Fencing on a Slope or a Hill

In an ideal world, we would all have flat gardens and fencing on a slope would not be a problem. But unfortunately almost everyone needs to think about how to deal with a sloping fence, so this guide will hopefully help you to make sense of all the options.

To step or not to step, that is the question!

Garden fencing can either follow the ground level in a gradual fall or it can step down, it all depends on the type of panels you are using.  Each of these fencing methods has both benefits and problems of which will now discuss in more detail.

Horizontal Slatted Fencing on a slope.

As you are reading this blog on the Contemporary Fencing website it probably means that you are interested in slatted style fencing, so with that in mind, we will start with horizontal slatted fencing on a sloped site.

So you love that funky slatted fencing but your garden is a hill what do you do.

Well, as mentioned earlier you can either step it or slope it.

The choice between the two again depends on the site conditions and what you want visually.  Stepping slatted fencing is a bit more complicated than standard fencing;  here are a few things to consider.

Most slatted fence panels are attached to the front of the fence post, when two panels are adjacent they join together at the centre of the face of the post.  The post is then hidden behind and you have the lovely continuous slatted lines.

This works perfectly on flat and level sites. However, once you introduce steps in the fence you need to remember half of the post will become visible at the step down. To get over this problem we suggest that you use two posts next to each other at each step down, one at the higher height and one at the lower height. The problem is of course you need to buy more posts!

Another consideration when stepping slatted fencing is that your steps will need to be a size that suits the horizontal boards you are using. If your Horizontal slatted fence uses 44mm battens with a 7mm gap then your step will need to be a multiple of that size. Egg, 51mm or 102mm or 153mm.

How can you slope horizontal slatted fencing?

Well, luckily the clever chaps at Contemporary Fencing have come up with a new type of slatted fence panel that is designed to work on a slope.

This new Cequence sloping panel has Horizontal battens like all our other panels; the clever part is that the panel is cut to suit the size of the slope.   They are simply screwed to the posts and hey presto all the hard work is done for you. Our revolutionary sloped fence panels are made bespoke to suit your individual garden slope.

The Cequence sloped panels can be used alongside standard Cequence panels so if you have a mixture of hilly areas and flat spots the fencing will flow around the garden perfectly.

Stepped Close board fencing

Stepped fencing is normally done by using standard sized fence panels of say 6ft x 6ft and then these will step down gradually as the garden slopes.  The size of the steps and the number of steps in your fencing will depend on the size of the fall in your garden.

It is always best to try and work out how many and how big the steps in your fencing will be before starting work; this will ensure you get a neat job with equal sized steps.

Firstly, you need to know the overall height difference in the slope. (The difference between the highest and lowest point in the fence line)  eg. 300mm

Then you need to know the number of panels you are using. This will depend on the length of the fence run and the size of your fence panels. Eg 12 fence panels

Now work out a suitable step size, in this case as the fall is 300mm we could have three equal steps of 100mm.

The next thing to do is to work out where the steps will be.  If the slope is gradual its best to step down your fencing in equal blocks of panels.  To have three steps in 12 panels you would need to have a 100mm step after every three panels.

The problem with stepped fencing.

Fence panels are square and so as the ground slopes away a gap can appear under your panel.  So gravel boards must be used to fill this gap.

Stepped fencing does not work well with extremely sloped sites; if the steps become too large the height of the fencing can become low at the step down point causing privacy issues.

The stepping line of a fence is not particularly attractive; it does not blend nicely into a garden setting.   Most stepped fences use concrete posts and boards; these again are not very attractive.

The benefits of stepped fencing

It is probably the cheapest way of fencing a slope, using concrete posts and concrete gravel boards enables easy installation of stepped panels.

You can use standard fence panels when stepping a fence you do not need to construct the fence panel on site so it is a lot faster to install.

Sloping fencing or racking close board fencing

Sloping fencing is generally built on site, there are four main elements.  A post an arris rail and featheredge boards and a gravel board.

As these parts come separately it means that the fence can be built to suit the slope in your garden.

Arris rails fit between the fence posts horizontally, they can follow the slope in the garden, for a 6ft high fence there are normally 3 rails. The vertical feather edge boards are nailed into the horizontal arris rails. Using a string line to guide the top of the fence you can install the top of the feather edge boards on a gradual slope.

Final Thoughts…

Now we have looked at some ways to fence a garden that slopes, it time for you to decide the most important thing. Which type of fencing am I going to use?

For more information on Cequence fencing products and our New sloping panels please get in contact.

DB

Contemporary Fencing & Inside Out homes on Channel 4

You may have seen us on Channel 4’s Inside Out Homes recently. We were tasked by homeowners  Pinal and Rachael Ghandi with creating a contemporary fence  in their garden that would be part of renowned architect Zac Monro latest TV project. The brief was simple: to make the garden appear as if it’s an extension of the modern home – and our stylish, cedar wood fences fit the bill entirely.

To see our fencing on Inside Out homes visit the link below.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/inside-out-homes/on-demand/58632-006

As you’ll see from the finished garden, the vibrant natural hue of the wood off-set the garden completely. Really, no other fencing bar ours would have suited the space. We selected a privacy panelled fence for the space to help to create an enclosed space which was far removed from the suburban setting.

If you’d like to bring your outside space in, the effect can be achieved with surprising ease. Here are some of our top tips:

Think about the height of your fence

Ensure that your fences are the same height as the ceiling of your ground floor. This will help to draw your eye effortlessly along the smart straight lines of your walls to your fences, making it appear as if your fence is just an extension of your wall.

Use equally-sized, horizontal panels

We love the look that horizontal fence panels provide. Traditional, rudimentary fencing tends to be arranged vertically, in a feather-board pattern but here at Contemporary Fencing, we like to go against the grain, creating a fresh and modern look and feel to the finished fence.

To set off this refined look, it’s important that your fencing panels fit the dimensions of your garden, which is why we’ll cut your panels to size for no extra charge.

Keep the natural colour of the fence

Pinal and Rachael’s garden boasted a vast array of unusual and exotic foliage but viewers could immediately tell that it was our fences that took centre stage.

The fencing can be protected if you love the warm colours of Cedar or it can be left to naturally age to a smart silver-grey over time. Contemporary Fencing provide all the products you need to protect and enhance your fencing.

Keep an 7mm gap between boards

It’s not easy, bringing a splash of tropical warmth to a mock-tudor semi in Ealing, as we were tasked with in Inside Out Homes. However, by installing our cedar slatted bevel edge panel with an 7mm gap between panes, we can maximise any sunshine we do get by creating a shadow across the horizontal lines of the fence. This really helps to create that sun-trap feel that the show’s gardener Rosie Bine had envisaged.

 

Top 6 benefits of Western Red Cedar wood fence panels

When creating your garden fence, the materials that you choose are as important as the overall shape and design of your panels.

For us, there is only one type of timber that we’d ever use – Western Red Cedar. Originating from the United States and Canada, this highly-coveted material is now widely available in Europe. The trees grow to up to 60 metres tall and it is one of the most sustainable timbers available today.

Here are our top 6 reasons for using Western Red Cedar wood fence panels:

Red cedar wood is naturally beautiful

Imbued with a palette of reds, oranges and pinkish hues, the incandescent beauty of Red Cedar wood creates a beautiful finish for your garden fencing.

Eventually, the colour of your Red Cedar fence panels will weather to a silver-grey highlighted by darker streaks. This natural colour evolution makes Western Red Cedar wood the perfect material to create a modern and beautiful garden fence. If you prefer to keep the vibrant colour of Western Red Cedar we can supply a stain that has UV filters that will protect and enhance the natural colours

Resistant to rot, decay and pests

Red Cedar wood is naturally resistant to all kinds of rot and insect attacks. The cedar’s own unique oils and tannins fortify the timber, making it the the perfect material for your garden – particularly when faced with all of the elements our British weather can bring.

For you, this means that your garden fencing panels will require very little maintenance going forward.

Highly versatile

Western Red Cedar is simply the best timber for garden products, we also supply a range of other garden products to match our fencing, including gates, Binstores, planters and bench seating. All of these will last the test of time being built from the finest Cedar wood.

Sustainable

It will come as no surprise to hear that when it comes to sustainability, natural wood is far superior to its synthetic counterparts. This is because wood product manufacturing produces far fewer toxins and greenhouse gases than man made products. It’s also renewable and biodegradable and is sourced from the most sustainably-managed forests on the planet!

At Contemporary Fencing, all of our cedar is from a sustainable source and has PEFC certification. Our Western Red Cedar suppliers are a UK-based company who are a EUTR Responsible Purchaser.

Create heavy duty fence panels

Red Cedar wood is synonymous with quality, which is one of the main reasons that we use it for our fences. Its durability, in all weather conditions, makes this material the obvious choice for garden fence panels in the UK.

We’re so confident about the quality of the wood, all of our Western Red Cedar fences are guaranteed for 20 years.

…and Western Red Cedar fence prices needn’t be expensive

There’s no denying it. Western Cedar is a highly sought after material which means that it’s not the cheapest wood on the market.

However, the durability and the naturally-resistant properties of the wood mean that its very unlikely to rot or become damaged so you won’t have to replace your Western Red Cedar fence posts and panels nearly as often as you would other garden fence materials.

In short, although the finish of red cedar is of the highest quality, you’ll be surprised at how affordable our Cedar fence panels will be in the long term.

Take a look at our fence calculator to find out how little these could cost you.

How to protect, stain and maintain your fencing

How to keep the cedar colour from fading

This blog tells you everything you need to know about staining and protecting your fencing.
If you love the colour of Western Red Cedar and don’t want to allow it to go silver-grey, here’s how to do it.

If you want your Cedar to go Silver grey and naturally age this is not the blog for you!

Kiln Dried & Green Cedar

Both Kiln Dried and Green Cedar look exactly the same. The word green refers to an unseasoned wood that has been machined directly from the mill. Kiln Dried Cedar refers to Cedar that has been mechanically dried before machining so there is less moisture in the wood.

If you have Green Cedar you can still protect the colour with stain however, there is a sequence that must be followed to ensure that the stain is applied in the correct way at the correct time.

The main benefit of using Kiln Dried Cedar is that it will easily accept stains and protection oils. Most stain protection products require the wood to have a low moisture content. So, if you want to treat your fencing instantly then Kiln Dried Cedar allows you to do this, although it is important to remember that it is much more expensive than Green Cedar.

Green Cedar is more economical to buy but, it requires a little more work to get the stain finish applied correctly. Most of the fencing we sell at Contemporary Fencing is Green Cedar although we do supply Kiln Dried Cedar fencing on request.

How to protect the colour of Green Cedar

Protecting Green Cedar is done in three stages.

  1. Protect with Seasonite
  2. After 12 months Clean with Net-Trol
  3. Apply Aquadecks stain (honey)

We recommend that green Cedar is treated with ‘Seasonite’, this product protects the cedar as it naturally matures.

Seasonite is ideal for Cedar as it allows the wood to mature naturally for the first year.

Once the fencing has matured after 12 months, it is then ready to be cleaned and coated with a UV protection stain to enhance and protect the colour.

To clean the fencing and brighten the colour we highly recommend Net-Trol.

Net-Trol cleans and brightens the wood without damaging the natural wood structure (fibres).

Can the panels be pre-treated before they are dispatched?

On request we can pre-treat your panels with ‘Seasonite’.

The panels will arrive protected and ready for the next 12 months. This way, you can have a complete peace of mind that your cedar fencing will be ready for stain treatment after they have had time to.

Please contact us for more details.

Protecting Kiln Dried Cedar

Refer to the final two stages as described above when staining Kiln Dried Cedar (Net-Trol) and (Aquadec).

The reason we recommend using Net-Trol even when the wood is new is that it removes excess oils and tannins that may be present on the surface of the wood. These can counteract the wood stain effectiveness.

Once the stain is applied to your fencing you can enjoy many years of the warm bright colours of the Western Red Cedar fencing.

We can provide you with full service cleaning and caring for your fencing at correct intervals.

Please contact us for more details.

That’s all Folks

So there you have it, a complete guide to protecting Western Red Cedar fencing.

How wall top fencing panels can work for you

If you want to install a fence on top of a retaining wall or garden wall, help is at hand. The experts at Contemporary Fencing have devised a simple 4-step guide to make this process as seamless as possible. With our help, you’ll soon learn that building a fence on a retaining wall needn’t be such a daunting task.

If you still need help, we can arrange for professional fencing contractors to come and fit your wall top fencing panels for you. Simply get in touch for more information.

1. Assess the condition of your wall

The first consideration is the condition of the wall that the fence will be sitting on top of. Are you building a fence over a retaining wall? Or is your wood fence on top of a concrete block wall? Whichever wall you choose to build on, it’s imperative that your garden wall is structurally sound and stable.

Ideally your wall should be a double brick or rendered block wall with a thickness of 215mm or more and built on a sound, solid foundation. Fixing top of wall fencing to an unstable wall could cause the wall to fail and topple over in high winds.

2. Check the fence height and length of posts

We recommend that the fence on top of wall does not exceed 1.2m (4ft) height when using our top of wall posts.  If you want fencing higher than this, then fixing to the face of the wall or into the ground would be a better option to ensure stability. For more advice on this, get in touch.

If your wall is in an exposed area that’s prone to high winds, you may need to add extra support posts to ensure the stability of the fence. This can be done by adding a post midway on your fencing panel. At Contemporary Fencing, all of our fence posts are hidden so they will not be visible from the front.

3. Ensure that your fence posts are properly fixed to the wall

Your most important consideration when building a fence on top of a retaining wall or garden wall is how well your fence posts are fixed to the wall.

All of our Sequence fence posts which are used for wall top fencing are made from Western Red Cedar and have a 20mm Galvanized Threaded bar inserted in the bottom that protrudes 30cm.

A hole is drilled in the top of the wall using a 24mm masonry drill bit and 2 Part Resin anchor glue is pumped into the hole. The bar can then be inserted into the hole, the glue sets very quickly fixing the post in position. This is an extremely strong fixing and a very neat and tidy way of fixing posts.

4. Fit a capping rail to the top of the fence

Once posts are in position on top of the wall, our panels fix neatly to the front of the posts using the special powder-coated screws (which are cedar-coloured screws).

Finally, the capping rail can be fixed to the top of the fence. Once again, this is fixed in place with our special powder-coated screws.

The finished article is a neat and tidy fence that has no visible fixings front or rear. Best of all, when you choose a Contemporary Fencing wall top fence, it’s guaranteed to last for twenty years.

Double sided fencing on top of a wall

We also offer Double sided fencing for top of walls just in case both neighbours want the slatted panel finish with no visible posts.

The diagram below shows our hidden double sided posts, these can be fixed to the top of a wall using the same method as our standard top of wall posts or there is an option to have a post with a footplate that can be bolted to the wall.

*Double-sided post with bar fixing:

*Double-sided post with a foot plate:

Fixing panels to double sided posts

Our double sided fencing comprises of two special panels that fix back to back. Once your posts are fixed in position one panel can be attached to the post by attaching through the predrilled holes on the post lugs. The second panel is then fixed in place by screwing the vertical rear supports into the back of the first panel. Thus the post is neatly sandwiched between the two panels. The diagram below shows the main components of a double sided fence.

*Double-sided fencing panels suitable for the top of the wall:

Full instructions are sent with each double sided fence.

*Double-sided fencing panels suitable for the top of the wall:

Backyard Garden Fence Ideas For Every Home

Whether you’re simply looking for a few backyard garden fence ideas or if you’re after some inspiration for a modern house fence design, you’ll be surprised at what you can do with a little imagination.

Here is a selection of the best fence ideas, taken from some of our favourite client projects.

Modern house fence ideas

We love the contemporary take on a privacy trellis which we delivered for this landscaped garden of a stylish modern house. There are two sizes of boards in this fence design.

The lower wider boards are actually double sided so offer complete privacy, while the smaller  battens at the top allow light to pass into the garden. If you look carefully you can see the metal double sided posts inside the fence panel.

Unique Fencing Ideas

Don’t allow your imagination to be limited by the typical uses for garden fence panels. Our versatile cedar wood fence panels have a multitude of different uses. A popular use of our cedar panelling is to clad a pediment of a house.

Our client came to us as they wanted to provide a splash of luxury to the exterior of their modern home and, as you can see from the finished pediment, we fulfilled their brief entirely. The warm reddish hue of the western red cedar blends perfectly with the palate of orange and reds from the bricks. This, coupled with the slate grey of the windows and frosted door glazing, creates some seriously impressive kerb appeal, the client decided to have this to match the cedar fencing we fitted in the garden.

 

Small Garden Fencing Ideas

If you have a courtyard-style garden, don’t let this put you off having a fence. There are plenty of small garden fence ideas that can help maximise the space available to you.

For one client, a renowned photographer a large photo of a woodland vista was fitted to our fencing, this gave a wonderful depth to the space. This, coupled with the natural cedar of the fence panels, helps to create a seamless extension of their courtyard.

For another client, whose outdoor space had a more contemporary vibe, a selection of lights were added to illuminate the brick walls and wooden panelling beneath our cedar fences. This transformed what was once a small backyard to a luxurious, spacious extension of the living room, helping to bring the inside, out.

How To Hide A Concrete Posts And Gravel Boards.

Fed up with looking at ugly concrete posts and concrete gravel boards and boring fence panels? We have some great ideas about how you can hide them without having to go to the great expense of removing or replacing them.

Concrete is a cheap and versatile material but attractive it isn’t – and, as anyone who’s ever lived in a post-war property will know, once it’s used, there’s very little that can be done to improve the look.

The fence in the picture below is attached to a concrete post and gravel board fence with wooden closeboard panels. Our Cedar Fencing completely hides this old fence, the change is staggering. Best of all this can be achieved without removing your old fence!

If you’ve ever attempted to break up concrete, you’ll understand all too well that it’s no easy feat. So, if you can’t break it, do the next best thing and hide it behind beautiful cedar panelling – you’ll be amazed at how effective this can be.

So if you want to disguise unsightly concrete posts, gravel boards – or both – here is your guide to how best to do this.

Your first job will be to attach horizontal battens in three rows top middle and bottom of the existing fence. These battens can be fixed into place by screwing into the concrete post with a plug and screw. This allows access to the old panels if they need to be changed in the future.

Next, attach our slatted Cedar fence panels to these horizontal battens with the fixing screws provided. The panels have vertical rear supports on the rear, we recommend fixing through the front of this vertical batten as it keeps the screws hidden between the gaps in the panel.

Our Cedar slatted panels are designed to abut each other completely hiding the ugly fence behind. If you supply us the length of your existing fence we can make the cedar panels the exact size you need to hide it completely from view.

 

How to attach a wooden fence to existing concrete fence posts?

There are, of course, some other things that you need to bear in mind before you begin.

1. Always use good quality materials

It’s always important to use strong, durable wood for your fence if you want it to brave the elements of our unpredictable weather. However, this becomes even more vital when you’re building around an existing structure, such as concrete posts.

At Contemporary Fencing, we only use Western Red Cedar which, as well as being naturally resistant to rot, decay and pests, creates a beautiful finish for your garden fencing.

2. Keep a minimal gap between fence panels

Obviously, your primary goal with installing a fence is to hide the concrete gravel boards behind it. Think carefully about the design of fence panels.

Here at Contemporary Fencing, we normally allow a 7mm gap between panels which provides a shadow line between each piece of cedar, showcasing the colour variation of the wood. To ensure that none of the original concrete is peeking through, we use a square-edged panel which provides more enclosure than a bevel-edged. 

3. Ensure everything is installed securely

For a job like this, it might be worth bringing in the experts. However, if you want to install your fence yourself, it’s absolutely vital that you fit the panels correctly around the existing concrete structure.

Your fence panels and capping rails need to be cut to fit the space exactly, so enlist a specialist to do this. At Contemporary Fencing, we build all of our fences to order, according to your exact specifications, at our joinery workshop in Whitstable. We believe that a well-fitted fence, hand-crafted from quality materials, will stand the test of time. So, with one of our fences, you’ll quickly forget that the concrete was ever there.

Top 5 most popular types of fence panels

The types of fence panels which are now available is rivalled only by the types of fencing materials you can make them with.

Gone is the era of traditional featherboard fence panels used in so many suburban gardens. These days you have a range of different types of fences to suit your needs and aesthetic.

So, whether you value privacy, open space – or a combination of the two – we’ll have the fencing options for you.

 

Bevel-edged fence panels

What kind of fence is this? These contemporary fence panels combine style with practicality, providing an intelligent, weather-proof design and a sleek finish.

The front edge of each slat has a bevel which allows rain water to drain right off and sunlight to pass through, making it suitable for all seasons.

Great for… Well, anyone really. This is one of our most popular fence panels and it’s easy to see why.

Also look for: Cant rails, arris rails, arris fencing, bevel fence panels.

Square-edged fence panels

What kind of fence is this? The square-edged panel is probably the design you’d be the most familiar with. Generally chosen for its sturdy design and traditional finish, these rectangular battens are easy to install and provide ample security.

Great for… The security-conscious, traditional gardens, boundary fences.

Also look for: Traditional fence panels, overlap fence panels, lap fence panels.

 

Privacy Fence Panels

What kind of fence is this? Privacy fence panels are an innovation for our modern age. Like the square-edged panels, these are effectively rectangular fence battens with a rebate between panels to provide a stylish shadow line. Our privacy fence panels have no gaps to guarantee you’ll have complete privacy from neighbouring gardens.

Good for… Overlooked gardens, noisy – or nosy – neighbours.

Also look for: Horizontal slats, stockade pickets, lattice designs, lapboard.

 

Open fence panels

What kind of fence is this?  Open fence panels are made from Western Red Cedar, each with a gap size of 23mm between panels.
These panels provide a looser, more natural-looking boundary for your garden. They’re also a great choice if you wanted to create a cordoned off area for your bins, bikes or lean-to.

What’s more, climbing plants such as ivy or jasmine can be trained to grow on the slats like a trellis, creating a verdant aesthetic to your fencing.

Great for… Keen gardeners, as dividers in large gardens.

Also look for: Open pale, picket panels.

 

Horizon fence panels

What kind of fence panel is this? Horizon fence panels create the illusion of more space and so are a great choice for small or narrow gardens.

The boards on these fence panels gradually get wider, from the bottom to the top, giving the effect of a horizon in the distance. The gap size between each panel is 7mm to ensure maximum privacy.

Great for… Small gardens, unique gardens.

Top tip: For an even more contemporary finish, mix up the ordering of the different-width fence panels. Try using the largest pane for the middle and arrange the others around this.

Contact us

Unit 1b Joseph Wilson Industrial Estate, Millstrood Road, Whitstable, Kent, England, CT5 3PS

01227 273214

sales@contemporaryfencing.com

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