Choosing the best fence for your home

We have a soft spot for the classic picket fence. Are you surprised to read that? We’d be surprised if you were! Our team at Motueka Pickets take pride in producing pickets that are seen in some of New Zealand’s finest fences. But while we’re not exactly fence-sitters when it comes to stating our favourite fencing material, we’re also open-minded enough to appreciate that there are more than pickets to consider when choosing the best fence for your home.

The most obvious consideration when deciding on a fence for your home is the home itself. You can get some great ideas happening simply by tying in the fence design with the house design. Naturally, a picket fence is a nice fit for a traditional cottage or bungalow, but modern homes, with the current trend on clean, rectangular angles, might compel you to go in an entirely different direction.

Concrete blocks or panels come to mind, as their square lines would mirror the look of the house. Another cue might be a prominent feature of your home, most obviously the colour of the roof or exterior walls. This same colour can be used on a painted timber fence.

Another standout feature that could influence your decision is your garden. When fencing complements the garden, the overall picture can be stunning. For example, fencing made with natural materials like bamboo, trellis and brushwood screens go really well with coastal or subtropical gardens. Rough-sawn or stained timber also works beautifully in these types of garden settings.

If you have a quaint cottage garden or a classic English country garden overflowing with flowers, then a picket fence is a traditional way to go. Things could look even better when you use shorter pickets as decorative fence panels or borders throughout your garden. If you have a more formal garden, maybe featuring box hedging and neatly trimmed beds, then wrought iron and concrete would work well, or you could go for painted, dressed timber with capping and post heads.

Of course, the style you choose could be curtailed by two things: red tape and money!

The red tape crops up when the council gets involved. There might be a restriction on the permitted height and material, especially if you live in a heritage area, while resource consent is usually required for boundaries above a certain height. So, before you get too carried away with design, colour, materials, height, etc… check with the council. And don’t forget; under the Fencing Act, your neighbours might have to split the cost of replacing an unsatisfactory boundary fence with one that meets legal standards. This could mean you have to compromise on your preferred final design… so make a note to talk to the council AND your neighbour.

Finally, we have to look at budget. Actually, budget is usually the first thing most people look at when deciding on the best fence for their home. Fencing can cost anywhere between $50 to $2000-plus per lineal metre, with the actual cost usually coming down to the material you choose. Trellis, brushwood and bamboo panels are usually the cheapest – but for a reason – they’re considered to be more short-term fencing solutions, with a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years.

Timber, particularly unpainted, is another very affordable option, and one we know all about. Painting and staining the timber will obviously add to overall costs, but the big payoff is a much longer-lasting fence, and one that can be finished to your specifications. We’re happy to discuss this in detail with you, and no, we won’t force you to pick pickets.

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