Help and Advice
Which fence is mine?
One of the most commonly asked questions in fencing, which fence do I own and thus who is responsible for repairing or replacing a damaged boundary? Well, the common belief that it is the fence to the left of your home, is not always true. The only way to know for certain is to look at the title deeds of the property. Your solicitors should have investigated this for you upon purchasing the property. It may be clearly stated in the deeds or it may be marked as a T on the property line. There is sometimes an H marked on the deeds which indicates that both neighbours are jointly responsible.
Sometimes even the deeds aren’t clear on the matter of which fence is yours. You can sometimes tell which boundary you are responsible for by looking at the rest of the properties on your side of the road. Usually your property should follow the same pattern. If this still doesn’t help, the next step would be to make a boundary agreement with your neighbour. This is a legally binding document and will avoid any disagreements in future. Hopefully you should now be in an informed position but if not, the final step is a first tier tribunal where the tribunal will decide which fence you are responsible for.
It is worth noting that even if you are responsible for the boundary and your neighbour damages it, they are liable to repair the damage they have caused.
Hopefully this article highlights the importance of sharing freshly baked goods with your neighbours!
How to dog proof a garden
Arguably the greatest animal in existence (biased mini-poodle owner here). What do you do when you have one capable of jumping unbelievable heights or tunnelling in an amazingly short space of time?
Six foot garden fences are generally safe for most jumpers but you can go even higher if necessary. We know some dogs are just so amazingly talented even this won’t prevent their high jump training in which case, sign them up for Dog Olympics! Then consider trellis on top and hedging in front of the fencing. If you want to go over 2 meters high (including trellis) you will need to get planning permission. This shouldn’t normally be required for dog-proofing.
Fence panel issues
It’s always best to have flat top fencing as dogs can get their collars caught on picket type fencing or metal rails when trying to jump over. You will also want to check for any rogue nails, screws or wires that could be sticking out and be a potential risk. Close board (feather edge) or traditional panel fencing are a sensible choice.
Feather edge fence panels can look dog proof but you will need to check every board to see if the dog can squeeze out, nailing shut the loose panels or making repairs.
We always advise a solid wooden fence so as to lessen the dog’s vision of the outside world and all the temptations that lie beyond your garden. If they can’t see the neighbour’s cat, they’re less likely to attempt to escape.
Dogs digging under fencing
If you have a digger, check the perimeter and ensure there are no holes already. A temporary fix could be some wire fencing or an extra gravel board at the base of the fence. We have prepared fences for very impressive canine tunnelers where we have dug in a concrete trench along the entire perimeter. We hate to put an end to their fun but this did ensure they safely remained in their garden! It could be an idea to add a special digging play area for your dog. If they can be trained to only dig in this area it will mean they can still get their fill of digging fun without escaping or ruining your flower beds. Sand pits aren’t just for kids it seems!
Dog-proofing garden gates
If you have a bolter or an explorer, make sure that any gates have self-closing hinges or/and locks. Make sure that any locks are out of their reach and complex enough that even the most persistent dog cannot work out how to open it!
Seems obvious, but make sure the garden gate reaches the ground, dogs can squeeze through the smallest gaps in an effort to say hello to the neighbours pup!
Dog-proofing the rest of your garden
Consider the plants you have growing in your garden, some can be toxic to dogs so it may be worth removing them or moving them to an inaccessible part of the garden. If you have particularly thorny plants they may need to removed depending on the interest of your canine. A nasty spike in the eye from an intriguing cactus could result in a sad canine needing a costly trip to the vets.
Make sure your chemicals and garden tools are secured, some chemicals you may use in the garden can be lethal to dogs. Even better, use organic sources in the garden, nature has really provided everything we need so maybe now could be the time to make the switch!
If rubbish bins are stored in the garden, ensure they are not accessible to your new pet as all sorts of nasties could be lurking inside. The remnants at the bottom of the bin can be very harmful to dogs so consider cleaning out your bins but if this is too hideous a task to consider, just keep them out of the dog’s way!
Beware of standing water such as ponds or bird baths which can harbour bacteria or algae than can be dangerous for dogs. Not saying that you shouldn’t include these items in your garden as other animals are important too! But just consider the safety of them and the personality of your pup.
Getting help with your garden fencing to make it dog-proof
Green Leaves can help with all aspects of dog proofing your garden fence and gates, give us a call to discuss your needs.
We can also recommend a dog trainer if you don’t already have one, that can assist with teaching your dog to behave in a safer way in the garden!
We hope you enjoy many a playful and safe day in your garden with your new best friend!
How to paint or stain a garden fence
Hire in the professionals and put your feet up! This is something Green Leaves can help you with and is a good idea to regularly maintain a wooden fence to prevent it drying out and splitting. Also a freshly painted or stained fence can really spruce up a garden. We are really loving black fences at the moment which just seems to make the greenery pop in the garden.
If you would like to undertake this task yourself, you may have some questions which hopefully we’ve anticipated below and you will find useful.
Should I stain or paint my fence?
We would always recommend staining the fence rather than painting as the stain is absorbed into the wood, protecting it. Whereas a paint is just a barrier that sits on top of the wood and is not as long lasting or protective.
How much paint do I need to paint a fence?
Old fences soak up a LOT of paint and a bare fence soaks up even more. Always assume you will require more paint and more coats than you first thought. Its always best to follow the manufacturers instructions but expect to use more if you haven’t previously painted the fence.
How much stain do I need to stain a fence?
As above but stain is probably soaked up even more!
Will fence paint or stain kill plants?
When painting fences, we always cover special plants and items beforehand, however most paints these days are water based and so if some does spill onto your favourite begonia, you should be ok if you hose it off quickly.
Will fence paint or stain kill grass?
As above, grass is also a plant so…!
Will fence paint or stain come off concrete?
Not if you let it dry! Well, not easily. If you do get it on the concrete, then hose down straight away if using water based product. Even better, hose the concrete down before you start to avoid paint or stain sticking.
Will fence paint or stain work on concrete?
No! Fence paint and stain is designed for timber, we advise getting a matching colour in masonry paint. Again the trend for black looks great on concrete posts. Even if you don’t go for a black fence, a more natural wood fence looks lovely with a black concrete post.
Will fence paint or stain come off a car?
Eek! Always remove important items from the area before starting and be so careful when using a paint sprayer!
Will fence paint or stain work on decking?
We would recommend using decking stain as they have added non slip properties and anti-moss to this mixture.
Can vinyl fence be painted?
Yes but you need a specific paint for this not the usual fence paint or stain.
Can I paint or stain my neighbours fence?
We would suggest that you discuss this with your neighbours as certain types of fencing would not lend themselves to this as the paint can drip down the back of the fence onto your neighbours side causing an unsightly effect.
Can my time spent painting a fence be spent better elsewhere?
Erm, we’re here if you need us!