Building a home offers the perfect opportunity for self-builders to express their own individual style through the choices they make for their self-build. From the roof down to the floor, everything selected should be a personal reflection of your own style.
But, often overlooked are the external spaces and how you will enclose your self-build from the outside world. Fences and gates don’t only offer homeowners privacy, and often solitude, but they prove to often be the first point of entrance to a home and can reflect the building's architectural style.
Here, manufacturer and installer of wrought iron products, North Valley Forge, offers its top tips on installing a wrought iron gate to your self-build property and how to prepare a site for installation.
“There are many advantages of installing high-quality wrought iron gates as a point of entrance to a self-build property. In our view, wrought iron gates can enhance the look, value and, importantly, the security of a self-build property – as well as creating the perfect finishing touch to a self-build project.
“One of the main things that will need to be determined is whether a self-builder will want their wrought iron gates to be automated or not. If so, it is vitally important that any cabling or foundation boxes are in place before a new driveway is laid. Of equal importance is the strength and integrity of any stone or brick piers, which will be holding extremely heavy wrought iron gates.
“Wrought iron gates are available in both modern and traditional design styles, such as those available in our Ultimate collection. However, for those looking for more ‘extravagance’, wrought iron gates can be manufactured on a bespoke basis, such as our ‘Made to Measure’ wrought iron gates.
“To keep a consistent theme running through the external space of a self-build, there are also matching products available on the market that can be used to complement installed wrought iron gates, such as railings and other associated products. For example, here at North Valley Forge, we offer matching products such as balustrading and balconies to complement wrought iron gates, the only limit is your imagaination.”
Posts and installation
On the surface, most people would assume concrete posts last longer than timber. But, it’s worth pointing out that concrete is susceptible to frost damage and cracking, which can end its life prematurely. A treated timber post is more aesthetically pleasing and will not rot if treated and installed correctly. Make sure your posts have been adequately protected to ensure a long lifetime service – Jacksons Fencing’s posts are supported by a 25-year treatment guarantee against rot and wood boring pests.
Security and planning permissions
As soon as a self-builder has purchased their self-build site, it is their responsibility to make it safe. Fencing should be planned with a view for it to be used throughout the build, but also suitable for your finished home. Another consideration that has to be adhered to is planning permissions and post installations.
The title deeds to a property will be the first place a person should look to establish the boundaries to their property. No planning permission is required for a wall or fence that is under 2m in height unless the site is in the curtilage of a listed building. However, if that wall or fence is adjacent to a highway (including a footpath), then the height of a wall or fence cannot exceed 1m without planning permission. When measuring the height of the fence, normally this would be measured from the natural ground level of the fence owner’s property. If the ground levels on either side of the fence are significantly different, the height should be measured from the lower ground level.