There are many reasons why you might decide to erect a fence in your garden and these will be the main determining factors as to the style, type, cost, material and height of your fence.
Reasons for Having a Fence
In general, people will choose to erect a fence for privacy, security or to add the finishing touches to their garden (or a combination of all three). You might want to keep potential intruders out and keep young children and pets in. You might be seeking more privacy from your neighbours and also to define your boundary lines more clearly or you might be searching for that ‘ornamental’ touch. If it’s security you’re after, you’ll want to ensure that your fence is tall enough and sturdy enough to keep potential intruders out and, for privacy, you’ll be looking for a fence which people can’t see through. As for decoration, you may want a fence with trellises whereby you can train plants and creepers to grow around.
Types of Fences
There are many different styles of fences to choose from depending on their purpose from chain link to picket fence to concrete, but wooden fences in general tend to make the best option for the garden as they comprise all of the basic features people would tend to go for as well as blending into your garden more appropriately as well as into your surrounding neighbourhood environment.
Putting Up the Fence
Probably the most important consideration when erecting a fence is how you’re going to fix your fence posts into the ground. You can buy post supports for wooden posts which are hammered into the ground or bolted onto concrete. Alternatively, you can fix concrete posts into the ground into which you can lower your wooden panels. Wooden posts are probably quicker to install but they’ll rot quicker over time, if they are buried into the ground. Concrete posts are more sturdy but sometimes don’t look quite as aesthetically pleasing to some people. However, if a wooden panel gets damaged, it’s often far easier to install replacements when you’re fitting them between concrete posts.
Basically, you’ll need to measure the height of your fence panels and make sure you buy concrete posts which are slightly higher. For additional security, some concrete posts at the top will be made with holes in the concrete into which you can run several lines of barbed wire but you need to ensure that this wouldn’t interfere with any passers-by who could get injured on the wire.
Then it’s a simple case of fixing all of the posts at the correct distances apart to accommodate your panels. In terms of cost and the time it will take you to erect your fence, the fewer support posts you need and, therefore, the least number of panels will result in less cost and less time to put up. However, on the downside, the more distance between each post, the greater the risk of the panel losing its shape and strength after a while. You should also make sure that the bottom of the panel doesn’t lie directly against the soil as this will also cause rotting to wood panels over time. Wood panels should also be treated with some kind of wood stain to protect your fence against the elements especially over the winter months.
Other considerations to bear in mind is to properly establish where your boundaries are before you put up a fence if you live in an adjoining property to your neighbour. It’s often polite to tell your neighbour that you are planning to erect a fence, as not only will they be less likely to complain about any noise but you might also find it easier when putting up the fence to be able to work from both sides of it.
You should also make sure that there are no underground pipes or cables before you start installing your fence posts and, if you’re unsure, you should contact your local authority.
In addition, if you intend your fence to be over a certain height or you’re unclear as to your boundary lines, you may need to speak to your local authority about that too and, in certain instances; you may even need to apply for planning permission.
A garden fence can enhance a property’s appearance no matter for what it was intended and, if you’d rather leave it to the experts; you’ll find many fencing contractors in your local Yellow Pages.