Technical Guides

  1. Top 4 Decorative Garden Fence Panels

    Top 4 Decorative Garden Fence Panels

    Decorative garden fence panels are enjoying a huge surge in popularity of late. Stylish, high-quality, and eye-catching, it’s no surprise many are opting for these contemporary designs over traditional overlap or featheredge fencing.

    Perhaps you’re looking to sell your property, and you need to replace your dilapidated current panels. Which option do you think will boost your curb appeal – standard overlap or striking decorative garden fence panels?

    Maybe your back-garden boundary is looking a little worse for wear; would straightforward featheredge or exciting contemporary panels create a prettier frame for your flower beds and borders?

    ‘Which are the current

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  2. The Best Fence Panels for Windy Areas

    The past few months have indisputably demonstrated that Britain can experience some peculiar weather. We have certainly had an unusual winter. Enough about that though; we’re bored of reading overly dramatic articles about the snow. Nevertheless, one of the criteria of being British is talking incessantly about the weather; so, today let’s discuss the wind instead.

    While the wind has many uses, it can cause havoc with your fence panels.

    Those of us living in windy spots, such as the North, the South West and high-altitude areas, have a number of problems to contend with. Choosing the correct fence panels is one of them. Many wou

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  3. Concrete vs Wooden Posts

    Concrete vs Wooden Posts

    Imagine being an outcast on a desert island. All you can take are eight songs, a book and a luxury. Now the songs part is easy, the book simple, but the luxury? Hmmm, obviously (obviously!) it’s between a concrete or a wooden post. Now there’s a dilemma.

    Concrete will weigh in heavier. A six-foot fence panel requires a heavy frame of concrete and they do need a couple of people to handle, manoeuvre and get in place. And once in place there is absolutely no tweaking or phrases like ‘don’t worry, the screws will bring it all together.’ Once in place that is the place. Forever. Wood, however, is slightly lighter, still heavy mind you, and - as with all posts and fencing - a helper is still a great idea. There is a bit of tweak-room with wood as it is a natural material and will be slightly more forgiving of a millimetre tolerance or two.

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  4. How to straighten bowed deck boards

    This problem is easily corrected with a little know-how!

    • Firstly, use one nail at each end of the decking to to secure it to the end joists.
    • If the deck board bows towards the last board laid and fastened, carefully force a chisel between the two boards and pry the bowed board outwards to the correct position, then nail or screw into place.
    • If the bow curves outwards, away from the last board, you will need to drive the chisel into the joist on the outside of the curve until it is in the correct position and then nail or screw into place.

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  5. Building the decking sub frame

    It is important to get the frame exactly right to succeed when building decking to ensure that you will have a firm and easy to maintain deck structure.

    Here are a few simple steps to take to make sure that your deck is structurally sound and will last for years.

    How to build a sub-frame

    The first step when building decking is to create the frame upon which the decking boards will be laid.

    The main joists of the frame need to run in the opposite direction to the way the deck boards are laid, at approximately 40cm apart.

    The decking level needs to be worked out prior to construction; the decking will need to be slightly sloped one way (a slope of about 1cm) for drainage purposes.

    Decking can either be built straight onto a patio or placed on top of brick pillars in order to increase the height. Bricks will need to be placed at frequent intervals of around 1.25 metres along every second joist so that the decking is not too springy once

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  6. Deck board installation advice

    Before you lay the decking, we would recommend that any remaining work to the sub-structure, such as applying protective finish, is completed before starting to lay the deck boards. Take a look at our guide on building the sub-frame.

    The deck boards we supply are 28mm x 120mm in size which are the most desirable type of decking as they are less prone to sagging, warping, twisting or cupping.

    The exact size of the deck boards is dictated by the area that you are looking to cover with decking, the joist span and the layout / pattern that you choose for garden decking project.

    Before fastening any boards, lay out all but the last few boards on the joists, this way you will be able to see the final effect and make changes where necessary for the best appearance.

    Position the deck boards ''bark side'' up to minimize the splitting / warping of the wood that can occur. The way to tell th

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  7. Deck care and maintenance

    In time wood that is left untreated becomes that familiar silvery-grey colour with a rough, bark-like surface, as the grain gradually opens and lets in moisture. But be warned, wait this long and it may be almost impossible to reverse!

    Instead, when timber is around one-year-old, sand off any old, flaking stain or dirt from the dry surface and apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative. This will enrich and revitalise the surface of the wood just like a skin moisturiser. They also contain anti-fungicides that will help prevent rot, mould and lichens.

    There is a wide choice of timber care products, some combining treatment with a coloured wood stain for extra impact.

    Deck maintenance

    To keep your timber decking ship-shape, you will ideally need to treat it regularly using a specialist deck treatment. We recommend that you carry this out once a year for the first two to three years after you first install the deck, and then just once every

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  8. Decking construction technique

    All decks involve some basic construction techniques to ensure that the finished project will provide many years of service.

    Constructing decking

    Fixings

    Weather resistant screws and galvanised nails and bolts should be used for your decking project; these will prevent rust from discolouring your deck.

    Drill pilot holes

    It is a good idea to drill pilot holes for your fasteners especially when nailing near the edge or end of a board.

    Space deck boards evenly

    Spacing deck boards 3-5mm apart will allow for and natural movement of the timber as it takes on, or loses moisture.

    Use an end coat preservative

    On all saw cuts and drill holes.

    Apply weather resistant finish

    Our pressure treated timber is guaranteed against rot for 15 years, but adding a weather resistant finish will increase the longevity of colour and finish of your deck.

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  9. Fixing balustrades and rails

    Any deck can benefit from railings. The boundaries and the visual lines that the balustrades create adds a sense of enclosure, privacy and safety.

    Most building regulations require that any decks that are built 30'' or higher have railings that are 36'' to 42'' high and that all stairs that are greater than 4 treads have a railing on each open side.

    Installing balustrades and rails

    1. First, measure the distance between the posts at the base rail and cut the handrails and base rails accordingly to the length required.
    2. Position and fix the bottom rail, then using your baluster length as a guide, position and then fix the top handrail.
    3. Attach all the balusters to the deck rails at intervals not exceeding 100mm (4”).

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  10. Planning your garden decking area

    If you're thinking of laying a flat surface in your garden, you are probably torn between the range of options available from concrete slabs to decking or even decorative aggregates.

    Love it or hate it, garden decking is the more economical option and allows for the finish of your choice. Our decking boards and tiles are all pressure treated which gives them guaranteed 15 years of protection from rot and fungal decay.

    Decked areas of your garden are great for entertaining friends with alfresco dining or providing a stable BBQ area. You could also use your decking as a family seating area or even as a setting for garden games.

    Of course, you will need to get the balance between decked and natural area of you garden, you don't want too big or too small a decked area. Here are some of the issues you may want to think about.

    Planning your decking area

    1) Where to place your decking boards?

    If you choose to place decking against your ho

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