Fencing projects. Love them or hate them, they can be key to managing your land or separating your garden. Whether you’re segregating livestock on your farm, or are just keen to separate your agricultural land, constructing fencing is a decision that needs to be planned out carefully, precisely and with the right equipment in mind.
If it’s timber fencing you’re looking at introducing/expanding on throughout your land, you’re in the right place. We’ve pulled together the ultimate timber fencing toolkit covering everything from spades, spirit levels and measuring tapes, to stakes, posts and brackets.
- Fencing stakes
Depending on your fencing choice, an essential part of most timber fencing projects is using fencing stakes. Stakes will help support and secure your fencing in the ground and they work by getting their stability from the ground-bearing pressure from the soil. Specialised stakes are also normally treated to protect the material against damp.
Stakes will help you get a stable, straight fence, and secure a straight line from post to post. You’ll be able to use other equipment to insert the stake into the ground and create an efficient starting point for your timber fencing project.
You’ll more than likely insert the stakes at the start of the project to map out where you intend on placing your new fencing. You can also use stakes to secure other structures such as livestock fencing, agricultural fencing, garden fencing, boundaries and supporting young trees.
- String line and tape measure
Connecting a string line between each of your fencing stakes allows you to plan out and mark where your fencing will run. Using a string line in conjunction with your stakes and tape measure will let you visualise the fencing and ensure that the spacing between your fencing is accurate prior to installing the posts and panels themselves. You may also need a measuring tape if one of your fence panels requires trimming. Then you’ll need to carefully measure the area you need to trim and mark the area ready for sawing.
- A shovel and trowel
In order to erect your fencing quickly and efficiently, you’ll need a few tools to help you along the way. A shovel (or spade) will help you dig holes in the ground specifically for the lengths of the posts/stakes you’re using.
You’ll likely need a trowel when angling your chosen supporting material to fill the hole around your post. This will make sure that any rain water stays clear of your post on all sides, so that the material can set properly.
- Gravel and gravel board
There are, of course, some optional tools/pieces of equipment involved in this toolkit. For example, gravel. If you’re keen to assist drainage and reduce risk of rot, you may like to add gravel to the bottom of the hole.
Additionally, you can choose to use a pressure treated gravel board to protect dip treated fence panels from rot. You’ll need to consider this early on, as the size of the gravel boards may impact the required fence post sizes. Later, you’ll easily be able to fix the gravel boards to the posts with brackets and screws.
- Brackets, screws and a drill
Following on, you’ll need some brackets, screws and a drill for more than one part of your fencing project. Firstly, if you’re using a gravel board, you’ll need brackets and screws to connect it to your posts. Additionally you’ll need them to secure your fence panel to your posts. Plus, you’ll also need brackets and screws if you’re attaching a trellis – to secure it and add additional brackets if it’s in a particularly open space that gets a lot of wind.
If you opt for a post cap, you’ll also need a drill to pre-drill the hole ready for the fixing.
- Spirit level
The ultimate tool of efficiency? The spirit level. You’ll likely need one of these at a few points in your fencing project. Firstly, when you insert posts into the ground to make sure they’re perfectly vertical before securing them. Then when you’re securing the next post and want to make sure that it’s the same level as the previous one – it will allow you to establish whether you need to trim your post down if it isn’t appearing level.
- Handsaw/jigsaw/circular saw
You’ll need hand/jig/circular saws for your fencing project if you’ll be needing to make any adjustments to your fencing. For example, if you need to make accurate, angled cuts or trim a fence panel.
Jigsaws are for more intricate work as they tend to cut slower. Hand saws are more manual and cheaper, but can make for a decent alternative to a jigsaw (plus they tend to be general purpose tools that are widely available). And circular saws tend to be used for straight cuts, for example, if you’re simply cutting your fencing panels.
- Fence posts
In order to fully construct your panels, you’ll need fencing posts to uphold your fencing. You’ll need to know the exact length of the posts you require prior to purchasing them. And you’ll also need to keep in mind things like whether you’ll be opting for a trellis when deciding the dimensions.
Posts are one of the most important parts of your fencing project. They’ll come into contact with most other pieces of equipment that you’re using (for example, fencing, gravel board and so on) and will be responsible for the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your fencing.
- Fencing panels
Another highly important part of your fencing project is obviously your fencing panels. In order to get the panels in the right position, ultimate care and precision needs to be taken right from the very beginning when the stakes are put down and the fencing area is marked out.
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to panels, including whether you’ll be treating them/opting for a gravel board to protect them from rot and whether you’ll need to trim them to fit the desired space.
- Post caps
Partially for aesthetic purposes, partially to protect the end of your post, you may like to opt for post caps as a final step. In which case, you’ll need one cap for each post and will need to use a few of the above tools (including drills and screws) in order to install the caps.
H2 Frequently asked timber fencing toolkit questions
H3 Where can I find wooden fence stakes?
There are lots of places to pick up fencing equipment including larger hardware companies, dedicated fencing companies, agricultural farming/fencing specialists and even places like garden centers. You can purchase both online and in person, and if you’re ordering online, you may even be able to get delivery deals if you’re ordering in bulk.
It will really depend on the kind of fence you’re constructing, for example, a garden fence vs an agricultural fence for farmland.
With a specialist supplier, you’ll normally be able to opt for your choice of dimensions including diameter, length and also the type of treatment you require your stakes to have (to prevent rot).
H3 How do I know if a fence supplier is reputable?
When you’re looking for specific supplies and are potentially aiming to build a long-term relationship with a supplier, it’s important to shop the market. Rather than opting to use larger organisations/household names, you may find yourself leaning towards using a lesser-known (to you), more specialist supplier that you’d previously not heard of.
In this case there’s a few things you can do such as review their website (including testimonials), check out their social media profiles, give them a call to see how you find their customer service and even ask friends/colleagues for initial recommendations.
In addition, you could take a look at individual product pages (including the likes of stakes, posts, panels etc.), to see the type of helpful information on those pages and whether those projects hold individual reviews.
H3 Are there dedicated fencing suppliers where I can pick up all the tools I need?
Rather than choosing to purchase individual fencing parts/tools from lots of separate companies, you’ll probably be looking to purchase most of your equipment from the same specialist one-stop shop (maybe with the exception of one or two tools that are worth going the extra mile for!).
You’ll find specialist farming/fencing suppliers like McVeigh Parker online where you can pick up everything from stakes and posts, to electric fencing and a wide variety of farming equipment.
H3 Is it better to pick a fencing supplier near me?
If you’ve always ordered your supplies from companies that are relatively local to you, you may be tempted to continue doing so. However, you may end up restricting yourself this way. The beauty of the internet and today’s modern delivery options is that you can order from anywhere in the UK and not be restricted in quality, or end up paying more than you need to.
Also, if you tend to buy fencing equipment in bulk, as briefly mentioned above, you may come across some good deals, including free or discounted delivery when you spend over a certain amount of money.
H3 Does fencing require maintenance?
Yes, wooden fencing will require some maintenance. However, if you opt for pressure treated wood which works well in all seasons, the treatment’s anti-rot/insect-resistant properties will help your fencing posts last with little maintenance for a long time.
Additional measures like a gravel board, and using gravel around the stakes/posts can help prevent panels and stakes from rotting.
You may also like to use cleaners/brighteners on your fence every year or so, and if you don’t have a finish on your fencing, you may like to add your own protectant every so often. Although purchasing fencing that already has a finish is usually more cost and time efficient!
Wooden stakes treated with UC4 natural peeled pressure creosoted at McVeigh Parker
H3 Are wood or concrete fences better?
People who opt for wooden and concrete fences are normally working with very different objectives in mind. They’re two completely different materials that achieve different goals.
Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.
H4 Wooden fence pros
- Portability – Wooden fences with wooden stakes, posts and panels are much easier to relocate should you need a temporary fencing solution, or change your mind about the whereabouts of your fence.
- Long-lasting – Treated wooden fencing has a naturally long lifespan due to being able to survive different seasons and prevent rot.
- Easy installation – Due to the lighter weight of wooden fencing, they tend to be easier to install than their concrete counterparts.
H4 Concrete fence pros
- Durability – Opting for concrete fencing means a strong, robust material. Lifespan shouldn’t be an issue and it’ll naturally avoid inconveniences like rot.
- Strength – Due to its robust properties, concrete fencing is strong and is usually able to withstand harsh weathers.