The latest offers, products and advice from the best of UK DIY... B&Q, Wickes, Wilkinsons, Screwfix, Amazon + independents

B&Q Handy prices
Erecting a fence
A new fence is not difficult to put up. It will give you more privacy and security as well as making an attractive back drop for plants and shrubs.
Essentials: * Fence panels * Fence posts * Wall anchors * Post supports or concrete mix * Driving tool * Fence clips * Post caps * Strong gloves * Electric drill - twist drills and masonry drill * 3m locking tape measure * String line * Spirit level * Screwdriver * Spade/shovel * Bucket * Sledge hammer * Eye protection
You can build any fence up to 2m (6ft 6in) high without planning permission but, in some cases, fences next to highways must not be over 1m. If in doubt, check with your local council's planning office.

Tell your neighbours about your plan and ask their permission to go on to their property. It's much easier to build a fence when you can work from both sides.

Check the line of your boundaries before you start. If you need to take down an old fence first, make sure it's yours to demolish. You can put up a new fence alongside an existing one as long as the one you're building is on your property. Spring and autumn are the best times to put up a fence - when plants nearby can recover most easily.

The most popular type of fence uses 1838mm (6ft) wide overlap panels, which you may buy in 914mm (3ft), 1220mm (4ft), 1524mm (5ft) and 1828mm (6ft) heights, fixed between vertical posts. Trellis panels can be used as screens within the garden or placed on top of overlap panels for decoration.

Make sure your posts are strong enough for your fence. if you are planning a fence over 1220mm (4ft) high, you should use 75mm (3in) square posts made from wood or concrete.
Which method

The most important decision you must make is how you are going to fix your fence posts into the ground. You have two choices:

1. Post supports for wooden posts, which are hammered into the ground or bolted onto existing concrete. You can fix panels straight away. This method calls for careful placing of the supports but has the advantage of using shorter posts, which are less likely to rot.

2. Fixing the posts into concrete. You will have to wait for the concrete to set before fitting panels. This method is slightly firmer on open ground but involves more work and means having a fence post at least 600mm (2ft) longer than the height of the fence. Wooden posts will also be more likely to rot at the bottom if they are buried in the ground.

Check the position of under-ground cables and pipes before using post supports. If in doubt contact your local authority *.
Getting ready

Mark out the line of the fence with string stretched between the pegs driven into the ground.

Attaching a post to a wallIf the fence runs up to a house, fix the first post to the wall with three expanding masonry bolts. Drill 25mm (1in) deep holes in the post big enough to take the heads of the bolts so that they don't get in the way of the panel. Check that it is upright using a spirit level - if necessary place packing between the post and wall to get it vertical.

Using fence post supports

1. Allow an extra 75mm (3in) height on each post so there will be a small gap between the panels and the ground and a slight protrusion above the fence panel. A 150mm (6in) high gravel boards made from concrete or treated wood under the panels will give longer lasting protection from wet rot.

2. Tap the first post support into the ground. Use a special driving tool, which fits into the socket on top of the post to avoid damaging it. Keep checking with a spirit level that the post is vertical as you go. If necessary correct any misalignment using the 'handles' on the driving tool.

3. Nail two or three fence clips to the post.

4. Tap the post into the socket on the post support. Screw or bolt the post firmly in place and place the first panel in position, just above the ground. Check with a spirit level that the panel is horizontal.

5. Use a batten, the same width as a fence panel, to mark off the position for the next post support. Fit posts and panels alternately until the fence is finished.
Using concrete
When using concrete, you put all the posts up first and wait for the concrete to set before fitting the panels. It's very helpful to make a spacer batten, cut to the width of the panels, to position the posts the right distance apart. You will need to buy posts, at least 600mm (2ft) higher than the fence, and a supply of hardcore (broken bricks and large stones) to ram around each post before putting in the concrete. you can hire a tool call a post auger to make digging the holes more easy.

1. Dig holes 600mm (2ft) deept. Ram a 25mm (1

2. Drive two short stakes into the ground either side of the hole. Have battens ready to nail to the stakes and to the posts to hold them upright while the concrete sets.

3. Put the first post in its hole and get someone to hold it upright (check it is vertical with a spirit level) while you brace it with battens.

4. Ram more hardcore around the post, leaving a hole 300mm (1ft) deep.

5. Fill the hole with concrete. Finish just above ground level, sloping the concrete away from the posts to drain away the water. It's cheapest to make your own concrete from cement and aggregate in the proportions 1:5 mixed to a firm consistency with water. The mix should not be too sloppy or the concrete will be weak; if in doubt, err on the dry side. Alternatively you can use ready mix or quick setting post mix.

6. Put the remaining posts and leave the concrete to harden for 24 hours before you remove the supporting battens and fit the panels. When all the panels are in place, wedge temporary struts against the posts to support the fence until the concrete is fully set - about a week.
Finishing off
1. It's easy to make a panel shorter if you need to. Mark off the required length, nail pre-treated battens to both sides (as at the ends of the panel) and saw off the waste.

2. Nail post caps to the top of the posts. If the panels do not have capping stips, fit these to prolong the life of your fence.
Fencing on a slope
Erecting a fence The key to fencing on a slope is to keep the posts vertical and step the panels. It looks best if the steps are all the same or if they increase or decrease in a uniform manner. Allow extra fence post height and fill the triangular gaps beneath the panels with gravel boards.