Landscaping is as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Unless laying down a lawn and a few slabs of stone is enough for you, there’s a whole lot more you can do to make your outdoor space look its absolute best. The fence plays an important part, but the greater the project, the higher the price. Fortunately, careful research and planning can help create the perfect strategy and budget. Our guide contains all you need to prepare for your project’s fencing cost.
Before you start, it’s worth working out how much you’re likely to spend. This will help you decide what you can afford and the best time to do it. Several factors will affect your budget, like extra features or the materials and popularity of the styles you choose. You’ll also find fencing and garden landscaping ideas to inspire your design, which should improve the value and look of your home.
- Do your research
- Landscaping process
- Popular fencing materials
- Popular fencing styles
- Fencing process
- Decide on a budget
- What affects your fencing cost?
- How much does a fence cost?
- How long does fencing take?
- Best time for fencing
Do your research
Does your lawn just need a revamp or do you want to landscape your whole garden? Are you looking for a one-off job or does your garden fence need regular maintenance? It’s important to do your research so you have the answers to these questions. This will make it much easier to find relevant prices for your project.
If you’re aiming for a more radical change to your garden, there’s an order to how the work should be carried out. But knowing the steps also helps understand when fencing work should come in. This is because landscaping affects things like foundations and terrain, which can in turn affect how and when to install the fence.
The job is best left to a fencing professional you can trust. They’ll have the training and experience to get all the details right – they don’t just concern aligning and building the fence. Choosing, measuring and cutting materials greatly affect the quality of your fence.
Landscape construction steps:
- Planning of the new space, including borders, flowerbeds, water lines and so on
- Unwanted features are removed
- Grading takes place to ensure the space is level and workable
- If you want a swimming pool or even a little pond, this is the stage to build it
- Any necessary utility lines and irrigation systems are installed
- Fencing or any other boundaries are installed
- Hardscapes come next – pathways, paving, patios, decks
- Now is the time for any extra special features, like a fire pit or pergola
- Once the solid structures are in place, you can add the plants
- All systems need testing, from electric to watering
- The landscape is cleared
Popular fencing materials
UK homeowners tend to go for either wood, metal or PVC more than any other materials. Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages, especially in terms of value for money. Think about more than aesthetics when browsing these options. Your location and safety needs are major factors too.
Different kinds of wood are used for timber fencing, including pine, cedar, spruce and cypress. Which one you choose affects the cost and durability of your garden’s fence. The right style and lovely brown colour can make your outdoor space look great, while protecting it from weather and snooping neighbours. Going for a wooden fence can also be much cheaper than a steel or aluminium one.
There are a few downsides, however. First of all, wood is prone to warping in wet or hot conditions. Secondly, it’s easier for strong UK winds to damage or knock down. You could always invest in tougher timber, but that would come at a much steeper price. Also consider termite problems and a need for regular maintenance. Despite the disadvantages, timber fencing is one of the most popular choices among homeowners.
This material is by far the most durable. Come rain or shine, your fence will stay as good as new for longer than wood. Aluminium, for example, is naturally rust-proof and won’t need you to spend time or money on maintaining and repairing it. An extra practical benefit of metal fencing is that it can be much harder to break into or climb. So, you can feel safer knowing that a burglary is less likely to happen. On top of all this, a metal slat fence is the perfect choice for a modern home.
The main disadvantage of this type of fence is its appearance. Modern décor may suit it quite well, but it’s too harsh and cold for homes of a more classic style. It’s also a lot more expensive than wood or plastic. The minimum cost of fence panels is around £40 per metre – a railing job can cost you £200 or more per metre. The extra security and low maintenance are worth the expense, but not if the look of metal clashes with your garden’s design.
uPVC or vinyl
uPVC – or unplasticised polyvinyl chloride – is a smooth and highly adaptable material. Less expensive than metal and almost as resilient to weather and damage, vinyl fencing is a good alternative to wood. A quality design can make it look like timber, while avoiding the latter’s maintenance and repair costs. The average cost of a project can start at £20 – £30.
The upfront cost of uPVC fencing can be higher than wood. Additional expenses may pop up if temperatures fluctuate. They cause vinyl to expand and contract, making it fragile. Also, be wary of staining from mould and mildew. In terms of appearance, it can only resemble a white picket fence. If a cost-effective substitute to timber is in fact what you’re looking for, this the best option.
Popular fencing styles
While aesthetics is the key reason why these fencing designs exist, they each have practical advantages too. Consider them alongside their disadvantages to decide which style your purposes best.
Featherboard or closeboard
This design is solid and sturdy. It involves overlapping wooden boards and comes in three shapes:
Typically, 1.8m tall and strong, it’s a good choice for homes in need of long-lasting privacy and security. Have a hyperactive pet that likes to explore? This is one of the best ways to keep them from running off. The different styles available also means you have a variety of lines to play with when planning your garden.
A featherboard design is expansive and robust, so expect the fencing cost to be just as pricey. The panels’ placement creates a solid wooden wall. This makes winds a key factor to keep in mind when estimating budgets and problems. If you live in a stormy area, for example, you’ll definitely spend a lot of money on repairs. There’s also a lot of wood involved, which needs regular maintenance.
|Type of fence||Approx. cost|
|Standard featherboard panel||£29 – £44|
|Convex featherboard panel||£24 – £45|
|Concave featherboard panel||£22 – £50|
The differences between featherboard and lap panel fences are minor. This design also has panels slotted against each other to make one solid wall, but it’s much cheaper. Your garden fence cost will likely start at around £20 per panel. As for extra expenses, it should only need the occasional painting or varnish job.
Lap panel fences are less durable than featherboard structures. As a result, expect more serious and costly damage to deal with, especially when they face the same problems in windy conditions. They’re also less appealing than most other fencing styles, more suitable for minimalist gardens and maybe needing some extra decoration.
Slatted or Venetian
Moving towards more contemporary and versatile looks, this is a sound and cost-effective choice. Firstly, slatted fences offer less resistance to wind and, so, are likely to last longer. Apart from air, the horizontal or vertical gaps between slats welcome light into your garden and make it look bigger. The design is simple and sleek, while also available in different heights and designs to fit your landscaping needs.
Unfortunately, the gaps also mean less privacy. Installing a slatted fence won’t automatically invite prying eyes, but just catching motion from the other side can be distracting at the very least. Also be wary of plants growing through the gaps. It’s not something to be too worried about, but they can get out of control and even affect the integrity of the wood if you let them.
Other types of slat panel fencing:
- Louvre – the panels are at an angle for more privacy
- Hit and miss – slats go on the other side too to cover the rails and gaps without stopping air from passing through
- Woven or Aran – a modern, very attractive design of interwoven panels that also allows air to circulate while hiding rails and uncomfortable gaps
|Type of fence||Approx. cost|
|Venetian panel||£45 – £93|
|Vertical / horizontal hit and miss panel||£47 – £80|
|Woven panel||£51 – £94|
|Louvre panel||£77 – £119|
The main selling point of this fence is its appeal. There are no rails in sight. You fit the panels into slotted posts, creating a neat and elegant structure. The strength of the design shouldn’t be overlooked either. Overall, it’s a great investment that combines the high-end attractiveness of wood with a smart and sturdy construction that would suit both a modern and classic home.
The fencing cost is a major drawback with some retailers charging around £80 minimum per panel. Your budget should also include the expense of wood maintenance and potential repairs from weather damage. However, if you are prepared to deal with such issues and have the funds for it, a Chilham fence is a worthwhile option.
This mesh pattern comes in the form of fences and frames. The cross or diamond trellis design can decorate a whole outdoor space or just a wall section. You can help climbing plants grow upwards or mount a standalone trellis on a patio wall with leaves – real or fake – woven into it. It’s a great lightweight, wind-resistant and cost-effective choice of fencing to add to your garden, an attractive way to mark its boundaries or sections.
If you want a fence that protects your property, a trellis is not the right direction. While a very popular garden decorating tools, it won’t give you privacy or security. A light wooden construction means less resistance to damage, not to mention a need for occasional maintenance. Higher prices can provide greater quality and durability, but you could just as easily spend that money on a better design.
Not that different from a trellis, this fence is purely for decoration and at a relatively low price. Basically, a lattice structure, you can find it in cross or diamond style. Either choice will look great. It lets in light, adds an interesting pattern and provides a frame to grow climbing plants. You can use it to split an outdoor space into sections as well as to encase it. And wind is unlikely to affect it because of all the gaps in its design.
The obvious flaw is the complete lack of privacy and security. If these qualities are your primary interests, don’t even bother with jaktop fencing. But it’s not a bad choice for decorating the garden. Besides the exposure and risk to pet owners, it would also require a fair amount of maintenance, especially if tangled in plants. Keep all this in mind if such a design does pique your interest.
|Type of fence||Approx. cost|
|Jaktop panel||£29 – £50|
|Standard trellis||£5 – £27|
|Premier trellis||£20 – £76|
Palisade or picket
Pointed or rounded, its strengths and weaknesses are virtually the same as jaktop fencing. The traditional look fits right in with classic home and garden décor. It’s an attractive choice for setting the landscape’s boundaries, whether in wood or PVC. The gaps between panels means a high resistance to wind damage and ample light. Make sure to take a look at the mitre style too – a modern and taller variation.
This is another style not meant for privacy or substantial security. It’s the typically cheapest choice of decorative fencing. So, if your budget is limited, you should look into its potential in relation to your circumstances. And, as with any timber fence, it needs special treatment and maintenance to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
|Type of fence||Approx. cost|
|Rounded palisade||£28 – £32 per panel|
|Pointed palisade||£28 – £33 per panel|
|Mitre||£36 – £42 per panel|
Tongue and groove
One of the most efficient fencing options. The panels are interlocked to keep out water, noise, plant life and intruders. Its structure relies on slotted posts instead of rails, which gives the fence a pleasant, smooth look from the front and back. Of course, the better the timber, treatment and maintenance the more value for money you’ll get in terms of security and longevity.
Depending on the design of the tongue and groove fence, your budget may need to be sizeable. For example, the cost of a lattice-topped structure can start at around £60 per panel. Simpler and smaller fences can be much cheaper, but you need plenty of measurements and research to get the right deal. Finally, expect the same problems with wind-resistance and wood maintenance requirements.
|Type of fence||Approx. cost|
|Standard tongue and groove||£53 – £92 per panel|
|Convex tongue and groove||£106 – £118 per panel|
|Horizontal tongue and groove||£53 – £92 per panel|
This fencing design combines venetian with tongue and groove techniques. You get the solid, sleek structure of interlocked panels – their security and privacy too. At the same time, the slatted feature – typically at the top of the fence – allows light to streak into the garden. The overall effect inspires comfort and openness.
Apart from the common problems of wooden fences, it’s no surprise that this special creation comes at a high price – a single panel can cost over £100. In fact, the complexity of the structure can make this project more costly and time-consuming than other fencing ideas. Be sure you really want this feature and exactly what it’ll entail before you invest in it.
At the end of the day, you could always choose to invest in the best home protection your money can buy. A solid wall is the ultimate boundary for your property. As opposed to fencing, a wall has little to fear from wind or rot damage, so it won’t need constant maintenance like wood. It’s sturdy, long-lasting and can look very attractive. Go for a warm-coloured stone or a combination of hues that matches your garden.
Be aware, however, that the cost can be quite high – typically in the thousands. Also, you should make sure the stonework is tall enough to deter intruders and that doesn’t create footholds. In terms of wear and tear, there is the issue of moss and insects gathering on and between the stones. If you want to keep the wall looking good as new for longer, this is something you should focus on.
|Type of wall||Approx. cost|
|Brick||£900 – £1,850|
|Concrete||£2,000 – £7,600|
|Stone||£1,700 – £5,800|
|Type of stone material||Approx. cost|
|Flint||£120 per m2|
|Sandstone||£125 per m2|
|Limestone||£150 per m2|
|Slate||£200 per m2|
The ground, materials and construction methods all affect the success of this kind of project. So, each aspect needs proper treatment, one step at a time. This process is standard practice and shouldn’t count as extra labour to your post and rail fencing cost.
Fencing construction steps:
- Remove weeds and any other vegetation
- Treat wooden materials against rot and insects
- Mark up the area where the fence will go
- Dig up holes for the posts
- Add and level out metal spikes in the holes
- Hammer the posts into place
- Stabilise the posts with sand or cement
- Gravel boards are also advised to keep the panels from rotting
- Install the panels
- Inspect the construction – if not level, the tops are cut as necessary
- Post toppers and final touches complete the process
Decide on a budget
You could easily get carried away with the vast range of options and great ideas on the market, so browse strategically. Extensive research and a clear understanding of your needs are vital to making smart gardening and fencing decisions. Set a budget for your project early on – it should be informed and manageable. This will prevent you from going overboard and wasting time researching products and services you don’t even need.
What affects your fencing cost?
You’re more likely to need a professional for this kind of work, so your expenses will largely revolve around labour costs. What you need from them determines their initial quote, as well as how much time and effort it requires.
For example, if you want full installation services, make sure you have around £400 to spend. You’re not just investing in having panels and rails fitted. A fencing professional’s work often includes things like waste disposal and sourcing quality materials for your project.
A good way to deal with this factor is, firstly, to have a clear plan of the fence and materials you want. Then you’ll be able to ask several tradespeople for their rates and suggestions. Pick one that comes at a reasonable price and with several interesting ideas.
The choices you make in terms of the fence’s design and structure will make up a large part of your budget. Generally, expect materials to need around £600 of your fencing cost. We’ve already hinted at the price of various panels, but there are other products you should keep in mind that are essential to the construction process.
The price of a timber post, for example, can start at around £8.50 – a concrete one can reach £24. Depending on your location and weather conditions, the more durable and expensive materials may be a better fit. And how many of these will your fence need? Your answer helps calculate this expense. Panels, frames and posts need additional materials to hold them together and in good condition.
|Fencing material||Approx. cost|
|Timber post||£8.50 – £17|
|Concrete post||£6 – £24|
|Rail brackets (pack of 10)||£8+|
|Clips (pack of 25)||£9+|
|Timber gravel board (pack of 5)||£21 – £26|
|Concrete gravel boards (pack of 5)||£99 – £200|
|Concrete mix||£5 – £60|
Worktime length is no less important in fencing. It affects your peace of mind as much as your bank account. A simple lap fence doesn’t take too long to complete or too much money. On the other hand, going for a well-constructed Canterbury style would be worth the investment, as long as the process and expense doesn’t become a problem.
Again, be careful of weather conditions when you choose the best time to begin construction. Also, before settling on a tradesperson for the job, make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to timeframes and costs for each stage. Knowing as much as possible about fencing will greatly improve your ability to discern first-rate deals for your project.
How much does a fence cost?
As you can tell, the price of gardening and fencing work can vary quite a bit. Several factors, from plants to fencing construction, affect how quotes are made up. The more you know about these processes and the exact services you need, the better prepared you’ll be to get a precisely calculated price. Getting quotes and a breakdown of services rendered from at least three or four different professionals is essential to finding the right person for the job.
In the meantime, explore our price guides and those from reliable providers to get a clearer idea of what to expect. Here are some additional costs to keep in mind.
|Type of gardening work||Approx. cost|
|Garden maintenance (trimming hedges etc.)||£60-£115|
|Lawn services (mowing, weed control, edging etc.)||£20-£35|
|Landscaping (excluding design)||£1,000-£3,000|
|Landscaping (including design)||£7,000|
|Type of fencing work||Approx. cost|
|Fence installation||£1,000+ per 10 panels|
|Split rail||£1 – £4|
|Wire||£1 – £7|
|Electric||£3 – £7|
|Picket||£7 – £10|
|Vinyl||£15 – £30|
|Corrugated metal||£20 – £28|
|Aluminium||£20 – £30|
|Plastic||£20 – £30|
|Wrought iron||£25 – £40|
|Steel||£25 – £40|
|Timber gate||£180 – £400|
|Metal gate||£1,500 – £4,000|
|Electric gate||£7,000 – £10,000|
How long does fencing take?
When it comes to garden landscaping, the timescale of the project largely depends on how complicated it is. If you’ve got lots of hardscape elements to install, the whole process can take several days. Factor in any weather disruption and you may end up with at least a week’s worth of work and expenses. That’s why it’s so important to plan ahead as carefully as possible. Even if it’s a minor gardening project, make sure to let your neighbours know about the potential disruption.
The same considerations should go into estimating the length of work required for a new fence. Your circumstances determine the overall project. For example, if you’re simply replacing an existing fence, the professional won’t have to waste time setting markers. But, if you decide to include cement and gravel boards in the construction process, they should add a few hours to your timeframe.
Best time for fencing
The main concern for hardscaping is rain and cold. Otherwise you should be able to install most features throughout the year. It’s the plants you need to plan for. For example, the best time for flowers, shrubs and fruit trees to immediately take root is autumn. Planting in summer isn’t a bad idea, but be careful not to do it when the ground is too dry. It could be a waste of time, plants and money. Getting the advice of a professional gardener alongside their expertise always helps make the right move.
In the case of fencing, you actually want the ground to be dry, so summer and early autumn are the best times for this kind of project. Frozen or muddy earth will make the work that much harder. And you don’t want to be paying for mistakes on top of everything else. If you need full landscaping services, including fencing and gardening, you could arrange for a summer start so you can plant in autumn.
To get a reasonable price for your gardening project, ask multiple pros for a quote. Remember that the size of your garden and many other factors can make a big impact on the price, so make sure you’ve accounted for all the details above. And don’t forget to get multiple quotes and opinions before settling on a good plan and team.
This gardening price guide should give you a general indication of how much your project is likely to cost. To find professional gardeners in your area, fill in our online form. We’ll put you in touch with up to four local pros.