closeboard Fence Conflicting Guidance

29 Nov 2011
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United Kingdom
I am installing about 10 meters of closeboard fencing - half complete and I'm getting really confused about nailing guidance. I've previously successfully installed about 3 meters of fence with no problems using this method below.

I overlap my 6inch feather planks by 40-50 percent, never less than 40 percent. Then nail 50mm oval nails though 18m from the thick end of one plank and the thin end of the underlying plank. I use two nails per aris rail or 6 nails per plank.

My question is that 5 out of 6 builders I;ve asked use the 'nail through two feather planks method'. But the odd one only nails one plank and taps the underlying plank to allow for movement. Also, some say use two nails per aris rail (6 nails per plank) other only three nails per plan (one for each aris rail.

Anyone have any experience, observations or guidance they can share,
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only ever one nail on the width otherwise you will get splitting
I bought a load of featheredge fence panels recently and each board is nailed to each baton/rail only once, presumably to allow for expansion/contraction, as big-all mentioned.
big-all";p="2202000 said:
only ever one nail on the width otherwise you will get splitting[/quote

Are you saying that in effect the thin edge of the feather plank is trapped (not nailed) by the wider edge the overlying each feather plank only has one nail in each aris rail.

This conflicts with most of the fences I have seen locally and most builders, where they overalp the feathered planks by 24-40m and nail through both, in effect putting two nails through each plank width. Sure, some builder do the trapping method, but they seem the minority.

Confusing as hell, this !!! constantly getting conflicting guidance. Think I might phone a few fencing contractors for guidance.
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BA is of course, correct.

(This pic is for cladding, so ignore the 'spacer' and imagine this as being your fence viewed from top down)

Timber expands in the wet winter and shrinks in the dry summer, so imagine what's gonna happen when you fix the timber in two places.


Any idiot can be a builder, that's half the trouble.
You are spot on with your guidance. I looked up the British Standard guidance on closeboard fencing and they agree with your guidance that only one nail should pierce each board. Whish I'd know this before I installed 3-4 meter already, although I have overlapped by 40mm so I'm not right on the edge or the thin end of the plank.

Here is the guidance for reference:

Close Board Fencing to British Standard 1722 Part 5
Feather edged boards will be 100mm wide tapering from 13mm to 6mm provided at not less than 12 per metre. They will be lapped approximately 18mm when fixed. They will rest on top of a gravel board if fitted and be nailed to each aris rail with 50mm x 2.65mm galvanised nails. Each nail shall pierce one board only.
I wish I had read this thread before! I have installed some featheredge on the side of a shed. I put one nail into each board, but only on the thin edge of the board. The idea was to overlap with the thick edge, thereby hiding the nails. Unsurprisingly, the wood is now curling up a little as it dries. What is the best way to remedy this?

I was thinking of drilling pilot holes that are wider than the diameter of the nails just above the thick edge of one board (where it should have been in the first place). Hopefully this will help allow for expansion and stop splitting, but there will be 2 nails per board.

Anyone have any advice that could help?

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