If you’re looking to install a fence, the first step is deciding what sort of fence you want? So, what makes one material different from another?
From the classic white picket to large brick walls, a fence has long been a homeowner’s structure of choice to provide their home with privacy and security. As well as keeping out nefarious strangers, fences keep your family, possessions and pets safely inside and can also add a stylish backdrop to your yard. With constantly advancing technology and designs, there are seemingly new types of fences popping up all the time.
Before you make your way into a hardware store and get utterly confused – what are hasps? What’s a channel piece? – it’s important to do some research. The first task you need to undertake before embarking on selecting your new fence is understanding what material might be best for you. Different types of materials offer various benefits, and there will be one that is perfect for your home.
Consult a professional
Although it’s always important to do your own research so you can be firm on what you do and do not want out of a fence, consulting an experienced professional is also a great idea. Jim’s Fencing has been installing fences for Australian homes for over 20 years, and they have the expertise to go with it. As well as being able to bring up positives and negatives you may not consider in your initial search, they also stay up to date on council and building regulations and will be able to inform you if your plans go against any local guidelines.
I want a fence that blocks out the noisy road next to my house
Retaining privacy on your property isn’t limited to just visuals. If you want a fence that will help to peter out nearby sound pollution – from roads, public transport or noisy neighbours – you’ll be wanting to get a noise reduction fence. You deserve to stop neighbours from being able to hear your conversations with family and friends and not to have your quiet Sunday afternoon interrupted by the sounds of a lawnmower or power tools. Modular walls are the best type of wall to use for noise-reduction fencing. They’re affordable, stylish, and have very effective noise reduction qualities. Jim’s Fencing uses Hebel modular walls. They can be denser depending on the amount of noise you’re trying to block out – the thicker they are, the more sound they can filter. The same goes for height as well. A good noise reduction fence would need to be approximately 2 metres to work as intended. Your noise reduction fence will help to block out external noises by up to 20+dB, which translates to roughly half of what would otherwise be hitting your ears.
I want a quality wooden fence
Not all wood comes equal. Cheap, untreated wood will be more prone to termites, wet and dry rot, and leaning or swaying over. You want a quality, durable wood that will last for decades. Merbau timber is natural hardwood timber. It’s a beautiful golden-brown colour that deepens with age. A lot of people actually prefer the colour of older Merbau. It’s the perfect fencing material for someone wanting a timber that’s low maintenance but still offers reliable strength and durability. Merbau is a class 1 timber, which is the highest possible rating.
Merbau is also a tannin-rich wood. This allows the wood to withstand harsh climates and temperatures and helps prevent the timber from splitting or cracking. The tannin is also a natural repellent to termites. Merbau is an excellent option for a feature fence, especially if your house style is ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ as its beautiful, rich shade does most of the work. The design of the fence is customisable to your preferences.
I want a robust and versatile fence
You might be after a Colorbond fence! Colorbond steel has been used in Australian homes for over 50 years, so you know it’s an excellent sort to put your trust in. Colorbond fences are made with a Zincalume core and is galvanised to prevent rust or wear. It’s solid, very durable, long-lasting and needs little to no maintenance. It’s perfect if you live somewhere that’s a harsher climate, whether that be hot or cold. It’s non-combustible, so considered resistant to bushfire. Colorbond has also undergone a whole host of testing against simulated extreme weather conditions and lasts the test of time. When you choose Colorbond, you’re selecting the utmost quality for the strength of the fence and your families’ privacy. Colorbond fencing can come in whatever design you like, such as solid panelling or a more open lattice-topped style. You can also choose between 22 different colours, so it can perfectly match your yard or house palette. As a bonus, Colorbond is entirely recyclable and requires no chemical waste to manufacture the fencing, so it’s environmentally friendly, too.
I want a wood alternative
Timber fences can be highly durable and robust, especially with premium timber like the Merbau described above. However, they can suffer from rot or wear and tear, and you might have had negative experiences in the past that have you seeking an appropriate replacement. For this, a great alternative is PVC fencing. PVC is a type of vinyl material and is incredibly hardy – PVC can be up to 50 times stronger than regular wood! PVC can be used for many traditional wooden fence styles, such as picket fences or screen-style fencing. If you still like the aesthetic of wood but want to go with PVC, you’re in luck – PVC can be finished with a ‘wood-grain style’ to look like traditional timber. Your neighbours won’t know the difference. As well as its strength and durability, PVC is resistant to rot, corrosion, and termites – all issues with wooden or metal fencing materials. Jim’s Fencing use ThinkFencing PVC, and it comes with an aluminium core – adding to its existing incredible strength. They require little to no maintenance, beyond a quick clean every now and then. You can also divulge in whatever colour, style or design you’d like. While most fences come with a 10-year warranty, PVC is so long-lasting that it comes with a 50-year variation.
I want a pool fence that won’t rust or wear down
Pool fences are a whole other category in a way. While your front or backyard fence can have multiple purposes – sound reduction, keeping children or pets safe, privacy, etc. – your pool fence has one job. Make your pool a secure area that children cannot enter on their own. There are a whole bunch of regulations you’ll need to reach to make your pool fence lawful. However, focusing on the materials, there are two great options to choose from: glass or aluminium. Both of these materials are very durable, won’t rust, and can withstand being splashed or around water constantly. The budget is variable, as glass is more expensive than tubular aluminium fencing. They also have a different aesthetic payout. Glass is very modern and sleek, tubular is more classic pool fence, but it can still look stylish as you can powder coat to whatever colour you like. For the purpose of a quality pool fence, both options are great, so it will ultimately be up to your personal preference.