To Property Manager, Facilities Manager, Estate Manager:
Are you planning a fencing project as one of these roles or a similar job role? You need to read this first...
Like many things in life, if you haven't planned a fencing project before or for a long time then having an expert to help you through the process is obviously very welcome. Plus, it will almost certainly save you money and ensure the finished job is fit for purpose.
At Procter Fencing Systems, we have over 100 years' experience in helping our clients with the design, manufacture and installation of fencing and gates. Procter has vast experience in working with individuals and businesses with their own comprehensive knowledge of fencing and gates. But we also value any new customers and have the willingness and skill in helping those who rarely or never deal with fencing and gates projects.
The best way to start your project is simply to call our regional offices and we'll be delighted to give you the advice you need without any obligation to buy from us - it's just all part of our comprehensive service and how we like to work.
Here's a very basic guide for you to know some of the key points...
START: What's the fencing actually there to do? This might seem an obvious question, but countless fencing projects are completed every year which are either over-specified or underspecified, and simply because the question was never asked or answered accurately. And if a fencing project is over-specified then it will cost you too much money, and if it's underspecified then it won't do the job it's fully intended for. In very broad terms there are three main reasons for fencing and gates:
- Fencing and Gates for secure areas
- Fencing and Gates to create a visual effect
- Fencing and Gates for boundary demarcation
In most cases though, it will be a combination of these reasons but in varying degrees - e.g. high security but must look great as it's around a sleek and modern building, or low security and just needs to separate one area from another but without looking too intrusive.
Fencing and Gates for secure areas - Security fencing and gates
If the main purpose is security, then the level security needed is the next thing to determine. So specific points to consider would be:
- Perimeter Fencing - To prevent and deter trespassing. A relatively low level of security would be needed and types of fencing and gates would include close-board, palisade, mesh panel or other timber, and with heights on all being up to 2m.
- Perimeter Security Fence
- To prevent theft from the site. A higher degree of security fencing would be required on the site, though the extend of this would obviously depend on what products or items were on the site. But in any event it's likely that fencing and gate types would include mesh panel fencing above 2m, and possibly a higher spec version such as 358, railings or enhanced palisade fencing - e.g. with buried pales and the addition of mesh cladding. (Click the names to read more if you're not familiar with the terms.)
- To prevent vandalism - often a problem on larger sites, most vandalism can be eliminated by the use of fencing and gates which are difficult or impossible to climb. Suitable fencing and gates would include palisade, secure mesh 358, and railings and in all cases to a height of 2.4m or above.
- High Security Fencing - To deter terrorism. Now we're onto the most serious threat and therefore this needs to be reflected in the types of fencing and gates used. Normally we'd specify a height of three metres plus, with suitable materials being enhanced palisade with additional anti climb features, secure welded mesh, then with barbed tape or electric pluse fence on the top of the fence, with possible further addition of acoustic cable and/or a second fence line creating a sterile area between the two.
Gate or barrier - How to choose the right type to match your fencing
In all the above cases, the right choice of gate or barrier will be vital with the following being the main types:
- Swing gate
- Tracked sliding gate
- Cantilevered sliding gate
- Different barriers - e.g. those that swing and those that rise from the ground
Even having selected the basic type from this short list, the options available within each type are huge, with factors determining the final design and specification including:
- The degree of security needed
- The width of the access area
- What the access will be for - e.g. vehicle or pedestrian
At this stage it will also be important to determine how the access point will be controlled. For example:
- Powered automatically
- Powered and requiring manual activation
- Powered remotely
And within each of the above headings there are many ways to achieve a similar aim - e.g. for 'powered and requiring manual activation' there are a host of options ranging from a simple switch to sophisticated systems which allow for individual personnel to be identified before the gate will open.
Fencing and gates for visual effect - Procter understand that aesthetics are important
On sites where the visual appearance of the fencing and gates is also going to be important, at least some degree of bespoke product is likely to be needed. This would almost certainly include the colour and the actual physical design of the fencing and gates. At Procter Fencing Systems we're able to create and install any design of fencing and gates needed, and have our own dedicated manufacturing facility for this purpose.
Fencing and Gates for boundary demarcation
If the purpose of your fencing is largely just there for demarcation purpose, then suitable materials are likely to be mesh panel, chain link, close boarding, or low level railings - of which there are many design styles.
Who you use for your fencing and gates project
This is obviously of vital importance and key questions you should ask ahead of appointing a fencing installer are:
- Do they work to the management systems BS EN ISO 9001:2008 ?
- Are their workers fully trained and CSCS accredited?
- Do they work quality standards - e.g. management systems BS EN ISO 9001:2008/
- In the case of powered gates are their gates fully compliant with the latest H&S requirements?If not you could be liable in the case of an accident
Of course we're confident in listing the above because Procter Fencing Systems meets all points.
Check prices are like-for-like
Price will clearly play a part in your final decision, and rightly so, but the critical thing here is to thoroughly check that prices are like-for-like. As an example, it would be very easy for a potential supplier and installer to substitute a lighter grade wire or fencing pale, but the impact on both security performance and indeed longevity could be considerable. So it's critical to ensure that you compare like-with-like, and at a detailed level, for the complete specification of all fencing and gates. Whatever your requirements we will be happy to give you guidance on budget costs for each type of fence or gates and if you already have a budget set; we will let you know what can be achieved within your required cost.
Some final thoughts
As you'll now be gathering, planning a fencing and gates project is potentially very complex and full of areas anyone not entirely familiar with can be tripped-up on. The above information really is the briefest of outlines, and it's important to note that every site is different and, inevitably, yours will have factors which are unique and therefore require specific considerations and solutions. Feel free to download our Perimeter Fencing White Paper.
As stated before, we're to help you and the best way is just to pick up the phone and call us - see any of the three regional numbers on the 'contact us' page. Alternatively, there's also a 'request a response' electronic facility.