Garden Fence Replacement

24 Sep 2006
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United Kingdom
Hi, could someone give me some advice or ideas regarding replacing a garden fence please.

The fence in question is at the bottom of the garden and consists of concrete posts with fence panels slotted into them. The fence panels are rotten and need replacing but there is a large tree next to the fence that is obstructing lifting one panel out and replacing it. Also the concrete posts have moved slightly over the years meaning that some panels won't sit in the grooves and some won't fit in the grooves. The concrete posts themselves are solid, there is no movement in any of them and they are all vertical. The fence itself is quite short consisting of 4 and a bit panels.

What I was planning to do was to use the existing concrete posts but instead of using fence panels dropped into the slots I was going to fix timber rails into the slotts between the posts and then use feather edge boards to create the fence with a cap on top.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan and if so would a cant rail be suitable for slotting between the concrete posts.

If this isn't a good plan does anyone have any other suggestions short of replacing the concrete posts and using fence panels. The visual effect the other side is not important as it only backs onto waste land.

Many thanks

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I had a similar problem to you when I replaced my rotting fence panels with new feather-edge panels and decided that, where possible, I would trim the tree branches so that panels could be slotted in from above.

For the one tree where this wasn't possible, I made the feather-edge panel myself but, before fitting the top-cap, I distorted the board slightly into a diamond shape. This made it possible to fit the panel into the gap without having to lift it and it could then be knocked back into shape with a wooden mallet and the top-cap was nailed on in-situ.

Note that this is only possible if you construct your feather-edge panels with one nail per board per rail, as is recommended.

These panels take quite a lot of hammering to construct them on a flat surface (the patio in my case !) - I think you'll struggle to construct them in-situ. What would you fix the rails to initially ? And, with around 50 nails per board to hammer in, those concrete posts would take quite a battering !
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of distorting the panel as you suggested. Also, I hadn't thought of making my own panels individually to slot in.

You have given my some food for thought.

Many thanks

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you can usually find some movement in the posts
if you have an awkward panel remove the panels either side get as much head height as you can move the posts as much as you can this can usually allow the panel to enter the channels around 2 to 3 ft up then be prepared to add the odd "packer " between panel and post to hold the panels tight
yes you may have to remove the odd structural part to aid fitting but if you have to resort to this level you will be very unlucky

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