Choosing the right fence palings

Before you start work on building your fence, you need to choose your posts and fence palings. There are a lot of different types of palings to choose from. Picking the wrong one for your fence can make it less durable for its purpose or cost you more money than it needs to. We have a few tips to help you choose the right fence pailings for your property.

What are fence palings?

Fence palings are the individual panels that make up a fence. They can be either wood or metal, but most commonly fence palings in NZ refer to wooden fences made of individual boards. Palings should be installed the same distance away from one another to create a sturdy, stable, effective fence.

Choosing fence palings

It’s important to pick the right fence palings for the type of fence that you want. If you aren’t sure if a wood fence is right for you, check out our article What kind of fence is best for my property? This article goes over the best fences for privacy, safety, and security.

If you do decide on a wooden fence, you’ll need to decide on wood type and treatments.

Wood Type

One of the most important parts of choosing your fence paling is the type of wood. The most common types of wood used in high-quality wooden fences in NZ are cedar and pine timber.

Pine is strong and durable and is easy to paint. Simple pine is also inexpensive, usually only a few dollars per paling. It resists shrinkage and is a good option for many property types.

Cedar is another option for timber fencing in NZ. Cedar is more expensive but also more durable. It requires less maintenance overall and has a natural wood look that stands well without any additional treatments.


Adding treatments to your fence palings gives them added protection, which in turn leads to less maintenance required from you. While you don’t necessarily have to use treatments, they are good to have in the long run.

Some kinds of palings come pre-treated so you don’t have to add anything during or after construction. However, this also tends to add to the cost and you might not need certain treatments depending on where you live.

For the most customisation, you can go with untreated wood and buy the treatment separately. Many hardware stores have these. Some common treatments are mould and moss killers and colour protectors.

Fence Panels

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of choosing all the fence parts like posts and palings, you can avoid that by using fence panels. Instead of buying the components individually, a fence panel has all of these pieces combined. Many come pre-built and are quick and simple to install.

However, you lose out on customisation with this method. They also tend to cost more than building the fence with palings and posts. The panels can also be a bit challenging at the end sections when the entire full panel size isn’t needed.

Installing fence palings

First, you’ll need to start with planning and building a fence structure. Installing fence palings themselves is relatively simple, but there are a couple of tips to make the process easier for you. Bunnings Warehouse has an excellent guide with written and video instructions on how to install fence palings on part of their series on building a fence.

Need help building or installing a fence?

Want help building your fence from experienced fence builders? We’ve built many types of fences around the Southland region. We can help you choose the right kind of fence for your property or install one from components you have on hand. If you’d like help with your fence, get in touch with our team today for a free quote.