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Garden Fencing FAQs

How to choose the right garden fence

Picking the right fence for your home can improve curb appeal, add a layer of security and provide privacy. While the style and design of the fence you choose will be fuelled by personal taste, important considerations need to be given to practicality. The choices you make when planning to put up a fence will be determined by the size and design of your garden. It’s a good idea to look into how you typically use your garden and how your garden is affected by the weather. Do you have strong winds; does your garden tend to flood? Careful consideration of the practical aspects of your garden is needed, hopefully, this guide can help.


Types of fencing

  • Closeboard fencing - closeboard is made up of overlapping vertical boards of timber. This is the strongest and heaviest panel. It gives you complete privacy and is ideal for boundary fencing.

  • Overlap fencing - this is made from overlapping horizontal timber boards. It's a cheaper fence that offers high levels of privacy.

  • Paling Panels - you get both visibility and good security from this traditional picket-type fence.

  • Trellis - use a trellis on its own as open-screen fencing or as a decorative panel on top of a solid fence.

How many panels do I need?

Fence panels are typically 6ft (1.8m) wide.

Measure the length of the area to be fenced. Divide the length by the width of the panel, for example: for a 42ft length, 42ft ÷ 6ft = 7 panels.

You'll also need the same number of gravel boards to place at the bottom of each panel.

Remember to add one more fence post to the number of panels needed so you have enough posts to support both ends of the fence.

How to fix posts?

The holes for your posts should be three times as wide as the post. So for a 6” post, the hole will be at least 18” wide.

The holes should then be 2ft deep. It’s important to remember to check for any power cables and water lines before digging – if you’re unsure speak to your local council.

Following your string line, dig a hole for each post with a post spade or a post-hole borer (which can be hired).

TIP - So you don't have to lift a heavy panel into position when you move to the next post, use a wooden batten cut to 6ft as a guide.

Modern Garden Fence

With the post in place, to support the end of the post fill the remaining space in the hole with broken bricks or stone hard-core.

You can mix your concrete fresh but it's easier to use a bespoke concrete mix such as Post Mix. 

The concrete should come just above ground level. Smooth the surface off using a trowel, sloping the concrete away from the post to allow any water to run off.

Check the post is vertical with a spirit level. Then hold it up with one or two timber battens while the concrete sets.

Premixed concrete sets in minutes, so work quickly. Go along the fence line, making ensuring the posts are aligned with each other as well as being upright.

Leave the concrete to harden for at least an hour before attaching the fencing panels.

How high?

A garden fence can be up to 2m high without requiring planning permission unless the fence is next to a road or footpath then it can be no higher than 1m.

Which stain/treatment?

Due to the weather risk, we recommend prolonging the life of your fence to use a treatment, such as Ronseal Fence Life.

Best way to apply strain/treatment?

Ensure your fence is dry before applying a stain/treatment. Using a brush, pad or roller is the best way to apply; this ensures the application is even. Focus on painting from the top to the bottom to prevent uneven dripping. Some stains require 2 coats, wait about an hour before applying a second coat.

How often should I treat my fence?

Modern stains/treatments have been designed to last for years, check the tin first.

Can I build a fence on sloped land?

If your fence is on a slope, still keep the panels horizontal. You can achieve this by filling the angled gap under the eacmeetingel with a gravel board or building a low retaining wall directly under the fence.

This will make your fence look 'natural' and level, especially if it runs alongside your house, garage or outbuilding.

Do I need planning permission for a fence?

Suppose your fence is over 2m high or 1m high next to a road or public footpath. You will also require planning permission if your house is a listed building or your property is joining another property this is listed.

Which side of my fence do I own?

The plan attached to your title deeds will show where the boundaries to your property lie. The red line on a title plan shows the position of the boundaries. On each side of the boundary line “T,”s may be marked, although this is not always the case. “T”s indicates who owns the boundaries. If the “T” is situated on your property, you own the boundary in question. If it is situated on your neighbour’s property then they own the boundary in question. If there is an “H” mark, which straddles the boundary (effectively a “T” on each side of the boundary) then the boundary is jointly owned by you and your neighbour. Where this is the case the boundary is known as a “party” boundary.

Do I need to tell my neighbour when building a fence?

We recommend you give your neighbour notice as a courtesy.

What tools do I need to build a fence?

Spirit Level

Tape Measure

Wood Preserver


Sledge Hammer



Claw Hammer

Varnish Brush/Roller/Pad

Posthole Digger


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