Category Archives: Fencing

Weather Proofing Your Garden

Weather Proofing Your Garden

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Recently the weather forecast has been predicting flooding and tidal surges. Last year’s strong winds and high floodwater have perhaps caused ‘weather proofing’ to be one of the Telegraph’s gardening trends for 2017.

Climate

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The world’s climate has definitely changed. Extremes are become more common and gardens are being affected. Surprisingly, plants can drown; and summer floods are worse than the winter variety. At least in winter, roots are dormant and plants can recover more easily. Coastlines are even harder on gardens; harsh winds, flooding and salt air all conspire to damage your garden.

Some solutions include clever planting, secure fixtures and landscaping. For example, raised beds can solve many climate related problems – they are also easier to weed and take care of. Seasonal pruning can reduce splintered trees and flyaway branches. Create windbreaks with pampas grass or high fences, and consider using paths to avoid churning the lawn on damp days.

Fixtures

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Firstly, treat garden furniture with sealant, or else cover it carefully. Secure poly-tunnels and greenhouses to ensure they are not devastated by high winds.

Provide cosy, weather proof shelter for outdoor animals so that they have shade in summer and protection in winter. To protect yourselves from weather, try a pergola, retractable shade or pop up tent. Alternatively, a permanent terrace is a great investment in your home and is more durable than some options.

RHS Advisor Guy Barter, advises that traditional beech and box hedges are prone to loose roots and blight respectively. This makes high quality fencing an excellent alternative. Colourfence is weather resistant, resists gales up to 130 MPH and is very durable. It is also very low maintenance, especially in comparison to hedges which need a great deal of pruning and treatment.

Planting 

tiny-gardening

Dr Ross Cameron of the University of Sheffield has advised that gardeners turn to more flood and drought resistant plants. An easy way to do this is with ‘native planting’. Look up tree and shrub varieties native to your area – attend heritage seed swaps and ask your garden centre for hardy local greenery. Skip sub tropical plants and focus on traditional planting for more resilient gardens. Traditional English options such as salad plants, root vegetables, and brassicas can be tolerant of rain and cold.

Avoid paving too much of your garden – as this can lead to standing water and soil erosion. To improve soil drainage, use a lawn aerator and consider nitrogen feed for plants. Mulch the roots of plants to keep them moist but protected from excessive water. Plant according to your soil type to reduce the impact of adverse weather conditions.

Check out our other articles on Winter Gardening, and let us know what you think in the comments.

weather proofing

4 colours

Give Your Garden a New Look With Colourfence

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Colourfence is a durable, secure, high quality fencing product – and it’s also beautiful. These coloured garden fences are made from Zincalume steel. They can be complemented by garden gates, deadbolts and secure locks. You can also get gorgeous trellis sections in contrasting or matching colours. They don’t need staining or painting and are guaranteed to look incredible for 25 years. The standard width of a Colourfence section is 8ft rather than the more standard 6ft panels, and Colourfence can also be installed at your preferred height, 5ft, 6ft, or even 7ft with the appropriate permissions.

Colourfence comes in four beautiful colours; for four different looks.

Classic: Green Fencing

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Green is one of our most popular fence colours. Our green fences are made from the same tough yet beautiful material all our fencing enjoys. They can stand out or blend in as you would like; require very little maintenance and look very appealing. Our green fencing can be classic or contemporary, depending on your garden and the look you want. They can be paired with matching or contrasting trellis sections, posts and infills.

Homey: Brown Fencing

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Brown fencing has a warm, homey appeal. It comes in all sizes up to 2.1m, and can be enhanced with a new, secure fence gate in the same material. You can accessorise your brown fencing with trellis top sections – they can look especially charming in a soft cream, wound through with dusty pink roses or a strong, evergreen climber. It’s one of the more traditional fencing styles and the second most popular of our fencing colours. Blends perfectly in a cosy cottage garden.

Contemporary: Blue Fencing

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A more contemporary look, blue fences take a classic hue into an unusual setting for a gorgeous juxtaposition. The gentle Prussian tint ensures that the colour is not jarring in a traditional garden. Yet this modern fencing colour is a refreshing change in a world of typical, dull wooden fences. And, unlike cheap external paints or stains, this colour fencing won’t run or fade. They offer the same high quality of all Colourfence steel fences and look incredible in minimalist, new build gardens.

Cosy: Cream Fencing 

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Cream is a warm, cosy garden fence colour, perfect for the English countryside. Cream garden fences can be mixed and matched with posts and infills, as well as a secure new gate, or fence top trellis. As you can see, it looks fantastic paired with green or brown. When building a fence, our franchisees will put your tastes and directions at the top of their consideration. You may be concerned about the upkeep of cream fences. But like all our coloured fencing, it just needs an occasional hose down to look good.

4 colours cta (2)

Home Security Month

Home Security Month: How Secure is Your Garden?

By | Fencing, Winter Gardening | One Comment

As the nights draw in, burglars become more opportunistic and take advantage of the early darkness. Burglaries are likely to increase by around 20% this time of year.

To remind us all to survey our home security this Autumn, October is Home Security Month. This includes your garden. Tools, statues and plants in gardens are often worth thousands, and the average value of stolen goods is £850. But we don’t secure them in the same way we would an iPad or television. Your garden is also your first line of defence against would be thieves who are targeting your home.

Weird Things People Steal

dog-in-garden

We wrote before about how 50% of dog thefts occur from your garden. More obvious targets include expensive electronics such as mowers and gardening tools (which can be used to break into homes). Bicycles, ornaments and furniture are also commonly taken. Then it can get weird. People have had decorative barrels, swimming pool pumps, and plants stolen by opportunists. Potted plants, hanging baskets, and even planted shrubs have been swiped and sold on. The problem has become so severe in some places that public places such as Anglesey Abbey have begun security tagging their snowdrops.

Choose the Right Secure Garden Fencing

Greenfence4

It’s obvious that a short, cheap, weatherbeaten lap fence made from softwood won’t deter thieves very much. It can be harder to figure out what will keep undesirables away. Well, secure garden fencing will help. Colourfence is an excellent candidate. The surface is smoother, making it harder for burglars to get a foothold and climb into your garden. The material (zincalume) is tough, so it can’t be easily damaged or destroyed; and it isn’t susceptible to fire the same way wooden alternatives are. A trellis top can provide extra security; especially threaded with thorny climbers such as roses.

Choose the Right Gate

colourfence-gate

Colourfence also produce high quality, secure gates, which are made from a combination of Colorbond steel and high quality pre galvanised, powder coated square tube. The gates come in a variety of sizes and lengths, and can come with a range of locks, handles and drop bolts. They share the qualities of Colourfence fencing; they are extremely low maintenance and very durable. They are also weather resistant, and wind resistant up to 130 MPH – another important quality in October and the coming winter.

Tweaking Your Garden For Security

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You can plant spiky shrubs next to your fence to deter people from climbing over the fence. This may seem harsh if you are being invaded by next door’s kids, but a thief may well see this and decide to look for easier prospects. Other ways to frighten them away include light and noise. Noise in particular can be your friend. You can try anything from a gravel driveway to a professional alarm. With light, you can try dusk to dawn security lighting or motion sensor lamps, which can startle people away and make your garden seem like too much trouble.

General Tips

  • Keep your bins away from your gates / fences
  • Microchip your pets
  • Use land anchors to secure your plant pots
  • Invest in good, weather proof padlocks for sheds and gates
  • Use a bike lock as well as locking your shed
  • Check your insurance covers your more expensive items.
  • Keep bushes trimmed back.
  • Make sure ladders are locked away.

Home Security23

 

Replacing Your Garden Hedge with a Fence

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The Problem With Hedges

Hedges can inadvertently be the source of a great deal of tension between neighbours. Both options need to be kept to 2m, but hedging is less stringently controlled by law. Unfortunately this can lead to an increase in ‘just this once’ thinking among gardeners who (often wrongly) assume their neighbours will be fine with blocked light, extra greenery and branches extending into their gardens. Extra problems come if your neighbours have allergies, or dependents who use the garden. After all, hedges are less secure than fencing, and if they aren’t dense enough, can let pets and children through – and if one family has a toddler, and the other a pitbull, this can be a bad mix.

Hedges also require a great deal of maintenance – including clipping to watering, and if neglected, can look awful. Even if you clip your hedge carefully and regularly, hedges can become unmanageable quickly. Excess hedge growth can be a hassle for less mobile residents who are simply unable to keep on top of the situation. Plus, neighbours are perfectly entitled to prune growth that encroaches onto their land, and may damage your plant if they are overzealous. Even worse, if your hedge accidentally damages their property, you’ll be liable to pay for the repairs.

Why Fences Make Good Neighbours

low-maintenance-gate

One of the great things about fences is how easy and quick (relatively) they are to put up; you don’t have to wait for a fence to grow or thicken. They also won’t grow or expand on their own, negating the possible root or branch damage that comes with an ever growing hedge. Once it is installed, fences are relatively low maintenance, less susceptible to fire damage and tougher. A carelessly flung cigarette is unlikely to damage even wooden fencing; even the toughest dog would find it impossible to dig out a properly installed metal fence.

Rather than pruning, feeding, watering and weeding, a high quality metal fence needs nothing more than an annual hose down.

Replacing a hedge with a fence can be a great way to reduce the maintenance involved in a sensible way, as well as providing a tougher, more durable boundary marker. If you need to remove a hedge, first check your deeds and make sure you have the legal right to do so. People can be very territorial, and simply ripping the hedge out is unlikely to go over well.

If you have sole ownership, then let your neighbours know, and have an amicable discussion about how they feel about the changes. If you have joint ownership, the negotiation will be more delicate. If you share ownership, or there is a boundary dispute, be prepared to pay for the fence yourself – if they are happy with the current hedge,  they will be unlikely to want to pay for it to be replaced.

Learn more about great fences by clicking the image below…

The Good Fence Guide

planning permission

Do I Need Planning Permission For My Fence?

By | Fencing | One Comment

Short answer? Maybe. It depends on the height of the fence, the proximity of roads and (realistically) your relationship with your neighbours. If you follow height regulations, you can likely put up a fence up to 2m in height with no problems.

There are different rules for conservation areas and for listed properties – if you have purchased a heritage or ‘at risk’ property, it’s possible that you will not be able to make any changes at all.

 

How High Can a Fence Be? 

Full row of Colourfence Fences

Planning permission is generally required if the fence is higher than 2 metres – and potentially as low as 1 metre if the fence is by a road. You can also apply for retroactive planning permission, if your fence accidentally exceeds regulations, or if another person can raise reasonable objections. (Remember that this may not be successful).

You are not generally obligated to have or maintain a fence, although it is the norm in our society. If you are planning to put up a fence, it’s advisable to talk to your neighbours. While it isn’t a legal matter, a chat at the right time can save a heap of trouble.

 

Planning Permission

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Building a fence is one of those areas where it’s definitely better to seek permission than forgiveness. If you don’t get a permit and your planning application is rejected, the council can – and likely will – order your fence to be taken down. Housing authorities can be incredibly strict, especially if there have been several infractions and they want to make an example of someone.  

Sticking to height rules might not help if you are feuding with your neighbours, or if they have a ‘reasonable’ reason to disagree with your alteration. One hotelier couple had to take down their fence after their neighbours claimed it was put up purely to annoy them!

However you can generally repair or replace a fence if it will be the same height and bulk as a pre-existing fence that has been in situ for a number of years.

Can I Object To Someone Else’s Fence?

 garden boundary disputephoto credit: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/576280/Garden-wars

In short, yes you can. You can legally object if the fence exceeds height requirements, or is placed on the wrong boundary. Ideally, people planning to erect fences should head off any neighbourly disputes by letting you know first. If you have to object after the fence is built, be sure of your legal rights, and try to keep things civil.

There was an unfortunate case a few years back where neighbours feuded over a property boundary. One couple put up a fence to mark their legal boundary (as defined by their housing deed) – and when they were on holiday, their neighbours took it down. The other couple tried to justify their actions by saying that the fence was ‘tatty and unsightly’. The feuding neighbours ended up in a protracted legal battle which resulted in the objecting couple having to sell their house to pay legal costs.

The two largest factors in erecting a garden fence are the goodwill of your neighbours and the attitude of your council. If you determine that you do need planning permission, the best thing to do is to make your application online. Fences are not subject to building regulations. You can also apply for a ‘Lawful Development Certificate’, a slightly different form of planning permission that can be quite complex; professional advice is advised.

Got Permission

 

security blog (1)

Choosing the Right Garden Fencing for Security

By | Fencing | No Comments

Your garden should not be an open invitation to burglars. As the UK Police crime prevention advice suggests, garden fencing in good repair is the first line of defence against any kind of garden invader from professional criminals through to noisy neighbours!

Choosing garden fencing can sometimes be an afterthought, but some research suggests that as many as 80% of burglaries are made through gardens, particularly back gardens. This statistic makes clear that failure to ensure good garden security can leave households at risk of burglaries or other forms of break-in such as opportunistic theft (often of garden plants and equipment, a growing area of criminal activity) and vandalism.

 

How good garden fencing protects against burglary

 A secure Colourfence garden fence

  • Strong fences are a deterrent – intruders are opportunist and will pick on a garden that has low, weak or easily climbable fencing over one that has robust fencing that offers high security and little opportunity to be climbed over.
  • Substantial fences protect your possessions from scrutiny – like Colourfence full screen fencing, protect your home from being examined as a potential break-in venue by burglars. By preventing visual assessment of your possessions and possible entry and exit points, full screen fencing provides you with peace of mind. Available with an optional decorative trellis finish, Colourfence full screen fencing is a stunning garden feature as well as a robust protection against intruders.
  • Fence maintenance is vital to garden security – many householders ensure they have good garden fencing when they move into a new home but fail to recognise the need to maintain garden fences. Wooden fencing often turns out to be an inferior fencing choice, because it rapidly becomes dilapidated and can offer many opportunities for break-ins via loose slats and easily climbable panels. Colourfence is maintenance free and durable, giving you complete confidence in your household’s protection.
  • Weak spots in garden fencing help burglars – professional criminals break and enter with ease. Vulnerable points include low or sagging fences, or garden gates with poor locks. Well-designed garden fencing offers strong lockable gates that are the same height as your fences and equally robust. Colourfence offers a range of substantial, versatile gate options that are tailored to each garden with a bespoke range of drop bolts, handles and locks.
  • Garden fences need to look great as well as providing security – ColourRail tubular steel railing works perfectly in situations where full screen fences are not required or not suitable. The huge advantage of ColourRail is that it can be installed using our specialist posts or fitted between pre-existing pillars on walls to fit perfectly into traditional garden designs. Like all Colourfence products, ColourRail comes with a ten year non-flake, non-corrosion guarantee.

 

Good fences make good neighbours

Sometimes, sadly, our neighbours can become an irritant. Whether it’s a dismal view of next door’s ill maintained garden, the hullabaloo of rampaging children or simply the fact that you want your garden to be a haven of peace and tranquility, top quality garden fencing is a major contribution to quality of life.

 

How garden fences protect your home from burglars and vandals

 Colourfence garden fence installed

We have four top tips to protect from burglars – any home that applies all four will be at a far lower risk of break ins. If you want peace of mind, apply these four ideas to ensure you are safe at home.

 

  1. First and foremost, securing your garden is a major deterrent. In a 2007 university research project professional burglars revealed that they often check out locations to see if they are easy to break into. They even use security lighting to their advantage, as it helps them plan their entrance and exit routes. Where possible, choose fences that block a burglar’s ability to see your home, then you won’t be a top target – a burglar will choose an easier option and leave you in peace.
  1. Consider maintenance, because professional thieves do. What’s clear is that professional burglars are hard to deter, and will mark up houses that they plan to revisit in a couple of year’s time to see if the fences have deteriorated. Maintenance-free fencing, like Colourfence, gives you complete certainty that your garden will never be an attractive proposition to professional criminals.
  1. Railings may at first seem like a less secure option, but if you can top them with burglar-frustrating hoops or spears, they become an unattractive obstacle course for a burglar. Garden invaders prefer fences they can simply vault or scramble over – anything that could catch clothing or inflict physical damage as the thief climbs over will make your garden much less likely to be targeted.
  1. Don’t have trees or shrubs growing against fences if they will allow criminals or vandals easy access to your garden. Similarly, avoid positioning wheelie bins and other household items where they can be used as tools to enter your garden, either as climbing aids or simply as places to hide whilst the criminal scopes out a good way to break in.

Learn more about how to keep your pet safe with Colourfence…

SECURITY

true cost of wooden fencing

The True Cost of Wooden Fence Panels

By | Fencing | One Comment

Here we’re going to analyse the costs of wooden fence panels as compared to more long term solutions. We’re working on the basis of 70ft of fencing, at 6ft high. This means that for standard wooden fencing, 12 panels x 6ft wide are required, or 9 Colourfence Panels (as they are 8ft wide).

 

Wooden fencing may seem like an economical option, but could be much more expensive in the long run compared to higher quality (but more expensive) options. This is a debate that continues in fashion (cost per wear), electronics and housing.

These are just material costs; we have excluded labour costs for the purposes of this comparison, as some people will install their own fencing and some will hire fitters – whose rates may vary.

The wooden fencing and treatments are hardware own brand – branded treatments such as Cuprinol or Ronseal may be significantly more expensive. The metal fencing posited is made from Colorbond steel.

Initial Cost & Replacements

Colourfence installation

This is how much the fencing will cost you overall, including initial fencing, installation, and any necessary replacements. A wooden fence is a cheaper option initially, but will require replacing at least every 10 years, potentially more often if you live on the coast or in a windswept area. The overall cost is roughly the same, but the wooden fence will need replacing 3 times – while a metal fence will last 25 years without needing replacement or costly maintenance.

Wooden Fencing:

Initial Cost: 12 panels x £34 = £408, 13 posts = £299, 13 Post caps x £45.50, Total £752, Replacements: 3
Total Cost: £2256

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

Initial Cost: 9 Panels x £108.33, £975, Replacements: 0
Total Cost: £975

Cleaning
Wooden fence cleaning

Timber, while it is a great material, is prone to rot and mildew when kept outside due to it’s exposure to moisture. As a result it requires a thorough clean with a fungicidal wash every two years, preferably 24 hours before applying a sealant. Metal fencing can be cleaned by hosing it down with water, making it lower maintenance and easier to keep clean. Pressure washers can be harsh on metal, so plain water is better, with a little detergent if necessary.

Wooden Fencing:

£32 fungicidal wash every 2 years
Total £400

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

£1 detergent, £5 metered water every 2 years
Total £75

Sealing / Staining / Painting
Painting a wooden fence

To help keep wooden fence panels water resistant, you’ll need to apply a wood treatment / sealant every two years. This is ideally applied 24 hours after a fungicidal wash is used to remove any mould. Metal fences do not need to be sealed or polished, due to their anti-corrosion base and powdered steel coating. (can you talk about painting too, as im sure theres many people who just paint the fence (sealing a fence seems to be done in many ways, i,e paint, stain or other sealant, so it would be good to include these)

Wooden Fencing:

£30 Wood Sealant every 2 years
Total £375

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

Total £0

Pest Control

Pest control is an important job for any keen gardener and homeowner. Dealing with ‘woodworm’ (a generic name for a variety of wood boring insects) is an extra expense that comes with timber fencing. The death watch beetle tends to favour oak, while the powder post beetle focuses on hardwoods. The furniture beetle is less discriminating, and will lay their eggs in any kind of wood. Metal fences are not susceptible to beetles in the same way.

Wooden Fencing:

£45 woodworm treatment as needed.

Metal Fence by Colourfence:

£0 – None Required

Conclusion

So overall, wooden fencing will cost you £2320 over it’s lifetime – compared to £1050 for metal fencing. That’s a total saving of £1270 – not to mention the time saved!

 

 

TRUE COST