Boundary fences,hedges and walls cause more disputes between home owners and neighbours than any thing else I know. If it isn’t who owns the fence or wall, it is who is responsible for maintaining it.
There are several things you can do before things get out of hand and the easiest by far is to talk to each other in a calm and relaxed manner. Yes sometimes that is very difficult to do or your neighbour just refuses to talk and is adamant in his position. Sorry but then you have to look at different ways to get over the problem.
The first action you can do is check on the deeds or plans to see if there is any mention on who owns the boundary line or even if it is shared between you. If you do have a plan and there is a T on it and if it is on your side of the property you own that fence. If there are 2 T marks on the plans facing away from each other forming a H then it is a shared property line or fence.
Ok, you now know who owns it, whether it’s shared, your neighbours or yours.
What can I do if I don’t own the fence or it’s shared?
Don’t worry we can still get over this and this is a tip that for some reason people just don’t think of or don’t know their in their rights to do so. I can hear you shouting come on what is it – spill the beans.
You just build another fence on your side of the property that can even be touching the existing fence. How about that, bet you weren’t thinking about that, hey? Now this is the thing, your neighbour will not have any say or rights on the new fence because it’s on your property.
This tip can absolutely save you thousands of pounds in legal fees for disputing boundary’s.
The other dispute that also often crops up is the access to maintaining your fences, walls or property. Now again look on your title deeds to see if anything is documented, if not and talks have broken down there are other actions that you can carry out. I have added a couple of links below where you can check this out further.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.