A finished panel

I Built A Super Modern Fence – Here’s How

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I wanted to put a new fence on my new allotment plot to separate the front and the back. It’s a very long plot, and I wanted a bit more privacy and a garden feel to the back half of the plot. So I needed a fence, and I decided to go for a modern horizontal slat design—here’s how I built it.

Part 1 – Putting the posts in

The first step to this fence build is getting the posts in. I decided to use postcrete instead of concrete for this. The reasons are pretty simple: I wasn’t putting many in, so the cost difference wasn’t too much, and I love how quick postcrete sets, meaning I can do everything in a day.

So, to begin, I decided on the position of my first post and dug a big hole. I used 8ft posts, so I tried to dig roughly 2ft deep so I would have a final height of 6ft. The actual fence height will be shorter than this but i plan on sawing the posts down a little once everything is completed.

Dig a large hole
Dig a large hole
Place large stone in the bottom
Place large stone in the bottom

I placed some large stones around the base of the post to help wedge it in place and hold the post in place a bit while it sets. Then you want to add some water to the hole, I made it a quarter full although half full is what it will usually say on the bag, and then throw your back of postmix in there. (get your spirit levels to hand before adding the postmix, as you won’t have long to adjust the position of the post before it sets!)

I added less water to the hole as the ground is soaked at the moment and we had intermittent showers as we were building.

Fill the bottom of the hole with water, then add post mix
Fill the bottom of the hole with water, then add post mix

I used a metal rod to help aerate the mix and ensure the water was getting everywhere. (I also used 2 bags of postcrete per hole) Then, add more water to the top of the hole. You then have roughly 5-10 minutes until the postmix sets.

Using two spirit levels to check post is straight
Using two spirit levels to check post is straight

Two spirit levels clamped to both sides of the post help you quickly see whether your post is straight in both directions.

Hold in place for 5 minutes
Hold in place for 5-10 minutes

Then hold the post in place for roughly 5-10 minutes while ensuring it is straight. After that it will have set enough to be left alone. I don’t recommend doing any work on the post, such as screwing into it for a few hours as the postcrete will still be properly setting and hardening.

Using a string line to align the posts

After that, we ran a string line from the first post to determine the position of the last post. Nothing is straight on this allotment, so there wasn’t anything to reference, so we just went with whatever looked best to the eye.

Using a stringline to position post 2
Using a string line to position post 2

Once we were happy with the position of the opposite end post we dug a whole and set it in the exact same ways as the first post. Once we had each end up we could run a string line between the two and use this to line up all the other posts.

Running a string line between the two end posts
Running a string line between the two end posts

After a lot of repetitive work all of the posts were in.

We used batons as we were going along to support all the posts
We used batons as we were going along to support all the posts

We also fixed some batons between the posts as we were working to support them and ensure everything was straight and properly aligned.

Once all the posts were set I went round and painted them all black. Its a lot easier to do this now rather than after the horizontal batons have been attached!

Part 2 – Attaching the horizontal batons

The striking look of this fence is used by attaching a load of horizontal batons all spaced evenly apart. This is actually a very simple job, but one that just takes a while.

We decided to start at the bottom and attach the batons as low as we could and then work our way up. As you can see in the photos we are on a bit of a slope so had to stagger the fence a little.

Use a spirit level to ensure your first baton is level. After this all you need is a spacer, we used an offcut from the batons but turned on its side. This meant our gap would be smaller than the baton.

Adding the horizontal slats
Adding the horizontal slats

You then just need to keep going like this using your spacer until the fence is to the height you want.

Keep adding them
Keep adding them
This fence also looks great from the back
This fence also looks great from the back

One thing I really like about this design is that, unlike a lot of fences, it looks just as nice from the back as it does from the front!

My design has a gap in the middle in which i will be building a pergola walkway to act as an entrance and also somewhere to grow vining crops over.

To line up the batons so that they all run in a horizontal line we used a large spirit level to bridge the gap.

Leaving a gap for our pergola entrance
Leaving a gap for our pergola entrance
Carrying on at the other side
Carrying on at the other side

Step 3 – Staining the fence

After the battens were attached i went and stained them all with a Ronseal natural oak stain. This was to give them a cedar look and also add some protection to the battens – although they are treated already.

Staining the wood
Staining the wood
A finished panel
A finished panel

Materials Used

  • 25mm x 50mm (1″ x 2″) treated roofing battens – for the slats (4.6m long)
  • 75mm x 75mm (3″) treated posts 2.4m (8ft) tall
  • Postcrete
  • Ducksback black fence paint
  • Ronseal natural oak wood stain

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4 Comments

  1. This looks like even I could do it! What a great idea- I’m bookmarking this to reference when I’m ready to put up a fence.

  2. Whats the total cost £500 plus not a cheap fence price of wood has gone through the roof..

    1. Posts were £5 each, Postcrete £3.60 a bag, roofing battens were around £4 a 4.8m length. So for that finished panel which is 4.8m wide it cost around £120

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