Your Guide To Building A Garden Fence

Fencing Northern Ireland

Having a fence around your garden is a must if you’re in need of privacy, security or to keep pets enclosed safely. Putting up a new fence can feel like a daunting task if you’re new to it but fear not, our how to guide will walk you through the entire process to turn you from novice to a fencing pro in no time.

Planning Permission

Planning permission is not required for your fence as long as it’s no taller than 2 metres. When the fence meets a road or footpath the height restriction is 1 metre high. This usually works out that your back garden fence will be up to 2 metres high and your front garden fence will be up to 1 metre high.

If you live in an open plan or shared development then you will also need to seek planning permission as the fence will be impacting on others who are entitled to use that space. If you are in any doubt about whether you need planning permission or not then you can find more guidance here.

Choosing Your Fencing

Now that you know you’re in the clear to start building your fence you need to choose which type to go for. Consider the purpose, size and design of fence that best suits your needs to help you choose the right one for you. The most common types of fencing to choose from are:

  • Palisade – One of the most popular types of fencing, palisade allows you to have both privacy and some visibility in between the panels allowing light to get in while giving you the traditional look of a garden fence.
  • Closeboard – Closeboard fencing is made up of vertical timber panels, which overlap each other. This creates a whole panel with no spaces in it so it is the ideal choice for those looking for extra privacy and it’s cheaper than other options.
  • Trelis – Trelis fencing looks great either on it’s own or alongside palisade or closeboard fencing. When used as a decorative piece it allows more light into your garden and it can also act as extra security when added to the top of your existing fence.


It’s important that you measure out the boundaries for your fence carefully as any mistakes at this stage can cause major problems further down the line. Ensure that you include widths of the fence panels and the gate within your measurements to keep it as accurate and in proportion as possible.

Setting The Posts

Once you have made your measurements and worked out how many posts and panels you will need then it’s time to set your posts.

Install your corner posts first and then establish a straight line to the middle posts by tying a piece of string from one to another. Once you have set your posts then you need to add horizontal support beams that will allow you to attach your panels, you will ideally want 3 support rails.

Once you have your panel lined up then it’s simply a case of hammering 2/3 nails into each of the support beams to ensure that it is securely fixed. A good tip at this point is to use the depth of the beam to create an even space between each one, the last thing you want is to have different sized spaces between your panels.

Building Your Gate

You will want to use sturdy posts to support your gate as this is the area of the fence that will be doing the most work. Measure the distance between your posts and then make the width of the gate 1 inch smaller on each side and remember to make the height of the gate a few inches smaller than the overall height of the rest of the fence to allow it to swing open with ease. You will also need to add hinges to one of the posts to allow it to open and close. Once your gate is complete then you have a fully functioning fence around your property.

For more information on our timber fencing options visit our dedicated fencing page.