23 Sep 2022

Jacksons’ Top Tips for Choosing Fencing and Gates

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First impressions count, and the exterior of your property is the first thing visitors will see when it comes to your newly-built or renovated house. While robust fencing and gates protect your home and vehicles, they also play a critical role in boosting kerb appeal, setting the tone for the rest of your home, and potentially adding value to your property.

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There are so many aspects to consider when buying, renewing or replacing your fencing and gates, so be sure to do your research and plan ahead.

To help guide you on the most appropriate fencing and gates for your home, Wendy Lawton at Jacksons Fencing has outlined some top tips.

Firstly, make sure your fencing and gates are adequately protected to ensure a long-life service. Opt for products that have a longer guarantee to avoid having to replace them soon after installation. A long guarantee usually means high quality, which should help provide a lower lifetime cost due to a reduction in repairs and replacements later down the line.

A material world

There are myriad materials, types, styles and shapes available on the market today, which can make it a lot harder to decide what to use. Each style will have its own characteristics that may or may not match your requirements. It’s a common misconception that concrete posts last longer than timber, but concrete is often susceptible to frost damage or cracking, causing it to need replacing much sooner. When correctly prepared for in-ground life, timber or metal posts are far more robust alternatives. Not only do they offer a more gentle aesthetic, but fence panels can also be securely fixed to them, reducing rattling and preventing lifting. Timber is also more sustainable as it is a renewable material.

Create a peaceful environment

Another type of fencing to consider is acoustic fencing. This is designed to reduce the impact of noise pollution, creating a more peaceful environment, so depending on the location of your home, it could prove invaluable to enhance your immediate surroundings, particularly if you live in a built-up area and like enjoying the garden, or work from home most days. Acoustic fencing is taller, denser, sturdier and constructed in a way that prevents gaps from appearing over time. This makes it more effective in reducing noise in your home.

Safe and secure

While improved privacy is often a key requirement when committing to garden gates and fencing, so too is security. As such, the gates and fencing specified should provide a strong barrier, preventing any unauthorised personnel from gaining access to your home and garden.

Certain tactics can be implemented to discourage opportunists from climbing over your fence or gates. If this is a concern, consider installing the rails on your side of the boundary or a panel with no horizontal rails to reduce the risk. Any solid gate or fence panel will generally provide improved privacy and security, whereas slatted or woven designs are more decorative and will help create a light and airy atmosphere.

When it comes to gates, choosing automated products not only increases security as they’re viewed as a notable physical obstacle that will discourage intruders, but they also improve privacy and provide greater convenience. If you’re considering installing an automated gate, make sure it is carried out by a reputable company, and they adhere to the correct safety standards to minimise risk. Anyone installing an automated gate should be trained by a registered company like DHF.

Designs that go further

After spending a considerable amount of time and money choosing and installing your ideal garden fence or gates, the last thing you want is for it to look unsightly due to inadequate nails being used and rust occurring. Rust not only looks bad, but it damages the integrity of the screws, so they eventually loosen and fall out, causing the fence or gate to fall apart. It’s essential that stainless-steel or galvanised screws are used instead.

When choosing gates, opt for ones that come with adjustable hinges. These ensure that the gate will remain aligned throughout its lifetime, and the hinges do not have to be removed and reinstalled. Most gates have diagonal or horizontal braces for support on the rear of the gate. If you’re opting for large timber gates, like courtyard gates, look for those with an internal steel frame for extra strength to prevent twisting. This will ensure your gate lasts longer, making it more cost effective and sustainable in the long run.

Another option to consider is installing fencing with hedgehog-friendly gravel boards. This ensures that hedgehogs and other wildlife can roam freely between gardens. Each board has a reinforcing strip along the top of the board to ensure it isn’t weakened. We recommend installing a hedgehog gravel board on each side of your garden.

Lastly, any metal fencing or gates should be made from galvanised steel and, if colour is required, polyester powder coated rather than made from painted wrought iron. Galvanised steel has a zinc coating, resulting in a long-lasting and high-quality finish that protects the steel body. This acts as a shield against corrosive elements, meaning your fencing or gates will have an extended lifespan and be resistant to corrosion. Polyester powder coating is a robust alternative to conventional paint. A good coating will prolong the life of your products as it has a strong finish, is highly durable and is resistant to abrasion or wear and tear.

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