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Advice on horizontal fence - post spacing and if frame is needed

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by lozcozard, 28 Mar 2021.

  1. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    Hi

    I’m building a new fence along my garden. I prefer horizontal boards than vertical. I don’t want gaps so will overlap the boards.

    Now, for vertical boards it’s really common to fix horizontal timber to the posts then nail the vertical boards to that. The spacing I can see is like 1 to 2ft. I’m assuming it’s to help stop warping and gaps appearing.

    So should also be having vertical braces (not know what you’d call them) at 1 to 2ft for the horizontal boards?

    I was thinking of just nailing the boards direct to the posts and not having any frame. But I’d like to minimise the number of posts - digging post holes in rocky clay soil is a nightmare. I was thinking of having posts say 2.4m apart so I can buy 2.4m length boards and assuming they are that long I won’t have to cut any either. But am concerned the span is too long and they’ll warp.

    although due to them being horizontal with an overlap it’s not as big a deal having gaps under than like it is vertical.

    if I do have braces along them (not additional posts in ground) then I can’t see how I’d nail the posts to that as in effect it’s a floating piece of wood. I could screw it. Screws are better to hold the warping that nails I guess.

    So I’m looking for advice really on the best way to do this minimising posts in ground and if possible eliminating a frame between the posts.

    If it helps, I though going for a 22mm board would add quality as the really thin panels you get in off the shelf fence panels are terrible. So maybe the 22mm would have less warping and certainly be better at longer spans.

    Thanks
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I have been replacing panels with horizontal boards. I use decking boards. My posts are at around 1900mm centres and the boards mostly 2400, so even randomised, I always have some joints where I add a vertical. I have a few 4800 boards, mostly at or near the top, which span three posts so add rigidity along the fence. They are staggered so no two adjacent boards have their ends in the same place so there is never a really weak point. You can also get 3600 boards.

    It makes a nice strong fence which I expect to last well. Due to coastal location I use stainless coach screws with hex heads, but BZP plus paint would probably be OK inland. Put large washers under the heads.

    You have to get the level spot on as any tilt will show up and worsen along the fence. You can use folded cardboard to give the expansion gaps.
     
  4. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    You could use a nail/pin gun to add verticals? Or screws if your neighbours are ok with you Woking on both sides?
     
  5. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    I don’t think I need to work the neighbours side but they’ll be fine if I do. Screws would go from my side through to any post or other verticals behind.

    or are you suggesting do it from the back to hide the screws? It’s just if they’re only 22mm thick there’s not much to screw into.
     
  6. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    I’m thinking it’s ok to try it with without mid verticals and just span the posts. And if any warping or gaps appear I could add in verticals behind at that point.
     
  7. Captain Nemesis

    Captain Nemesis

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    T&G boards?

    Slotted posts that you just drop the boards into?


    Look at the thick boards you can get for building "log cabins" - I've seen them up to 70mm thick and 6m long.

    But of course the thicker and longer they are, the more they will cost. One supplier I was looking at has 70mm triple-tongue boards at £18/m. And they are untreated. No idea how competitive their prices are as Ive only just started looking at different options, but I too like horizontal boards.


    But what is a big deal with horizontal boards is any vertical differences along the run are going to be glaringly obvious, particularly if you are looking along the length (eg boundary fences in a back garden).

    Im also considering using scaffold boards https://www.diynot.com/diy/posts/4954289/ and one idea which occurred to me was to rip some of the boards into narrower strips to create a "random" pattern which might make vertical variations less noticeable. No good for T&G though.

    Same supplier as above has pressure treated 28mm T&G boards at £13 for 4.2m.
     
  8. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    @Captain Nemesis I’ve done it now.

    using spacers on the boards as you fix them, so start from bottom, resulted in horizontal and even boards. Although some are not that horizontal but not noticeable. I think it’s because the boards themselves are not perfect so the sprit level was out a bit in places so I’d adjust it.

    I used 3,6m x 22mm x 150mm overlapped so no gaps. It’s a bit rough but it’s fine. We just call it rustic.
     
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