garden fence: close-board panels?

Hi all
I need to replace approx 60 feet of garden fence, which currently is made from wooden posts, 5ft high larch-lap panels and timber gravel boards. I would like to have something that lasts a long time. I am therefore thinking of putting up a close-board fence with concrete posts and gravel boards. I have seen adverts for close-board panels, which presumably are quicker to put up than the traditional approach of nailing individual planks to horizontal rails. However, are close- board panels as robust as a traditional close-board fence?
thanks
Julian
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The panels are nowhere near as robust -- consider them to be consumables. Various neighbours have them and they have to replace a few each year. Replacement in the concrete posts is easy unless you chose to do it on a windy day, as I saw one neighbour attempting with 6' high ones. They can blow out of concrete posts, where they probably wouldn't have blown out of timber posts. I would also say less suitable as a boundary where kids might play or run into them, as again they can pop under pressure.
I've built a few fences over the years, and have done arris rail fences with feather-edged bording. The oldest was built in 1986 or 1987 and is still rock solid and I've never treated it with anything. The timber posts are set in metaposts so the timber doesn't quite touch the ground (actually, that original fence used Fensock post sockets which were better than anything I've seen recently.) Neighbours have generally completely replaced their panel fences a couple of times over that period.
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Andrew Gabriel
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

IIRC Screwfix or Toolstation do some connectors where the post doesnt meet the ground, thus avoinding ground level rot.
Gravel boards keep the fence bottom dry, another option is just to mount the timber panels a couple of inches off the ground.
I've not used concrete posts, but have heard there are some rubbish quality ones about that dont last.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

new one: http://www.wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title nce
NT
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