Fence to span 4 metres?

15 Apr 2005
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United Kingdom
My neighbour (should I say, the landlord of my neighbour) has told me she will not demolish her boundary wall, or allow me to attach anything to it. So I am putting a fence alongside it. Part of the fence will be supported by a deck alongside, by bolting the posts to joists. But the other part of this fence must span the back of a driveway (4 metres), with no posts into the ground (wall foundations) and no fixing to the wall alongside.

Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe 8 inch deck joists, 4.2 metres would do ths job, but I cant help but think it would end up waving about in the wind, and be hard to attach the featheredge boards to, as well as sagging (could I use diagonal braces?).

I guess I could put a post into the ground alongside the wall in a little concrete, just to take the weight of the fence. It cant go far into the ground, but maybe enough just to take some weight. I cant disturb the wall's foundations, which are brick spreaders.
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featheredge fence?
go to builders merchants and buy 4.8metre lenths of 47mmx 150mm tanalised. x3 for top middle and bottom of fence. Plane a chamfer on top edge. That should do the job. check them for true as a lot of timber may be like bananas when you look down the length.
ask them to remove the bricks that are trespassing on your land or allow you to attach a post as a compromise ;)
Removing a couple of the corbelling fondation bricks isn't going to cause any structural damage, especially if you use concrete to bed your timber or concrete posts in.

As bigall indicates - technically the foundations of her wall is on your land, and you may also wish to look into the precise line of the boundary in relation to the brickwork anyway.
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Well the wall is a double wall about 4ft high. It is built from the centre of the two back to back coal stores. On my side there is currently just 6x6 fence panels screwed into the wall at the back of the drive. They look awful. And I wish to respect the womans wishes by not fastening anything new to her wall. Point taken re digging out the foundations. I might look into this. The wall is 100 years old and is fairly weak - there is a serious issue ot vegetation attack and spalling of bricks simply due to 100 years of weathering. However that said it is still mostly vertical. So I wouldnt have a problem taking foundation bricks out. I think sod it, shes not going to know.

What makes this more awkward is that the walls form a T joint at the back corner of the property, and I am taking down my rear wall, to make an L shape of her two walls. She doesnt want me to touch her wall at all for fear of weakening it. So I am planning to leave a stub of wall in place, maybe 1 or 2 bricks long, and make good the end, then sink my first fence post - so it wont actually be in the corner of the two fences. I would have to cantilever the end of the fence, with this cantilever somehow supporting the end of the 4 metre span - unless I fasten this to the stub of wall I am leaving.

This all sounds very complex - I shall draw a diagram.

Here we go, now maybe you can see what I'm on about.

As said though, perhaps I will look at just sinking a post halfway - the joists would cost me £50 odd alone.
aahh its an origional wall that is in need off care and attention

do you think its dangerous ??
could it be a shared wall [on the boundery]??
The deeds clearly state that I am not responsible for this wall.

The original letter I wrote to the landlord expressed my concerns over the longevity of this wall. However, her father used to be a builder, has inspected it (their side) and he thinks it'll last a few years yet so they want to do nothing to it. Unfortunately on my side, the wall has undergone quite a few changes over the years, it has bricks missing where things have been mounted etc. Its just in a general poor state. But there is nothing I can do.

It is smack bang in the centre of the boundary, but like I said, I am not responsible for this boundary. I dont think it is dangerous, just looks dog ugly.
can you not point it up and replace the missing bricks with permission off course??
would it just not look good??
is a picture possible ?
The wall at the back between you and the alley? Yours or someone else's ( I ask because you're about to remove it)?

Seriously, three posts (two at end and one in the middle) along that 4.2 m stretch isn't going to weaken anything. She'll be none the wiser. The real irony is that if she allowed you to screw a couple of horizontal braces to the wall as well as the vertical, you'd probably be strengthening the damned thing.
either way, I want to build the boundary up to 6ft high, but cant and dont want to fix to the wall. It wont hold anything - finding two good bricks to fix to, over each other is nigh on impossible. Even if I point it up, the mortar would be the strongest point. The bricks are shot.
Fair enough. Good luck with it - it'd be nice to see some before and after photo's, 'cos you know we all love that sort of thing on here ;)
As you say you want to put up a 4 metre span of effectively unsupported fence without recourse to fixing to the wall or damaging the foundations.
Have you considered using some sort of soleplate in either timber or cast instiu concrete abutting the wall with your posts attached to that?

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