Waney lap fence panels, also known as overlap or larch lap fence panels, have been a popular choice for creating boundaries around gardens and properties for many years in the UK. However, recent trends have shown a decline in their popularity due to the emergence of alternative fencing options. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the fall of waney lap fence panels and discuss the impact these changes have had on the fencing market.

What Are Waney Lap Fence Panels?

Waney lap fence panels are made of horizontal overlapping waney edge slats. These slats are cut from the outer edge of the log, which is the area with the most natural curvature. Waney lap fence panels are generally inexpensive and easy to install, making them a go-to choice for many homeowners. However, they are not without their drawbacks.

The Downfall of Waney Lap Fence Panels

There are several reasons behind the decline in popularity of waney lap fence panels. These include:

  1. Durability: Waney lap fence panels are often cheaper and lower in quality compared to other fencing alternatives. They tend to be less sturdy and are prone to rot and warping due to their construction from softer timber. This can result in shorter lifespans and more frequent replacements, which can become costly in the long run.
  1. Maintenance: Due to their susceptibility to rot and splitting, waney lap fence panels require more maintenance than other fencing options. Frequent treatments with wood preservatives must be applied to maintain their condition and prevent further damage, adding time and cost to their upkeep.
  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Whilst waney lap fence panels offer a natural and rustic look, they lack the refined appearance of alternative fencing options like closeboard or slatted panels, which are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners looking for a more contemporary style.
  1. Environmental Concerns: The timber used for waney lap fence panels often comes from non-sustainably managed forests, raising concerns about deforestation and negative environmental impacts. As a result, many homeowners are switching to more eco-friendly fencing options that utilise sustainably sourced materials.

Alternative Fencing Options

As the popularity of waney lap fence panels declines, other fencing options have risen to prominence, offering advantages such as improved durability, lower maintenance requirements, and better aesthetics. These include:

  1. Closeboard Fencing: Featuring vertical feather edge boards that are far more robust than waney lap panels, closeboard fencing offers excellent durability and a more sophisticated appearance. Closeboard fencing is also easier to maintain and can be built to custom heights and styles.
  1. Slatted Panels: Slatted panels consist of horizontal timber slats that provide a contemporary look and can offer more privacy than other fencing options. Slatted panels are also low-maintenance and can be made from sustainably sourced materials.
  1. Composite Fencing: Made from a combination of wood and plastic, composite fencing provides the benefits of both materials, resulting in a long-lasting, durable, and low-maintenance fencing solution. Additionally, composite fencing is often made from recycled materials, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

In Conclusion

The fall of waney lap fence panels can be attributed to a combination of factors, including concerns about durability, maintenance requirements, aesthetic preferences, and environmental impact.