How long does a fence last? | Contemporary Garden UK

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How long does a fence last?

how long does a fence last


How long does a fence last? How long is a piece of string? There a whole host of factors as to how long a wooden fence will last. It’s important to consider all these different factors to determine how long until a fence needs to be replaced. Below we lay out some of the things to consider if you want to ensure you choose a fence type that will give you the longest wear and the extra things you can do to guarantee a long life.

How long should a fence last?

Timber garden fences can last from 5 years to 30 years, if not longer. It’s all about selecting the right materials, manufacturing processes and protection to get the most out of your purchase. 

Choose the right material

Though there are several options for garden fencing, most people love timber for its look, durability and price tag. But you’ve got to choose the right wood for your fencing. There are two main wood types to look at when considering the best timber for your fence; hardwood and softwood. We’ve discussed this in more detail in our article, ‘Best Timber for Fencing’. The main conclusion being hardwood is durable and beautiful but expensive and more difficult to work with. Softwoods, on the other hand, are typically less durable when untreated but tend to be more versatile and more affordable.

Choose the right protection

No matter the timber you select, you want to make sure it is pre-treated in the right way to ensure it is a long-lasting product. Pressure-treated timber is the most reliable and resilient option when it comes to protecting your fencing from day one. Tanalised timber is wood that has had high vacuum pressure applied to impregnate it with a preservative solution. This use of a high-pressure process assures deep penetration into the wood’s structure. Using pressure-treated wood provides long-lasting protection against fungal decay, rot and insect infestation. Pre-treatment will extend the life above and beyond outer layer protection that is painted on so it is essential if you want your fence to last. 

Installed in the correct way

It’s not all about the product when it comes to how long it will last. You need to make sure a garden fence is properly installed if you want it to last for decades to come. If your garden fence is not securely placed you run a high risk of damage from wind which can weaken the integrity of the structure. If a fence is placed where water pools and drainage isn’t considered than rot will set in, even if tanalised. You want to make certain your fence stays put, the ground it is placed on should be stable and not be susceptible to lots of movement. It’s not just about the material but ensuring it is handled correctly and installed by professionals. You may pay a bit more to guarantee its installation but the fence will be longer-lasting when you speak to the experts.

Maintain your fencing throughout the years

Whilst a pre-treatment prevents rot and decay as fencing panels are exposed to the elements, the colour will often fade. This can be overcome normally by treating the timber with a clear oil, but this is mainly aesthetic. Other treatments can be applied year on year and it’s best to discuss what the maker of your fence would recommend. If you want to extend the life of your fence, then a general cleaning of the panels will help. Nothing drastic needs to be done but a few times a year dusting and wiping down your panels to remove any natural dirt and residue can help prolong the life of your fence. Never use anything abrasive as you risk damaging any paintwork, oil or even the wood. You can use a pressure washer, as this can help on big jobs, but make sure you test the pressure in an inconspicuous area in case of damage. Sometimes damage can occur by accident, so it’s always vital to repair broken parts of your fence immediately. The quicker damage is rectified, the fewer long-term issues you’ll face in maintaining your fencing. 

How long does contemporary garden fencing last?

Our tanalised timber is treated to ISO9001 standards. This gives a 15-year guarantee against rot but with the right care and conditions, our fences can last for much longer. All our staples and metalwork are made from galvanised steel, which in turn prolongs the life of our items. We are always happy to provide advice on how best to maintain your timber products and ensure you get the most out of them for years to come. If you would like to find out more, call us on 0114303052 or email us at You can also visit our FAQ page for further information.