• Replacing Fence Panels & Repairing Timber Fencing – A How-To Guide

    | by Holly Wood

    Replacing fence panels is a necessary evil for any homeowner with a garden. The good news is that it’s not a difficult task, and this guide will show you how to do it quickly and easily. Although you may be tempted to do it all by yourself, always get help where you can. And as ever, wear the necessary PPE such as glasses and gloves.

    The Replacement Process

    Before cracking on, it’s crucial to inspect your posts for damage. Before you replace any given fence panel, it’s vital to ensure that the posts it’s attached to are in good condition too; one damaged post can compromise an entire fence line.

    Check that posts are secure and level; if you do happen to notice any damage, repair or reinforce it before moving on to the panel replacement process.

    Before you start, you’ll also need to know how the panel is fitted into the frame. It might utilise slotted groove concrete fence posts. If your fence boasts concrete posts and gravel boards, they’ll have likely survived any ill weather, meaning it’ll just be the panel that needs replacing.

    The instructions stated below apply to a wooden fence with timber posts. Slotted concrete post fences don’t require fixings – the panels simply slide in and out.

    Remove The Old Panel

    Start by looking at how the panel is attached to the frame. This is either done with U-shaped fence clips (also called metclips), or nails.

    If your fence utilises clips, unscrew them from the panels before taking the panels down. You may need help with this. Remember to wear gloves to avoid getting splinters.

    If you come across any nails, cutting through them is going to be much simpler than prying them out with pliers or a claw hammer. You’ll need to use a crowbar to pry the panel away from the wooden posts until the nails become accessible. Always keep your gloves on so that you don’t accidentally catch yourself in the process.

    How to Install Fence Panels in Wooden Posts

    If you have bought clips to help with installation, screw them into place, three per side at the top, middle and bottom of each post. You will need someone to help you lift and secure the new panel.

    If you’re not using clips, evenly measure and drill six pilot holes down each fence post. To protect your new fence against damp, debris, and insect attack, we recommend utilising a gravel board to assist in prolonging the lifespan of the new fence panel. These come in both timber and concrete. Use a level spirit to check your fence panels are properly levelled before hammering galvanised nails into the pilot holes to secure them.

    How to Install Fence Panels in Concrete Posts

    Picking up a fence is a two-person job, so make sure you have assistance. It may be necessary to use ladders depending on the height of the fence. Should your fence require it, have someone on a ladder at each end of the fence panel to lift, feed into the grooves and gently lower down into place.

    If possible, have a third person handy to help guide the fence up as lifting them can be awkward. This is NOT a task to complete on a windy day!

    TOP TIP – if you want to install fence panels without too much trouble, rub an old candle into the slotted groove.

    Finishing The Fence

    Once the wooden fence panels are in place, you can then go about staining or applying a wood preservative. If you replaced a singular wooden fence panel, you’ll most likely need to treat the fence as a whole – this will ensure a uniform finish across planks.

    Now, all there is to do is stand back and admire your handiwork!

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