Mike Housley, Author at Challenge Fencing Blog

5 Project Planning Tips

5 Project Planning Tips


Project planning can sometimes feel difficult and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 planning tips to design and create a fantastic garden for you to enjoy!

Project Planning Tips To Help You Along The Way…

  1. Make Sure You Have All Relevant Planning Permission!
    First things first, you need to make sure that you have all of the relevant planning permission. If you’re upgrading your garden fencing, your might need to apply for planning permission depending on how high the fence is. If a fence is over 1m high and is next to a highway used by vehicles or a footpath of a highway, you need planning permission.
    If you’re unsure if you need planning permission for any works you are considering, visit your local council’s website for more information.
  2. Decide What Type Of Fence You Want!
    After checking and getting any permission needed (if needed) you should decide on what type of fence you want.
    Project planning is all about gathering information. So, when deciding what type of fence you want; make sure you get all the information you can. There are many different types of fence to choose from; do you want eco-fencing, featheredge fencing or some of the numerous fence panels available on our website?
    After deciding what type of fencing you want, you’ll have to decide what type of fence posts you want. Do you want to use concrete posts or wooden posts? Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, if you’re interested in reading more about the advantages of using concrete posts you can read our blog about using concrete posts.
  3. Choose Quality Materials!
    After deciding what type of fence you want, another key component of project planning is making sure that you choose quality materials.
    If you want to create a high quality end product, you need to use quality materials! You can find a wide selection of quality materials at your local Challenge Fencing branch.
  4. Choose A Trustworthy Installation Team!
    On our website we have a great list of recommended installation teams.
    We only refer contractors who are known by us for three years or more, have a good record of reliability and work in a professional and honest manner. For example, if you live in the Cobham area, we recommend Stennett Landscapes.
  5. Consider Local British Wildlife!
    When planning your garden, don’t forget about the local wildlife. By choosing different plants and by leaving a gap at the bottom of your fence panels for hedgehogs, you can create a wildlife friendly garden; this way both you and the local British wildlife can enjoy your beautiful garden!

Planning Some Garden Work? Visit Challenge Fencing!

If you want to make some improvements to your garden, visit your local Challenge Fencing branch. Quality materials are an important part of project planning and we have a fantastic selection of high quality materials to choose from. If you would like more information, please contact our friendly team.

If you would like to contact our team by telephone, please call your local branch.

If you would like to contact our team online, you can do so by filling in our contact form.
You can also find us on social media!



How Can You Make Your Garden Wildlife Friendly?

Hedgehog and Snail in a Garden

HedgeHog and Snail – Local british wildlife Image

There are numerous ways you can make changes to garden and fence panels to attract local British wildlife. If you want to attract local wildlife, here are 4 tips to give you a helping hand.

Attracting Local Wildlife Into Your Garden

  1. Don’t Throw Out Bread
    Some people throw out bread for the local British wildlife, but sometimes this can do more harm than good. If you want to provide food for local wildlife, make sure that you choose food that is suitable for the animals that you would like to attract.
  2. Create A Hedgehog Friendly Garden
    You can create a hedgehog friendly garden by making sure that your fence panels have a 5 inch x 5 inch (13cm x 13cm) gap at the bottom of your fence.
    You can also make your garden more hedgehog friendly by creating a tepee-shaped pile of logs to attract local hedgehogs. Additionally, if you are planning a bonfire, make sure you check for hedgehogs before your light the fire.
    Also, when choosing food to place outside for hedgehogs, remember that they are lactose intolerant!
  3. Attract Bees To Your Garden!
    There are various different types of bees in the United Kingdom. According to org here are around 150 species of bees in the UK, 24 of which are bumblebees, 225 are solitary bees and just a single species is a honeybee.What’s The Difference Between A Bumblebee And A Honeybee?
    Bumblebees look very different to honeybees. Bumblebees are usually larger and covered with hair making them look fat and furry, whereas honeybees look similar to a wasp. Additionally honeybee queens can live for three to four years; whereas bumblebee queens only live for a single year (the other bumblebees live for just a few months).
    Another key difference is that most honeybees are looked after by beekeepers, whereas bumblebees live in the wild; in gardens and in the countryside.
    If you want to attract bumblebees to your garden, here is a tip that you may not have thought about.
    Bees need to drink and collect water. Leaving out water can be a great way to help out your local bees, but don’t leave out a big bowl of water; the bees could drown! Instead the Telegraph suggests that you fill a bowl with pebbles and water, providing the bees with a surface to drink from.
  4. What About Local Birds?
    There are some simple garden improvements that can do to make your garden friendlier to birds. Firstly you can put up nesting boxes, but you can also use bird tables, bird baths and bird feeders.
    You could also use plants to attract local birds; for example, growing hedges or planting trees.

Create A Wonderful Garden For Local British Wildlife With Fantastic Products From Challenge Fencing

If you want to make your garden friendlier to local British wildlife, consider making some garden improvements. We have a wide range of products available on our online store. You can choose from a wide variety of products such as fence panels, arches, trellis panels and garden furniture so you can relax and enjoy the spring weather and the local British wildlife.

If you would like more information regarding the fantastic products available on our online store, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and dedicated team.

If you would like to contact our team by telephone, please call your local branch.

If you would like to contact our team online, you can do so by filling in our contact form.
You can also find us on social media!

Yellow Flowers in a field with wasp local british wildlife


Planning On Doing Some Bank Holiday Gardening?

enjoying bank holiday gardening with Pergola with Trellis Panels

Many people choose to work on their gardens and their fence panels during Bank Holiday Gardening weekends. If you’re planning a gathering for family and/or friends this Spring; this Easter bank holiday is a fantastic time to get your garden ready.

Getting Your Garden Ready For Bank Holiday Gardening Gathering

What do you need to do to get your garden ready?
First things first you need to have a good look at your garden and decide what needs replacing, what needs repairing, what new things you need to buy and what just needs a good clean.

Your Fence Panels

Perhaps one of your fence panels is damaged and needs replacing, or perhaps they just need a fresh coat of paint.

If you need to replace one of your fence panels, we have a wide selection of fencing items to choose from and if you are just going to repaint your fence, don’t forget to treat it with professional wood care products!

Garden Furniture

If your garden furniture needs replacing or if you need additional furniture for your gathering of family and friends, we have a great selection of furniture to choose from. Firstly you should consider how many guests you are likely to have; not just for this occasion but you should also consider any possible future gatherings. You want to make sure that everyone has enough room to comfortably enjoy themselves.

We have picnic tables, benches, chairs and dining sets to choose from. So, if you’re replacing your garden furniture or adding to your set of garden furniture, visit your local challenge fencing branch and browse our fantastic range!

Consider Adding Some Decorative Elements To Your Garden

If your garden needs a little bit of extra style before you invite family and friends over for a gathering, consider adding some additional decorative elements to your garden. Perhaps you could place a beautiful pressure treated log roll around your flower beds?

With a few decorative elements, your garden can be transformed into a work of art that your family and/or friends can enjoy on a nice spring evening.

Add A Touch Of Colour

Create a colour scheme for your garden and bring some new life into it by adding some new plants.

If you’re struggling for space for plants in your garden you can visit out landscaping section and browse through our range of fantastic planters and raised bed kits where you bring some beautiful colours into your garden. This could also be a fantastic way to attract butterflies into your garden by choosing plants that attract them!

Quality Fencing And Landscaping Products From Challenge Fencing. Ideal For Bank Holiday Weekend Projects

If you’re planning a garden project this Easter bank holiday weekend, visit your local Challenge Fencing branch.

If you would like any additional information regarding our numerous fencing or landscaping supplies please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and dedicated team. Our team will be able to assist you by answering any questions you might have regarding the products available on our online store.

If you would like to contact our team by telephone, please call your local branch.

If you would like to contact our team online, you can do so by filling in our contact form.
You can also find us on social media!

  • Visit our Facebook Page @ChallengeFencingLtd
  • Follow us on Twitter @Chall_Fencing

Railways Sleepers Steps

Basket of Plants

Bank Holiday Gardening with a nice Decking


6 Benefits Of Wooden Gates

Gates and Trellis

Many people think that wood is a weak material, and whilst it is softer than steel, it is far from weak. Here are six benefits of using wooden gates.

Beautiful Wooden Gates From Challenge Fencing

A gate is a very important feature in your property. If you would like more information about wooden gates or any of the products we offer, please contact your local Challenge Fencing branch or tweet @Chall_Fencing and we will be happy to help.

  1. Cheaper Than Other Options
    Wood is relatively inexpensive when compared to gates made from steel or plastic. There is a cost attached to the maintenance of a wooden gate, however with such a low entry price; wooden gates remain an attractive option for many looking to purchase a gate for their property.As wood is a cheaper option, it is far less expensive to have a fully enclosed gate. Many forms of metal gates are made out of bars; this could allow passersby and potential intruders to look inside your garden. Protect your privacy and save money with a fully enclosed wooden gate.
  2. Strong And Resistant To Damage
    Many people think that wood is a weak material. However, many shields during the Middle Ages were made from wood and they had to protect people against weapons made from iron and steel. Why would they choose to build a shield out of a ‘weak material’?The truth is that wood is not weak. Wood is a very durable material and your gate will stand strong against the force of the elements. As long as you make sure that you give it the correct protective treatment.
  3. It Grows More Beautiful With Age
    Unlike metal or plastic counterparts; wood has a unique ageing process that many find very aesthetically pleasing. With the proper protective treatment your wooden gate will last for many years and show off its age beautifully.
  4. Environmentally Friendly
    Compared to metal and plastic, wood is a much better option for the environment. With the current concerns regarding climate change, it’s important that we all do our bit to make the world as renewable as possible.
  5. Easy To Repair
    Compared to metal or plastic, wooden gates are easy to repair. Should your gate be damaged the timber needed to repair your gate is much cheaper than the materials and expertise needed to repair a metal or plastic gate.
  6. Highly Versatile
    Wooden gates can be used in a variety of different applications. You can use them as a side gate, allowing for convenient entrance to the rear of your property. However, make sure you invest in some quality ironmongery in order to prevent intruders gaining unwanted access to your property. Wooden gates can also be used in various other applications such as field gatesor internally within your garden to divide individual sections.

Buy Pre-Built Or Build Your Own

For those looking for the simple option, we supply pre-built gates. All you have to do is install them. However, for those looking to craft a unique gate for their property, we supply frames, timber, aggregates and any tools you might need in order to craft your perfect gate.

Garden Gates - Elite Round Top Picket and Gate

Field Gate Hinge

Puplic Gates


Concrete Fence Posts

Concrete fence posts & gravel boards

If you’re renovating your garden fence, have you considered concrete fence posts? Unlike their wooden alternatives, concrete fence posts do not rot, so if well looked after, they can last for many years.

If you would like more information regarding the fantastic concrete posts available on our online store, please contact your local challenge fencing branch.

Concrete Fence Post Q&A

  • What Is The Difference Between A Dry Cast Post And A Wet Cast Post?
    Dry cast posts are manufactured using a semi-dry concrete mix which is compacted to give it strength. Dry posts are approximately 15-20% stronger and less brittle than wet cast posts. As such, you should always look for dry cast concrete posts!
  • How Long Does It Take for Concrete Posts To Cure?
    Posts are at approximately 80% of their full strength when they leave the factory. It takes another 10 years or so for the post to reach its maximum strength. This is the opposite of wooden posts which get weaker with age.
  • What Actually Goes Into Making A Concrete Post?
    A concrete posts is made with a 5 to 1 mix and has metal bars in the semi-dry mix for strength. This is then compacted in the mould to give it the strength it needs.

The Benefits Of Concrete Posts

  • Great Value For Money
    Concrete fence posts are fantastic value for money because of their hardwearing nature. Whilst concrete posts can cost more than their wooden alternatives, they often last longer and as such, offer better value for money in the long run
  • Easy To Look After
    Concrete posts are easy to look after. If you choose to install wooden fence posts, you might find that they are time consuming to look after and maintain. You have to treat wooden fence posts in order to protect them from the elements. However, concrete is very easy to maintain, so you can spend more time enjoying your garden and less time worrying about garden fence maintenance.

High Quality Concrete Posts, Trust Challenge Fencing

We are a highly motivated and very passionate company that has been under the same ownership since 1987. Our skilled members of staff are here to offer help and assistance with your fencing needs. If you need fencing supplies in a hurry, our speedy transport fleet will deliver your items within 24 hours where possible!

Numerous customers have written comments about their experiences with Challenge Fencing on Trustpilot & rated us as Excellent;

  • “A professional, friendly & knowledgeable service”, Jim.
  • “Very helpful & very knowledgeable”, Jeff.
  • “Staff always extremely helpful”, Kieran.

If you would like any additional information regarding concrete fence posts or any of our numerous fencing or landscaping supplies, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and dedicated team. Our team will be able to provide you with assistance, answering any questions or concerns that you may have about the many fantastic products available on our online store.

If you would like to contact our team by telephone, please call your local Challenge Fencing branch.

If you would like to contact our team online, you can do so by filling in our contact form.
You can also find us on social media!

Chainlink fencing with concrete posts

Concrete Repair Spur for garden fence

Concrete fence post for garden fencing


Creating Garden Privacy With Trellis Panels

Diamond Lattice Header

One of the most important aspects of the modern garden is the amount of garden privacy it allows us. Even the most stunning and relaxing garden design can be an unpleasant space if your neighbours are free to stick their heads over the fence to see what you are doing. Similarly, if you don’t create a sense of garden privacy with your garden design, it may be all too easy to see and hear what your neighbours are doing.

Today, rubbing elbows with your neighbours is an inevitable part of life, especially if you spend a lot of time in your garden. Building any kind of private outdoor space is extremely important and it is becoming more and more luxurious all the time. Although they might not be ideal when it comes to your main exterior fence, trellis panels are starting to play an active role in creating private spaces in your garden.

How Can Outdoor Walls Protect Your Privacy In The Garden?

Outdoor walls are always a great way to create private areas in your garden. However, using full fence panels can take away much of the joy as you block the breeze, the sun and the view from sight. That is just one of the places where trellis panels become essential. Thanks to the spaces in their design, they allow the sunlight and the breeze to easily pass through.

However, they can be a great option when it comes to obscuring you from nosy neighbours and can even be useful at preventing their sound from irritating you too much. Trellis panels can be particularly effective when placed on any patio, balcony or walkways that you have, as they can provide a comfortable and private area to relax without spoiling the great benefits you’ve come to enjoy.

What Other Options Are Available For Creating Garden Privacy?

One of the most popular options in garden design today is the use of living walls to protect your privacy. These living plant walls are essentially trellis panels which are covered in living flowers and climbing plants to create a stunning and natural aesthetic. These can provide high levels of privacy as well as being stunning to look at. In most circumstances, you won’t even care that living walls have a tendency to block the breeze and sunlight from your area. For the best results, it might be worth including a living wall in your trellis panel area as a feature piece, but not as the main wall.

Aside from living walls, a popular choice continues to be simple screens. These wooden frames will have a material stretched across them to allow sunlight to pass through, but are at risk of becoming damaged by adverse weather conditions.

Get In Touch With Challenge Fencing Today, For High-Quality Trellis Panels

Here at Challenge Fencing, we are able to provide a full range of trellis panels to ensure that you can create the private outdoor space of your dreams. Along with these panels, we can also provide full fencing solutions, landscaping features and much more. For more information or advice on creating your own perfect garden design, get in touch with our professional team today at your local Challenge Fencing branch.

Omega Lattice Panel

Heavy Diamond Lattice

Privacy Lattice Panel Square Header


How To Lay Garden Sleepers For A Planter

Sleeper Beds

Based on the great feature that they can provide to any garden, you’d be forgiven for thinking that creating a truly stunning raised flowerbed using garden sleepers was extremely difficult. However, it is actually extremely easy. The simplicity of the project is down to the robust and reliable nature of railway sleepers, whether they’re brand new or reclaimed versions.

There is a difference, however, between building a completely practical raised flowerbed, and one that combines usability with a truly stunning design. Building a simple raised flowerbed is a straightforward process, and much of the truly unique work comes in later, once the base has been built.

How To Build A Raised Flowerbed With Railway Garden Sleepers

By following these simple steps, you can build a great raised flowerbed to truly make your garden a stunning environment. A raised area can really add a sense of depth to your garden space, and turn even the most limited and boring space into an exciting one that you’re really love to spend time in.

  1. Find The Perfect Position – First of all, you’re going to want to try and find out where the best position is for your flowerbed. As it is going to be raised, you are a lot freer to take advantage of central points within your garden. Level flowerbeds need to be positioned against the edges of the garden space to protect them and enable easy movement. With a raised alternative, you can create a true focal point in the centre of your garden, complement a seating area or position the bed against a wall or corner. The options really are limitless when it comes to garden sleepers.
  2. Lay The Garden Sleepers – Place the sleepers in the position that you have chosen, and make sure that they are connected at 90O This means that you are likely to end up with a square or rectangular shape, and the simple ‘blockiness’ of these great materials is one of the biggest advantages. They can be simple lain down on grass, earth, concrete or a sealed deck. Industry specialists often choose to lay a foundation of concrete or hardcore on whatever surface they’ve chosen, but there isn’t really any need. In fact, there are advantages to choosing a simpler base which will allow drainage – otherwise, when it rains, you might be more likely to create a raised pond rather than a flowerbed.
  3. Fasten The Sleepers Together – Using sleeper screws (or simply robust, long screws) you can fasten the corners together to create a solid, unbreakable shape. It is a good idea to use two screws per corner, based on the height and width of the wood. Whether you use the narrow or wide edge, the process is exactly the same, but you need to ensure that your screws are long enough to dig through the entire sleeper’s width/height. If you are using multiple layers on your flowerbed, then you need to make sure that your sleepers are attached to the layer below. As well as connecting these sleepers to their adjacent partners, you also need to drill down into the layer below with two more screws per corner. Repeat for a third layer, fourth layer or as high as you’d like.
  4. Attach A Plastic Membrane – Your garden sleepers are going to be extremely resilient to the effects of the weather. However, it is always a good idea to improve the strength and reliability of such an important garden feature. Many gardeners choose to fix plastic sheeting within the inside of their flowerbed, which can be extremely effective at providing even more protection against rot from the damp soil. You can get your hands on a builder’s damp proof membrane at any good DIY store, and they aren’t too expensive either!
  5. Fill The Sleepers With Soil – Depending on the surface of your flowerbed, it might be worth placing loose bricks, stones or hardcore at the bottom of your sleepers to encourage drainage. This can really help to improve the reliability of your flowerbed in the long term. You can easily fill your bed with any kind of soil, which means you can grow practically any type of plant within the bed that you like. Acidic and alkaline soils, as well as more neutral alternatives, are all great choices for these flowerbeds.

Choose Challenge Fencing For Reliable  Garden Sleepers To Build A Raised Flowerbed

Here at Challenge Fencing, we can provide a range of railway and garden sleepers to make a real difference to your garden’s landscape. A raised flowerbed could be the perfect solution to breathing new life into your garden, and turning even the dullest of outdoor spaces into a truly exciting and beautiful atmosphere.

For more information on any of our new or reclaimed garden sleepers, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local branch of Challenge Fencing today!

Sleeper Beds

Sleepers are Versatile

Sleeper Beds 2


Top Tips For Small Garden Fencing

Sleepers Decking and Fencing

Adding fencing to your garden can make a huge difference to how it looks and behaves, especially if you opt for decorative fence panels that will add colour and style to any outdoor space! Whether you’re planning to update your small front garden so that it can be admired by passersby, or you’re looking for ways to enhance your small back yard, have a read of these fencing tips for small gardens!

How To Use Fence Panels In Your Small Garden

Coming up with ideas to make your garden that little bit more perfect isn’t always that easy, and in fact, small gardens are often more complex to design as you really have to think about every inch of space available; make a mistake and you could limit what space you have even further!  Good garden design makes a garden pretty, but phenomenal garden design not only adds beauty, but also increases usability!

  1. Make a plan – As with any garden (no matter its size), it’s important you plan where you’re going to put your fence before you install it. Try to visualise where you’ll walk, or where you’d like to put a feature; that way, you’re less likely to end up with a wrongly positioned fence! Use measuring tape and chalk to be more precise.
  1. Choosing the right fencing – Unsure what design will best compliment your small garden? Depending on what look you’re trying to achieve, there are different designs of fence to help you to achieve it. While traditional palisade fences are great for letting in the most sunlight and giving the impression of a greater garden by not shutting off the outside world completely, full fence panels with a decorative design can also enhance a small garden.

Vertical Gardening: Small Garden Fencing Ideas

There’s a great community of small garden owners who are determined to prove that their small gardens won’t stop them from creating an idyllic plot of land! Vertical gardening is a craze that has got people around the world using their decorative fence panels as backdrops for vertical vegetable patches, herb growing and more. This is a brilliant way to add charm to your tiny garden and still have room for a garden chair to relax!

Top tip: Why not use wall trellis panels to not only extend the height of your garden, but also encourage and support plant growth?

Choose a variety of complimenting plants and flowers to trick the eye into thinking your garden is larger than it actually is; light and bright colours are best for this, but don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit too. A range of colours will make the whole space feel a lot more positive and welcoming!

Shop Decorative Fence Panels Today!

We have a fantastic range of decorative fence panels here at Challenge Fencing, from gorgeous palisade styles to continental styles and more! Why not take a look at our huge selection and transform your small garden into a beautiful sanctuary where you can unwind. If you would like further information about our products please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and expert team. Call your local branch or why not pop in to speak with one of our customer advisors?

Elite Cross Top Fence Panel

Omega Lattice Top Fence Panel

Dont Forget The Fence Panels


Improve The Ambiance Of Your Spring Garden

Spring Fencing

It might feel like winter outside, but spring is just around the corner. The cold weather might delay all those spring gardening plans you had, but it really shouldn’t stop you from designing the perfect garden layout. The right fencing panels can make a huge improvement to your garden and boost its aesthetical appeal, and when the lovely spring weather finally does come around, you’ll have a gorgeous setting in which your flowers can bloom. Here’s how you can enhance the ambiance of your garden in a few straightforward steps!

Improve The Ambiance Of Your Spring Garden With Wooden Fencing

Snow up and down the country might be causing several delays at the moment, but we’re confident it’ll warm up soon! Whether you’re installing a new fence because your old one hasn’t been changed since the turn of the century, or you’re considering fitting additional fencing to extend your property’s borders, beautiful wooden fences can add a warm ambience to your garden without the seemingly necessary sunshine.

Creating a truly private exterior space where you and your other half, children and other loved ones are able to unwind and really enjoy time spent together is fundamental to a successful garden. If it’s too exposed to noisy traffic or neighbours who love to snoop, you’re less likely to use it as the communal space it should be. While installing the right fence panels can make your garden feel much more homely, there are other things you can do to create the perfect back yard this season!

  • Add outdoor lighting – The addition of a few garden post lights or exterior wall lights can really make your garden feel magical when the sun goes down, and they’re great throughout the year too. Whether you’re celebrating good news with a barbeque or are simply having a few drinks on the patio with friends, pretty lighting that will enable you to keep chatting long into the night is sure to be a hit with guests! They’ll also ensure that you don’t trip over the cat or walk into a wall in the dark too, increasing safety and deterring thieves who go about their business at night to avoid being seen.
  • Attach fence and wall trellis’ – While trellis panels come in an array of attractive designs, they’re fantastic for supporting beautiful climbing plants and enhancing the atmosphere of your little (or large) plot of land at the front or back of your home. Climbing plants aren’t just gorgeous to look at, but can add height to your fence and brighten up your garden as well. They’re ideally planted at spring or autumn time, so now’s the time to invest! Opt for wisteria, roses, honeysuckle or clematis and you’re sure to have a gorgeous display soon enough.

Order Your Wooden Fencing Panels

We have a brilliant range of wooden fencing panels to suit your budget here at Challenge Fencing. Whether you’re interested in our great value and practical overlap fence panels, or are looking for something a little more decorative, why not ask us for a quote today and transform your garden? Visit one of our branches to talk with an advisor, or simply give us a call! You can find all of our contact information here. Happy fencing!

Garden Fences Tongue and Groove Lattice Top Panel

Overlap Fence Panels with Gravel Boards

Featheredge Fencing With Top Rail


Next Page »

Sign up for our Newsletter