Putting a concrete plan in place
Before building a fence or an exterior wall, you should take time to plan and consider costs, materials and construction methods.
Effectively, you may be creating or maintaining a border between your property and your neighbours, so you should carefully consider the correct type of boundary to ensure you’re meeting planning requirements as well as keeping your neighbours happy. By taking the time to do so, you can be on the way to preventing issues from arising, and keep your build on track to meet your deadlines.
There are three ways in which you can make a boundary between properties, all with varying aesthetic appeal and benefits.
1. Most traditionally homeowners will opt for a garden fence, which is easy to install and offers the most traditional design appeal
2. However, if your property is neighbouring a highway you may opt for an exterior wall to offer added privacy.
3. The third option, which can be the most visually and environmentally appealing, is a hedge. While hedges offer added beauty and interest through seasonal changes, they can encounter security problem and can be quite high maintenance. If not regularly pruned and maintained, hedges are susceptible to disease, which can also pass onto nearby plants and flowers.
If you are leaning towards a fence because of its traditional appeal, considerations should be taken into the fence posts used to ensure longevity and minimal maintenance. Timber fence posts are more commonly used because of their ease of installation however, be mindful that these fence posts are prone to rotting at ground level, and over time with eventually warp, weaken and break. A more robust option is concrete fence posts and concrete gravel boards, these alternatives offers a rot-proof solution that can last more than 25 years, forming an attractive and more importantly private and secure boundary for your garden. Initial outlay of costs do tend to be more expensive with concrete fence posts vs. timber, but the life expectancy and durability outweigh any initial budget concerns.
Once you have decided on the type of boundary you are going to install into your garden, a conversation should be had with neighbours to ensure that they are happy with what you have chosen, particularly as it will act as a dividing line between both two properties, so it’s important that they’re happy with the type of fence too. Additionally, before building, you should carefully consider the local building and planning requirements.
It’s important to note that planning permission is not usually required if you are taking down, maintaining or improving an existing fence, as long as the height is not increased. Permission may be required if the fence is greater than two metres in height, if the building is next to a highway or if your property or your neighbours is listed. To avoid unnecessary setbacks and delays, consult your local government’s planning portal, and if unsure, make an appointment with your local planning department.
In addition to meeting your local planning requirements and regulations, you should carefully plan your budget and consider the costs of materials before starting on the build of your fence. In doing so, you can plan a budget and estimate how much you are willing to spend as this will directly impact the materials you select. Through careful planning and consideration, each of these steps can lead to a more seamless and trouble-free build, especially for the self-builder.
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