Understanding the Costs Associated with Fence Panel Installation
This article covers everything you need to know about hiring professionals to supply and install fence panels – turnaround times, materials required, and labour costs.
How much does it cost to install fence panels in the United Kingdom?
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide in erecting or installing fence panels, you’ve come to the right place. Typical outdoor landscaping will include the installation of fence panels. Costs for installing fence panels in the UK will vary depending on the size of the project.
A typical project will include gravel boards, concrete posts, and fence panels about 6 feet high. It is possible to choose from different types of fence panels and designs. The most popular options include:
Feather-edge fence panels or slatted fence panels at £32 each;
Lap fence boards which cost around £15 each;
Concave and convex fence panels, £40 each,
Trellis fence panels, around £16 each,
Weaved fence panels, about £58 each.
The figures mentioned above are estimated amounts and the actual cost will depend on the materials used (the type of wood, for example) and the quality as well.
Prices of Fence Panels
Hiring a tradesperson to build your fence panels will cost around £700 for 8 panels up to £1000. Each panel that you will buy in the UK has an average length of 2 metres.
Fence panel prices depend on the type that you opt for. Wood is the most popular material for fences and is utilized in many gardens all over the UK. Some use wire fences which is a suitable option if you have a tight budget as the price will only be £5 or less per linear foot.
Vinyl fence panels are more expensive at £20 per foot and can go up as high as £40 for every foot. Other security fence material options include aluminum, composite, hedge, iron, and steel.
The following are the estimated rates of hiring a professional to install fence boards using timber for an average-sized garden (15 metres long). You will need around 8 fence panels that measure about 1.8 metres in height and length.
Tradesperson Rates for Wooden Fence Installation
£500 for lap fence panels
£600 for feather-edge fence panels
£600 for slatted fence panels
£800 for trellis panels
£800 for decorative panels
£900 for Venetian panels
£1,000 for groove and tongue panels
Costs for Alternative Fence Materials
If you are thinking about using other fence materials, here’s an estimate price per foot:
£1 to £4 for split rail
£1 to £7 for wire
£3 to £7 for electric
£7 to £10 for picket
£15 to £30 for vinyl
£20 to £28 for corrugated metal
£20 to £30 for aluminum
£20 to £30 for plastic
£25 to £40 for wrought iron
£25 to £40 for steel
If your current fence requires repair, you may need a refitting of your garden fence. The price usually depends on the extent of the refitting, including the materials required for replacement. A full refitting will cost you £300 at the very least.
Cost Breakdown Example
It will cost about £1,000 to hire a tradesperson to install 8 feather-edge fence panels. The estimated cost includes labour costs, materials required, and waste removal.
Materials £700 or 70% of the total cost
Labour (tradespeople) £250 or 25% of the total cost
Waste removal £50 or 5% of the total cost
Work Turnaround Time and Labour Costs
Although the cost of materials holds the highest percentage in terms of fence panel installation expenses, the labour fee also influences the total price of the project. Different companies have different rates for installation of fence panels but the average cost per hour is around £5 per linear foot up to £15 for every foot.
Most professional fence installers charge based on the parameters of the project – simply said, the more materials required for the project, the longer time is needed to finish the job.
Apart from the total number of hours that they need to complete the project, tradespeople may also take your location into consideration when quoting you their rates. There are fence installers who will charge a daily rate of £150 with the estimate that the fitting is finished in a day or two.
If the fence is long, the tradesman may bring in another person to work with him so that the job will be finished as soon as possible. Contractors who keep on extending the project’s turnaround time are more expensive since the longer it takes to finish the project, the more expensive the installation becomes.
The bulk of expenses may come from the price of the materials, but some extras may ring in additional costs. Depending on your requirements, the following costs may be added to your total fence panel installation expenditure:
Gravel boards are pieces of concrete or wood placed under fence panels near the ground. Aside from adding aesthetic to the fence, it also helps protect against infestation and rut. If you are looking for a cheaper option, wood gravel boards only cost around £5 while giving your wooden fence panels a more natural look. Concrete gravel boards will set you back at least £13 since it is made of sturdier material and will likely last longer than wooden gravel boards.
The installation process will not be complete without fence posts, especially if the material of choice is wood or concrete. Concrete fence posts are more expensive that wooden fence posts, as illustrated in the example below:
Wood costs around £4 to £10 per post
Concrete costs around £20 to £40 per post
As the more lightweight option, wood is naturally cheaper. Aside from that, wood posts take less time to install which essentially lowers costs and reduces turnaround time. Heavier concrete takes longer to install because of its weight.
The wood material is also more sustainable, especially if pre-treated wood is used. Concrete, however, is more durable than wood because it will not rot, it will not get attacked by insects, and it is not biodegradable. Concrete can withstand the natural elements compared to wooden materials. Concrete is durable enough to sustain its form even if it is exposed to different weather conditions.
The type of fence posts is also an important consideration since these will also affect installation costs. You will find a breakdown of the price of the different types of posts below:
Regular posts will cost around £10-£13 each
Enc posts will cost around £16 to £20 each
Corner posts will cost around £20 to £25 each
If you have a strict budget, you should go with the most cost-effective option. For example, you will need 9 regular posts if you are installing 8 fence panels in your outdoor space – which means the total fence posts will cost £90.
Fence Post Caps
Fence post caps add special aesthetic to your garden fence, but these also have a security purpose since intruders will find it challenging to climb over. These fence post caps come in different designs and are not expensive at all. Expect to pay less than £1 for each piece.
Old fences that need to be removed leave plenty of waste and debris. Tradespeople will charge additional for waste removal. The average cost of waste removal runs at about £400 depending, of course, on the amount of waste to remove. DIY removal is an option, however, doing so requires a significant amount of effort and time on your end. Professionals will be able to do the task efficiently in less time than doing it on your own.
Different Fence Panel Types
The table below shows the different kinds of fence panels, particularly wood. The list shows the approximate cost of each type of material (per foot). Each type has a set of advantages and disadvantages.
Pine wood: Costs £3 per foot and is suited for slatted fence and feather-edge panels. While pine wood is sustainable and cheaper compared to other options, it is also not too sturdy and prone to decay.
Cedar wood: Costs £4 per foot and is suited for decking fence boards and slatted fencing. Cedar wood is versatile and resistant to moisture but requires regular maintenance and also more expensive than other timber panels.
Spruce: Costs £4 per foot and suitable for picket fences and lap fence boards. The benefits of using spruce is that it does not crack and is reasonably-priced; however, the wood has a tendency to swell and easily rot.
Cypress wood: Costs £7 per foot and used mainly for close board fence panels and groove/tongue boards. Cypress wood is rot and water-resistant, but this type of wood is also expensive and requires frequent maintenance.
Additional Materials for Fencing
Other materials can be used to create a fence around your outdoor space to add security, protection, and privacy. Some of the materials used for fencing other than wood and concrete are composite, electric, iron, steel, wire, and vinyl. The table shows the average costs of materials (per foot), as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of material.
Welded mesh: Costs £1 per foot and suitable for farm fences. Welded mesh is made from lightweight material plus it allows airflow and sunlight. However, this material can be easily corroded and costly to maintain.
Woven wire: Costs £1 per foot and used mainly for security fencing. While woven wire can be moved easily and lasts long if properly taken care of, this material is usually used for temporary fencing and can be broken easily if not maintained well.
Barbed wire: Costs £2 per foot and used mostly as a deterrent for intruders. Although barbed wire is considered an affordable security fencing material, it is not too aesthetically appealing and may also cause injury to others.
Chain link: Costs £7 per foot and used mainly as a planting fence. Chain links provide enough protection for plants and it is also safe for animals. However, it does not provide too much security and you may have very little privacy if you use this material.
Electric: Costs £7 per foot and an excellent option for security fencing. This material requires regular maintenance and can be hazardous to people in the area, but you can contain animals well aside from getting enough security with it.
Composite: Costs £25 per foot and popular material for domestic or residential gardens. Composite is environment-friendly and resistant to decay. However, it is costly compared to other fencing materials and can become brittle due to aging.
Vinyl: Costs £30 per foot and typically used instead of wooden fencing materials. Vinyl is a good quality material that requires very little maintenance. The disadvantage of vinyl is the high cost and synthetic appearance.
Iron: Costs £40 per foot and suitable for front gates. Iron is durable and very versatile, but it is also susceptible to rust which makes it high-maintenance.
Steel: Costs £50 per foot and excellent material for steel palisades. Steel is durable and provides a high level of security. However, this material is one of the most expensive fencing materials and inflexible when it comes to design.
The Process of Installing Fence Panels
Fence panel installation will vary based on the type of materials used although the process of fitting these panels is quite similar. Homeowners should understand what is involved in the installation process of the fence panels.
Treatment of the area
Before fence panels are installed, the tradespeople will remove any vegetation in the area and treat it with a weed killer to start the process. If you opt to install wooden fence boards, the materials must also be treated to prevent any insect infestation and rotting of materials.
Preparation of the area
After the area has been treated and the panels were prepared, marking will be placed by the tradesperson to indicate the spots where fences will be installed. The tradesperson will make sure that no visible pipes or cables litter the area. If fences only require replacement, then the tradesperson will simply put the fences in the spots originally marked, depending on your preferences, of course.
Digging the fence holes
The fences will be installed by placing pilot holes on the ground where metal spikes will be leveled out and hammered in to make sure the fence posts are supported. The holes will be about three times the size of the fence posts (approximately 2feet wide) so that it will not be difficult to hammer in the posts. The tradesperson will insert the posts one by one, and top them off with sand or concrete to make sure they do not move. The filling should be left to dry for an hour at the very least before starting to install any fence panels.
Before the wood panels are installed, you will be advised by the tradesperson to purchase treated gravel boards. These boards help prevent rotting by not letting the wood touch the floor. However, if the materials used for the fence panels are iron, plastic, or wire, there is no need to invest in treated gravel boards because the materials are not prone to insect attacks or rotting. After this process is complete, the tradesperson will start securing the posts with stainless clips or screws to prevent rusting.
Checking the levels
Once the fence posts have been secured, the tradespeople will inspect if everything is correctly leveled. If not, the post tops will be cut off to make sure everything is even before securing them permanently into place. Additional materials like slates or post toppers will be installed including any touch-up of paint required.
Is It Possible to DIY Fencing Panels?
Installing fence panels can be done on your own if you are knowledgeable. However, you need to have certain tools to perform the work as well as an assistant to help with the digging and other manual work required.
Before you start installing fencing panels on your own, you should heed these DIY tips:
Verify if there are permissions needed
Before starting to install fences, it is pertinent that you check the boundaries of your property. You can verify the boundaries by inspecting the deeds of your property or have an expert check it for you. Your neighbour may ask you to relocate your fences if you have the incorrect boundaries. It is possible to install the fences without any planning permission but the local planning authorities will be able to check for you to be sure.
Look out for wiring
It may be exciting to start digging the ground if you are building the fences on your own. However, it is possible to hit pipes and underground cables if you are not aware of their location! Using wood that is pressure-treated can save you time and money since these will prevent the material from rotting.
Save on labour costs
If you are competent at DIY work, you can save on labour costs since you do not have to pay tradespeople any fees. A garden measuring 50 feet long will let you save about £500 since labour rates usually come up to £10 for every linear foot.
Seek help from professionals
If in doubt about installing a fence in your outdoor space, you should seek the services of a professional tradesperson to help you. Having it done by professionals may be more costly but you can be sure that the quality of work will make your fence last a long time.
How do I Know How Much Fencing I Need to Install?
It is possible to find out how many fence panels you need to install by measuring the size of the space you plan to put them on.
A common fence installation size if about 6 feet high. Typical materials used are wooden fence panels, fence posts, as well as gravel boards. The table below illustrates the materials and costs associated with an average-sized garden.
£450: A small garden measuring about 10 metres will need 6 fence panels and 6 gravel boards, and at least 7 fence posts.
£600: A medium-sized garden measuring about 15 metres will need 8 fence panels and 8 gravel boards, and at least 9 fence posts.
£1,000: A large garden measuring about 25 metres will need 14 fence panels and 14 gravel boards, and at least 15 fence posts.
Painting and Maintaining the Fences
After the installation of the fences is completed, you should make it a point to maintain it so that it will last a long time. Fence panels made with a plastic material such as PVC or vinyl do not need regular maintenance except for cleaning them every once in a while. Wooden materials will need regular cleaning using a relatively affordable fence cleaner (around £6). If the wooden material was infected by fungus, it should be replaced immediately to prevent it from spreading.
Every couple of years, the wooden fence panels may also need repainting to keep them fresh. Paint and primer will cost about £30. If the fence is made of wrought iron, consider repainting once every two years or three. This can be done DIY more or you can also hire a professional tradesperson so you can be sure that it gets done right.
How to Save on Fencing Costs
There are different ways to save on fencing expenses, especially if you are working on a budget. To cut costs, you should analyze why you want to invest in fencing. Are you installing a fence to give your home more privacy and security? Are you doing it for aesthetic reasons? Thinking about your goals will help you identify what you need instead of spending it on something non-essential.
Consider the type of materials that you prefer to use and look at more affordable alternatives. Let’s say you’re planning to use steel fencing, aluminum fencing will be cheaper at £60 per fence panel compared to £250 for each steel panel.
Another way to minimize fencing expenses is by asking your neighbours if they will agree to share the fencing expenses with you. This will work if you reside in a semi-detached home or in a terraced house where you have joint gardens. When you split the cost, you will be able to invest in more expensive and sturdier material for only half the expenses.
How does Fencing Increase the Value of My Home?
There are many benefits of building a fence for your home, whether at the back or the front. It boosts the aesthetics of your house, it increases curb appeal. Aside from making your home more attractive, it also increases the security and privacy of your property. In case you want to sell your house someday, a well-built fence in the garden will significantly increase the value of the property. This is one of the reasons seeking the help of professional tradespeople is better than doing the project on your own. You can get a good price for your home when the house features, such as the fences, are built professionally.
Planning Permission When Installing Fences
Most of the time, it won’t be necessary to get planning permission when you want to install fencing.There are instances, however, when you will need to obtain planning permission, such as:
Your home is near the highway and the fence exceeds two metres or more than a metre high
You were unauthorized to build a fence
Your property is adjoined to another property or registered as a building
If you are required to obtain planning permission, you will be asked to pay the service charge and VAT amounting to £20.83. You do not have to pay to obtain consent for a listed building. On the other hand, you may have to pay more than £200 to obtain planning permission as a householder.
Proceeding to install a fence with no planning permission will cause a problem since you may be asked to pay a penalty of £20,000 or more. It is best to consult the local council before starting to install any fencing around your home.
Costs for Installing a Gate
If you plan to update the fences in your property, you should have a gate that serves as an exit or entrance. The costs associated with installing a gate largely depend on the type of material that you will use and where you will have it installed. There are several gate types to choose from and you can also opt to commission a professional tradesperson to construct a gate especially for you.
If you are looking to install a gate at the front side of the property, you should opt for something that will add appeal to the area, such as a decorative steel gate. However, for security purposes, you can choose to install an electric gate to boost the privacy of your home.
It can be challenging to decide on what type of gate is best for your property. But first, the costs of a typical gate installation:
Wooden gate: costs less than £500 (approximately £180 – £400)
Wrought iron gate: costs around £1000 and up (approximately £1,500 to £4,000)
Electric gate: costs more than £5,000 (approximately £7,000 – £10,000)
What are the Costs Associated with a Garden Wall Installation?
If your taste leans towards more traditional designs, a garden wall may be more suitable instead of modern fencing. You will be able to choose from a variety of options using different materials taking into consideration the wall size and the materials to be used.
A retaining wall is the typical type of garden wall you will find. It used to slope as well as provide added aesthetics to the property. Using a variety of materials, a retaining wall is effective in enhancing your outdoor space’s aesthetics.
Here is an example of the costs that you will expect to pay using different materials for the garden walls:
A brick wall may cost between £900 up to £1,900
A stone wall may cost between £1,700 up to £6,000
A concrete wall may cost between £2,000 up to £8,000
The materials mentioned above are the most commonly used materials in front gardens as well as those located in the back. Stone remains the most popular despite the costs associated with it (see the example below).
Flint costs about £120 per sqm
Sandstone costs about £125 per sqm
Limestone costs about £150 per sqm
Slate costs about £2,000 up to £200 per sqm
If you are looking to reduce costs but love the appeal of a stone wall, consider mixing stone with different materials. You can achieve a stone wall effect by mixing cedar cladding with slate for only less than £50 for every square metre.
What are the Expenses Associated with Fence Removal?
Unless you do not have any existing fence, the first thing you must do is remove the current fence before deciding on the new type of fence to install. Removing it can be done without the help of a professional, but it may take a lot of time and effort.
If you prefer to do it by yourself, analyze the costs first. After uninstalling, you need to take it to the local tip. This may not involve any costs, but you should still verify it before doing so.
One way to get rid of the waste from the old fence is to verify if the local council has a bulk pick-up service that you can avail (usually £30 and up). Skip hire is another option, but more costly at £200.
A viable option to get rid of your old fences and take away the waste is to hire a professional to do the job. It may cost about £400 but you can save plenty of time and effort. The expenses may add up to your new fencing installation costs but a reliable tradesperson will be able to complete the project with very little or no issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I opt for wooden or concrete posts?
Wooden posts are relatively cheaper at only £4 per post. Installed in the garden, they look naturally pleasing. Aside from cost and aesthetics, wooden posts can be installed much quicker. The main disadvantage of wooden posts is that they require frequent maintenance to prevent rotting. One way to prevent wooden posts from rotting is to put concrete below the wooden material to prevent it from rotting.
The advantage of using concrete posts is that they are sturdier even when exposed to the elements. Concrete posts will cost more upon installing but are more cost-effective in the long run. The drawback of utilizing concrete posts is that they do not look too appealing and panels may rattle since they are not attached directly to the concrete.
How does fence removal work?
An existing fence must be dismantled first before replacing it with a new one. There are no special equipment or techniques needed – a lump hammer, a pry bar and a lot of manual labor will do the trick. It is best to break up the existing fence panels into smaller pieces.
There is no need to remove the old concrete fence supports since the new posts ca be inserted between them. But if there are plenty of concrete from previous fences, it may be difficult to stagger the replacements between them
DIY fence removal is possible but you should be ready for a lot of work. In this case, hiring a professional tradesperson may be the best option.
What is the best way to keep fence panels in good condition?
Wooden fence panels should be treated after installing and maintained annually through the reapplication of wood treatment and repainting. You can do this personally and the product will usually cost not more than £15
Pressure-treated timber does not need to be treated again or repainted which saves time and money in the long run. The process entails forcing high amounts of preservatives into the wood grain as rot prevention.
You can expect to pay £5 more for pressure-treated timber as opposed to non-treated wooden panels. The higher price is worth it since you do not have to spend so much time taking care of the fence panels.
Is planning permission required to install a new fence?
It is not required to obtain planning permission to install a new fence if it is lower than 2 metres. The only exceptions are when your garden is located near a busy road or you reside in a conservation area – in these cases, other rules may apply. There will be fees to pay if you obtain planning permission, thus it is best to check first before handing out your application.
To know if you are required to obtain planning permission, give your local planning authority a call or visit their office for clarification. Property boundaries are one of the reasons for many disputes between neighbours, so you must be careful with this matter. Contacting the local planning department will take very little effort and will save you plenty of trouble in the long run.
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