Everything you need to know about finding a fence builder
How to Choose Fencing
Fences are necessary for security, privacy, keeping pets in, helping to eliminate noise or wind, and defining boundaries but the type of fence you get will depend on your needs. Security is a major issue for many families, and a fence and/or gate is the first and most visible step towards deterring intruders.
Consider whether the fence will block your views, what interaction you want with your neighbours, what your privacy issues are (for example, if your neighbour’s kitchen looks into your bathroom), and the type of pet you own.
Ensure that the fence is visually appealing and that it fits in with the style of your home. For example, modern-style homes look great with sleek steel or aluminium fences. More traditional homes with cottage-style gardens are perfectly complemented by the wooden picket fence.
If noise is a concern at your home, you will want a material that is capable of blocking it out. Heavier materials are best for this purpose, so think along the lines of brick, cement or even closely joined wood. To keep pets in, ensure that the fence is taller and has no gaps in it.
Finally, remember that masonry fences over one metre high and all fences over two metres high will generally require approval from your local council. Fences adjacent to road intersections will also require approval. If in doubt, always check with your council first to save any potential hassle down the track.
There are many different materials that can be used in fencing. Common materials that you might choose from include:
Timber fencing: a very common fencing material due to its affordability and durability. Use softwoods for fence posts as they are more resistant to rot. The timber can also be treated against rot, insects, termites, and the elements so it will last longer. Timber fencing can be treated, painted, stained, or left natural depending on the look that you wish to achieve. Fence styles include picket, louvre, panel, and lapped paling. Consult a fence painter for advice and expertise on painting a timber fence in a colour that suits your style.
Bamboo fencing:a unique form of fencing as each stick of bamboo is different to the next. This provides an extremely natural, organic look to the fence. Bamboo is also very eco-friendly as it is one of the most renewable of wood sources. Unlike other types of wood, bamboo stands up very well to wind, as it has evolved to flex under pressure rather than break. Bamboo is also cheaper to install than other wood types.
Brick/cement fencing: a very popular option for modern homes and, although it is a little more expensive than timber, it will last a lot longer if it is correctly built. Brick and cement fences need to be built on stable footings. These types of fences can be either solid brick or cement, or columns that have been combined with another material such as timber or steel. The colour options are almost limitless as these fences can be painted or rendered and there is also a wide choice just within the standard brick colours.
Steel fencing: steel or aluminium fencing is lightweight and strong. Common varieties of aluminium/steel fencing include steel pickets, Colorbond, tubular steel fences, large panel fences, or louvres. Steel/aluminium fencing is available in a wide range of colours, as it is generally powder coated. Ensure that the finish is not scratched or damaged; however, otherwise rust or corrosion may set in. Steel/aluminium fencing is very versatile as it can be made to suit any style of home.
Vinyl fencing: this is very low maintenance – once installed it will never need to be painted or stained again. From a distance, the vinyl fence looks like a standard wooden fence. These fences were designed as an alternative to the wooden fence and there is no splintering, making them a great choice for families with children. Vinyl fences do cost more than wooden fences initially, but the costs are recouped through the fact that they don’t require maintenance.
PVC fencing: this is a rust-free, paint-free and durable fencing alternative, though it is considered a more expensive fencing material initially.
Glass fencing: this gives a sleek, stylish look and provides increased security without compromising your view or the asethetics of your property. Most PVC fences are available in heights varying from 2 – 9 feet
Pool fencing and gates need to be strong and secure. Generally, fencing and gates are made from steel, aluminium or glass. Whatever fence you choose, you should ensure that it complies with the Australian Pool Fence Standards and also your local council regulations, as council regulations will vary from place to place. Fencing should meet Australian Standard 1926-1986 for design and installation and pool gates should be manufactured to Australian Standard 2820. If your boundary fence serves as part of your pool fencing, this fence also needs to meet council regulations. Contact your council before installing any pool fence for you may face fines if the fence is deemed to be unsafe.
If you are unable, or it's not necessary, to erect a permanent fence on your property, temporary fencing is a great alternative. A temporary fence can be installed and removed without the need to dig anything up. For more see temporary fencing.
If you want to protect your property from intruders or discouraging people entering or leaving an area, it's worth considering security fencing. There are many materials security fencing can be constructed from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Find out more - see security fencing.
Selecting a Fence Builder
When choosing a specialist to install your fence, there are a few things to ask for. Firstly, ask to see previous jobs that they have completed or for references. Ask if they will provide a warranty for the fence. If you are ordering your fence from a fencing company, ask if they provide a delivery and installation service. If they don’t, do they have contractors that will do this? Finally, get several quotes before selecting your specialist. Remember that the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best – you need to feel comfortable with your specialist, and have confidence in their ability.
How Much Does Fencing Cost?
Fencing is typically charged on a per metre basis and could range from $30 to $65 per metre. This figure will typically include labour for installation and the cost of materials. A pine timber fence will be at the budget end of the scale, while Colorbond and glass fencing will be at the premium end of the scale, with brick somewhere inbetween. The height of the fence will also be a factor in the overall cost of your fence.
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