The cheapest thing in stock is always tempting. The idea you can get a bargain and that most products are essentially the same is alluring. In some cases you are simply paying more for the name and the more expensive brand is even made in the same factory as the cheap garden fencing.

Here we’re going to look at the cheapest fence panels money can buy. In the UK you can sometimes pickup these panels from the largest DIY stores for under £15. They are often called something like “Traditional Lap Fence Panel” or “Overlap Fence Panel”. However, understand that not all lap/overlap panels are equal. If you go into a fencing store and look at different ranges of panels you’ll quickly see the difference in quality.

There are a number of things to look for that can be cause for caution in these grades of panel. Below we will go into a some of the issues to watch for. Obviously if you order over the internet you won’t get a chance to inspect the panels. Hopefully you could visit a store to see the panels in person. If not, then the option to return the order would be something to be clear about. Returning such a large item is a pain but it is your consumer right ( info about right to return ) . And it doesn’t get much larger than a load of panels of cheap garden fencing.

A Few Bullet Points

  • Check over the panel to see where the nails have been put in. On poorly manufactured products you’ll notice nails that cleanly miss their desired targets. This means that pieces of wood that are supposed to be joined simply are not.
  • See if enough nails have actually been used in the panel. You may find that in an effort to use as few nails as possible some of the panels are not sufficiently secure against the battens ( the thick bits of wood running horizontal and vertical ).
  • Test the strength of the boards that make up the face of the fence. On some products calling them “boards” oversells the material used. Cheap panels use boards that are so thin and brittle that it’s easy to see they won’t stand up to intense weather conditions.
  • Check the angle of the boards running horizontally. Some boards may have been attached in such an uncaring fashion that they maybe not be flat; parallel to the ground. The panels will not look good with wonky boards. Also, angled boards may effect the run-off of water leading to pooling and rotten wood.
  • Talking of rotten wood, we’ve heard of panels that have rotten battens on arrival! We can only imagine this is due to poor storage conditions. Examine each batten and test for rotten sections where things don’t look good.
  • Measure at least a few of the panels as a common complaint is that they are few centimetres too long or short. This means when it comes to fitting you’ll have to remove the battens, chop down the boards to size and replace the battens. A long and arduous task made worse if the boards are thin.
Missed Nail
Nail in gap

Be Wary Of Long Guarantees

If they are vouching for several years of quality for these panels be wary. Do you really want to be pulling out old, rotten and broken panels in a years time and lugging them back to the where you bought them?

In conclusion, as with most things there are good and bad versions of the same product. The same is true with cheap garden fencing. Be sure to do your research and try to get hands on with the fence panels before purchasing.

It goes without saying that the EM Fencing lap panels are quality checked and do not suffer from the issues detailed about. In the long run greater initial cost will save money in the future.

If in doubt give us a call for advice or a no hassle quote for the project. Our contact details are here.