Feather edge fencing, also known as closeboard or featherboard fencing, is a popular choice among homeowners in the UK for its durability and privacy. Proper installation of these fences is crucial for longevity and requires overlapping the individual feather edge boards accurately for optimal function. In this article, we will provide an overview of feather edge fences, discuss the significance of adequate overlap, and provide clear guidelines to ensure your fence is built for lasting success.

What is a Feather Edge Fence?

Feather edge fencing is made up of vertical boards or pales, which have one side tapered to a thinner edge – hence the term "feather edge". These boards are typically installed on horizontal rails, with supporting posts fixed at regular intervals. This type of fencing provides a sturdy and secure barrier, ensuring privacy and security, making it an ideal choice for gardens and property boundaries.

The Importance of Correct Overlapping

When installing a feather edge fence, it is crucial to overlap the boards at the correct distance apart. Proper overlap serves several purposes, including:

  1. Strength and Stability: Appropriate overlap ensures the stability of the fence by providing structural support. Incorrectly overlapping the boards may result in a weaker fence, susceptible to wind damage or falling apart over time.
  1. Privacy and Security: Correct overlap is essential for providing the necessary privacy and security that homeowners desire. Insufficient overlap may lead to gaps, allowing for visibility or potential entry points for intruders.
  1. Weather Resistance: Overlapping the boards correctly can also protect the fence from harsh weather conditions by creating a barrier against rain, snow, and wind.

How Far Apart to Overlap Feather Edge Boards

As a rule of thumb, the recommended overlap distance when installing feather edge boards is approximately 25mm (1 inch). However, this may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the materials and individual preferences regarding the fence's appearance.

Overlapping the boards by at least 25mm (1 inch) will allow adequate coverage to account for potential shrinkage due to weather conditions. This will also prevent gaps from forming in the fence over time, ensuring privacy and security are maintained.

It is important to note that overlapping the boards too much can lead to a heavier and bulkier fence, which may affect the stability and overall aesthetic. Therefore, it is important to maintain a balance between adequate overlap and the fence's appearance and strength.

Installing Your Feather Edge Fence

When constructing your feather edge fence, start by installing supporting fence posts—bear in mind that these should be spaced approximately 1.83m (6 feet) apart. Next, attach horizontal rails to the posts, with a minimum of three rails for optimal support. Once the framework is in place, begin attaching the feather edge boards vertically, ensuring they are overlapped by the recommended distance.

As you progress through the installation, it is helpful to use a spacer or offcut to maintain a consistent overlap distance between each board. This will create a uniform appearance from one end of the fence to the other.


In summary, to build a durable and effective feather edge fence, it is essential to maintain an appropriate overlap distance of around 25mm (1 inch) between boards. Balancing the overlap distance not only provides stability and privacy but also ensures resistance against adverse weather conditions. With a correctly installed feather edge fence, homeowners can enjoy their gardens with peace of mind and added security for years to come.