Fencing costs, materials and more - a complete guide - Building AU
Fencing costs, materials and more - a complete guide

Fencing costs, materials and more - a complete guide

Fences come in a wide variety of options, offering much more than just privacy and security around your home. The type of fence you pick can also have a huge influence on exterior design, safety and resale values. With so many options to consider we thought we’d look into all the essentials including the cost of fencing, types of materials, styles and more.

Words by Yohei Guy

Your house, your kingdom and a fence is the guardian of its borders. The fence around your property is an important aesthetic, security and privacy feature with each facet equally important. The kind and type of fence you pick will determine and influence every one of these in slightly (sometimes significantly) different ways. While the number of fencing options in the market can be overwhelming, with proper guidance and careful planning, you will easily find the right one for you and your home.

Reasons for putting a fence around your property

For many people, safety and security are above all, the most important quality of a fence. Homes are a huge investment and people a rightly concerned to protect their homes as much as they can. For families with kids or pets or both, it adds another important safety function. Keeping those precious ones in is just as much of an issue as keeping unwanted visitors out.

If safety is paramount for you, you’ll probably opt for a fence that is taller and harder to climb over. A security fence, in general, is about 8ft tall, and typically made of metal that may or may not feature pointy edges. Traits like horizontal rails are best avoided with respect to security.

If privacy is a high priority, then your fence design should provide a complete or fragmentary shield from view. Pick a taller type of fence with limited or no spacing between boards. Timber fencing and stone walls are popular choices here. Additionally, if your home is situated in a busy street, this kind of fence can ensure a more peaceful and quiet yard space.

If you live in an elevated or coastal area, then you’ll likely want shielding from the wind without blocking your spectacular views. In these situations, glass fencing will likely be your best bet.

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Fence ideas and how they influence your design

After you determine your main priorities, the next step is to think about the style of fencing you’re after. In this phase, you should not only consider your personal taste but the design of your house as well. Often, you might like a fence on its own design merit but find it unsuitable for your style of home or environment. People find that thinking about fencing in this way helps narrow the selection down quite quickly.

For instance, surrounding a traditionally designed house with laser-cut composite wall panels would probably look out of place whereas brick, stone walls, or ornamental metal fencing options might be more suitable. A contemporary farmhouse on the other hand is usually complemented nicely by timber fencing. If you have a modern style of house that is quite unique, a subtle glass panel fence may work best.

Pool Fencing

Pool fencing is another category of fencing altogether but a very important one, especially when considering the prevalence of pools in Australian homes. For pool environments, frameless glass fencing is one of the best choices. It will keep the area safe while its frameless feature provides no obstruction or visual distraction from the pleasing aesthetics of your backyard. In general, however, any kind of glass fence is suitable for pool fencing.

How much does it cost to install glass pool fencing?

The estimated cost of a glass fencing can range anywhere from $200 - $600 per metre when installed by a professional which is always recommended. Frameless fence options tend to be at the higher end of the scale while semi-frameless ones sit at the lower.

Timber fencing: picket fences, paling fences and more

Wood is an appealing way to secure high levels of privacy and security. Timber fencing is a great front fence idea and is among the most popular in Australia due to its affordability and variety of styles. It is one of the cheapest fence options, however, timber fences do require higher levels of upkeep as you need to paint, seal and stain a timber fence every few years. Depending on the quality of timber, it is sometimes less durable than other fencing material options.

How much does it cost to install timber fencing?

The fencing cost per metre for timber is comparatively affordable starting at as low as $34 per metre but going up to as high as $330 per metre, depending on the type of timber (and style of the fence) desired. Simple fences can be done DIY if one has the skills. Otherwise, labour costs will usually come to anywhere between $55 - $110 per metre.

Paling fence

A timber paling fence is often built using treated pine plinth, rails and palings. A variety of materials can be used, including all hardwoods, if desired (recommended in windy areas). The advantage of a paling fence is that it showcases the natural look of timber. It can also be painted to match the style of your home and patio.

How much does it cost to install a paling fence?

A 1.5 metre timber paling fence can cost as low as $34 per meter. This increases to around $75 - $120 per metre for a treated pine paling fence to $80 - $125 per metre for a hardwood paling fence.

Picket fence

A picket fence is the most embellished and stylish type of timber fencing option you’ll find. You can raise it in a traditional style, or opt for a contemporary look. There are also picket fence options made from PVC and vinyl alternatives. PVC sometimes contains wood inside to make it more sturdy and can survive long even in severe weather conditions. Vinyl is a bit more expensive to install but effortless to paint, and very easy to maintain, with simple washing with soap and water all that is required.

How much does it cost to install a picket fence?

Expect to pay between $25 to $70 per meter for PVC picket fencing. Wooden picket fencing starts at approximately $63 - $105 per meter for an unpainted fence, depending on the size, type, and grade of wood you choose.

Composite fencing

A composite fence looks and feels like a wooden fence but is generally made from recycled plastics and wood fibres. While the exact composition and proportion of binding material vary from one composite fence to another, the main advantage of this type of fence is that you'll never have to paint or stain them.

Longevity, durability, and low maintenance are the characteristics that have made composite fencing one of the most popular solutions around. It is exceptionally resistant to rot and mould and can last over 20 years, which is longer than most traditional wooden fences do.

How much does it cost to install composite fencing?

On average, composite fencing can start from around $40 per square meter for panelling.

Metal fencing

Wrought iron is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about metal fencing. Iconic and instantly recognisable, its naturally elegant design has broad appeal that few fence styles can match. It is a great fence for security with pointed deterrents for jumping over. While incredibly durable and sturdy, it’s not the most private of the designs featured. Wrought iron requires a lot of maintenance, including annual sanding and painting to prevent rust.

An affordable and low-maintenance alternative is the aluminium fence, resistant to rust and corrosion, strong, and easy to incorporate into the style of your home.

How much does it cost to install metal fencing?

Wrought iron fencing can cost between $450 - $600 per metre while aluminium fencing can cost between $75 - $85 per metre.

Sandstone fences

Sandstone fences are a beautiful choice to consider, often designed to be immersed in the natural environment, they provide exceptional privacy and classy, timeless appeal.

Dry stone walls are another alternative to traditional ones. These are made of stones fitted together without cement. Dry stone walls, however, require professional installation and that process can be expensive.

How much does it cost to install a sandstone fence?

Sandstone fences can cost anywhere between $800 to $1,200 per metre.

Consider neighbourhood rules and fence regulations

There are some simple rules and regulations about fencing that should be considered and checked to make sure that the desired choice complies with these requirements. Each state has their own laws and regulations with respect to fencing standards and requirements with further rules with respect to dividing fences. Pool fencing is also regulated with important safety requirements which should be strictly followed at all times.

Pick the best fencing option that works for you

There are plenty of fantastic fencing solutions available for homeowners in Australia from traditional picket fences to stylistic wrought iron and natural sandstone walls. Whatever you decide to go with, be sure to follow the best advice that works for you, your family and your home with a fence that’ll do everything you want it to.

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