Old Fence

So is your Garden Fencing in real need of repair, it’s probably not as bad as this one but quite often we get called out to houses where the fence is falling over and needs a replacement, so Knowing what type of Fencing you want is obviously the first step.

Don’t worry If you’re not sure, we cover what you need to know to help you make that decision.

Before you are ready to start on your fencing you just need to consider the following, there are a number of things you need to know before building that devider.

Council Approval.

Different Councils will have different regulations for fences, what you can build and what you can’t. For example, the front alignment of your house is often referred to as the building line and there is often a height restriction for the fence that you are able to build in front of this building line. this will vary with different Councils, so before you plan anything it’s best to check.

There will be fences that can be built without going through Council but if your plan is outside the limitations then you will have to submit an application to Council. Most applications and plans to Council will require you to provide information about the project, and fencing is no different. This is just some of the questions that you will likely to be asked.

  • The purpose of the fence.
  • The position of the fence in relation to the buildings etc.
  • The height of the fence.
  • Structural stability.
  • The effects on the Landscape.
  • The effects on traffic conditions. (if applicable)
  • The effects on drainage.
  • Level of the existing path may change. (if applicable)
  • Neighbours opinion.
Picket Fence
Picket Fence
Double Sided Picket Fence

Most local Councils will allow 1.8m (6′) high solid panel fences like Timber Paling and steel Color-Bond fence behind this line and 0.9m (3′) high solid panel in front, with you being able to build these without Council approval. Some will allow up to 1.2m (4′) high in front if it’s an open panel like Picket Fence (pictured Above) Cross Braced panels or Chain Wire. are also permitted but it’s important to check before you waste your money. Obviously if you intend to build the fence yourself you will save a great deal of money but what you do spend on materials can be shared with your neighbour. This can sometimes be awkward especially if there is an existing fence already there and you just want to replace it, in these situations it’s probably wise for you to expect that you might be paying the bill for the whole fence. However it’s important to discuss it with them, even if it’s just to let them know what you are planning and your intentions regarding the cost. If there is no fence in place and you are insisting they pay for half, then legally they are only obligated to pay half the cost of a 1.8m high Paling Fence (Which is the Industry Standard), regardless of what type of fence you want. So if you want a fence that’s built with brick pillars and fancy panels in between, then be prepared to foot the bill for the rest.

Stone Fence

Usually all Masonry Fences and even part thereof will need approval, they will require a Concrete Footing and the laying of Bricks or Blocks etc. this work is usually checked by an inspector.

These Fences in most cases will require a Structural Engineer Certified Design for your application, this will be an extra cost and you will have to organise this yourself.

Block Pillar Fence with Rails
Picket Fence with a Curved Top

Picket Fences are partly private and can be more appealing to the eye. There are so many styles in which a Picket Fence can be built and this is one reason they appeal to many people. 

Even less private are the tubular, but can provide a more grander look and then we have the wire fences, chain, chicken and dog wire are all more for cost concerns rather than the look, although chain wire can be coloured, which suites certain properties.

Steel Bar Fence
Chain Wire Fence
Dog Wire Fence
Tubular Fence

If you don’t have an existing fence and even sometimes when you do, it is still part of the preparation for this work to establish EXACTLY where the side or back boundary is.

You might think that because you have great neighbours and you get on really well with them, it doesn’t  matter if the fence is built either side of the line a little, BUT IT DOES, I’ll tell you why! Your neighbour might be forced to sell unexpectedly later on and the new owners want the fence in exactly the right spot. It’s much harder to move a fence than to build it on the correct alignment in the first place, even though in some cases it my require you to hire a surveyor.

Timber Paling Fence

Privacy is a consideration. A solid panelled 1.8m (6ft) high fence is of course the quickest way to obtain privacy as the 1.5m (5ft) high, will still have some people peering over, although it will stop dogs from seeing through. You will have to consider the Strength, Durability and the Look, of the materials you choose. 

This is one of my favourite style of fence… the mighty Paling Fence, it can be built from Hardwood or Treated Pine and can both have a more natural look, Color bond will also provide privacy but the metal panels might not blend with your Landscape look. This particular Paling fence was built from treated pine and is the 1.8m (6′) high heritage style with four rails, the client stains it every year at the start of summer to protect the timber from drying out.

So when considering you fence remember it has to serve three purposes, It has to provide the level of privacy you desire, it has to define your boundary and it has to suite your landscape theme (look good and blend in).

Often it’s a good idea to take a drive around or when you are out and about, take notice of the fences people have installed, you might find one that appeals to you.