Erecting a Fence

Erecting a Fence Instructions

building a fence image

So you want to erect a fence? You will find is so much easier if you can work with a mate.

How to Erect a Fence

There are several different kinds of fencing so you need to know what type you are planning to use, in this article we will deal with 5’x6’ (1.4×1.8 metre) panels, 1’x6’ concrete gravel boards and 4”x4”x8’ slotted concrete posts. This is to erect fencing on level ground without slopes

Decide where it is going or if it is going to replace an existing fence. The first thing you need to do is clear the fence line so there is no obstructions.

Decide where your first post is going and dig a hole 6”x6” (150x 150 mm) and 24” (600mm) deep. Put about 2” (50mm) of concrete mix in the bottom of the hole so the supporting lugs are just above ground level. Put the concrete post in the hole with the slots facing the fence line and use a level to make sure it is upright in both directions. Fill the hole with concrete mix and compact down leaving it 3” (75mm) under ground level so you can cover concrete over with soil leaving a neat and clean finish.

Decide where the last post is going and repeat the process as described above. Now get a brick layers line or something similar and tie it on top of the first post and stretch it across to the last post and tie off, whilst doing this make sure you keep the line taut, pulling it tight so the line does not bow, if it does just knock in a supporting prop. Now measure along the line to make sure you have the correct distance between the line and ground level.

Okay, now to make spacing posts easy and evenly get a piece of batten and cut it the same length as the width of the fence, this will be your post template. Place the batten in the slot of the post you have already erected and on the other end mark the ground giving you the middle of the new hole. Remove the batten and dig the post hole down to the required depth and place concrete mix in the bottom.

Put the post in the hole and make sure it is the right height by using the string line to check the top of the post. Use the line to make sure the post is in line by using a spirit level to check. Once the post is in line, lean the post back towards the last post along the fence line. Now lift the gravel board in place with the board resting on the support lug on the first post. Upright the second post while making sure you locate the gravel board onto the supporting lug. Slide the fence panel into the slots making sure that the post is up hard against the gravel board and panel. Recheck that the post is still inline using the spirit level and if necessary move it. Once happy put some concrete mix in the hole and compact down as previously explained.

You then carry on with this process until you have erected the fence or you have come to the last panel, if it isn’t a full panel. Measure the gap and cut the panel down to suit making sure you reuse the end panel’s battens. You will also need to cut the concrete gravel board. You will need to use a concrete saw to do this.

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

As you can see its not to hard to erect a fence.



Domestic Fencing

Fences in homes today are more likely to be used to define boarders between properties than anything else, whether it is a front, side or back a fence.


When people ask for a fence I just don’t think they realise how many different types and sizes of fencing there are. What we are going to do is go through the different types of fencing that are constructed from wood.


Picket also known as palisade fencing

gothic picket image

Picket fencing usually has 2 inch (50mm) x ½ (13mm) boards also known as pales with the same gap left between them, nailed vertically on 2 cross rails of 6 feet (1.8)wide before they are attached to 3 x 3 inch (75mm x75mm) posts. These cross rails can be longer put if they are not supported in the middle they will bow under the weight of the wood. This fencing can come with all types of finished tops as you can see in the images.



Waveney lap panels

waveney lap image

These panels our probably the most common panel you will find in gardens today. The thin tapered feather edge 4 or 6 inch (100 or 150mm) wide boards are nailed to 3 or 4 vertical battens overlapping each other. These panels give you privacy but are not the strongest of panels on the market but are one of the cheapest. These panels are usually 6 feet (1.8 metres) wide and start at 3 feet (0.9metres) goes up to 6 feet (1.8 metres) high. These are either nailed on 4×4 inch (100mm) wooded posts or slotted into concrete posts. It is also advisable to always use either wooded or concrete gravel boards that keep the fence off the ground to stop them from rotting out.



Close board Panels

Close board image

These panels are made up of vertical tapered cladding boards also known as feather edge boards being nailed onto three cross rails also known as Arris or Cant rails and over lapping the previous panels by 1 inch (25mm). These can vary in width from 6 feet (1.8 metres) to 12 feet (3.4 metres) but must be support in the middle to stop them bowing down the long the length. You can also choose to have a topping rail put on top of the feather edge.



European or Continental Panels

fence with trellis image

These panels come already constructed in many designs from plain chevron panelling to incorporating trellis panels as well. They come as flat, concave or convex tops. These are very strong decorative panels as they having boarding nailed on both sides of the supporting battens and all encased inside a frame. You do have to be bit of a carpenter if you need to shorten these panels to make them fit in a smaller gap but its not impossible.



Trellis Fencing

trellis panel image

Again these come in many different heights and designs. You can have them just to top off a fence or full panels to form the fence itself.


Garden trellis is a very popular product for adding climbing plants to fences and your borders. The trellis is absolutely ideal for climbing plants horizontally on the top of fences or directly onto walls.

fence with trellis image

The trellis is perfect for creating a boundary by supporting your climbers whether it is in your front, side or back garden, or even dividing up your garden.



Post and Rail

post and rail image

Post and rail are made up of just that. The posts are inserted into the ground and the rails are then nailed onto the posts. The length of rail will stretch across three posts. The second rail will be cut in half so it then on stretches across two posts but will then have full rails from then on. If the fence is three or four rail then the third rail will be a full rail but the four rail will start off with a half rail again.


The reason for this is so the joints will not be in line with each other so it making a secure and strong fence.


Chestnut fencing

chestnut fencing image

This fencing is usually used for livestock as it comes in rolls of 12 and 25 metre rolls. Chestnut steaks are held up in a vertical position by three strands of twisted wire. To erect the fence it is only a matter of knocking in pointed round posts in the desired fence line and nailing the fence to the posts with staples.



Hazel Wattle or Hurdle fencing

Wattle or hurdle image

These our specialised panels that are made up of hazel sticks that are interwoven in and out of bigger vertical sticks and back around themselves to lock themselves into position. There are held up in position by nailing those using staples into half round posts. There are still some very skilled trade’s people who specialise in building your fence on site to give you a continuous fence without joins.


We have been the only approved contractor for many of our clients ranging between 5 and 20 years plus. Not bad for a landscape company to brag about in today’s climate, hey!!

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What is the secret formula to our success in our commercial landscape maintenance?


We put our success into working with companies down to being an ‘old school’ family run business that still prides itself with customer satisfaction.


When we go out on site to meet the clients we are always on time if not a couple of minutes early, but not to early. If we are going to be late because we have been held up by maybe traffic or roadworks, even if it is only five minutes we always ring the client to let them know. There is nothing worse than having people turn up late, we know as this is one of our biggest bug bearers.


When you meet the client make sure you confirm their name and yours.

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So it would be something like “John Doe? Hi I am Ted Wosko A-Z Landscapes & Contract Services Ltd, nice to meet you” this is done to start making a connection between yourselves.


Once the conversation starts about the project, just listen to what the client is telling you and do not interrupt. If it is several different areas or types work then before you move on to the next one, that is the time to talk, confirming that you know what the client needs and expectations are.

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If at this point you have suggestions because you can see a better or alternative way of doing things this is the time to speak up. Saying something like “Is there any particular reason you would like it carried out like this or may we make a suggestion that we think would be a lot easier and you would end up with a better finished product”


Why are we doing this? Some people (and we have dealt with some but not many) do not intend to listen to what you have to say. By saying “May”, you are asking them for their permission to allow you to make suggestions.


By doing this we have never been refused the chance to make those suggestions, also you make more of a connection and build trust with that person. When you start making your suggestion you should say “in my experience I would do it like this”. You are confirming to the client that you are the expert and that is why you are there to help them.

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It’s Funny because my very first meeting with Grayson Palmer from Duncan Clark and Beckett nearly resulted with me walking away from this prospective project. He was almost rude and when I did try to speak I was cut short but I thought ‘bite your tongue’.


At the end Grayson turned round and said “you have made some good, sound suggestions, I am not used to people I deal with making suggestions, usually they follow my directions. What you have said has made complete sense so before you quote for this work can we go over your ideas and suggestions and I would then like you to quote on all the ones that we agree on”.


This took me by surprise, but as you will read we were very successful with our quotation and this lead to us being awarded this very large project. It also led to Grayson and myself becoming very good friends and both respecting each other for our own particular knowledge.

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We also carried out phase two of this project and one other as a nominated subcontractor, this was only because we do not generally do door and threshold alterations. Although I ended up making and helping the carpenter to do these alterations as he had not come up against wheelchair friendly thresholds before. In hindsight I think we would have been better off being the main contractor and getting our own subcontract carpenter.


As you have just read, we work well with companies and clients by listening and making suggestions and this is backed up by the amount of testimonials we have from our clients. Go check them out for yourself if you haven’t already by clicking



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