The perfect fence component material - Western Red Cedar
Fences are often seen as merely functional and as a result some people just buy whatever is available at the local DIY store.
When building a new fence you first need to establish its purpose. Is the purpose of the fence to increase security, maintain privacy, keep pets in, keep children safe, or is it merely to define a border?
Once the purpose of the fence has been established you need to find a style that fits your needs. Consider how the fence looks on the outside as well as the inside. A well designed fence can greatly enhance your property’s curb appeal and by the same token a badly designed low quality fence will detract.
When looking for a new fence most people think of pre built panels that are available from DIY stores. Pre built panels are often made from very low grade, thin sections of treated wood. Not only are they unattractive but this type of wood lacks dimensional stability which means it easily twists and warps leaving the fence looking ugly and disappointing.
Another way to construct a fence is to build it from scratch using components. Whilst this method may initially seem complicated compared to buying pre built panels, it is fairly straightforward and offers a number of advantages when building your own fence using Western Red Cedar components from Silva.
- The fence can be built to your own style to suit your particular requirement. Silva stocks a wide range of Western Red Cedar components that can be used to build a wide range of fence styles. A number of popular styles can be seen on each fence product page. (or perhaps images here of a few different panels)
- Pre built panels rarely fit the space exactly which often means one or more panels needs to be cut to fit the space, detracting from the overall appearance of the fence. With Silva’s fence components, fence bays (gaps between posts) can be set to even sizes to fit your space. This makes the fence more aesthetically pleasing by balancing the post/fence ratio to your preference.
- Our components are made from Western Red Cedar, the perfect material for fencing. Not only is it beautiful in appearance, it is also highly durable and dimensionally stable which means less shrinkage and swelling than any other wood when exposed to water. Fence components from Silva are all of substantial thickness meaning that your fence will be solid and sturdy and will last for years to come.
Fences are simple structures and most can be built using a few simple tools, without any specialist carpentry skills necessary.
The most difficult part of building any fence is setting the posts, and this needs to be done regardless of whether you are building a fence using pre built panels or components. Once this is done the rest of the job is very simple. Rails (or stringers) are screwed to the posts and the boards are nailed to the rails.
In a nutshell, the steps to building a solid board component fence are as follows:
- Lay out the perimeter of the fence using a string line. This enables you to accurately locate corners, post locations and features like gates.
- Install posts – these provide the main structure of the fence and are usually set in the ground in concrete at intervals of around 1.83m (6ft), although this can be increased or decreased slightly to create even bays. For most domestic fences 90 x 90mm posts are more than adequate.
- Install horizontal rails between posts using screws at intervals of around 610mm (this can be increased or reduced slightly to suit your needs). Silva’s rails are a substantial 40 x 90mm which will make the fence very sturdy.
- Attach vertical boards to the rails using annular ringshank nails. Silva’s fence boards are 19mm thick and are available in a range of widths. Different grades are also available to suit all styles and budgets.