Updated: Jun 17
A strange subject for a female lifestyle blogger but why not? Our journey of discovery saved us money and it was easier than I expected. Worth sharing for DIY enthusiasts.
We wanted a horizontal fence with slim gaps on the perimeter of our 1960’s (aiming for a "Sandbanks" look) property. I researched fence panels and we couldn’t afford the
pre-made ones. So, in my husband’s true style, he said we could make the fence ourselves; it would be easy!?!
Stop digging if you see something that looks like a landmine. This weekend we had the police, an evacuation and The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal after my husband bashed a possible landmine with a shovel! https://www.instagram.com/the_lily_tips
Embarrassingly it was an old meter of some kind, but none of us knew that, apologies and thank you to all the services. Anyway back to how to choose materials........
Types of Wood
Cedar is beautiful, if we had an unlimited budget this may have been the choice, but as we don’t and are amateurs, I figured it could be a costly mistake.
Siberian Larch is less expensive, typically hardy and if planed on all 4 edges is beautiful and a similar polished finish to Cedar, this is what we
used and this picture is our fence.
Treated & Planed Redwood (pine) can be bought planed on 2 sides and is a brilliant, less expensive alternative, we used this for the other side of our garden partially covered by shrubs, this is our fence.
Setting the Posts
Another massive lesson learnt, so obvious in hindsight..... Check the lengths the wood comes in and set the posts accordingly. We (as in my husband) set the posts first and then we realised the lengths the wood came in needing cutting to fit the gap. We also had to buy more wood than we would have needed to if the measurements between the post had been right. After heated discussions, and we blamed each other, we concluded we could use the excess wood off-cuts for the gate, something my husband had in mind all along, apparently.
We used concrete post mix, we found it cheapest at B&Q https://www.diy.com
Buy stainless steel screws to avoid stains to the fence.
Gaps & Clamps
Decide on a gap between each batten that works for you and use a template for each new row to ensure the gap is consistent.
Start at the top and use a level to ensure its straight, any slant is exaggerated as you go down.
Small clamps are essential to hold the battens in place before you screw them.
We used 4m lengths to cover three posts (2 gaps) which was unwieldy to handle but resulted in less joins which was definitely worth it.
I looked endlessly for wood suppliers that were value for money. The cheapest was near Birmingham, but the delivery costs for us, made it more expensive than others.
Corker Outdoor Living & Landscape Supplies Nr Tunbridge Wells, Kent https://www.corker.co.uk, supplied the Siberian larch. They were absolutely superb, they double checked my measurements, the volumes required, advised the length to buy to save money and supplied the stainless steel screws. Corkers is well worth a visit they have beautiful show gardens for inspiration, which are also available to view on the website.
Timber Requirements Ltd, Lumber store in Seaford http://www.timber-requirements.co.uk supplied the Treated & Planed Redwood. Again really helpful with very good prices. It was full of tradespeople picking up supplies which is always a good sign, but we felt no less important as retail customers. The staff were experienced and helpful.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures and lessons learned, please get in touch if you have a question, I’ll try to help or I can ask my husband who now thinks he is the font of all knowledge. Please do let me know if there is another subject you would like me to research.