If you’ve found this article, it probably means you’re interested in garden fencing. This is a subtle art that involves designing, architectural, and engineering factors, and that can make or break any garden landscape or design. Therefore, we are here to help you better understand this form of art so you can make informed decisions and install the garden fence of your dreams.
Why you should install fencing in your garden
Every garden should have its own fence. Fencing will provide every house owner with invaluable privacy, quietness, security, and peace of mind. Moreover, the right garden fence can give your house an incredible makeover, changing the way it all looks from the outside without much effort on your part. It’s a great way to refresh your garden’s and house’s appearance without investing too much time and money on profound renovations and changes.
There are many different types and styles of fences that can be applied to any given garden, and it all depends on two major things: your vision and the cost. Once you have envisioned what you want your garden fencing to look like, the next step is to evaluate whether it can be done, and how. The cost of all the process will most likely be one of the major concerns, and that is what we will address next in this article.
Basic Cost Information
So, at this point, you might be considering installing fencing in your garden but are wondering how much of an investment that will require on your part. This article will help you understand what the requirements are, as well as the main expenses you need to prepare for.
Main intervening factors
The cost of installing a fence will largely depend on a series of variables and intervening factors, such as:
- Type of fencing;
- Size and location;
- Type of materials used;
- Other necessary services.
There are many different types of fencing you can choose from, and all will have different costs due to the types of fence panels used. Here we will present and discuss the 3 most common types.
Fencing can be purchased and installed by board or by panel (which is comprised of several already constructed and enclosed boards). Purchase by panel is the most common, and the costs may vary greatly depending on the other factors.
Lap panel fencing
Lap fence panels, also known as overlap fence panels, are ideal to be used for security, privacy and creating boundaries around your property. Along with close board fence panels, lap fence panels are among the most used types of fencing across the UK.
Lap fence panels are composed of horizontal overlapping boards and are slightly cheaper than close board fence panels. A lap fence panel can cost more than £20, depending on the size and type of material.
Close board fencing
Also known as feather edge fencing, close board fencing is probably the most solid and durable type of fencing, and the one that provides better privacy, security and sturdiness. Close board fencing panels are made up of vertical boards tightly close together and slightly overlapping, not allowing for a single gap between boards. In this way, no pets or children will trespass/escape, no undesired sunlight will enter your garden and your property boundaries will be well set.
The price of a close board panel can start from £30 but always depends on factors such as the type and size of the materials used.
Close board panels are usually more durable than lap fence panels, but both are great for privacy and security, as well as relatively easy to replace. These two types are the most advisable to put up if you live in an area subjected to great wind activity, heavy rains, or other inclement weather. However, both types require maintenance to keep the sturdiness and prevent the wood from rotting.
Lattice panel fencing
Lattice fences use panels that have a different and decorative type of design. A lattice panel is made of crisscrossed strips, usually made of wood, arranged in diagonal or vertical/horizontal patterns. Besides being used in fences, small and simpler lattice panels can also be used as support for plants and vines, in which case they are referred to as “trellises”.
Lattice panels are usually among the most expensive types, due to their intricate design, and are mostly purchased for their decorative use and not so much as a secure garden fence.
The cost of a small trellis panel can start around £15, while one lattice fence panel usually costs more than £50, depending on the panel’s material and size (length and height).
Other variables such as the type of ground will also impact the total cost of the fence instalment. Moreover, there is also another intervening factor that will largely influence the cost of installing a garden fence: whether you install the fencing yourself or have a hired professional do it. Let’s take a quick look at the general costs in both these situations.
Hire professional help
Pros and cons
- You don’t have to know how to install the fencing yourself;
- You don’t have to make calculations or extensive preparations beforehand;
- You can get professional advice as to what is the best fencing for your garden;
- You’ll pay for the labour costs, which can be as high as 30% of the total costs for the project, depending on the contractors’ quotes.
- Consult several professionals and ask for detailed lists of all costs and quotes;
- Compare all list items on an equal-to-equal basis;
- Make sure all professionals are ensured, certified, and concerned with safety issues.
At the most basic level, the costs of having the fencing professionally installed are usually the total sum of the costs of all materials and equipment, manual labour of all professionals involved, other required services (such as painting, staining, or others) and the disposal of the old fence (if applicable).
Professional contractors usually set the price including all the elements of a fence – panels, posts, post caps, and others. It’s important that you get a detailed list of all material costs, but it’s usually hard for you to negotiate lower material costs if the company/contractor is not open to it. Carefully check all the items on the lists and compare the prices and services to those offered by other professionals so you can make the most informed and beneficial choice.
Having a fence professionally installed will usually include the following costs:
- Panels (see above for the average cost of the most common types of fence panels);
- Posts (the cost per each post usually starts from £10 each, depending on the materials and size);
- Post caps (post caps are not mandatory, so you can choose to have the fencing installed without them; the costs of post caps can be anywhere from £0.5 to £7 each, depending on the design and materials);
- Several bags of cement, concrete and similar substances (the materials used for giving the posts extra support, usually priced at more than £5 per bag; its use is not mandatory, but it is advised in most situations);
- Waste disposal (usually comprised of gathering waste such as excess soil, concrete, old fence panels and posts, and delivering it all to the nearest waste disposal centre; it can cost around £100);
- Finishing touches and materials (such as fixings, painting, or others; this type of cost is greatly variable and can’t be estimated unless the details are fully specified);
- Manual labour (this depends on the number of working contractors and the duration of the instalment, but it can cost around £300 for a two-day project);
- VAT and company profit (these two expenses depend on the type of project and materials, and are therefore difficult to estimate beforehand; nonetheless, every professional hire will include them in the project’s total cost, and they can cost more than £300 in total).
In total, when installing a standard timber fence of 10 6ft X 6ft panels, it can cost more than £1000, including VAT, waste disposal, labour, and material costs. Of course, this cost will vary greatly depending on the types of materials you choose, number and size of panels, and type of ground (which will affect factors such as the amount of concrete used, the amount of labour required, among others), among other factors that may vary with each professional service provider. You can waive some of the services, such as waste disposal or others, but it’s important you make sure you analyse everything and discuss it beforehand with your service providers.
Installing the fencing yourself
On the other hand, if you’re bent on saving money or have a knack for manual labour, installing a garden fencing by yourself might be just up your alley. In this case, this usually means you’ll most likely save money but you need to be aware of the procedures and materials you need – any mistake may cost you more than having it installed by professionals.
Pros and cons
- It might be a fun learning experience;
- You can do everything exactly as you envisioned it;
- It’ll help you better understand your garden and property ground;
- You need to make extensive preparations beforehand to make sure everything goes smoothly;
- If you calculate wrong, you might end up spending more money and time than necessary.
If you choose this option, before anything else you’ll need to follow a few basic steps:
- Choose the type of fence you want to install;
- Measure the perimeter of your garden or already existing fence;
- Calculate the number of panels and posts you’ll need;
- Check if you have all the tools (such as hammers, nails, concrete, and others);
- Make a list of everything you’ll need;
- Do your research as to how much the materials cost in different stores and providers;
- Compare all prices and quality of the materials before making a purchase.
By choosing to install the fencing yourself, you’ll be saving up on a large part of the costs that are usually charged by professional contractors – the manual labour costs. This means that, theoretically, you’ll only need to pay for materials such as the boards or panels, posts, post caps, concrete, tools, and other necessary equipment.
Regardless of the type of fencing you choose, all panels will need to have a fence post between them. Usually, installing a fence will require approximately the same number of posts, post caps, and panels, so this is a good way to rapidly estimate most of the material costs.
The price for regular posts usually starts from £10 each, but corner and end posts can be a little more expensive (starting from £13 each), depending on the size and type of the materials.
Post caps are not mandatory and can be added as a decorative element, so you can choose whether to waive that cost. The most expensive ones are usually around £5-£7 each, but you can also find post caps for as little as £0.75 each.
The price of other materials such as concrete can vary greatly between stores, but you can usually find concrete bags starting from £3-£4 each.
Moreover, if you buy the materials yourself you can choose the exact type and design you want, and you can even get discounts depending on the quantity of the purchase (check with your local stores what they can offer, in most cases you can even ask for their professional advice, free of charge).
If you calculate right, you can save up to 50% of the costs by installing the fencing yourself, since you’ll be saving on factors such as company profit and labour costs. However, make sure you prepare accordingly beforehand and make extensive measurements and calculations, otherwise you might end buying more (or less) than you need, or even damage some materials if you’re not experienced or careful. Moreover, you need to ensure proper waste disposal as to not act illegally or endanger other people.
Estimating the costs of fencing installation is a daunting task since those depend greatly on variables such as materials, sizes, contractor fees, and others. Therefore, this article is meant to only serve as a reference for you to start deeper research on the topic and find the best option for your garden fencing.