Types of Fence Panels and Their Properties
The old saying “good fences make good neighbours” still rings true today. But that implies starting with your fence. Since there are so many different types of fencing for gardens, it may be difficult to choose the right types of fencing for your home. It’s not just the visual appeal of the fence that you’ll need to consider. You will also need to be mindful of whether you have pets that can climb through the fence or small children.
Then, there are the natural elements such as wind and rain, which can damage the wood over time, causing it to rot. Finally, there’s your budget. How much are you willing to spend and are you planning on putting up your fencing yourself or will you hire someone else to install a fence for you?
Solid Fence Panels
As the name suggests, solid fence panels are one of the most sought after types of garden fence. This is because they are made from solid timber panels that adjoin one another to create privacy, help with keeping pets within boundaries as well as work well against the natural elements in the event of adverse weather conditions. There are a variety of timber fencing types available, which will be discussed in more detail below.
Featherboard Fence Panels
Featherboard fence panels are called like this because they are thicker at one end and taper off on the other end, creating a feather-like appearance. These wooden panels are typically placed next to each other to create a solid-looking “block” of collected timber, thereby falling under the solid fence panels category. These vertical overlapping timber boards create a neat-looking appearance and are suitable for a medium budget.
What’s more, is that they can also be supportive of relatively low shrubbery. With this type of fence, you’ll enjoy greater security and increased privacy. They generally come in heights of about 1.8 m, but you’ll have to double-check the height restrictions with your local authority. On the downside, it can be a bit on the expensive side and will require some maintenance to keep its appearance looking good throughout the year.
Larch-Lap Fence Panels
Although prone to damage during high wind periods, larch-lap fence panels are another suitable option in the solid fence category. They are for those with a low to medium budget and typically consist of horizontal timber boards which are joined together to create a solid wooden “block”. They can be supported by either concrete or timber poles between each one for added support.
On the plus side, this type of fence is suitable for most gardens and is a cheaper alternative to many other fence types. It is another great way of ensuring privacy and deterring intruders. In addition, it’s ideal for homes with pets. However, with this type of fence, you need to keep in mind that it’s not as robust or long-lasting as other fence types and you’ll be required to maintain your fence in order to prolong the life of the timber.
Closeboard Fence Panels
Closeboard fence panels are vertical wooden panels that are secured in a timber frame. Since there are no gaps between these vertical panels, they are great for privacy and security. However, the absence of gaps may not always permit you to get all the sunshine your garden needs throughout the day. On the other hand, it’s a great choice for those who like to keep intruders out.
Scaffold Board Fence Panels
Scaffold board fence panels are very similar to close board fence panels, with one main difference. Instead of the boards being vertical, they are horizontal. They are long-lasting and durable and generally do not require much maintenance. Ideal for windy areas, all that you need to do is adjoin them with concrete posts for an extra sturdy fence that is impervious to wind and windy conditions.
Decorative or Semi-solid Fence Panels
Decorative or semi-solid fence panels are fence types that complement different garden fence styles. They make for great garden dividers, screens or even garden features. As their name implies, they usually have slats or holes between the timber panels to create an aesthetically pleasing look. Not used much for privacy or security, however, they can make for a versatile addition to your garden. Here are some of the most common semi-solid fence panels on the market:
Timber Palisade / Picket Fencing
Timber palisade fencing’s more commonly known name is picket fencing, which refers to vertical timber planks joined together with spacing in between them. This creates the picket fence look that was so popular in days gone by. Picket fences can come in PVC or wooden types. With PVC, you're committed to the colour you select. Once that’s done, you’ll just need to give it a rinse with a hosepipe every once in a while to get rid of dust and dirt.
Wooden picket fences on the other hand require a bit more maintenance and you’ll want to get the right wood protector for your fence.
Hit & Miss Fencing
Hit and miss fence panels are distinct and are particularly attractive when it comes to their patterns. They usually are created by smooth-planed horizontal boards that are fixed to the front and back of the panel - in an alternating fashion. It’s suitable for both contemporary and more traditional gardens, but keep in mind that it’s usually aimed at those with bigger budgets. Offering good security and privacy, the gaps between the boards enable the wind to pass through for less wind resistance.
However, they are usually higher maintenance as the boards on the inside of the panel are a bit tricky to get to, especially if you are looking to paint them.
Willow or Hazel Hurdle Fencing
This type of fencing is made using willow or hazel and it can make for a gorgeous garden divider or a fence in itself. It’s also a great way of ensuring your privacy. Even though there are small slats between the wood itself, it’s not enough for prying eyes to see everything that’s happening in your garden. In addition, you can use this type of fencing to let sunlight in and even use some creeping plants on it to create a “greener” fence.
Venetian Fence Panels
Considered one of the most attractive varieties of fencing panels, Venetian fence panels provide a strong balance between good lighting as well as privacy. They are typically made using thin horizontal slats with small gaps in between. This can create a stunning backdrop to our garden as the small gaps will permit light to enter but also ensure your privacy is respected at the same time.
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