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FAQs about Garden Fencing


Fencing in Kent

Read Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Fencing from the Expert Team at HSW Timber

What factors should I consider when choosing a garden fence?

  • Purpose: Privacy, security, keeping pets or animals in/out, aesthetics, etc.

  • Budget: Cost of materials, installation, and potential maintenance.

  • Style: Matching your existing landscape and house style.

  • Regulations: Local building codes and fence height restrictions.

  • Maintenance: How much time and effort are you willing to invest?

Can I install a fence myself, or should I hire a professional?

DIY fence installation is possible for handy individuals, but complex projects or specific materials might be better suited for professionals. If you are looking for a recommendation for garden fence installation in Kent, speak to our friendly team at HSW Timber and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.

At HSW Timber, we assist customers looking for fencing materials. Click the links below for more information about:

Garden Fencing in Bromley
Garden Fencing in Orpington
Garden Fencing in Sevenoaks

How do I maintain my garden fence?

Maintenance depends on the material. Wood fencing needs regular staining or painting, while metal fences might require occasional cleaning and rust prevention. Vinyl and concrete fences generally require minimal maintenance. At HSW Timber, we deal (mainly) in timber garden fencing. Our timber is often treated to prevent rot. Speak to our timber experts about the various supplies of garden fencing in Kent we supply and the best way to maintain it. 

How high should a garden fence be?

The ideal height for your garden fence depends on several factors, including:


  • Privacy: If privacy is your main concern, a taller fence (around 6 feet) might be suitable.

  • Security: For enhanced security, consider a fence between 6 and 8 feet tall.

  • Pet control: The appropriate height depends on the size and jumping ability of your pet. For small dogs or cats, a 4-foot fence might suffice, while larger animals might require a taller barrier.

  • Aesthetics: A lower fence (3-4 feet) can maintain an open and welcoming feel, while a taller fence offers a more secluded and distinctive look.


Most regions have regulations on maximum fence heights, especially for front gardens facing public roads. These restrictions often range between 3 and 6.5 feet (1-2 meters). Always check with your local authorities before installing a fence.

Other factors:

  • Existing landscaping: Consider the height of surrounding trees, structures, or neighbouring fences to maintain a harmonious visual flow.

  • Wind load: Taller fences are more susceptible to wind damage, especially in exposed areas.

Here's a quick summary of common fence heights and their purposes:

  • 3-4 feet: Low fences for aesthetics, marking boundaries, or keeping small pets in/out.

  • 5-6 feet: Provides moderate privacy and security, suitable for most back gardens.

  • 6-8 feet: Offers significant privacy and security, ideal for deterring unwanted entry or creating a secluded space.


Remember, it's crucial to check your local regulations before finalising your fence height. You can also consult with a fencing professional to discuss your specific needs and ensure your chosen height meets both your requirements and local codes.

In the UK, who owns the left-hand side of the garden fence?

There's a common misconception that owning the left side of the garden fence is the rule in the UK, but that's not actually the case. Ownership of a garden fence in the UK can be determined by a few factors:

  • Title Deeds: The most reliable way to determine ownership is by checking your property's title deeds. These documents will typically specify boundary lines and may even include a "T" marking on one side to indicate fence responsibility.

  • Fence Construction: In some cases, the placement of fence posts can offer clues. Traditionally, fence posts are positioned on the owner's property, with the smooth side facing outwards. However, this isn't a guaranteed indicator and shouldn't be solely relied upon.


If the above methods are inconclusive, it's best to:

  • Talk to your neighbour: Open communication is key. Discuss any concerns and see if there are existing agreements or historical knowledge about the fence.

  • Seek professional help: A solicitor or chartered surveyor can help decipher property boundaries and ownership.

How often should I replace my garden fence?


The lifespan of a garden fence depends heavily on several factors, making it difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer on how often you should replace it. Treated wood fences can last 10-20 years with proper maintenance (staining, painting). Untreated wood deteriorates faster, requiring replacement sooner. Regular maintenance significantly extends the lifespan of any fence. This includes cleaning, applying protective treatments (paint, stain), and addressing minor repairs promptly to prevent further damage. 

Harsh weather conditions like extreme temperatures, heavy rain, and strong winds can deteriorate fences faster. Areas with these factors might require more frequent replacements. If your fence experiences extensive rot, warping, leaning, or breaks beyond repair, it's time for a replacement regardless of the material or age.

Consulting a fencing professional can provide valuable insights based on your specific situation and help you make informed decisions about maintenance, repair, or replacement needs.

Garden Fencing FAQs
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