Advice from experts

Different fence types and styles

Explore our 3-part guide to the different types and styles of fence panels available on the market and get advice about which is best for your project.

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What you need to know

What are the different fencing types and styles?

Choosing a fence type then style can be a difficult process with each offering their own benefits according to its intended purpose. Our handy expert advice will walk you through each unique type and help you to make an informed purchase choice about which type of fence and style you may want but more importantly, need.

We have chosen fencing and panels from three categories, Solid Fencing, Semi-Solid and Decorative Fencing and Garden Trellis. Each of these elements have been split into different parts to break the content down and have also been colour coordinated.

part 1 - different fencing types

solid fence panels

For a safe, secure fence which offers privacy married with traditional style, a solid fence panel is the right option.

Solid fence panels provide the ultimate solution for privacy. Generally, a solid fence panel is manufactured without gaps between the slats or pales, to create a strong timber screen. Solid fence panels should be made with a combination of good quality timber and strong construction to ensure they support the weight of the extra pales and provide the desired level of concealment.

Featherboard, also known as Closeboard or Feather Edge fencing is considered by many as a robust solid fence panel used in gardens throughout the UK. It is the most traditional style of fence, but we also offer more contemporary styles that offer just as much privacy. Featherboard has a timeless appearance and presents a solid protective perimeter or barrier, when installed to a height of 1.83m complete with a 150mm gravel board (6ft) which ensures complete privacy and protection from intruders. 

The construction of Featherboard fencing is made using sawn timber pales that run from the top to bottom of the fence, that are secured to horizontal timber rails, which are in turn affixed to a fence post dug into the ground, or alternatively the pales and rails are fixed together into a panel which is fastened to the fence posts. The pales are then tapered and overlap each other as there are no gaps between them, which is why we call this a solid fence panel, as no one can see through into your garden or property.

Our Featherboard is handcrafted and comes in the traditional fencing system style, which is pales, rails and posts to be constructed by the installer as individual pieces. There are also three different styles of Featherboard panels; Level Top, Concave and Convex, so there is a choice if you want to vary the style and ease of installation. The panels would then either slot into slotted fence posts, or be attached to standard square fence posts and finished using 150mm gravel boards.

More styles are available.

Part 2 - different fencing types

Decorative or Semi-Solid Panels (decorative types of fence panels)

Decorative fencing panels are either about making a statement or helping to frame your garden and create a welcoming environment. The often-copied Venetian panel is made from horizontal slats of timber with small gaps in between each slat. The slats are secured all around by a strong supporting frame holding each individual slat in position and they are further strengthened by an additional rail or two, depending on the height of the panel.

Used in a variety of installations from modern contemporary homes to garden designer entries in competitions our decorative panels have featured in many high profile show gardens at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows and have been adopted by garden designers, for their clients and many gardening enthusiasts when fencing is used in urban garden projects.

Often described as versatile, Venetian, Louvre and Metro fence panels are a semi-solid panel designed using individual pales, the gaps between the slats allow light through and allow air to pass through them. Perfect for garden designs which allow for semi-visible screens to help create sections or a type of persona within your garden, they make great garden dividers, screens or even one off feature panels.

Another panel design in the semi-solid group is Hit & Miss, which also has an open design but with wider slats alternating from the front to the back of the panel. These do give a solid panel appearance with the gaps between the slats not being so apparent until you stand closely and look down through them - unlike other designs the construct of the panel obscures the view to allow for additional privacy.

Hit and Miss panels have become increasingly popular over the last few years, as some customers prefer the extra width on the timber slats, for a variety of reasons. Depending on what other elements are used in the garden they can look equally at home in a smart and modern town garden, or a pretty country cottage garden with climbing roses for example.

Part 3 - different fencing types

Explore Types of Garden Trellis Fencing

For a garden screen, topper panel to go on top of a solid fence, trellis is the classic choice to add another dimension to the existing fencing. Choosing a well-made handcrafted trellis fence, constructed using quality materials is highly important aspect which is why we recommend doing your research, because using correctly pressure treated timber designed to last, is a must. Otherwise warping and weakened panels could become a very real problem in a very short time.

Therefore, when inspecting the overall thickness and strength of timber battens for any trellis ensure they are substantial. High-end manufacturers or suppliers will use strong battens of at least 12mm x 25mm, from good quality planed, pressure treated timber.

Weak trellis made from battens thinner than our recommended size (12mm x 25mm) and often in our experience falls apart breaking in no time, when subject to winds and harsh weather conditions. It is also important to ensure the fixings which hold the trellis battens together are high quality stainless steel or galvanised, so they do not rust.

If these vital components corrode, the overall lifespan will greatly reduce so we highly recommend using these components.

Various styles of trellis are available with varying degrees of visibility through the panel, dependent on the size of the square or diamond holes created by the battens. Smaller squares give more privacy, like our handmade Lattice trellis with 38mm square holes.

Square or Diamond trellis have larger apertures for greater visibility. All trellis is good for growing climbing plants up, once again this is where it’s important to make sure you choose quality craftsmanship over cheaper panels, so they can support the weight of the plant as it grows. It can be disappointing to find your plantation on the ground because the trellis has fallen apart in the harsh weather after only a year or two.

Trellis fencing is often used to separate the garden and create features walls which allow plantation to grow through whilst letting sunshine through.

Most suppliers offer Square, Lattice and Diamond trellis as standard, but with plenty of handmade artisan styles there are contemporary designs available like our, Tartan trellis.


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