Close board fencing is fencing which is made up of posts and rails, with feather edge boards fixed vertically to the rails. The posts should ideally be 4 x 4 inch treated timber, set into the ground in a hole 2 ft (600mm) deep and concreted with a concrete mix as shown in our concreting fence posts project. The picture above shows both the inside of the fence (left) and the outside (right) to demonstrate how the fence is assembled. It is an accepted rule that the outside (good side) of the fence is shown to neighbours.
First the posts are concreted into the ground, then the gravel boards are fixed to the outside of the posts. Try and get the gravel boards as level as possible and if your garden slopes you may need to "step" the gravel board
Stepping sometimes involves digging out a little to let the board into the ground; another reason why all timber should be treated.
Once the posts are secure, the rails need to be positioned.
The rails can be flush with the front of the posts, which will allow the feather edged timbers to sit on the gravel board and be fixed easily for the length of the fence. Some people like to set the gravel board & rails back so the feather edged timbers sit a little inside the posts. The choice is yours.
The rails can be screwed into the posts through the sides and supporting brackets can be used to give extra strength. 3 inch number 8 screws are usually needed for this.
Again all timber should be treated.
Close board fencing can also be done using proprietary concrete posts. These posts have slots in them in which the rails can be inserted.
The first feather edge board can then be fixed on the outside of your fence. Use a spirit level to make sure this is absolutely upright.
Each subsequent board can then be fixed to the one below it as shown above and to get the spacing right a small block can be used to ensure an even overlap. The overlap should be at least 25mm. Nails should be 50mm lost head nails or 50mm ovals. See also our project on fixing a gate latch.