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Waltons ultimate guide to buying fence panels

03 November 2021

If you’re thinking of installing or replacing fence panels, our guide tells you everything you need to know to get you started.

Some of you might be looking for a fence for use purely as a decorative feature, others might intend their fence to perform an important role in making their home and garden secure and private.

Planning ahead

Eagle-eyed view of planning permission documents on table
Before erecting a new fenced boundary, check if you need permission from your local planning authority.
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re replacing an existing fence, you probably won’t need to get planning permission to do so provided you don’t intend to make the fence higher than it was before. For new fences, you do need planning if your fence:

  • Will be higher than 1m and built next to a road or pavement.
  • Will be higher than 2m if installed anywhere else on your property.
  • You live in a listed building or your home is within the curtilage (enclosure) of a listed building, or the fence will form a boundary with a listed building or its curtilage.
  • Your right to erect a fence, wall or gate has already been cancelled by planners.

If you’re simply maintaining, altering or improving an existing fence, you don’t need to get planning permission as long as you don’t make it higher. Neither do you need planning consent to remove a fence, unless the fence is in a conservation area.

If you’re planning any kind of work that might impact the people who live next door, it’s only neighbourly to check with them first.

And make sure the fence is in fact your responsibility and not your neighbour’s.

Fence styles

6 x 6 Pressure Treated Feather Edge Flat Top Fence Panel
Browse and shop our wide range of fencing styles
Image: Waltons 6 x 6 Pressure Treated Feather Edge Flat Top Fence Panel

Boundary fences provide security and privacy, ensuring you and your family can enjoy your home and garden in peace.

This kind of fencing needs to be tough, weather resistant, and long lasting. The higher your fence, the more security it affords. Remember, if you can see out, other people can see in.

Here are your main boundary fence options:

Lap fencing

6 x 6 Pressure Treated Lap Garden Fence Panel
Affordable and easy to treat, lap fencing provides great value for money.
Image: Waltons 6 x 6 Pressure Treated Lap Garden Fence Panel

Overlapping horizontal boards secured within a robust frame with additional uprights for extra strength. Lap fencing is a long lasting fence solution that adds a rustic feel to your garden. Choose from sawn-edge timber for a regular look, or the more rural waney-edge finish, where the timber’s natural edge remains.

Feather edge fencing

5 x 6 Pressure Treated Feather Edge Fence Panel
Feather edge fencing provides a beautiful yet robust boundary for your garden.
Image: Waltons 5 x 6 Pressure Treated Feather Edge Fence Panel

Here the boards are vertically aligned within a frame, with each having an overlapping tapered edge. Another tough fencing option, feather edge fences are an excellent solution for sloping ground. That’s because, depending on the design, you can level the top of the fence, and trim the bottom to follow the contours of the land. 

Feather-edge fences are often easy to maintain because individual boards can simply be removed and replaced when they deteriorate. Feather edge panels should ideally feature top and bottom battons to protect the end grain of the wood.

Hit-and-miss fencing

4 x 6 Pressure Treated Vertical Hit & Miss Fence Panel
Hit and miss fencing is found in either vertical or horizontal patterns.
Image: Waltons

A very strong fence for windy spots, hit and miss fencing features vertical boards separated by horizontal battens. Neighbouring uprights are secured on opposite sides of the battens to create the “hit — miss” pattern that gives this kind of fence its name. 

The air gaps created by this sandwich construction allows some of the wind to blow through the fence, reducing the chances that it will blow it over in stormy weather. 

Hit-and-miss fencing can also be horizontally aligned, creating a woven look which is also great for growing climbing plants against with the hit and miss planking providing plenty of gaps for vines and creepers to entwine.

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