Garden fences go through a lot. They’re standing during the blistering heat and freezing cold, endure footballs being bounced on them, and lashings of rain and wind beating their sides throughout the year.
It’s no wonder some fence panels can quite literally be on their last legs. Repairing, replacing or adding in fence panels where there were none before can be a fairly straightforward endeavour – if you know what to look out for.
In this article, we’ll be explaining the ins and outs of fence panel installation and replacement, covering how much fence panels cost, what affects the cost of new or replacement fence panels, how you can save money on fencing, what type of fence panels you should choose for your job, what’s involved in installing fence panels and how to find and hire someone to install or repair fence panels.
If your fence needs a refresh, keep reading to find out how to do it in the most cost-effective way possible.
How Much Do Fence Panels Cost?
There are several different factors which will affect the overall cost of installing fence panels. The table below takes a closer look at what these costs are so you can set out a realistic budget before installation.
|FENCING TYPE||ESTIMATED COST FOR 3-FOOT PANELS||ESTIMATED COST FOR 4-FOOT PANELS||ESTIMATED COST FOR 6-FOOT PANELS||LABOUR COSTS||TIME REQUIRED||TOTAL ESTIMATED COST|
|Chainlink or Wire Fencing||£25 to £35||£35 to £50||£55 to £65||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£65 to £225|
|Trellis||£70 to £90||£80 to £90||£90 to £125||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£110 to £285|
|Overlap||£100 to £120||£140 to £160||£180 to £250||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£140 to £410|
|Picket Fencing||£100 to £170||£100 to £180||£100 to £200||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£140 to £360|
|Featheredge||£135 to £435||£150 to £520||£200 to £600||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£175 to £760|
|Closeboard||£135 to £450||£550 to £950||£700 to £1,400||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£175 to £1,560|
|Wrought Iron||£140 to £160||£165 to £195||£170 to £210||£150 to £750 per day||1 to 2 days||£290 to £1,710|
|Slatted||£170 to £230||£260 to £320||£325 to £480||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£210 to £640|
|Woven||£210 to £260||£300 to £325||£400 to £490||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£250 to £650|
|Hit and Miss||£220 to £255||£300 to £315||£400 to £420||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£260 to £440|
|Tongue and Groove||£275 to £300||£350 to £450||£380 to £690||£10 to £20 per hour||4 to 8 hours||£315 to £850|
Chainlink or wire fencing is among the cheapest fencing choices, costing between £25 to £35 for 3ft panels, between £35 to £50 for 4ft panels, and between £55 to £65 for 6ft panels.
Trellis fence panels are an equally affordable choice. Trellis panels normally cost between £70 to £90 for 3ft panels, between £80 to £90 for 4ft panels, and approximately £90 to £125 for 6ft panels.
Overlap fences are among the most popular types of fencing in the UK, alongside waney lap panels—their wavy cousins. Overlap panels typically cost in the range of £100 to £120 for 3ft panels, £140 to £160 for 4ft panels, and roughly £180 to £250 for 6ft panels.
Picket fence panels give any home a lovely cottage look. These pointed panels range from £100 to £170 for 3ft panels, between £100 to £180 for 4ft panels, and between £100 to £200 for 6ft panels.
Featheredge boards are another great choice for any homeowner who loves their traditional slatted style. Featheredge panels usually cost between £135 to £435 for 3ft panels, £150 to £520 for 4ft panels, and approximately £200 to £600 for 6ft panels.
If you want more privacy, you could consider closeboard fencing. These panels cost anywhere from £135 to £450 for 3ft panels, £550 to £950 for 4ft panels, and between £700 to £1,400 for 6ft panels.
Wrought iron fencing add a striking, timeless touch to any home. The cost ranges from £140 to £160 for 3ft panels, between £165 to £195 for 4ft panels, and between £170 to £210 for 6ft panels.
Unlike featheredge fencing, slatted fence panels have a small gap between each slat. This makes them a great choice for areas that don’t get much light, or when you want to add a bit of architectural interest. Slatted panels usually cost between £170 to £230 for 3ft panels, between £260 to £320 for 4ft panels, and roughly £325 to £480 for 6ft panels.
Woven fence panels come in different styles, but a basketweave shape is the most common. These panels range in cost from £210 to £260 for 3ft panels, between £300 to £325 for 4tf panels, and approximately £325 to £480 for 6ft panels.
Hit and miss fencing is characterised by vertical or horizontal boards that alternate between being fixed to the front and back of the panel. The supply cost for this style of fencing ranges from approximately £220 to £255 for 3ft panels, between £300 to £315 for 4ft panels, and between £400 to £420 for 6ft panels.
Finally, tongue and groove fencing is a brilliant choice for anyone wanting a durable fence that offers significant privacy. High-quality tongue and groove panels usually have mortice and tenoned frames for extra strength. They cost anywhere from £275 to £300 for 3ft panels, £350 to £450 for 4ft panels, and between £380 to £690 for 6ft panels.
In addition to the cost of purchasing your fencing panels, you’ll also need to factor in labour costs.
Fence installers charge anywhere from £10 to £20 per hour to install chainlink or timber fencing.
If you’ve decided to use wrought iron fencing, you should expect to pay between £150 and £750 per day for installation due to the additional labour required to fit metal fencing. You can find out more information about wrought iron fencing in our detailed guide.
The estimated time required to install fence panels is between 4 to 8 hours or 1 to 2 days for wrought iron fences. If your property is very large, fence installation can take 2 to 3 days.
What Affects the Cost of New or Replacement Fence Panels
There are a few factors that affect the cost of a new or replacement fence. Depending on your budget, this is a great place to start to see what might be possible for your project.
The Length and Height of Your Fence
As with all DIY jobs, the sheer volume of material required to complete a job will directly impact its cost. But, a large amount of material doesn’t mean you need to shy away from replacing worn-out panels for fear of the overall cost.
Similarly, prices go up based on volume and height, so if your space needs a taller-than-average post or panel, considering the type of material you want to complete your job is a great step in cutting down costs.
Your Choice of Fence Panels
The style of fence panel you choose, and similarly the type of timber you pick, will directly affect your garden renovation cost.
Overlap fence panels (also known as waney lap) are by far the cheapest option when it comes to design. They’re a popular choice for creating garden boundaries, offering screening from your neighbours in a traditional style starting at around £27.99 per fence panel.
Something more bespoke in style, like tongue and groove, starts at around £88.99 per fence panel. Hailing from Victorian times, this style is premium, hardwearing, and luxurious—with a price tag to match.
Your Choice of Fencing Posts
Choosing between timber or concrete fence posts is one of the first decisions you need to make when embarking on your garden makeover.
Timber posts have the advantages of being cost-effective and easy to install, with great longevity if looked after well, especially when placed inside post caps. The disadvantages come with the maintenance—and if you don’t keep on top of it, posts can decay and rot as time goes by.
Concrete posts are great for areas that contend with the elements regularly as they’re extremely robust and sturdy. Unlike timber posts, they won’t rot and don’t require a lot of upkeep, but they are more costly and can succumb to chips and dents over time, requiring repair to remain structurally sound.
The Cost of Concrete
Further to the actual wooden or metal materials for your fence is the concrete you’ll need to secure everything in place. Make sure you don’t forget this to avoid costly knee-jerk last-minute dashes to building suppliers on the day of your job.
Your Choice of Gravel Boards
Helping to prolong your fence’s life, gravel boards sit on the ground and create a moisture barrier between damp earth and your fence to reduce the chance of decay in the fence panel itself. As with fence posts, you have two material choices: timber or concrete.
Timber gravel boards will need to be treated before use to ensure a lifespan of around 7 to 8 years, after which they will need replacing. However, concrete will last a lifetime as it will remain unaffected by the dampness of the ground.
What’s important to note is that your gravel board will affect your fence’s overall height, so it’s something to consider when choosing your posts, as they could end up being too short if this is forgotten.
If You Plan to Paint, Stain, or Use Wood Treatment
If your panels aren’t already pressure treated, considering a wood treatment is a great way to supercharge your fence’s longevity. Similarly, if you want to change the colour of the panels, opting for different wood paints or stains can give them an upgrade quickly and easily.
If You Plan to Add a Gate
Adding a gate to your fence is a great feature that can add value to your property and be another point of access. The material you use will dictate the price, with metals being dearer than wood.
Similarly, more elaborately designed gates are usually pricier than straightforward swing gates.
Your Choice of Decorative Add-ons
Lighting, trellis, decorate post caps: once your fence is up, there are lots of decorative add-ons to embellish your fence with.
It’s good to remember that adding a trellis will mean you need to account for extra height in your fence posts so that the trellis has something to attach itself to above your fence panels.
Removing Existing Fences and Waste
If you’re replacing a worn fence, factoring in the extra cost and time it will take to remove existing panels is important when scoping out your project.
Similarly, hiring a skip or removals company to take away the waste is something to consider if you have a large garden or can’t take the waste away yourself.
On average, this is likely to cost around £400, but you should consider this as a potential DIY job to save on the labour needed to take down the old fences and then remove them from the property.
How Can I Save Money on Fencing?
If you’re worried that fence panel installation is sounding costly so far, don’t worry! There are ways for you to save money on your fencing.
Consider the Material
Choosing your material carefully to maximise your fence’s longevity and value is one of the best ways you can save money on fencing. The more premium your materials, the longer lifespan your fence will have, adding value to your property.
Opting for timber overlap panels is an affordable fencing style, but the timber can be quite thin, so it’s a trade-off on price for durability. If you can afford to, get the highest quality your budget allows to save you spending on repairs in the long run.
Lower the Height
By reducing the height of your fencing panels, you will directly reduce the cost of your materials. This can be a great option if you are replacing old panels but don’t necessarily need the height of them to be replicated like-for-like.
Time it Right
You can consider installing or replacing your fence in autumn or winter. Fencing contractors tend to be less busy during those periods and may be able to offer you a better deal, instead of the summer when it’s peak season and everyone wants their garden done.
What Type of Fence Panels Should I Choose?
There is a range of options when it comes to settling on the type of fence panel you want to line your garden, from solid and semi-solid timber to metal and composite materials.
|TYPE OF FENCE MATERIAL||ADVANTAGES||DISADVANTAGES|
-Flexible design options
-Easy to install
|-Can be more expensive|
-Prone to warping
-Has long lifespan
-Easy to install
|-Maintenance is required|
-Can be more expensive
-Can be susceptible to strong weather conditions
|Tongue and Groove||-Very traditional aesthetic|
-Can withstand strong weather
|-May need to be treated|
-Can be limited in design choices
|-Not as strong in harsh weather|
-May not be as durable
|Hit and Miss||-Both sides of the fence are ‘good’|
-Adds a strong design choice
-Good for windy areas
|-Does not provide total privacy|
-May need maintenance
|Slatted||-Provides less wind resistance|
-Interesting design choice
-Allows light into garden
-May need maintenance
-Susceptible to rot and warping
|Woven||-Allows lots of light|
-Many different design choices
-Easy to build and install
|-More stress on wood planks|
-Prone to warping
-Will need to purchase high quality
-Easy to install
-Appealing traditional style
|-Will need to be treated|
-May be prone to warping
|Trellis||-Great for plants|
-More organic option
|-Substantially less durable|
-May need repairs or replacements over time
-No warping or decay
-Available in range of styles
|-More expensive than other options|
-May have less selling appeal
-More time-consuming and costly to install
|Composite||-No maintenance needed|
-Can retrofit old panels
-Entirely bespoke for your space
-Colour may fade
What’s Involved in Installing or Replacing a Fence?
Fence installation has quite a few steps, including meticulous measuring and checking to ensure the gaps are consistent and the fence is lined up correctly. Whether you’ve hired a professional, or are thinking of tackling this project alone, here is what you can expect.
Before any work starts, check that you own the fence or that you are responsible for maintaining it. Talk to your neighbour to let them know about your plans. If you already have a good relationship, you might ask whether you/your contractor can use their garden during the installation, which helps to make the fitting process easier.
The area will then need to be measured and a detector will be used to check for buried cables or pipes
The fence post area will then be marked and dug out with the new fence posts installed and the fence panels placed once complete.
If you purchased timber fence panels that haven’t been pressure treated, the contractor should apply at least two coats of wood preserver, stain, or paint of your choice.
Do I Need Planning Permission to Build a Fence?
For an existing fence, it’s crucial to find out if the buck lies with you when it comes to replacing it if it falls on your boundary. In instances where you’re adding in an entirely new fence to an area where there wasn’t one before, it’s important to find out if you’re legally permitted to do so.
- When backing out onto a roadside or public pathway, the fence height must not exceed one metre from ground level; or if elsewhere, it must not exceed two metres in height
- If you have an existing fence that is already higher than these limits, you must make sure that any replacement does not exceed that current height
- No part of your grounds is registered as a listed building or forming a boundary with a listed building or curtilage
There are no planning conditions or article four directions that have removed your right to put up or alter a fence.
How Do I Find and Hire Someone to Install a Fence or Replace a Broken One?
As installing or replacing fence panels can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive job, you may want to opt for a professional tradesman to complete the project for you.
Seeking recommendations of trusted tradespeople used by your friends, family, or neighbours is a great start to scope out possible options and get an idea of costs involved for your area. Similarly, if you’ve seen someone in your area have their fence replaced, and you like the work, going to ask them for the name of their tradesperson is a great way to get a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Alternatively, for an effective, online option, you can use HouseholdQuotes to source reputable and professional tradespeople using our online tool.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Ensuring any job estimates are written up in a formal quote is essential to your protection during any job. There is no way to refute a verbal claim, but a written one is harder to deny. Make sure you sign a contract before agreeing to any work, settling on the terms.
Asking for a tradesman’s experience, whether or not they’ve come from a friend’s recommendation, is all part of the job. The same goes for past references from other completed jobs; it’s all best practice to ensure the tradesman has a consistent track record of good jobs.
Qualifications may be good to find out about, such as Lantra foundation at level 2 or level 3, or an NVQ level 2 or 3.
It’s best to check that your chosen fencing contractors are insured, provide a warranty for their service, and belong to a professional organisation – an example is the Association of Fencing Industries. Making this a requirement allows you to weed out the cowboys and safeguard yourself against shoddy work.
Finally, make sure to ask if rubbish removal is included in your quote. If you have old fence panels removed, there will be a lot of debris to clear, and you don’t want a nasty surprise of an extra invoice through your door for a skip hire you hadn’t accounted for.
Updating tired, worn-out fence panels can be a great way to give your garden a complete makeover and a great space to spend some extra time during the warmer months with friends and family.
Here is our final checklist to make sure everything is in place for when your work begins:
- Find out if the existing fence lies on your side of the property boundary and belongs to you to replace – or if making a new fence, check against the building regulations list to make sure you’re not breaching any rules
- Measure out your space, taking into consideration the extra height added from gravel boards and whether or not you want a trellis to top your fence panels
- If hiring a contractor to complete the work for you, seek out multiple quotes to compare and settle on a trusted individual
- Check the ground for any pipework that may interfere with your digging
- If your timber fence panels aren’t already treated, apply a wood preserver as a final step.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Fences Considered Shared Property? How Do I Know Which Side of the Fence Is Mine?
The best way to debunk this question is to look at your property’s deeds. If there’s a ‘T’ mark beside your side of the fence, that distinguishes sole ownership to you. However, if you find an ‘H’ mark beside the fence, it means it belongs to both you and your neighbour – in a shared property.
Can I Replace a Fence Myself?
Replacing your fence is something you can do yourself – if you take all the right steps and proper precautions before embarking on the work. The peace of mind from using a contractor is that it will all be second nature to them; they’ll know what to look for and what commonly happens.
For you, this might not be so commonplace. As long as you follow the steps and ensure that you own the fence you’re set on replacing, that it doesn’t break any building regulations in height and that there are no cables or pipes beneath where you want to dig, you should be able to carry out the job alone.
Which Way Should the Fence Panels Face?
Fence panels have two sides – one neat and one rough. Generally speaking, if you own the fence and replace it, the neat side should be facing inwards to your garden and the rough side outwards to your neighbour’s garden.
Although some fence panel styles, such as hit and miss, have two ‘good’ sides, meaning there’s no need to choose a side when installing.
How Should I Maintain My New Fence?
Although fence panels are usually pressure treated and can withstand the elements, having a waterproofing layer is a great way to increase its life.
Depending on when you have your fence installed, it is general practice to allow the wood to dry out for a couple of weeks before applying a stain or treatment.
How High Can a Fence Be Without Planning Permission?
If it’s next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of a highway), it should not exceed in one metre in height from the ground level.
It should not exceed two metres in height from the ground level and if it’s an existing fence, then its height cannot be increased. More information can be found by checking the Planning Portal.
How Deep Should Fencing Posts Be?
In general, the depth of the post’s hole needs to be one third to one half of the above-ground height of the post. An easy example of this is that pole measuring six feet in height needs to have a post that is ideally buried three feet into the ground.
How Much Does Fence Removal Cost?
On average, fence removal is likely to cost around £400 for the labour required to take down the old fences and remove them from the property.
Can I Install New Fence Panels with Existing Posts?
Yes, there’s no reason why you can’t install new fence panels with existing posts as long as the posts are in good condition. If the fence posts are rotting or unstable, then it’s best to consider purchasing new ones.
Are Concrete Fencing Posts Better Than Wooden Posts?
Concrete fence posts are much more sturdy and durable than wooden posts that can be susceptible to rotting or warping. They can withstand stronger winds and are less impacted by harsh weather.
Saying that, concrete fence posts are likely to be more expensive and more difficult to install as they weigh much more than wooden posts. Whilst they will not rot, they can chip or crack and this may allow water to travel into the post and can potentially make the crack bigger or compromise the structure entirely.
What’s the Difference between Rough Sawn and Smooth Sawn Fencing Panels?
Rough sawn fencing panels are much more porous – as it is essentially untreated timber – and will therefore be able to absorb any finishing treatment better than smooth sawn fencing panels.
This means that any stain or dye will look stronger and darker on rough sawn fencing panels. Smooth sawn fencing panels will have an engineered smooth surface, with a uniform look on all four sides.