Transform your garden with imaginative fencing designs
White wooden fence with roses

Divide and Rule - Our Guide to Fencing

A fence is the most popular way to mark the boundary between your property and your neighbour's, particularly in a back garden. Poorly maintained fences are also a common cause of neighbour disputes. If your existing fence is looking worse for wear or you want to improve your garden design, look beyond the common panels at the garden centre and add some style to your home.

Fences are used to define space, improve safety, control views and deter crime. The most common fences are perimeter fences, installed around a property to mark the boundary. Often made of prefabricated panels, they can be obtained in various heights to provide the precise effect and privacy you require. Maximum fence heights are a matter of local authority planning policy but, as a general rule, are allowed to be up to 2 metres (approx 6'6") high. If you have the space, a fence can also divide up your garden in a more attractive way. Such 'partition fences' can be used to enclose a patio, segregate a vegetable plot or just create a separate area of the garden in the same way that interior partitions create different spaces in homes and offices.

Fence Materials

Wood is still the most popular material for any fencing requirement, due its ease of supply and relatively low cost. Wrought iron is a popular choice as a decorative wall topper or for gates, and galvanised steel is the material of choice for security fencing. PVC, or vinyl, fencing has been around for several years but is still relatively unknown. Originally prone to cracking from UV damage in strong sunlight, top quality vinyl fencing has been shown to be stable over a decade or more.

Pre-fabricated wooden fence panel Close-boarded wooden fence panel
Wrought iron fence Decorative wrought iron fence for a front garden
PVC vinyl fence PVC vinyl fence in a post and rail arrangement

Fencing Styles

The most popular style of boundary fence in our area is the traditional lap panel, which comes in "straight edge" and "waney edge" variants. Other styles you will often see are close board or feather edge fences, post and rail fences and the traditional picket fence. Although completely different to look at, these traditional fence styles all share one feature - they don't look the same from both sides.

A Superlap wooden fence panel Popular lap fence panel
Close boarded fence panel Close boarded fence panel
Gothic palisade fencing, a variation on the traditional picket fence Gothic palisade fence panel

European-style fencing is sturdy, can be fitted to timber or concrete posts and is an excellent way to provide privacy and security within your garden. These fence panels are available in a variety of attractive styles and have the benefit of looking the same from each side - often an important factor if the fence is to partition areas within your garden or in cases of boundary fencing where both parties contribute to the cost.

European style Prague fence panel 'Prague' style European panel and screen
European style Montreal fence panel European panel and screen in the 'Montreal' style
European wooden fence panel in the Finedon style 'Finedon' style European fence panel

European style Bradville fence panel European fence panel in the 'Bradville' style
European style domed fence panel Domed style European fence panel
Kyoto style European wooden fence panel European fence panel in the 'Kyoto' style

Ready-made wooden panels are typically available in 0.9m (3'), 1.2m (4'), 1.5m (5') and 1.8m (6') heights. If your fence is a boundary fence and you need any degree of privacy, we would recommend you choose 6' high fencing panels. Smaller panels are a good choice for front gardens or for partitioning areas within a garden.

If you are looking to partition your garden, the following fence styles could also be considered. If you are a fan of willow, manufacturers are now producing variations on traditional willow fencing but in panel form.

Willow screen framed in a fence panel Framed willow screen
Lattice style domed fence panel Lattice style domed fence panel
Hampton style European wooden fence panel European fence panel in the 'Hampton' style

There are many more styles of fence panel available so please call us to find out more.

Our wrought iron fencing is custom made in a local workshop so your options are limited only by your imagination and budget. Wrought iron fences are typically used either as standalone railings, for example in a front garden, or between brick wall pillars as in the photo at the top of this page, or as a wall topper. Being a flexible material to work with, wrought iron fencing can be extremely decorative and the examples below just serve to fire your imagination.

Decorative wrought iron fence Decorative wrought iron fence
Ironwork incorporated into a brick wall arch Ironwork incorporated into an arch
Wrought iron fence in a more modern style Wrought iron fence in a more modern style

Protecting your Fence

Whereas PVC or vinyl fencing is practically maintenance free, other types of fencing do need occasional maintenance - particularly after the first few years. Wood is perhaps the most obvious example, which will rot if not treated, or wrought iron, which needs to be painted to prevent rusting.

When purchasing wooden fencing, the manufacturer will have treated the timber in one of two ways - dip treated, in which the timber is soaked in a bath of wood preservative for a set period of time, or pressure treated. Pressure treated, or tannalised, timber has had the wood preservative forced deep into the material at high pressure and means the fence lasts longer. The fences we supply have all been pressure treated.

Gates and Trellises

This article has concentrated solely on fences, but it is worth pointing out that matching gates are available for most styles of fencing. There is also a wide range of trellis to consider, suitable for both fixing against a wall and installing as a fence topper. Finally, standalone wooden obelisks - three dimensional trellis - are a very pretty way to support climbing plants in the garden. We have more information about all these on our regular fencing pages.

Whether you are looking to install a new fence or simply planning to replace, repair or extend an existing fence, give us a call to discuss your options.