At first glance, choosing a fence might not seem like a big deal. The important part is getting a fence that does the job and looks nice at the same time. But what is the job? Different people want a fence for different reasons. If you’re wondering what kind of fence is best for your property, it depends on your budget, goals, and aesthetic preferences.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best fences for different applications. These types have been tried and tested in New Zealand to work long-term with minimal maintenance.
What are the main reasons to get a fence?
There are a few main reasons that people get a fence: Privacy, establishing boundaries, and safety and security. Depending on which is most important to you will be instrumental in deciding which fence is best.
Best fences for establishing boundaries
For many people, a fence is a way to draw a line between ownership. It makes it clear who owns what. A fence that establishes a boundary should be solid and definitive. Depending on why you want the boundary, you may want one that’s solid without spacing. If it’s simply to mark a property, something clear and durable will be enough.
Part of establishing boundaries is keeping things on their respective sides. And some things, such as plants, don’t always follow the rules. If there are spaces or holes in the fence, plants won’t respect the boundary!
Depending on why you want the boundary established, a solid timber fence can be a good and relatively inexpensive option. Steel will last longer and be more resistant to weather and require less maintenance, but is much more costly to install. Many metal fences also have more spacing so plants (or pets) can drift across the boundaries easier. A strong timber fence like a paling fence can have minimal gaps while being sturdy and is a good choice for many.
Best fences for privacy
If privacy is your main concern, you’ll want a fence that is a solid material and tall. In New Zealand, you can build a fence up to 2 metres tall without consent from the local council. Using all of this allotted amount is a solid start for a privacy fence.
You’ll also want no gaps if you want privacy so no one can see into your property. PVC privacy fences are a popular choice in New Zealand right now. They’re simple to put up and maintain and have no gaps between the panels. They’re also relatively inexpensive compared to metal fencing. However, you’ll also want something like a driveway gate which can drive the cost up if you’re looking for maximum privacy.
In place of a fence, you could also consider a retaining wall. These tend to have stricter guidelines and you’ll need a building consent and/or resource consent in many instances, but they have unmatched privacy.
Best fences for safety and security
A good fence can make all the difference for feeling safe and secure. Whether that’s to keep things in like pets and toddlers or to keep intruders out, you’ll want a strong and sturdy fence that can’t easily be bypassed.
Metal fences like steel are the most durable. A steel fence won’t bend or break easily, and one with pointed tops would be extremely difficult to scale. Tubular metal fences are what many industrial and commercial properties use as the slots are thin enough so it’s challenging to get a strong foothold to climb over, and many have pointed tops too. Most Pets and young children also won’t be able to fit through the slats. It may seem counterintuitive, but having visible space can actually deter intruders as they can easily be spotted by passerbys instead of them being able to get past the fence and feeling safe to do as they wish from there.
For extreme levels of security, angled barbed wire or electric fencing tell potential intruders to move on. The sight of the fences alone often deters intruders, but they can also tell someone there may be valuables inside. They are often teamed with home security alarms for maximum security.
What if the neighbours have problems with the fence?
According to the New Zealand Fencing Act, you have the right to build a fence on your property. And your neighbour may need to pay for a portion of it–provided they don’t have serious objections. However, delivering a “serving notice” to a neighbour you haven’t talked to about your intentions to build a fence they don’t want can cause long-term problems. It’s best to find a solution that works with everyone when possible.
Building a fence yourself vs professional installation
Once you’ve decided on a fence, the next step is to decide whether to build it yourself or have a professional put it up for you. If you have the skills to do so yourself, you can save money by doing it yourself. Just keep in mind that many people underestimate how much work actually goes into building the fence. If you haven’t put one up before, it might take more time and work than you think. An easy-to-build fence is a good option if you want to give it a try, and many major hardware stores in New Zealand have easy-build options.
If you’d rather have a professional build the fence for you, there are many qualified builders up for the task. If you’re in Southland, we at Nexus can help put up the fence for your property. We’re experienced with fencing and have built fences for dozens of properties in the area. If you’re interested in having put up a fence for you, get in touch with us today for a free quote.