Fencing Options and Treatments

Fence treatment and types of fencing: a guide for contractors

The different types and ranges of fencing and posts available on the market can lead to a number of puzzled questions from consumers looking to replace damaged panels or install a whole new run of replacement fencing.

Typically, consumers are going to want to know what the differences and benefits are of different traditional panel types, what the cost and lifespan will be and what treatment is required to maintain them.

We’re going to take a look at the different types of wooden fencing and the benefits of different finishing treatments, which should help to answer some of the questions your customers may have.

Types of wooden fences: what to consider

Overlap Panel

When choosing fencing a homeowner might go with the most common panel type in the UK which is the long established, traditional overlap panel. The most basic overlap panel is made with waney-edge boards which have been sawn to include the outer edge of the tree from which they have been cut so have a wavey edge rather than straight edge on each board. This gives the panel a traditional, rustic appearance. These panels are usually dip-treated at the factory where they are made.

For a small premium you can buy overlap panels that have straight-edge boards on which the wavey edge has been sawn off. This gives the panel a more uniform and contemporary appearance but adds a little cost as some timber has gone to waste in their production. These are usually available with a dip-treated finish but may also be available with a pressure treated finish as an option.

Overlap PanelOverlap Panel

Close board fencing

Close board fence panels are a stronger more robust step up from conventional overlap panels. They use thicker section boards that are mounted vertically to rails on the back. Each board overlaps the next for strength and privacy and the panel is often framed around its perimeter.

Feather edge fence panels

Feather edge fencing is similar to Close board, with vertically mounted overlapping boards. The feathere dge name refers to each board having a thickness that tapers down, typically from between 10 - 13 mm to 6 - 8mm. This tapering is a result of a traditional method of splitting thicker boards of timber diagonally across their cross-section to give two fence boards.

Feather Edge Fence PanelFeather Edge Fence Panel

Decibel noise reduction fence panels

Decibel noise reduction fence panels, sometimes referred to as soundproof fencing, can help to reduce noise from traffic or neighbours by up to 30db. While it’s not possible to completely soundproof a garden with fencing, it can make a huge difference to your customers when they are enjoying their garden.

Lattice and picket fencing panels

In small gardens, particularly where privacy is not critical, there are plenty of panels available that will mark the boundary but still keep the area visually open, allowing light through and preventing it from feeling dark and enclosed. These panels include traditional picket or pale fence panels, trellis and lattice screens and also more contemporary slatted panels. Trellis fence panels with gaps in them like these are also often chosen in areas that experience high winds, like coastal towns, where solid board fencing would be more likely to be blown down by strong winds.

Decorative fence panels

Fencing needn’t be all about being functional, so your customer might want to put their own stamp on their garden with decorative fencing. There are a few options out there that’s not just choosing vertical or horizontal fencing boards, but stylish fence toppers too.

Dip treated or pressure treated fence panels: what’s the difference?

Having paid for fencing and installation a consumer is likely to want to know how to keep it in good condition so that it lasts. Most wooden fencing is supplied with a factory treatment.

Dip treated fencing

Dip treated fencing has been immersed in a solution containing wood preservative which gives the timber panel a surface protection against rot. The effectiveness of this type of treatment is not indefinite so the panels should be re-treated with a suitable panel treatment solution every year or two. Dip treated panels usually have an autumn-gold colour which will fade over time.

Pressure treated wood

Pressure treated panels have had a more effective treatment process which involves forcing the wood preservative treatment deeper into the cellular structure of the timber to give it longer term protection against fungal rot and decay. Pressure treated panels are therefore likely to last longer than dip treated ones but will still benefit from occasional retreatment with a fence treatment solution. Pressure treated panels usually have a more natural timber colour finish which will turn a grey-silver over time.'

What your client might ask when buying fencing

You might get these sorts of questions when working with your customers, we get them all the time too! Remember, if you’re not sure, we’re always on hand to help by giving us a call.

  • “Which fence belongs to my property?” A fence is usually the right hand side of your property (but their house deeds will clarify it).
  • “Do you offer fence treatments?” Some clients might want you to treat the fence following installation. It might be worth explaining the benefits of dip treated or pressure treated fences, and how a slightly higher initial cost might save on spending as much on treatments in the future.
  • “Will you take away old fence panels?” It’s reasonable to assume that as a contractor you might take away cumbersome panels, but the client might also expect that to include any excess dirt and packing materials too.
  • “Do you have a guarantee?” New fencing products carry their own guarantees, which cover a period of time, dependent on their treatment.