Things to consider before deciding on the style & height of your fence.
Also check our Fencing types Page
This does not necessarily mean having the tallest fence possible (2m without planning permission in most areas). Remember, that if you cannot see over the fence then a burglar has more cover to work in. Certain types of fencing are easier to climb over than others and care should be taken that the fencing that looks great from your side of the fence AND your neighbors side, does not form a ladder on the other. 6ft(1.8m) high fencing is ideal across the back at the rear of properties.
A fence of 6 ft gives good privacy and security. You can see over it if you need to and you can sit out in the garden without being “on show”. Solid panelled fencing gives you maximum privacy, but a double-sided pailing or picket fence is almost impossible to see through and has the advantage of letting light and wind diffuse through it. For more security, you can move up to an 8 ft fence. These work great for those customers who have hot tubs or the need for additional privacy.
- The Weather.
If your fence is to be in a very open area and therefore susceptible to the wind, it is prudent to make it as strong as possible. Do not have it higher than it needs to be. Large waney-lap panels fixed to timber posts are most at risk. Consider a more open fence. As mentioned earlier this does not have to be at the expense of your privacy. A properly erected fence should never suffer from fence panel “blow out”.
- Sloping Ground.
A concrete or metal post, base and timber panel fence is ideal for sloping ground of less than 1ft fall in 6ft of fencing. Anything steeper than this would require additional concrete bases dug into the slope to prevent any gap under the fence. This is not a problem to do, but it is not to everyone’s taste. Timber post and panel fencing, even with an addition of a gravel board, can have problems with under-fence gaps on anything but a gentle slope. The best fence for a moderate to steep slope would be a custom fence built in situ using posts, rails and individual boards to combat this.
- Changes In Level.
Where there is more than 1ft(0.3m) in height difference between the grounds on either side of the fence, it is possible to use your fence as a retaining wall. The addition of extra concrete bases can facilitate this. The ground on the high side of the fence should have adequate drainage and should not be compressed against the fence before at least a week after fence erection.
Tree stumps etc on the fence-line can be a problem if you are having a concrete post and base style fence erected. In that case the ground has to be cleared to ground level (below it if there is a slope) and that can incur additional costs. Make a note of overhanging trees and gutters etc as these may cause problems for panel replacement at a later date. Precious shrubs and flowers may have to be moved as post-holes are quite large and fence-lines need to be cleared.
It is very advisable to notify your neighbors before any fencing work takes place. It gives them chance to move vulnerable items from near the fence-line, prevent dogs or children escaping etc. At worst it can stop them getting “the hump!” and at best they may offer to contribute to cost!