Timber queries & questions you want to ask?

We’ve put together a selection of frequently asked questions and related timber advice to help answer your queries. From finding out how our timber is sustainably sourced and pressure treated to fitting timber posts

and variations in timber colour, we hope you find your answer below. Can’t find what you’re looking for or need some further timber related advice? Call us today on 01373 481 410, we’re always happy to help.

Some FAQs

Are the timbers pressure treated or tanalised?

Pressure treated and tanalised are actually the same thing. These treatments protect against fungal and insect attack and almost all of our exterior timbers are treated this way.

What difference is between dipped and pressure treated?

Dipped is a water based treatment that is literally dipped, whereas pressure treated is put into a tank and pressurised making the treatment penetrate the timbers having overall better protection against fungus and insects thus a longer lifespan. All our ground contact timber is UC4 treated; once our timber is cut we leave it to air dry for 6-12 weeks depending on the time of year, weather and the section size of the timber. This causes the timber to act like a sponge when being treated giving it a 15 year guarantee.

Are all timber preservatives classified with regard to their potential environmental and health risks?

In Europe all timber preservatives must comply with legally stipulated requirements in posing no health risks and being environmentally compatible. They must all be evaluated individually and subjected to a very extensive, critical health and environmental appraisal before being granted approval for their intended use.

Can you tell me about the wood that Charltons use?

Softwood is a natural material with outstanding qualities including strength with elasticity, weight bearing ability, thermal insulation, weather resistance and much more. We use high quality softwood timbers from sustainable sources here in the South West and have achieved certification under the environmental chain of custody schemes of both the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). However, wood is not a manufactured product and will include natural characteristics which are not flaws and are part of its beauty.

Why is there variation in colour?

Every tree is different in form, colour and grain and even within the confines of a cut length will allow the Osmose/Arch treatment process to penetrate differently. Colour differences will usually become less pronounced over time but a consistent flat colour without variation will never be achieved

How do I work out the materials I need to build a fence?

We recommend having a post every 1.8 meters on a featheredge fence, 2 rails for a fence up to 1.2M high and over 1.2M up to 1.8M we recommend 3 rails, to protect the featheredge you can fix a 150mm wide gravel board which the featheredge boards then sit on top of the gravel board. The featheredge we sell is 125mm wide we suggest a 25mm overlap which means for every metre of fence installed you will need 10 boards.

How do I fix the post into the ground?

The quickest and easiest way to do this is to buy post mix, which we sell, fence posts are usually in the ground approx. 500mm and gate posts are approx. 750mm in the ground. Fence posts we recommend a bag to 1.5 bags per post and gate posts we suggest 3 bags per hole. We also advise you have a spirit level to make sure the post is installed straight.

What fixings will need to make a fence?

We recommend 50mm galvanised round wire nails for the featheredge, picket and Windstay pales and 5×80 Ultimate wood screws for fixing the rails into the posts.

How do I open a Trade Account?

For a pay as you go account you need a proof of business i.e. business card, headed paper. For a Credit account please contact us, we’ll send you an account form or pop in and pick one up.

How do I maintain my fence?

Make sure trees i.e. conifers are well clear of the fence, these sort of plants/trees can put unwanted pressure against your fencing causing it to weaken, you can also put a preservative on regularly to prolong the life of the fence.

What are the advantages of having a gravel board?

Gravel boards prevent unwanted water being soaked up from the ground causing premature rot to the featheredge/panels.

What are the advantages of using capping and post caps?

The end grain on timber acts like a sponge soaking up any water it comes across as this is what it was doing when it was a tree. As this is exposed on the tops of your posts and pales having capping not only gives your fence a nice finish but protects the timbers from soaking up unwanted water from the rain.

How do I fix the capping on?

Capping rail without a groove can be fixed onto the top rail if this has been installed at the top of your fence, if not you can purchase a canter rail (50mm x 32mm section) which you fix to the top of your fence so you have this timber to nail the capping onto. We also have a capping with a groove which can go straight on top of your featheredge boards in this case the top fence rail you nail the featheredge on to will have to be 50mm below the height of the fence.

What’s the difference between feather edge panel and lap panel?

Much better timbers are used in the making of our feather edge making them able to with stand the heaviest of storms that we have been having in recent years in comparison to the lap panels where the timbers used in the making are a lot smaller, lap panels are more of a quick fix but can last some years if their looked after.

What are the advantages of having an Iroko gate to a TSW gate?

Iroko is more expensive option when having a gate but is a far more superior timber in both durability and over all finish when looked after. Mr Ronald Coombs from Somerset bought his gate from Charltons back in 1965 and it still looks like new! “Our Charltons gate has lasted nearly 50 years now and will probably last another 50”

What size posts do I need to hang my gate?

For instructions on how to hang your gate, please click here.

Are all of the gates in stock and readily available?

The majority of our TSW 5 Bar and pedestrian gates are kept in stock- ring us for availability and stock levels. All gate made of Iroko and Special size gates are made to order.

How do I work out what size gate I need?

Measure your total gap, remember to allow for posts and fittings or give us a call and we can quote for you.

How do I work out what hand I need?

You can work this out by visualizing you are stood on the outside of the property/field looking inwards- which side will the gate be hung from? Which side the hinges are is what determines the hand that you need.

Do you do Trade Accounts?

Yes we do, please contact us directly to discuss further.

What does it mean if you have the Royal Warrant?

For more information on the Royal Warrant and what it means, please click here.

What are the differences between your sleepers?

All our square sleepers are ‘Long last’ giving them a 15 year guarantee, but we also do a rustic sleeper that has the bark edge still showing. These are very popular for raised beds and are standard pressure treated.

What are the differences between your mulches?

We Stock Melcourts Ornamental, Spruce Ornamental and Play bark, as well as their Topsoil and Top grow. For more information, visit:http://www.melcourt.co.uk/lm-intro.html. We also have our own cheaper alternative fresh woodchips.

What size bags are the Mulches available in?

We sell them in both 1m3 dumpy bags and 75litre bags.

What is the difference between the Playbark and Ornamental Bark?

The play bark is a lot chunkier in appearance and is European standard and suitable for public places. The ornamental bark is ideal for flower beds as it will break down into a mulch.

By what quantities do you sell the Woodchips at?

We sell them in tonne loose loads that can be tipped off with our Pick Up truck, 1m3 dumpy builders bags or we have smaller bags that are about 35litres.

What are the differences between your firewood?

Our standard Sawmill Softwood bag is fresh cut straight from the mill. We have Joinery Softwood bags that are kiln dried and suitable for log burners. Our hardwood bags are a mixture of Beech, Birch and Ash which are partly seasoned hardwood. Hardwood burns slower and hotter than softwood making it a much better wood to burn, we recommend this for open fires.

What quantities do you sell the Firewood at?

Our dumpy bags are 1.2m3 on all types of firewood we have smaller netted bags of hardwood and softwood kindling.