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Our Ultimate Guide to Choosing Timber Fencing

Read our comprehensive guide to find out how to choose your timber fencing.


Choosing new fencing for your property can be a bit of a quagmire, we know, but don’t worry. In this guide, we’re going to run through different styles of timber fence, before moving onto the process of putting your fence together, including what you need to buy, and the steps involved.

grey fence posts in a garden
fencing posts in a garden with green grass

The Different Styles of Fencing

For the purposes of this guide, we’re going to look at the main two varieties of fencing: traditional timber fencing and panel fencing.

Timber Fences

What we’re defining here as traditional timber fencing are those structures that involve timber posts with rails between them – think your stereotypical picket fence.

These fences use uprights and some form of bracing between them to create a functional but often more decorative boundary that doesn’t completely block lines of sight. Thanks to their loose structure, traditional timber fences can take pretty much any form you like, from picket fencing to knee rail fencing.

This flexibility of design, however, comes at a cost. You’ll have to do almost all the assembly yourself, making sure everything is straight and level as you go.

Panel Fencing

Panel fencing is most commonly used to mark boundaries of back gardens, provide privacy and keep pets and children safe while also offering protection from the elements for plants and garden furniture.

These fences are constructed of a series of uprights with pre-fabricated panels slotted in between, providing a tall divider that completely blocks lines of sight. This kind of fencing is a little less decorative than its more traditional alternatives but is usually quicker to put together and offers greater privacy and security.

There are a few different kinds of panelling you can choose from including edge lap panels and heavy duty fully framed options.

Building Your Fence

Once you’ve selected your preferred style of fencing, you need to start gathering your materials. It’s important to make sure you’ve got everything to hand before you start, as running out mid-project to get more of anything can get tedious fast.

Your Fence-Building Shopping List

Obviously, your shopping list might vary a bit based on the specifics of your preferences and property, but hopefully this should get you started.

  • Fence posts – either concrete or timber, depending on what style you prefer
  • Fence post concreteground spikes, or fixing plates – to secure your posts into the ground
  • Gravel boards – if you’re using panels, these will lift your panel off the ground and reduce rotting
  • Godfathers – to support your fence posts (optional but advised)
  • Relevant tools – including saws, sanders, screws, drills, screwdrivers, adhesives etc.
  • Fence panels – if you’re using panels for your fencing
  • Arris rails – if you’re building a panel fence with wooden posts, these are used to construct a frame for your panels to be attached to
  • Timber for fencing – if you’re opting for more traditional timber fencing
  • Wood stain – your choice of coloured stain if you’d like to personalise the look of your fence and add a protective layer
  • Finishing touches – including post caps and capping strips

If you’re struggling with the specifics for your timber fence, just get in touch with our friendly team via our contact page or using our live chat feature.

The Process

Much like your materials list, your process will vary a little depending on your choice of fence, but it will look something like the following.

01 – Plot your layout

Before you start digging holes or steaking out posts, plan the layout of your fence and get everything measured up. Make sure your post locations are marked out exactly, with appropriate gaps for your panels or timbers.

02 – Fit your posts

Once you know where everything will go, it’s time to fit your posts.

Concrete – Dig your hole, have a helper stand the post perfectly upright (plumb) in the hole, fill with concrete and allow to set.

Ground spikes – Put a short section of timber into the top of the spike, hammer the spike into the required position making sure it stays perfectly plumb, fit your post and tighten your fastenings.

Fixing plates – Attach your fixing plate to the required surface using appropriate fastenings, fit your post, tighten the plate fastenings to hold the post in place.

03 – Fit your godfathers and gravel boards

Godfathers – dig a hole next to the appropriate post, lower your godfather into the hole, attach it to the fence post, fill the hole with concrete.

Gravel boards – Some gravel boards simply slot between the posts from the top, whereas others will require the fitting of cleats, which the boards are then attached to.

04 – Fit your panels or timbers

Depending on whether you’ve opted for panel fencing or a more traditional timber fence, the next step is to fit your panels or timbers.

Panels – In the case of slotted concrete posts, you can simply slide your panels down into place between the posts before using panel ties or wire to hold them in place. For wooden posts, you can fit your panels either using panel clips or by creating a frame out of arris rails that the panels can be attached to.

05 – Fit any extra touches and stain

Finally, fit any extra touches you’d like such as post caps or capping rails, before applying your chosen stain and taking a step back to admire your handywork!

What Are You Waiting For?

Now you have an idea of the choices available, the materials you’ll need and the processes involved, all that’s left is to get to it. At Coventry Timber, we stock everything you’ll need to design and build your perfect timber fence, from concrete and tools through to fence post timber and finishing touches.

Browse our complete selection of fencing supplies or, if you need extra information, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly, expert team who can help get you started. You can reach us by calling 02476 581 904, by emailing or you can even come down to our site in Coventry.

For more information on Our Ultimate Guide to Choosing Timber Fencing talk to Coventry Timber Products Ltd

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