A fence is not only purposeful, it can add value to your home and completely transform the look of your yard.

But with so many styles and variations available it can be overwhelming when putting in a new fence. Consider these tips before building to help you pick a fence that’s got you covered – or rather, surrounded…

Use and utility

What are you trying to keep in? What are you wanting to keep out? Is private space important to you or would you prefer to keep your yard sociable and open? Picket width and spacing comes into this, and height considerations. Do you have a dog that will jump out? Generally legislation allow for a fence that is up to two metres in height to be built without a permit, but check with local councils for any further restrictions.

Style savvy

Consider the design and aesthetic of your home and yard. Masonry fences go well with Tuscan-style homes and gardens, while wooden fences compliment post-war. A lot of native plants go well with the simpler, more natural look of a wooden fence, while flower gardens contrast nicely with wrought iron. Think about what style and colour would suit your home best before you start to buy materials.

A material world

Choosing your fencing materials is one of the most important considerations. Think about climate, wear and tear and whether children or animals will climb or play on your new fence.

Wood fencing is traditional, inexpensive and can look lovely but requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Wood must be sealed after installation and sealant and paint must be reapplied every few years, while going for metal fencing like aluminium or wrought iron means sturdy, long-lasting and maintenance free fencing.

Vinyl, PVC or plastic fencing is popular with families with small children or pets since no sharp nails or edges pose a danger. Maintenance free, extremely durable and easy to clean, vinyl fences can cost about twice as much as metal fencing. Composite fencing combines recycled plastics with wood for an environmentally-friendly and durable option, and while its popularity has grown recently, it’s still an expensive option. And speaking of expensive, while masonry and stone fences can stand for generations, it might also take that long to pay them off…

Look before you leap

Check for underground utilities like water or gas and locate your property lines to ensure no issues arise later. If you’re not sure about your yard’s perimeters, hire a surveyor to locate and mark property lines.

Are you building a fence? What are the most important things that you’ve considered? Let us know?