How To Timber - Panel Fence





  1. Prepare your site (see SITE PREP guide)
  2. If it's possible erect a string line to mark the final height of the fence and the position of the face side of the fence, If this is not possible, move on to the next step, then complete this step using the posts erected in step 3 before moving onto step 4.
  3. Dig a hole for the first and last post in the fence run and erect a post in each hole, the posts should be vertical and (if you have set it up in step 2.) flush with the string line. Fill the hole around each post with a quick setting post mix.
  4. Measure the length of the first panel or hold it in position against the first post to mark the location of the second hole, dig out the hole.
  5. Pre drill the first panel top middle and bottom at both ends, hold it up to the first post and screw it on. Now place the second post into the hole, check that it is in the correct position and screw it to the panel. Fix the post in position with the post mix.
  6. Repeat this step until you come to the last post. It is likely that the remaining panel wont fit nicely into this gap and will need to be cut down.
    1. Lay the panel on the ground, measure the gap between your posts at the top and the bottom and transfer this onto your panel
    2. Carefully remove a batten from either side of the panel (from the waste end)
    3. Re - attach these battens in position according to the line you have marked to create a new frame end to the panel.
    4. Cut along the re positioned battens to remove the waste part of the panel.
    5. Attach the re sized panel between the posts

 

Notes

If your fence line is on sloping ground you will not be erecting the posts at a horizontal level with each other, but instead they will gradually rise / fall in steps. Once the string line has been set, you should begin from the lowest end and work up. You may need to dig out the ground to allow each panel to sit horizontally level, in this case you may need to insert gravel boards at the base of each panel, gravel boards are typically either 2.5cm (1")  or 5cm (2") thick and will resist rot and retain soil better than panels, If you are digging out more than a couple of inches for each panel then it is best to go for the thicker (5cm) timbers.

If your fence line can vary in length, don't place the final post until you reach the end, this will avoid the need to cut the final panel.

If you are erecting a fence over the line of an old fence, you may want to place the cut panel at the opposite end to the original fence, this will move the position of the posts and help to avoid any old concrete that remains in the ground.

As a rule of thumb fence posts should be 1/3rd under ground and 2/3rds above ground, however it is generally acceptable to use 2.4m (8') posts for a 1.8m (6') fence.

We recommend using 10cm (4") square posts for most projects, they are only a few pounds more expensive than 7.5cm (3") posts but are much stronger and will last longer.

Remember the post is being held in place by the ground, not the post mix, In problem soils you need to go deeper not wider to make the post firmer. A larger, wider post base will not make it less likely for a post to lean.

Most of the rot of a post occurs at the point where it meets the soil and is continually being made wet / dry. This is the layer in which micro organisms are most abundant and speed up the rotting process, to reduce this add post fixing material all the way to just above ground level and slope it away from the post. Unfortunately this is not a very aesthetically appealing finish, so it is common to pour the mix to approx 1cm below ground then covering with soil, grass should be able to grow (providing you have kept your base narrow) while the water holding capacity of the soil is reduced to a minimum and so reducing the rotting process.



Tools

 

  • Spades - A narrow long handled digging spade and long handled post hole clearing spade are a good combination, the clearing spade has two handles which work to open and close two scopes (similar to giant salad tongs) once the soil has been loosened with the digging spade you can lift it out with the clearing spade. You can hire a petrol post hole borer to make light work of the job, however unless you have an easy sandy soil avoid low powered one man borers
  • Spirit level
  • Drill / screwdriver
  • String line



Materials

 

  • Fence panels
  • Fence posts
  • Gravel boards (optional)
  • Post fix material - Specialist pre mixed post fix materials are available, these products set in around 10 minutes and avoid the need to prop up posts while drying providing great time & stress savings
  • Screws