The Cost of Installing Fence Panels

All you need to know about hiring a tradesman to supply and fit fence panels including materials, labour and time frames.

Fence Panels

What the job entails

This article examines a typical landscape gardening project, erecting fence panels. We have researched the typical costs charged by fencing companies and landscape gardeners big and small throughout the UK, using 8 fence panels with new posts into a rear garden with good access as our base assumptions. Typically, this job would include 6ft high fence panels, concrete posts & gravel boards. VAT is not included in any of the prices and no fancy panels or digging out large amounts of concrete are included. Once the new fence panels are installed they will need treating with a decent quality wood stain/protector. But this is typically not included in quotes from landscape gardeners as you should allow the new panels to dry out for a few weeks before applying the stain/seal/preservative. This cost is not usually included in the price for new fence panel installation.

You can choose from many different fence panel types and designs, the most popular ones include lap fence panels, close board, concave, convex, weaved and trellis. Lap fence panels start from around £15 each, close board from £32, concave £40, convex £45, weaved £58 and trellis panels from £15. These figures ae just rough guides and the actual prices will vary greatly with the quality of the panels and the type of wood used.

Putting up fence panels is a pretty straightforward job that is well within the scope of a competent DIY enthusiast. but it does need two people and is physically demanding work with digging and plenty of sledgehammer work. But before you begin erecting a fence, it is important to be sure of your property boundaries by checking the property deeds or consulting an expert. If you get this wrong your neighbour could force you to remove the fence. You can build a fence up to 2m without seeking planning permission, but always check with the local planning office if you are unsure. Before you get that sledgehammer out - remember to check for any underground cables or pipes with a detector! Always use pressure-treated wood for garden fences, it comes already pre-treated with wood preservative to prevent rot which saves you time when building a fence.

Cost of Installing Fence Panels

The average cost to hire a tradesmen to supply and install fence panels is typically around £700 for 10 fence panels at 1.8m x 1.8m in size. The average price varies depending on the type of fence panel you choose, whether or not you opt for wood or concrete posts, whether you choose to have gravel boards, and your location.

A tradesmen will often charge around £150 a day with the overall time to complete the job being around 1-2 days depending on how many panels you want fitting. Tradesmen may decide to work in pairs to complete the job more quickly, if a large number of fence panels are to be fitted.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a tradesmen to install 1.8m x 1.8m fence panels with concrete posts and gravel boards:

Number of Panels Panel Type Avg. Cost Duration
10 Lap £800 1 day
10 Closeboard £1000 1 day
10 Decorative £1200 1 day
20 Lap £1500 2 days
20 Closeboard £1800 2 days
20 Decorative £2200 2 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for hiring a tradesmen to supply and fit 10 closeboard fence panels - Total Cost: £1000

70%

Materials
£700

25%

Tradesmen
£250

5%

Waste Removal
£50

FAQ's

The advantages of wooden posts are cheaper to buy, are more aesthetically pleasing, and the fence panels can be fixed directly to the posts. However wooden posts are also more susceptible to rot and require frequent treatment/maintenance (though you can use concrete in post supports to keep the wooden post above ground to help prevent rotting). Concrete posts are really secure even in strong winds, they will not rot and will last for decades. But not everyone likes the look of concrete and the fence panels themselves are not directly fixed to posts so they may rattle a bit in the wind. In addition, concrete posts are much more expensive.
If you have an existing fence that needs replacing, you first must dismantle the old fence. There is no special technique involved here, just good old fashioned hard work with a pry bar and a lump hammer! Start by breaking the old fence panels up into manageable pieces. Then, if the old fence posts are still standing, dig out the first and last posts of the run, then cut all the other posts as low to the ground as possible. You don't normally have to dig out all of the old concrete post supports as you can stagger the new posts between them.

However, if there have been many fences over the years, you may find a lot of concrete under the ground making it difficult to insert the new posts. if this is the case, be prepared for a lot of hard work! Smash the concrete with a sledgehammer into manageable pieces then dig and remove (you may need to hire a skip as concrete is extremely heavy and cold wreck your cars suspension). Old concrete fence posts can also be taken down to ground level by breaking the base apart using a sledge hammer to expose the steel reinforcing bars. Then bend the bars over and use a hacksaw, bolt cutters or angle grinder to cut through the steel.
Fence panels need to be treated with a wood preservative after installation, then painted/stained/treated annually throughout the lifetime of the fence. This will help to protect the fence panels (and posts) from timber rot and water damage. If the panels are not pressure treated, then you will need to treat the panels immediately after the installation and keep treating them annually. Pressure treated timber is placed into a large vacuum then high quantities of timber preservatives are forced deep into the woodgrain.

This process helps to protect the timber against wood rot. Pressure treated timber fencing does not have to be painted or treated so it is worth paying the extra when buying timber. Do not get confused with Dip treated fencing, this just protects the timber while in storage or in transit. Dip treated timber still needs to be treated with a timber treatment paint after installation.
Not normally, new garden fencing does not need planning permission as long as it is under 2 metres high. However, if you live in a conservation area or the garden is next to a busy road, then other rules can apply. It costs nothing to quickly check with your local planning department so always contact them if you are unsure. You do have to be careful about the property boundary however as this is a source of a great many neighbour disputes.