A complete guide to choosing fencing for your property
Selecting a fence for your property plays an important part in its exterior design, as well as providing security for your home. In fact, these two factors – beauty and security – are the main reasons many home owners put up fences.
A fence for your home can serve other purposes too, such as blocking out wind, keeping your dogs in (or other animals out), or just obscuring an unpleasant view. Whatever the reason, it is vital that you gather as much information as you can to help you make the correct decision when choosing your fence.
What purpose does your fence serve?
When shopping for a fence, the vendor will normally want to know the purpose for buying the fence. A fence will usually serve one or all of these four purposes:
- Privacy: you may be living on a busy street and wish to limit how much a passer-by can see through your fence. Closing the space between the vertical boards, using a height of 2m or more can help reduce visibility of your compound.
- Security: if keeping people out is your top priority then you will go for a fence that’s over 2m height; you may also use pickets or spikes to prevent people from climbing over
- Safety: your goal may be to cordon off an area such as the swimming pool or a dog run to mitigate safety hazards. A chainwire fence can work well in such areas.
- Decorative: this type of fence is meant more for demarcation and aesthetics, and as such doesn’t have to be tall. In fact a height of up to 1m can serve the purpose well enough.
Types of fences for your property
Chainwire fences are made from galvanised metal which is meshed together to give a strong long lasting material.
Chainwire fences are used for:
- Institutional grounds such as schools, parks and sports grounds.
- Protecting business premises like factories as well as large real estate properties such as Department of Defence grounds.
- Fencing paddocks on rural properties.
Benefits of chainwire fencing include:
- It keeps open sight lines around the property, so that any intruders are easily spotted.
- It can be used as a temporary fence.
- It is long lasting and can be reinforced further on each link to increase tensile strength.
- It is cost effective in terms of the buying price, and maintenance.
- Comes in multiple designs and colours, and is customisable.
- Chainwire fences are versatile.
It may not be the ideal fence if you require total privacy, although a second fence can be planted around it.
Press formed spear top
This type of fencing is normally associated with school security or diplomat type fencing and is made using square hollow section (SHS) steel or aluminium vertical pickets welded into horizontal rails.
It is popular for fencing schools, gardens, industrial premises, sports stadia, roads and villas.
- It greatly enhances security with its pressed-spear top which makes it difficult to climb over.
- Installation is simple, the fence is easy to clean and maintain.
- Like chainwire fences, it cannot give you total privacy.
- It is more expensive than chainwire fencing in upfront costs.
- It doesn’t keep out noise or wind.
This type of fencing is quickly taking over from traditional picket fences or rails in modern day fencing. Although it involves more capital outlay initially, it eventually pays for itself due to its durability.
- Is long lasting and low maintenance.
- It is easy to install and clean.
- It gives complete privacy.
It is quite expensive in terms of upfront costs.
These are popular especially for fencing backyards in homes and in rural setups in Australia.
- Long-lasting if high quality timber is used.
- Blends in with the natural surroundings.
- Is relatively inexpensive.
Wooden fences are degraded by natural elements and therefore may not last as long as chainlink or press formed fencing.
This type of fencing is made from concrete reinforced with steel or synthetic fibre and cast into panels, blocks or posts which make up the fencing materials.
They are used mainly in gated communities, residential homes and institutions such as hotels or other beach front property as retaining walls
- Is long lasting and low maintenance.
- It gives structural strength against weather elements.
- It gives complete privacy and acts as a sound barrier.
It involves heavy initial capital expenditure and will require special equipment during installation
Before installing your fence, find out what the local zoning regulations say about the type of fence you can put up. Local zoning codes dictate what dimensions you should use for building your fence, the distance it should be from property lines, and whether they are allowed in front yards. You should therefore get in touch with either your local council’s zoning department, or neighbourhood property owners association, to find out what is allowed or prohibited under zoning rules.
Last but not least – consult your neighbour
It is important to talk to your neighbours so as to confirm where the property boundaries are and to get a good understanding of what they need from a shared fence. Holding these consultations also lets your neighbours know that you are not alienating them and helps in preparing them emotionally for the change.