When it comes to boosting the exterior appearance of your home, one of the first things you might think about is installing a fence. But not only will this make your property look better, it’ll also give you much greater privacy.
What’s important, however, is that you recognise that there are laws in the UK that limit how high your fence can be.
The maximum legal height for a garden fence in the UK is two metres. Although, people don’t usually install fences that are this high. Instead, you will find that the average height for a fence is between four and six feet, which is roughly about 1.82 metres.
If you’re thinking of installing new fences around your property, it is a good idea to mull over your options and ensure you choose the right height for your needs. In this guide to fence height, we will be detailing everything you need to know.
Types Of Fence And Their Average Heights
Your choices when it comes to fences are pretty varied and this is great but different types of fences may be suitable for different parts of your property. Not to mention that with vastly different appearances, you have the scope to create a variety of aesthetics.
Chain link fences are usually around 3 feet in height. These are more common at the front of a property and while they offer relatively good durability, they don’t have the greatest visual appeal.
Vinyl fences will typically come in around the 6 foot mark although there are smaller ones that are around 4 foot. The larger ones are suitable for partitioning between yours and your neighbour’s gardens at the rear. The smaller vinyl fences will do the same job but it is important to remember that if there are any decorative features on the top, this will increase the height.
Wooden fences are probably the most common type and are great at both the front and rear of the property. They come in a range of sizes but a 6 foot panel fence is one of the most popular choices. Again, there are fences that have decorative aspects and this may affect the height which would mean you will then need to apply for planning permission.
Fences for the front garden are usually around 3 feet and can be made from a variety of materials. These are generally places around the anterior border of your property and give a clear boundary between it and your neighbours or the public highway.
What Type Of Fence Should I Choose?
Installing a fence takes a lot of careful consideration and planning, while the legal limit for a fence in the UK is 6 feet, this doesn’t mean that you should automatically go for this height. We will look at the laws and restrictions surrounding this a little later in this guide, but first, let’s take a look at how best to decide on fence height.
Do You Have Pets?
One of the most important things to consider when choosing fence height is whether or not you have pets that may be able to jump a shorter fence. While it may surprise you, a four foot fence might not be much of an obstacle for a larger dog. In this case, a 6 foot fence would be the safest option.
The last thing that anyone wants is for their property to look out of place or messy. If your neighbours on both sides have similar fence heights, then it may be a good idea to stick with the theme and choose the same size. Not doing this could result in an uneven aesthetic that could end up devaluing your home.
Fences are not the cheapest outdoor installation and while you should make sure that you are willing to pay for good quality fences that will stand the test of time, you don’t want to pay over the odds.
It will come as no surprise that the larger a fence is, the more expensive it is going to be since more materials are needed to make it. If you are working to a tight budget, it may be worth comparing the price of different size fences and going with the shortest possible to reduce the cost.
Taking In The View
For many people, a fence serves as a way of giving some privacy to the property. However, if your home backs onto rolling fields, lush woodland or any other stunning backdrop, it is likely that you are going to want to make the most of the view. In this case, installing a shorter fence is likely going to be the best option and will give you the opportunity to enjoy the view.
It is easy to get carried away with choosing the fence panels when you must also consider the fence posts. In harsh conditions such as heavy winds, it is not uncommon for a fence to fall down or become damaged. For this reason, you should always ensure that your fence posts are installed at least two feet into the ground. This is especially important when installing a higher fence as these will be more susceptible to wind damage.
As we have mentioned, installing a fence is largely about giving yourself privacy from the rest of the world. However, as with the view from your property, you should think about just how much privacy you need. If you are installing fences in the back garden, you may wish to go for a 6 foot panel to maximise your privacy. Even if you get along with your neighbours, you aren’t always going to want to make small talk when you are enjoying your outdoor space.
Your fence serves an important practical function but it has to look good too. The last thing that any homeowner wants is to look outside and see an unattractive fence that is nothing more than a glorified eyesore.
For this reason, we would always suggest spending some time looking at the aesthetic options. The great thing is that the world is pretty much your oyster and you’ll have a lot to choose from.
Am I Restricted In Any Way?
While we aim to bring you an easy to understand guide on the laws surrounding fence height in the UK, there may be local restrictions that affect what you can and can’t do. Therefore, we would always recommend contacting your local council to fully understand fence height regulations in your area.
However, in the main, you would be expected to keep your back garden fences to a height that does not exceed two metres. This is around six and a half feet. At the front of the property, your fences should not be any higher than a metre, which works out to be around 3.2 feet.
In the case that your fence will be higher than this, you will have to acquire planning permission, which you can apply for with your local council.
But while you may adhere to all the right planning rules, there is a moral side to consider as well…
We have discussed how fence issues can affect your neighbours in the past and this is something that is well worth keeping in mind. While you are within your rights, as a property owner, to erect fences within your boundary and on the boundary of the side you are responsible for, this doesn’t mean that you should always take it to the extreme.
Falling out with the people next door is a headache that most of us could do without; unless you’ve got a penchant for neighbourhood drama, which we doubt. But by not considering how your fence installation will affect them, you run the risk of this happening.
The height of your fence may have an impact on your neighbours garden so we would always suggest talking to them so that you can agree on the best type and height of fence.
In the UK, it is not usual for a fence to exceed two metres in height. In fact, if you wish to install a fence any bigger than this, you will need to apply for planning permission. Moreover, it is good practice to consider your neighbours and come to an agreement with them regarding the height of the new fence.