Feather edge boards are a popular and traditional option for garden fencing, making them a common choice for homeowners, landscapers, and property developers across the UK. Deciding whether to nail or screw feather edge fencing boards is an important consideration and can ensure the continued durability and stability of the fencing. In this article, we will discuss key factors associated with feather edge boards, such as overlapping, treatment options, and the number of boards per metre. Keep reading to learn all about feather edge fencing and how you can make the best choice for your garden.

What is Feather Edge Fencing?

Feather edge fencing, sometimes referred to as closeboard fencing, consists of vertically overlapping timber boards with a tapered edge. This provides a strong, sturdy, and overlapping structure that offers excellent privacy, protection from harsh weather conditions, and attractive aesthetic appeal. The tapered design ensures that rainwater effectively runs off the boards, helping to prevent water damage and rot.

Nail or Screw?

When constructing feather edge fences, using either nails or screws can be effective in offering stability and sustained durability. However, there are pros and cons associated with each method.


Nailing your feather edge boards is considered more traditional and often offers a neater appearance. When using nails, it's recommended to use galvanised nails, as these resist rust and corrosion. The primary advantage of using nails is their ease of use and quicker installation time. However, their drawback comes in the removal process, which can be challenging if the nails are driven deep into the wood.


Screws, on the other hand, are a more modern approach to fixing feather edge boards. Using screws provides improved heavy-duty holding power, ensuring your fence remains secure. In addition, screws are easier to remove if you need to replace or repair a board, as they can simply be unscrewed. However, the installation time will generally be longer with screws due to the pre-drilling of pilot holes.

Ultimately, the nail or screw choice depends on personal preference and the specific requirements of your fencing project.

Overlapping Feather Edge Boards

To ensure proper coverage and a seamless appearance, feather edge boards should generally overlap by at least 25mm. This overlap provides a complete barrier without large gaps and allows for rainwater to run off easily.

Treatment Options: Dip Treated or Pressure Treated?

Feather edge boards can either be dip treated or pressure treated, influencing the durability and longevity of your fencing.

Dip Treated

Dip treated boards are immersed in a preservative, providing protection against rot, fungal decay, and insect attacks. However, dip-treated boards require frequent maintenance and re-treatment to retain their durability.

Pressure Treated

Pressure treated boards undergo a process in which a preservative is forced deep into the wood under high pressure. This method offers longer-lasting protection against rot, fungal decay, and insect attacks, often with a 15-year guarantee. Although pressure treated boards may be initially more expensive, they can save money in the long term due to their reduced maintenance requirements.

Feather Edge Boards per Metre

The number of feather edge boards required per metre depends on the width of the boards being used. Most commonly, boards measure 125mm in width; you'll need 10 boards per metre or 3 per foot.