Without a fence, your garden is merely land anyone can stray onto; fencing is an integral part of a home. It provides security, privacy and defines the land you own.

It can be a stressful situation when faced with the decision to replace fencing or repair it after it has become damaged, broken, or rotten. We illustrate key considerations for both sides to help you make your decision.
Please note, in this blog we are only discussing fence failure which can be prevented, we are not talking about damage i.e. from a fallen tree or vehicle collision.

What causes fence damage?

The most common reasons your fence needs replacing or repairing:

  • Poor quality timber – this will cause the fence to decay a lot faster than higher quality timber meaning it will become weaker faster.

  • Rot – the most common and lethal threat to timber. If you buy untreated timber, it is not properly protected and suitable for life outside. Rotten timber will become weak and brittle and can snap under pressure.

  • Insect attack – wildlife and insects are all natural contentions outside, but some insects will attack timber and use it as a food source. Timber needs to be properly treated to deter pests.

  • Poor installation – this is often overlooked in the entire process of buying fence but it is an integral part of purchasing a fence that has a long service life. If installed incorrectly, a fence could fail much earlier than expected which is a waste of time and money and could be easily avoided.

  • Rusty nails and screws – not only does it ruin the look of your new fencing to have rusty nail marks running down, but rust will deteriorate the nails and screws making them unfit for purpose, leaving the fence unsecured and your property vulnerable to trespassing and burglary.

  • The vast majority of these can be easily avoided by choosing high quality fencing with a long guarantee, which has been installed properly by an experienced professional.

    fence repair

    What causes holes in fences?

    A number of burrowing pests and insects are the most common causes of holes in fencing.

    What causes fence to fall?

    Incorrect installation and posts that are of poor quality can contribute to fencing falling over during normal/strong winds.

    What causes wooden fences to rot?

    As mentioned above this is the most common threat to a timber fence. This is usually the result of untreated timber that is not protected against outside elements. Rot can also appear on timber that has not been treated fully or effectively.

    Fence panels modern solid

    Is it worth repairing a fence?

    In some instances, repairing your fence may be the most obvious and straightforward option, as a rule of thumb if there is rot/damage/major fence failure to more than 20% of your fencing replacing the entire fence is probably best.

    How often should a wooden fence be replaced?

    A good quality pressure treated wooden fence should not need to be replaced very often. If a wooden fence is correctly treated and been made to last with a long lifetime guarantee, fencing should not need to be replaced for 20-25 years depending on where you buy it from.

    A poor-quality wood fence will need to be replaced much more frequently, every 5-10 years which in that timeframe a better-quality fence could last, you could have to replace three times resulting in it being a lot more costly.

    A generic timeframe that a fence should be replace every 10 years is an assumption we have come across frequently, with timber that has been thoroughly and properly treated this is not the case and we have seen that with the correct care fencing can last over 25years.

    Whose responsibility is it to replace fence panels?

    To find out who is responsible for replacing a fence, we recommend you always check the deeds of the property. A T next to a boundary will indicate who owns the fence and therefore responsible for replacing. We have more information on our advice page.

    This would normally be the householder/property owner of the fence, unless any damage sustained was caused by a 3rd party, it would then be their responsibility to cover the cost and correct any issues caused. For a bit more information check our fencing advice section: Who owns the fence

    Do you have to replace fence panels?

    Unless damaged fence panels are causing a safety hazard you may not have to replace the fencing. However, it could leave your property at risk and therefore vulnerable to theft, so it is always advised to fix as quickly as possible. If one of your panels is damaged beyond repair, we suggest that it should be replaced as soon as possible before the issue worsens and affects posts and other parts of your fence.

    The advantages and disadvantages of fence repair compared with replacing



  • Less time consuming, faster turn around
  • Lower upfront cost
  • Does not always need a professional to repair fencing

  • Cons

  • Short term solution
  • The likelihood of further fence failure increases
  • Higher long-term cost: inevitable purchase of replacement fencing in the future + labour to install

  • fence repair cost



  • Longevity/life of fence increased vs repairing
  • New quality fencing likely to come with a guarantee
  • Lower overall lifetime cost

  • Cons

  • Higher upfront cost
  • Accidental unpredicted damage can still occur and require repair
  • Untreated fencing can still be susceptible to rot and insect attack
  • Why replacing fencing could be the better option?

    It depends what has caused damage to your fence. For example, a storm may have caused a tree to fall on the fence, in which case there was probably nothing wrong with the fence, it was just unfortunate circumstances. However, replacing fencing which is rotten or completely falling apart due to natural causes will be the best option when the amount of time, money and effort required for the repair is too great.

    When repairing a fence, you have to consider the time it will take to remove damaged fencing, finding appropriate products or components to replace or repair, product and delivery cost, and installation cost if you are not doing it yourself. Do not forget this is every time you need to repair the next part of the fence.

    fence repairs uk

    If you choose to replace the whole fence, with a high-quality fence that has a long guarantee there should be no additional costs throughout its life. For our fencing, which is guaranteed for 25 years, minimal maintenance is required. We still advise that you perform regular cleaning and inspections, especially if any damage has occurred after an uncommon weather event as this will not be covered by our guarantee. Such damage may be fixed by replacing a damaged fence pale for example. This will ensure that your fence has the highest chance for staying in the best possible condition for as long as possible.

    garden fence panel repair

    Why repairing fencing could be the better option?

    It is not always possible or financially viable to replace an entire run of fencing, in this instance the short-term solution of repair could be the most straightforward solution to your problem. Patching up and not removing a fence quickly and without the help of a professional with a low cost of time and monetary investment could leave you with fencing that will be fit enough for purpose in the interim.

    This may be your best option if you cannot wait for the product you want or would like to try your hand at some DIY in the meantime, until what you want becomes available.