materials you need to get started, get cracking.

Try to install the whole fence all at once. If you do it in sections, the weather may change, and your new fencing project could be put on hold for days, weeks or even months.

Once you’ve started, aim to finish, and take enjoyment in the satisfaction of having a completely brand-new fence.

Hold off on painting and staining

If you want to paint or stain your fence but can’t be guaranteed a few dry and mild days, wait until the spring or summer.

All of the fencing timber at Equestrian Fencing has been pressure treated, giving it a layer of protection from the elements and insects.

Planning on replacing your fence?

Shop online from a range of quality fencing products at Equestrian Fencing.

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