Let us just say once again – YOU REALLY ARE BETTER GETTING A FENCE PROFESSIONAL IN OR SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCE IN FENCING!
We only say this because in the long term it nearly always work’s out less cost effective and also the finished look that a professional fencer provides is far superior to most people’s best intended DIY fence efforts.
Fencing Regulations and Restrictions | When is planning permission required
Assuming you are not in a listed area the following regulations cover a fence’s construction. You may erect a fence up to 2 metre’s in height without planning permission. you can also remove any fence or boundary wall you have without the need for permission.
The exceptions to this are if your property forms a boundary with a highway. In this instance the maximum height you can build to without planning permission is 1 metre. Anything above this would require a planning application and successful result from your local council – click here for planning portal fence advice.
If you are replacing like for like then this is ok – our advice though would be to take pictures of before just incase the council do receive any reports as then you have evidence of the original structure you were replacing on a like for like basis..
Garden Fences Southampton DIY Fence Construction Guide
CHOOSING YOUR FENCE TYPE
The first steps you should take should be to choose what type of fence it is that you require. Your choices are
- Close Board / Feather board Fence – This over lapping, vertical, wooden boards. You should ensure the feather boards are of good quality wood/thickness and are not warped for the best finish. This is a very strong fence system and very popular in forming boundaries. There is a perceived "good side" and a "bad side". There is no rule to which side should face which way but as a rule for external boundaries you face the good side out. Where forming a shared boundary the person responsible for the cost and maintenance of the fence can claim the good side.
- Panel / Overlap Fencing – This is an economic solution where ready made panels are attached to the posts. It is quicker to install but isn’t as secure as a well made close board fence. Close board panels are now being produced so you can get the close board look without the cost and construction of the real thing.
- Palisade Fencing – This is a traditional picket fence style. The top’s of the fence can be either rounded or pointy. The advantage of this fence is a feeling of light whilst maintaining a boundary and offering security.
- Trellis Fencing – This can be used to form a decorative top to more sturdy fences or on it’s own to create a light and attractive open screen fence.
MARKING OUT THE FENCE
Once any old fence is removed and the general area cleared use string and posts to mark a straight line for your fence. Measure the distance and ensure the posts are evenly spread out and of the correct width for the style of fence you have chosen. *QUICK TIP* Use a small piece of timber baton, pre cut to your panel width’s to quickly mark out the positioning for the fence panels.
Time spent here will ensure a professional looking finish to your fence. If the ground is uneven then plan whether to slope your fence or step it – again this will depend on the look you hope to achieve.
THE FENCE POSTS
The fence posts will form the back bone of your fence. You have the option of choosing either concrete or wooden posts. Concrete posts will last longer and resist rot although people still do prefer the all wood natural look – this really is a case of personal choice.
Once decided on the fence post type you then have the choice of how to secure them to the ground. The options available to you are to cement the posts in securely – this involves digging an adequate hole with which the posts are then set, ensuring that they are level and in line with your fence. If you are using concrete posts then we recommend at least a 2 foot hole that is a minimum of 3 times the width of your fence posts. The concrete mix you need to use should be specially mixed although for a DIY’er it is easier to buy this pre-mixed eg Postcrete. The concrete should finish slightly above ground level and then you can gently slope it down away from the post to prevent water sitting at the post base. With a spirit level ensure the post is level on 2 adjacent sides and then support the post whilst the concrete sets. Work your way down your fence line ensuring each post is vertical and in line with your string line to result in a level finished fence. We’d recommend leaving the posts to set for a minimum of 2 hours but ideally overnight for best results.
The other option of securing is to use bolt down post brackets or post spikes that are simply screwed to a solid surface or driven far into the ground to form a stable support. From experience we would always recommend concrete setting your fence posts where possible as the preferred method. If using spikes use 600mm spikes for fences up to 4 foot and 750mm spikes for anything higher. When driving the spikes in be sure to ensure that it remains level and that there are no pipes/cabling under where you plan to put it.
When setting the post height out of the ground be sure to allow for gravel boards or to raise the fence off ground level to prevent any rot from rising damp. If the ground only slopes gently then you can fix the post height to be level and then trim the gravel boards accordingly to get the best looking finish.
FIXING THE PANELS
When fixing the panels between your posts you should ensure they are raised off the ground to prevent rot. We’d recommend using a pre treated 100mm gravel board as the base as this will prevent the panels rotting. Post clips can be used to fix the panels. We’d recommend using stainless steel screws to prevent rusting and maintain appearance.