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Installing a new wooden fence is a great way to lift the look of your garden and mark out your boundary.

Below are some tips and advice on how to prepare for the work.

Choosing the right type of fence

Closeboard fencing - this is overlapping vertical boards, and tends to be the strongest paneling. It also gives 100% privacy.

Overlap fencing - this is overlapping horizontal boards, and is a cheaper form, still with 100% privacy.

Picket fencing - a stylish way to break up your garden giving some privacy but also views out of your garden.

Trellis - an open screen fence or as a decorative top to a solid fence.

Checking boundaries

One of the things neighbours argue about most is the boundary between their properties - where it lies and who's responsible for its upkeep. If you're unsure, check your title deeds. You can get a copy from the Land Registry. 'T marks' on the plan point in the direction of the owner who has to maintain the wall, fence or hedge.

Choosing the right posts

Decide if you want wooden or concrete posts - concrete posts ensure you have a good strong fence, but they do need a fair bit of work to put up, whereas wooden posts are easier to handle, but being buried in the ground they will eventually rot (over a long time of course)

Metal post supports deal with some of these problems and they'll help you put up a fence relatively quickly.


You will need to calculate the height of fence to decide the posts needed - posts tend to need to be 2 feet higher then the fence as some of the post will be buried.

You will need to calculate the number of panels - they are usually 6 feet wide.

Installing spikes

Buy 600mm spikes for 4 foot fencing and 750mm spikes for anything higher.

Installing the spikes

Fix in to concrete as follows:

The holes for your posts should be three times as wide as the post. So for a 4in post the hole will be at least 12in wide.

The holes should be 2ft deep.

Following your string line, dig a hole for each post with a post spade or a post-hole borer

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.

With the post in place, ram broken brick or stone hardcore into the base of the hole to support the end of the post.

You can mix your concrete fresh but it's easier to use a bespoke concrete mix such as Postcrete. Normally you half-fill the hole with water and pour the powder mix on top, but check the bag instructions.

The concrete should be just above ground level. Trowel the surface smooth, sloping the concrete away from the post to let water run off.

Check the post is vertical on two adjacent sides with a spirit level. Then prop it up with one or two timber battens to hold it in position while the concrete sets.

Premixed concrete sets in a few minutes, so work quickly. Go along the fence line, making sure 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.

Treating your fence

To prolong the lifetime of your new fence ensure you treat with an exterior wood preserver, or what about something different with exterior garden paints? You might also want to buy some climbing plants to break up the border.


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