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Domestic Fence Buying Guide

Fence buying is far from one size fits all. With fencing available in all shapes and sizes and made from different materials, you have a great deal of choice available on the market. The question is, which fence are you going to choose?

We have created this complete fence buying guide, so that you can select and erect a fence that is most suitable for your outdoor application. Whether you are looking to find the most secure fence option, or simply something that works within your budget, find out everything there is to know about fencing.

Getting started with choosing the right fence

Before deciding which fence is the most suitable choice for your project, take some time to consider your requirements so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Fence purpose

Establishing the purpose of your fence is a great place to start. Do you need to create a secure and private boundary around your garden? Are you looking for something decorative that compliments your garden space? Or, are you in need of new panels to repair a fence that has been damaged by a recent storm?

Time and expertise

Whether you are prepared to erect your fence yourself or are expecting to bring in a professional fencer, you need to consider the time and expertise available to erect and maintain your fence. Whilst some fences are more geared towards DIY fixing, other fences may require some level of expertise.

Budget

Your budget and available spend for buying and erecting your new fence will also be a key factor in deciding the most appropriate fencing option for your project. There is a broad range of fence options available for all budgets. Generally, the more ornate the fence style, the higher the price range.

Fence styles

There are a vast number of fence options available, each with different properties, installation processes and maintenance requirements. Check out some of the most popular styles of fence available to you.

Closeboard Fencing

Closeboard fence

The closeboard fence is one of the most traditional approaches to constructing a fence. Suitable for a range of domestic and commercial properties, closeboard fencing is often used in back gardens, along driveways and in public areas such as car park perimeters and alleyways.

Properties

With the correct permissions, closeboard fences can be constructed up to 8ft, making this a secure and effective fence boundary choice. It is typically considered very robust, durable and long-lasting when installed correctly. Closeboard fencing is pet and child friendly and can be installed on hills and slopes.

Installation

A closeboard fence is constructed by nailing overlapping vertical featheredge boards to horizontal arris rails. Featheredge should overlap by at least 25mm (on a 125mm width Featheredge board). Each arris rail (most use two or three arris rails per section) is secured horizontally between two fence posts, of which can be a timber post or concrete post.

Each post should be put into an 18 to 24” hole in the ground, and concreted in place using postmix. A concrete or timber gravel board should be fitted at the bottom of the fence, to protect the featheredge boards from ground moisture. The top of the fence can be capped to protect the boards from weathering and to give the fencing a nice tidy finish.

Because a closeboard fence can be erected to a range of heights and perimeter lengths, it’s a highly dynamic fence option and is a superb choice if you are working with uneven ground. Generally, it is recommended that closeboard fence installation is carried out by someone with experience in fence installation, particularly when the fence is to be positioned on sloping ground.

Maintenance

Whilst this is a strong fence option, you should take care to maintain the timber to ensure that the fence remains robust throughout all seasons.

The fence can be painted or sprayed on a dry, non-humid day or treated with a solvent-based treatment or decking oil every 18 months to two years to protect the timber from UV rays, weathering and insect damage. Before treating, be sure to remove any fungi, debris or weeds.

You can repair or replace damaged or rotten arris rails using an arris rail mortice bracket or an arris rail repair brackets. The fence’s gravel boards and cap and countertop can also be removed and replaced when they become worn and water damaged.

Price

Although closeboard is a more expensive fencing option, particularly if you are opting for professional installation, it’s long-lasting and durable structure makes this a fantastic fencing investment that should last for years to come. If you like the closeboard fence appearance but are looking for a solution that is slightly earlier in install, you may wish to consider a closeboard panel fence.

Fence panels

Fence panels with trellis top

Fence panels offer a ‘ready-made’ alternative to closeboard fencing. Each fence panel is designed, made and ready for installation. There are a vast range of fence panel styles available for gardeners, landscapers and homeowners to choose from when looking for the perfect fence for their outdoor space.

Types of fence panels

Fence panels can be made from a range of timbers and to different widths and heights. Some are designed to be more wind resistant than others, some fence panels are chosen for decorative purposes and others are more suitable for providing security and privacy. Here are some example of fence panel styles, each with different characteristics and properties:

Closeboard fence panels

Closeboard panel before installation

  • Suitable for a range of outside spaces
  • Traditional overlapping closeboard style
  • DIY alternative to closeboard fencing
  • Heavy-duty and robust
  • Private and secure
  • Pet friendly

Larch lap fence panels

Larch lap fence panel

  • Cost-effective fence option
  • Ideal for gardens
  • Private and secure
  • Pet friendly
  • Easy to install

Arched fence panels

arched fence panel

  • Suitable for a range of gardens and outdoor spaces
  • A contemporary and decorative style
  • Smooth convex curve top
  • Available in a selection of styles (horizontal slats, v arched and lattice top)
  • Decorative on both sides
  • Small gaps allow wind to pass through
  • Robust and durable
  • Private and secure
  • Pet friendly

Horizontal fence panels

Horizontal fence panels

  • Suitable for a range of gardens and outdoor space
  • A contemporary and decorative style
  • Square and lattice top panels available
  • Decorative on both sides
  • Small gaps allow wind to pass through
  • Robust and durable
  • Private and secure
  • Pet friendly

Lattice top fence panels

 

lattice top fence

  • Decorative lattice top
  • Designed for supporting the growth of climbing plants
  • Ideal for gardens
  • Available in a range of styles (omega, square and arched panels)
  • Small gaps allow wind to pass through
  • Allows more sunlight into a garden space
  • Private boundary
  • Pet friendly

Hazel hurdle fence panels

 

Hazel hurdles

  • Natural and traditional fence panel
  • Suitable for gardens
  • Great for creating a screened area within a garden
  • Classed as temporary fencing
  • Wind can pass through fence gaps easily

Bespoke Panels

If you’re looking for a specific fence panel size but unable to find what you’re looking for in the off the shelf range, we are able to make certain panels bespoke to order. Simply get in touch and speak with one of our timber experts to find out more.

Installation

Whilst a second pair of hands makes it easier to install a panelled fence, fitting or repairing fence panels are considered a far more DIY-friendly option.

Fence panels are slotted into or nailed to either concrete, timber or metal fence posts. There are pros and cons of all post options. Whilst timber fence posts offer a more contemporary fence appearance, they require some maintenance. Concrete fence posts require less maintenance and are not affected by the saltwater spray in coastal areas but can be difficult to install due to their weight. Metal fence posts offer a long-lasting and lighter alternative to concrete posts.

The distance between fence posts is determined by the fence panel size that you are going to install. Holes of 18 to 24” should be dug and each fence post concreted into place.

A timber, metal or concrete gravel board will prevent the bottom of the panel from becoming water damaged. Ready-made fence panels generally include a capped top, but this can be added if not already included.

Maintenance

 

fence cleaning

As with any timber material used outdoors, you should take care to maintain the timber either by using paints, stairs or timber treatments, such as decking oils or Timber Cut End Preserver on a yearly basis.

Keeping your fence clean and free of weeds will also help to maintain the strength and durability of your fence in the long term. Simply spraying with a hose or pressure washer and bruising with a strong bristled brush should remove any fungi and moss build up. This should be done prior to re-treating or painting.

Naturally, some panels are more susceptible to wind and storm damage than others. When fence panels and posts become damaged, they can be replaced with like for like panels and post easily. Timber gravel boards, which act as a valuable buffer between ground moisture and the fence panel, can be changed easily for new boards when they become damaged or rotten, reducing the need to replace the whole panel.

Price

Fence panels are available in a wide selection of styles to suit any budget. You can choose from basic, budget panels that do the job or you can opt for a more high-end fence panel with enhanced durability.

Generally, Larch Lap fence panels are your standard, low-budget fence option and start from £19 a panel, whilst panels with more detailed structure and robust design may be closer to the region of £40 to £50 a panel. Don’t forget that there are also a variety of post options available to choose from.

Picket fencing

 

picket fence
Picket fencing is a popular decorative fencing option used in country gardens as well as modern landscapes. Whilst its designed to keep intruders at bay, it is an effective way of creating a boundary without restricting sunlight or blocking a view. They are ideal for front gardens, around ponds, public spaces, as well as being a popular fence choice for pub gardens, parks and playing fields.

Properties

A picket fence is usually no higher than 120cm, but picket pales are available in lengths up to 180cm. Picket pales, which can have a round or pointed top, are spaced out and nailed to a picket rail. The gaps in between rails allow wind to pass, making this style of fence strong and durable, even in stormy conditions.

Whilst smaller pets and wildlife can fit through the fence gaps, this is a dog and child-friendly fence option. Picket fences are generally made from timber and can be painted for decorative effect.

Installation

There are two main installation options for picket fences; the ‘build your own’ and the ‘ready-made’.

The build your own options involve individually nailing picket panels to two parallel picket rails. Each picket pales should be evenly spaced and the picket rails should be supported between either timber or metal picket fence posts that have been placed into a hole dug into the ground and fixed with concrete.

 

picket fence

Their other, more DIY friendly and efficient option for creating an attractive and long-lasting picket fence is to opt for pre-made picket panels. Panels are often available in a selection of height options and top finishes. Each panel is attached to a timber or metal fence post that has been placed and cemented into the ground.

Maintenance

As with any timber fence, it’s important to take care and maintain your picket fence. Annual treatment, painting and staining will ensure that your picket fence not only looks great, but lasts for years to come.

Deweeding the areas around the bottom of the fence posts and removing any garden debris, moss or fungi will also maintain the fence’s condition. If pales become damaged, they can easily be replaced with new pales.

Price

Opting for pre-made picket panels is marginally more costly than purchasing individual picket pales and rails to build your own picket fence. It is ideal if you do not have the time, patience or expertise to erect your picket fence using individual pales and rails. An average picket panel costs around £30. You will also need to buy fence posts, as well as screws and concrete for securing the posts.

If you choose to individually screw picket pales to two picket rails, you have a little more flexibility on the height of the fence, as well as the spacing between pales. You will need two picket rails per section, costing roughly £4 each and individual pales, starting from £1.20 each. You will also need fence posts, which vary in price depending on whether you opt for timber or concrete posts.

Domestic fencing available at Equestrian Fencing

We specialise in supplying domestic fencing products, and stock a wide selection of fence panels, posts, closeboard fencing and everything that you will need to complete your next fencing project. Check out the range or get in touch to find out more.

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