Fencing Buying Guide

an image showing a range of fencing styles across 3 different types of garden fencingan image showing a range of fencing styles across 3 different types of garden fencing



  • You want to restyle your garden design
  • You have a new house with a new garden that needs fencing
  • Your fence has blown down in the wind
  • Your fence has started to rot and is falling apart


All of these are excellent reasons to build a fence and, therefore, buy fence panels.

Editor’s Note [26.03.2024]:

Our fencing buying guide has received a significant upgrade today including additional information on fence panel sizes, measurements, dimensions, fencing styles, and types of garden fencing.


When you take a first glance at the products available, the world of fencing can seem confusing: What are the differences between treatments? Do I want traditional fencing or decorative fence panels? Which fence is actually mine?


Starting your garden fencing project but unsure about fence panel dimensions? You might be wondering, “How wide are fence panels?” Well, our guide to buying a fence is here to answer those questions and lots more that will come up along the way.


Let’s get started.



Below are the topics covered in this guide. Simply click on a topic to access the specific details you're looking for.


Fencing Decision 1: Fence Panel Sizes

Fencing Decision 2: Traditional or Decorative Fencing Styles

Fencing Decision 3: Other Types of Garden Fencing

Fencing Decision 4: Garden Fencing Types for Special Purposes

Fencing Decision 5: Treatment

Fencing Decision 6: Gates

Fencing Decision 7: Posts and Accessories

Have you got everything you need for your fencing project?

Installing a Fence

Delivery of the Fencing

Our Customer Service Team



Fencing Decision 1: Fence Panel Sizes

fence panel sizesfence panel sizes

How wide are fence panels? 

One of the first questions is often: “How wide are fence panels?” Let us break down the standard fence panel dimensions for you.


Fence panels come in a standard width of 6 feet. Heights include 3ft, 4ft, 5ft and 6ft. Trellis panels also come in 1ft and 2ft heights, ideal for fence toppers, planter trellis and wall trellis.


3 foot and 4 foot fence panels are most commonly used for low level fencing such as a front garden boundary.


5 foot and 6 foot fencing provides increased privacy and security.


Fence panel measurements 

Not all 6x6 fence panels are exactly 6x6. The same goes for all other fence panel sizes.

This rule of thumb extends to other sizes of fence panels, which are typically provided as rough estimates. Differences between European and Standard fence designs can mean a 6x6 panel is actually 5’11” x 5’11”. ALWAYS Make sure to check each product's specification guide for the most accurate dimensions.


There are limitations on how high your fence can be. If you are unsure, have a quick read of our blog: How tall can my fence be?



Shop by Popular Fence Panel Sizes

Now, let us discuss the different wooden fencing types available in these sizes. 


Fencing Decision 2: Traditional or Decorative Fencing Styles

an image showing 2 different types of wooden fencingan image showing 2 different types of wooden fencing


Traditional fencing includes Overlap, Picket and Closeboard fencing styles. It is used for creating strong, practical garden boundaries – particularly with 6x6 fence panels for privacy and security.


Decorative fencing not only creates a boundary but also offers an attractive frame for your garden. Beautiful backdrops for your flower beds and garden features, decorative fence panels include interesting constructions such as slatted, hit & miss and lattice fencing.

The names of the types of fencing are related to how they are constructed. Let’s take a closer look at a variety of fencing styles for your outdoor space.



Traditional Fencing Construction


There are three main types of traditional fence construction: Overlap, Closeboard and Picket.

Each of these wooden fencing types has its unique charm and functionality.

overlap dip treated fencingoverlap dip treated fencing


Overlap Fencing


  • horizontal boards overlapping each other
  • available with a waney edge design or a more contemporary straight-cut finish
  • offer privacy and security
  • the most economical fence panel construction


Shop Overlap Fencing

dip treated closeboard fencingdip treated closeboard fencing


Closeboard Fencing


  • overlapping vertical boards supported by horizontal battens on the reverse
  • full perimeter frame for increased strength and security
  • usually have an extra supporting batten compared to featheredge or vertical excellent for security and privacy


Shop Closeboard Fencing

pressure treated picket fencingpressure treated picket fencing


Picket Fencing


  • an open construction of spaced pales along a horizontal rail
  • traditional yet decorative fencing ideal for front garden boundaries
  • matching picket gate available
  • showcases your garden plants


Shop Picket Fencing



Decorative Fencing Construction


There are four main types of decorative fence construction: Tongue & Groove, Hit & Miss, Slatted and Lattice fencing styles.

tongue and groove fencingtongue and groove fencing


Tongue and Groove Fencing


  • high specification fence panels with thick interlocking boards
  • fully framed with a rebate frame for added strength and security
  • thick, smooth, flat boards create a modern, sleek finish
  • high-level security and privacy


Shop Tongue and Groove Panels

hit and miss fencinghit and miss fencing


Hit and Miss Fencing


  • boards are alternatively fixed to the front and back of the supporting battens
  • available with horizontal or vertical boards
  • creates an attractive, textured pattern - equally attractive from both sides
  • allows air to pass through for increased wind resistance
  • combines privacy and attractiveness in your outdoor space


Shop Hit and Miss Fencing

double slatted fencingdouble slatted fencing


Slatted Fencing


  • modern horizontal slats
  • single-slatted for partial screening or double-slatted for more privacy
  • double-slatted offers the same appearance from both sides
  • pre-painted grey versions are available


Shop Slatted Fence Panels

lattice fencinglattice fencing


Lattice Fencing


  • also known as trellis fencing
  • used as garden screening for a more open feel
  • can be used to partition off different areas
  • ideal for supporting climbing plants

Be sure to visit our “How to attach a garden trellis to a fence panel” guide.

Shop Lattice Fence Panels


Fencing Decision 3: Other Types of Garden Fencing


There are a few other fence panel constructions. You’ll find four of the other more popular constructions below. Browsing our other types of garden fencing will give you the best overview.


Grey Fencing

  • pre-painted for your convenience
  • grey on-trend colour for modern gardens


Shop Grey Fencing


Dome Top Fencing


  • the fence panel features a dome or wave top outline
  • available on a range of different fence panel constructions


Shop Dome Top Fencing


Woven Fencing


  • horizontal boards weave in and out of three vertical battens
  • decorative, textured finish offering privacy and visual appeal


Shop Woven Fencing


Fencing Decision 4: Garden Fencing Types for Special Purposes

 Fencing for noisy areas


If you live by a busy road, a school or other noisy area, you may want to opt for noise reduction fence panels. These award-winning, technologically advanced tongue and groove fence panels can reduce noise by up to 30dB.


Fencing for uneven ground


If you have a slope, you will want to “step” your fence panels. See our Installing a Fence section below for more details on this. For very uneven gardens, fence panels may not be the best option. Using packs of fencing boards will allow you to create a bespoke fence that can be adapted to the ground conditions.

Fencing for windy areas


If you live high on a hill or in a particularly windy area, look for fencing that has some form of spacing in between boards, such as hit & miss fencing. This will allow wind to pass through rather than push against the fence panel. If you prefer solid fencing for privacy, we recommend using longer fence posts and opting for slotted fence posts; this way the fence panel can slide in and be screwed securely in place.


Various wooden fencing types are particularly effective in these special conditions, read our blog post “The best fence panels for windy areas” for detailed guidance.


Fencing on concrete


You can use the same fence panels and fence posts as you would for grassed areas. However, you will require a fence post shoe (also known as a bolt-down fence post support). Your fence post will be secured into the shoe, and this is then bolted to the ground. Unlike fence posts used in grassy areas, fence posts being bolted into shoes do not require extra length for being inserted below ground. Please visit our “How to install a fence post into concrete” post if looking for guidance into concreting in fence posts from scratch.



Fencing on a wall


If you wish to add fencing on top of a wall, such as a low front garden boundary wall, you have a few choices. If the wall is wide enough, you can use shoes as described above. However, if the wall is not thick enough, you will risk the drilling process breaking off parts of the wall. In this case, you can either bolt fence posts to the side of the wall or into the ground at the bottom of the wall. If your wall features brick columns, you can also consider horizontal arris rails between the columns and using individual boards rather than fence panels to complete the fence.


Front garden fencing


Fence panel sizes and fencing styles are both important factors when considering fencing for your front garden. Unlike your rear garden, any decisions you make when considering fencing at the front of your house will make an immediate impression and help to increase your home’s curb appeal. For more information, check out our “Front garden fence ideas” post.



Fencing Decision 5: Treatment


There are two treatments available for wooden fence panels: dip treated, and pressure treated.


What is Dip Treatment?


The majority of dip-treated fence panels will offer a 10 year guarantee if supported by annual retreatment. Fence panels that have undergone dip treatment are identifiable by their distinct orange or amber hue. This treatment involves immersing the wood in a preservative, offering a surface-level coating. While this method is fast and cost-effective, it doesn't offer the same durability as pressure treatment, necessitating yearly preservative reapplications for sustained protection.

Shop dip treated fencing


What is Pressure Treatment?


Pressure treatment of fence panels involves forcing the preservative deep into the wood's grain under intense pressure. You can identify these fence panels by their lighter, sometimes green, or bluish-green hue, a temporary effect of the preservative residue. This method effectively integrates the preservative with the wood, offering prolonged life and rot resistance, often warrantied for up to 15 years, thus saving on the need for regular reapplications.

Shop pressure treated fencing


Which treatment should I choose?


This is both a budget and time issue.


A dip-treated fence panel will cost less initially as the process is not as costly for the manufacturer. However, you will end up spending more money on tubs of treatment, brushes etc., and spend time reapplying each year. A big garden may have extensive fencing which will require the purchase of a lot of treatment and a considerable amount of time spent painting. If you forget to re-treat, you are risking the integrity of your garden fence. For more information, read our “Guide to treating a fence with paint or stain” article.


Dip-treated fencing also requires a gravel board to distance it from the ground and protect it from the damp. You will need a gravel board for each fence panel purchased.


A pressure-treated fence panel will cost a little more at first, but you can just put it up and leave it, knowing it will resist the weather without more treatments for another decade and a half. This will save time and money. Gravel boards are not essential for pressure-treated fencing, though they do finish off the fence run and provide extra protection.


Fencing Decision 6: Garden Gates


Depending on the area of your garden that you are fencing, you may require a garden gate to complete your fencing run.


There are two main purposes for gates – a full side gate that offers security and privacy and a lower gate that offers a decorative entrance point.


Most types of garden fencing panels will have a matching gate. This creates a cohesive, intentional design for your garden border.


Fencing Decision 7: Posts and Accessories

 Wooden or Concrete Fence Posts?


We have a range of wooden and concrete fence posts available to suit different types of fencing styles and sizes.


Wooden fence posts must be pressure treated because they are inserted into the ground. They have a more natural aesthetic, are easier to manoeuvre and can be a little more forgiving if your measurements are out a millimetre or two. Pressure treated posts do not require annual treatment but should be checked regularly for damage and stability.


concrete fence post is stronger and more durable but without the charm of timber. Concrete requires no maintenance except the occasional wipe-down if algae builds up. They are a reliable, easy option for supporting your fence panels.


How tall should my fence posts be?


As a rule of thumb, one third of your fence post should be underground or a minimum of 2ft – whichever is greater. So, for a 5ft fence, you would need a 7ft fence post. However, if you are using a gravel board that raises your fence panel, you will need to take the height of the gravel board into account too. For more information, visit our “Maximum fence hight in the UK”,  “How deep to dig for a fence post” and “How to extend the height of a fence” guides.

Shop fence posts


Do I need post caps or finials?


The end of the post is the most vulnerable above-ground area of a fence post. Rain, frost, and snow will naturally gather here. Post caps provide another layer of protection against moisture and are angled to deter sitting water.


Finials are simply decorative so are purely a matter of personal taste.

Shop fence post caps and finials


Do I need a gravel board?


If you are purchasing dip treated fence panels, we strongly recommend you use gravel boards. The gravel boards are either durable concrete or timber that has been pressure treated to resist rot and fungal disease. They will protect the base of your fence panels from dampness.


Even with pressure treated panels, gravel boards play a role for all fence panel measurements. They provide a strong surface for your fence to rest on and take some of the strain off the fixings during wind and movement due to temperature changes.


You can choose concrete gravel boards or wooden gravel boards to suit your needs. See the section about fence posts for further thoughts on the difference. If you need any further support, view our “What are gravel boards and how to fit them” guide.

Shop gravel boards


Have you got everything you need for your fencing project?


Installing different types of fencing


If you have decided to install your own fence, we have a variety of resources to help you along the way when installing different garden fencing types.


Check out this blog: How to Install a Fence. Here you will find a checklist of the equipment needed to build a fence plus a visual video guide to building a fence. This guide will also give you some handy pointers on installing different wooden fencing types, making your DIY project much easier.


If you are building a fence on sloped ground, you will need to follow a different installation process. The result will be a “stepped” fence. The fence posts should always be as tall as the higher panel of each adjacent pair of panels. All fence panels should be kept level. Gravel boards will be vital and may have to be partially inserted into the ground, depending on how steep your slope is. Though we do not have a specific video for this, you will find many options on YouTube.

Installation of wooden fencing types

For those who are not confident with DIY, you can find recommended tradesmen via Checkatrade.com. Follow our link here to go straight to fencing services.


BEFORE you begin, make sure you know the answers to the following questions:


  • Which fence is mine? If you’re not sure, read our blog here.
  • How tall can my fence be? Find out in our blog here.


You do not want to fall foul of planning regulations and be forced to take down your freshly installed fencing.



Delivery of the different types of fencing


How soon will delivery be available?

Many of our wooden fence panels are available on pick-a-day delivery. This means you will be able to select your delivery day before you purchase. This will be shown on the product page if available.


If pick-a-day is not available, look for lead times on individual products as these will tell you when a product will be available for dispatch. You will then be contacted by the manufacturer who will arrange a delivery date with you.


If you make any changes to your order once paid for, this can change your delivery date. Therefore, please check you have ordered everything you need.

What are the delivery charges?


Fencing and decking orders require a minimum order value of £100 to qualify for free delivery. Orders below the minimum value incur a delivery charge. Some more remote postcodes do incur delivery surcharges even where free delivery is available to others.


Use the postcode checker on the product page to ensure we deliver to your area and to identify any charges.


Our Customer Service Team

If there is anything else you would like to know or if you need more details on what we have covered, our friendly and experienced UK Customer Service Team is just a call away and eager to assist. So, have you taken the measurements for your area? Great, it looks like you're all geared up to select your new fence – an adventure awaits!


Contact information

Browse and shop for various garden fencing types and fencing styles online at Buy Fencing Direct. Contact us to discuss technical aspects such as fence panel sizes, fence panel measurements, and the different types of fencing available. Our contact information is:

  • Phone - 0333 003 0515
  • E-mails – send emails using our contact page form
  • Text chat – message us in real-time using our live chat app