How to Erect Garden Fence Panels

Top tips to consider before you begin erecting your garden fence panels.

1) Start at the highest end and work downhill.

2) When replacing a fence in order to miss the old fence post foundations consider starting with a shorter cut down fence panel.

Stage 1- erect the first fence post and concrete into the ground. Allow for the fence post to project above the top of the fence panel by about 50mm or 2 inches

Stage 2- excavate the next hole, erect the fence panel onto the fence post that is already in position, insert the second fence post into the previously dug hole and nail the fence panel to it. Check to see that the fence panel is level and you have the desired projection of fence post above the panel. Now add concrete or post mix into that second hole.

Repeat the process until the garden fence is complete. Make sure that the fence is temporarily propped up for 24 hours until the concrete is set. Ready to use post mix concrete is rapid hardening so much less time is needed before your new garden fence is secure.

Fixing Fence Panels To Posts

Lap Panels and Closeboard Fence Panels

The most common fixing method is to nail the fence panel directly onto the timber fence posts using either 65mm or 75mm nails. These must be applied on both sides of the fence panels i.e. front and back, and care must be taken to avoid splitting the battens. Another method is to use the special panel clips sold on this website, between two and four are fixed to each side of the fence post prior to erecting the fence panel.

Grange Elite Panel Range

The timber framing for these fence panels is machined from one piece of timber. Therefore, it is not necessary to fix each side separately, however the shape of the frame makes nailing harder and a punch is required. An easier alternative is to use screws and garden decking screws are good for fixing these with 63 or 75mm lengths being suitable.

Erecting A Fence On Sloping Ground

The severity of the slope and the application of the garden fence will dictate whether or not having to step each fence panel to suit the ground contours is a problem. If it is, consider using closeboard fencing which can more closely hug the contours of the ground without stepping. Remember, where fence panels are used on sloping ground a triangular shape gap will occur under the fence which small animals may be able to pass through, also longer posts would be required to cater for the additional height.

Fitting Gravel Boards To A Fence

Gravel boards may be fitted below fence panels and are ideal for helping reduce the gaps under fence panels when being used on sloping ground. Gravel boards are much harder to use where metposts are used for the erection of the fence posts. Therefore erect the fence in the traditional manner by digging fence posts into the ground, concrete slotted fence posts and concrete gravel boards may also offer you a good solution.

Post Sections

Lap Panels and Closeboard Fence Panels

75 x 75mm timber posts are the most common size purchased for use with fence panels, purchasing of larger size timber fence posts such as 100 x 100mm can work out to be an excellent investment as you are almost guaranteed to extend the life of your garden fencing. Particularly true when using 1.8m high fence panels.

Grange Elite Panel Range

100 x 100mm Fence posts would normally be used with this product range.

Alternatively, concrete slotted fence posts are robust and long lasting. These are suitable for use with all types of fence panels.

Trellis Combinations

Our policy is to produce a separate trellis panel to sit on top of lap panels and closeboard fence panels to give a combination of a solid garden fence with trellis above.

Post Tops

Post tops - here you have a number of options. Timber fence posts may be left as supplied, fitted with a post cap or a small chamfer may be added on site, using a saw or rasp.

Occaisionally a 2-way top also can be added. This may be done on site and our Post Shaper template tool available on this website can help. Alternatively AVS can machine fence posts in our workshops at additional cost prior to delivery. All cuts should be treated with end coat, to maximise post life, any cut end should not be used in the ground.

Post caps are also available for use with a range of acorn and ball finials, these can be used to give the fence posts a very professional look.

It is normal to leave the fence post protruding approximately 50mm or 2 inches above the top of the fence panel.

Joining To Walls

Where fences butt against masonry walls, it is normal practice to fix a timber wall plate against the masonry. For fence panels this is normally 75 x 50mm timber. Remember to allow sufficient length for the projection above the fence panel to match in with the fence posts. A 1.8m long wall plate is not sufficiently long enough when used with a 1.8m high fence panel, to match the fence posts projection above the fence.

A timber wall plate or half post may be fixed dependant on length using two or three No 10 x 100mm frame fixings.

Cutting Panels

Lap Panels

To cut a lap panel is a very simple job which should take approximately 10 minutes. For those not familiar with the process the procedure is as follows:- Lay the fence panel on the ground and mark the width required on to one side of the panel at the top and bottom. Prise off the existing batten at the end of the panel then cut back the top and bottom batten and nail into position the recovered batten from the end of the panel. Carefully turn the fence panel over ensuring this newly positioned batten does not come adrift. Cut the top and bottom batten on the reverse side of the panel and install the rear batten which would have been recovered from the existing end of the panel. Now ensuring that both the battens are in line with each another, they can be nailed together. It is now time to saw off the unwanted section of the fence panel. Additional nails are usually required 40mm x 2.36mm being suitable.

Grange Elite Panel Range

Cutting of these fence panels involves far more work and should be avoided if at all possible.

Corners And Ends

Timber posts used for corners and ends have no special characteristics and are the same as all the other fence posts.

Concrete fence posts of the slotted variety, which are designed for use with fence panels and trellis, are available as either intermediate posts, corner posts or end posts. An intermediate post may be used as an end post and is cheaper to purchase but if it is in full view it makes a much tidier job to use a properly designed end post. Concrete slotted corner posts are of a larger section than the ends and intermediates at 125 x 125mm in size.

Post Mix

An alternative to traditional ballast and cement is post mix, this is a ready mixed concrete which hardens rapidly to quickly support the newly installed fence post. Half fill the hole with water and pour the post mix straight from the bag uniformly around the post, this process saves all the mixing which is needed with traditional concrete.


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