In Part 1 of our Garden fence lowdown we looked at the costs involved in the process of constructing a good fence. Now we’re going to look at some examples of different types of fencing.
These days there is a lot more choice in fencing, which is definitely a good thing. In this article we are going to look at what I consider to be some of the best and worst types of fencing.
What type of fence should you choose?
Choosing the right style of fence doesn’t just come down to budget, it also comes down to your tastes, the style of the garden and mostly importantly how much screening you need.
Now the last one might seem a bit of an odd one. After all, you’re putting up a fence – you want to screen people! The reason I mention it is because the more interesting and artistic looking the fence panel is, the more gaps it tends to have in it.
You’d be amazed at just how much you can see through even the tiniest of gaps. I designed a garden for a friend of mine and she chose a lovely fence panel which cost about £50 per panel. It looked great. About a week after it had been put up, she had a knock on the door from her neighbours who were worried about their privacy. She wondered what on earth they were talking about?
When she went round to their side of the fence, their path was on slightly higher ground and the angle that they looked at the fence from their back door, meant you could see right through it as the pattern of the overlap left a gap. She was really shocked at how much they could see through the fence as it was fine from her side.
The solution on this occasion was very easy, we just put in a very fast-growing golden hop, which covered the part of the fence they could see through in no time, and solved the problem.
So, if you do find yourself purchasing more interesting fence panels, before you bring them home hold one up and try viewing it from different heights so you can check just how much you can see through it before it’s in situ in your garden.
Here you can see some examples of more modern styles of fencing. As you can see, part of their appeal comes down to the space between the slats. If you are planning a fence like this, it’s usually a good idea to discuss it with your neighbours first, as people do tend to worry about their privacy.
The ‘Tile Batten’ fence was double-sided, with the slats staggered on the neighbours side to cover the gaps. But even so, you can still see quite a lot through it.
If privacy is an issue the second fence example is a good compromise. It combines an exterior white mdf board with the slatted, see-through part only at the top.
This next selection of decorative fence panels I will call ‘urban style’, as they are somewhere in-between traditional and contemporary styles.
The final selection particularly suits traditional styles of properties, but can also work with more modern homes.
Please note: The names I use for the fencing styles might well be different in your part of the world. Even in the UK, names can differ from region to region on some fence styles.
Fences to avoid
Cheap ones! In the long run, they aren’t worth it. If you have no choice and have to go for the cheapest, then make sure you go for really good posts and get them concreted into position properly (see Garden fence lowdown – Part 1 for more info on that), then when you need to replace the panels, you won’t have the expense of replacing the posts as well and you can just slot the new panels in place.
My particular dislike is for ‘Waney Edge’ panels. They always warp and break quicker than any other panel in my experience. If you try to paint them, then the paint usually runs through to the neighbour’s side because the wood has warped and leaves nice gaps between each slat.
Are there cheaper alternatives to replacing a fence?
Fences, as we discussed in Garden fence lowdown – Part 1 are quite expensive. So, if a new fence is out of your budget at this moment in time, then in the next article in this series we will look at some attractive and cheaper alternatives to putting up a new fence. I will show you how to disguise an ugly looking fence and transform it into something of beauty!
BUT of course, a nice fence alone will NOT give you a stunning garden – you have to get the design layout right first. If you don’t know how to do that then…
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