Garden fencing: your guide to getting it right

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Most of us live side by side with our neighbours in complete harmony, but it doesn’t take much for the balance to tip. A barking dog, loud music or an unruly garden are just some of the sparks that can ignite a row. 

In fact, falling out with neighbours is a common problem. A survey of 2000 people revealed that one in five of us have argued with a neighbour at some point – with one in 10 even going as far as moving house to escape an ongoing feud. 

And one of the most common neighbourly disputes?  

Fences.

Yep, you read that right, the humble garden fence. They may look fairly innocuous but a whopping 6.6m Brits were embroiled in a boundary spat in 2022, with fences taking the top spot as the most common source of disagreement. 

So the question is, how do you keep the peace? 

Read on to discover the dos and don’ts of garden fences and how something as simple as composite fencing can help to avoid a fallout with next door. 

Know the rules! 

Who owns the fence?

There is a common belief that the rules of garden fencing are simple – the fence to the left of your property is your responsibility. But this is a common misconception. The only way to be truly clear on who has responsibility is to check your deeds.   

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In many cases, party fences are actually joint responsibility between both neighbours.

Who is responsible for maintenance?

Unfortunately, there is no actual law dictating that fences must be kept in good condition. So, if your neighbour chooses to let things deteriorate, there’s not much you can do about it. 

Your only real option is to erect a fence on your own land. This can butt right up to the existing problem fence (the panels can even touch), just as long as it remains on your land.  

How high can garden fences be? 

This is an important key consideration. The highest a fence can be without planning permission is 2 metres, but finding the right balance between security and privacy over blocking views and light can be tricky. And what works for you might not suit the neighbours. 

The best solution is to remain flexible and try to reach a compromise that works for everyone. 

Top tips to get your garden fence right

Check boundaries

We’re all protective of our personal space and no one wants to erect a fence only to be told to take it down. So, before you start, be sure to check boundary details carefully. You can do this by checking the title plan. 

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Keep neighbours on side

Keeping the lines of communication open is the best way to avoid any ill feelings, so it’s a good idea to get neighbours involved from the get-go. Talk to them about what you’re planning to do so they’re completely informed and don’t get hit with any surprises. 

Measure carefully

Avoid the unnecessary expense of over-ordering or the frustration of not being able to finish the job because you’ve under-ordered fence panels. Take your time over the measurements. Double-check them… and then check them again. 

Think about access

It’s never too early to think about access, so don’t leave thoughts about gates until the last minute. Consideration of where access will be needed, and the positioning of any gates, should be factored in from the start.

Use composite

Don’t risk falling out over who gets the best side of the fence, conflicting paint colours fighting for the top edge, or paying for replacement panels – use composite fencing! 

Long lasting, durable, and low maintenance, composite fence panels have two equally attractive sides, come pre-coloured, and there’s no need to ever sand, paint, or apply treatments. Meaning not only do you massively reduce ongoing maintenance tasks and expenses, but you also swerve the risk of an argument too. 

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Order composite fence panels 

Want to update your fencing and keep the peace? Then it’s time to order composite fencing. Take a look at the great range offered by HR Composites, a leading supplier of composite fencing. With authentic browns, striking blacks and contemporary grey panels available, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

You’ll also find a great collection of decorative panels to choose from. Perfect for adding interest, they provide privacy without fully obscuring the view… ideal if you’re keen to keep an eye on the neighbours… 

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