Close board fencing, known for its privacy, durability and versatile design, has become the go-to option for homeowners and property owners in the UK. When constructing a close board fence, an essential consideration is the amount of overlap necessary to ensure stability and visual appeal. This article provides an overview of close board fencing and discusses the ideal overlap, alongside related concepts and practices to follow.

Understanding Close Board Fencing

Close board fencing, also referred to as feather edge fencing, features vertical timber boards overlapping each other and fixed to horizontal arris rails. This design forms a continuous barrier, offering optimum privacy and security. Close board fences are suitable for various applications, including garden boundaries, perimeter fencing around properties, and even sound insulation or wind protection.

Overlap Measurements and Considerations

When determining the overlap for close board fencing, consider the width of your feather-edge boards. Typical board widths are 100mm (4 inches) or 125mm (5 inches), while the common overlap recommendation is approximately 25mm (1 inch). However, the necessary overlap may vary depending on several factors, such as the desired level of privacy, local climate conditions, and aesthetic preferences.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when determining the ideal overlap for your close board fence:

  1. Privacy and Security: A greater overlap offers increased privacy and security. Overlapping the boards by at least 25mm ensures minimal visibility between the boards, even when they shrink due to weather conditions.
  1. Weather and Shrinkage: In areas with frequent rain or high humidity, wooden boards may expand and contract significantly. Adequate overlap helps accommodate this natural movement without compromising the fence's integrity or appearance.
  1. Aesthetics and Design: The overlap of close board fencing affects not only its function, but also its appearance. A consistent overlap ensures a visually appealing and uniform appearance; therefore, carefully measure and plan the overlap of each board during the installation process.

Installation Tips and Best Practices

Proper installation is essential to ensure the effectiveness and longevity of your close board fence. Keep these best practices in mind:

  • Use pressure-treated timber boards and arris rails for increased durability and resistance to decay.
  • Install gravel boards at the base of the fence to prevent direct contact between the boards and the ground, which can lead to rot and decay.
  • Use fence posts that are 600mm (24 inches) longer than the desired fence height to allow for sufficient embedding in the ground.
  • Apply a suitable timber treatment product to prolong the fence's life and maintain its appearance.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain your close board fence to keep it in top condition.


In conclusion, the ideal overlap for close board fencing is approximately 25mm (1 inch). However, local conditions and personal preferences may influence this measurement. Remember to consider privacy, security, weather conditions, and aesthetics when determining the appropriate overlap for your fence. By following best practices for installation and maintenance, you can enjoy the lasting benefits of a close board fence, ensuring privacy and protection for your property.