When you’re looking at buying or building a new home, or updating your current property, fencing is often the last thing people think of.
However, it can be one of the most important factors that contribute to the look, feel and value of your home.
Before you decide what type of fence will suit your home best, read on to find out the pros and cons of each material!
A classic fencing material, wood has maintained its popularity over the decades – whether it be traditional picket or the more contemporary horizontal fence.
With the right care and maintenance, wood can also be one of the most durable fencing materials.
A well-manufactured wood fence can withstand Australia’s harsh and unpredictable weather conditions, such as high winds, far better than other fencing materials due to the nature of its solid construction.
However, the upkeep of wood fencing is a potential drawback. To maintain the look, wooden fences require regular re-staining and painting. Plus, termites and decay can be an issue.
Metal & Steel
Metal and steel fencing has grown in popularity over the last fifty years thanks to the development of corrugated iron fencing.
The majority of suburbs and housing estates in Australia favour metal and steel fencing for its uniform appearance, privacy and low maintenance needs.
The potential drawbacks of metal and steel fencing is the difficulty of installation – you will likely need to pay someone to install it for you.
While temporary fencing may not be the most glamorous material on this list, it’s one of the most versatile!
If you’re building a new home, temporary fencing will be one of the first fences on your property. It’s required to cordon off construction in order to meet local law and health and safety requirements.
The same goes for renovating your home – most councils around Australia will require you to properly fence off the area where work is being done.
Similarly, if you’re having a pool installed, temporary pool fencing is legally required for the safety of your family, construction workers and visitors. If you have a blow-up pool with more than 300mm of water in it, you’re required by law to have it protected by temporary fencing.
If you’re after the look of a wood fence without the associated upkeep, composite fencing could be the way to go.
Composite is constructed from wood fibres and plastic, meaning it’s more durable and less prone to rotting or be a target for termites.
However, composite fencing can be on the more expensive side, and quality can vary depending on where you get your materials from – so make sure you do your research!
Vinyl fencing and PVC fencing are in the same class of material, making them a very similar option.
Vinyl fencing is more flexible and durable than other types of fencing and will not warp or rot. It is easy to install – in many cases, you can do it on your own – and it is low maintenance.
A drawback is that vinyl fences can expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, so you’ll need to keep an eye on its condition as time goes on. It’s also expensive, though you will save in maintenance costs.
Thanks to its ability to imitate picket and Victorian-style fences without the price tag of wood, PVC fencing has become more popular within Australia.
PVC fencing does not require regular maintenance, won’t peel or flake, and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
However, the look and feel of PVC may not be for everyone and there are more budget-friendly options available.
Aluminium fencing is popular for modern-style homes thanks to its clean, straight lines.
It is rust-proof, strong and simple to install. Aluminium fencing comes in a number of different grades depending on how tough you need it to be and can be installed across slopes and different ground heights.
If you’re looking for a high-privacy fence, aluminium likely isn’t it due to its lack of opaqueness. It will also need concrete bolsters and can take longer to install than other fencing materials.
Concrete, brick or stone fences are sometimes overlooked due to their high price tag, but they are known to last for more than 100 years with the proper care.
However, masonry fences are complex and will need to be installed by a professional, and as time goes by some mortar joints may need to be fixed.
While seen less often in suburbia, chain link fences are popular in rural areas due to their low cost and durable nature.
Chain link fencing is also available in several different styles, colours and gauges, so there’s a good chance it could easily fit your needs!
An obvious drawback is the appearance of a chain-link fence – it probably won’t look good on your lovely new house in a beautiful street.
Depending on what you’re using it for, another drawback of chain link fencing is its ability to be climbed – if you need more security, consider putting barbed wire on top.
Favoured for its classic tropical look, bamboo is a tough fencing material that is environmentally-friendly, durable and resistant to heat and ultraviolet rays.
However, bamboo can be expensive and depending on where you live, transport options can hike up that price even further. It must also be properly sealed against moisture otherwise it can be susceptible to rot, and if stained it will need to be re-stained on a yearly basis.