Gil’s golden rules of fencing

I had a letter this week from Marion of Avondale Heights in Melbourne expressing her delight at her new EnviroSlat front fence.

I knew it would turn out well because she did all the right things, things that I think are worth sharing. Let’s call them Gil’s Golden Rules of Fencing!

Gil’s Golden Rule of Fencing #1 – CLARIFY exactly what you want from your fence

Marion enjoys the outlook from the front of her home, while her loyal lab cross, Poppy, likes to make friends with the passers by. Now Poppy is safely contained inside their new 1.2-metre fence of Mahogony EnviroSlat boards, spaced 10mm apart so she can still keep an eye on the passing parade.

So think carefully about what you want your fence to deliver. If you want more privacy, have someone hold a large piece of cardboard on the fenceline to see how high it needs to be. If you need access for a mower or other sizeable items, make sure the gate is wide enough for them. A removable panel is often a good idea, too.

Gil’s Golden Rule of Fencing #2 – CONSULT, especially with your neighbours

Are there any building permit requirements, council regulations or body corporate guidelines you need to consider? Check first so you don’t have to pull it all down later on.

Marion didn’t need a permit because her fence was under 1.5 metres. But she still discussed her plans with both her neighbours, which is always a wise and thoughtful thing to do. In fact one of them has now decided to build his own EnviroSlat fence, which will make for a very complimentary streetscape.

Gil’s Golden Rule of Fencing #3 – CONTRACT a good installer

Once she’d decided on an EnviroSlat fence, Marion asked who we’d recommend to build it. It’s an important question, because if it’s done well – measured up accurately, posts sunk every 900mm, corners well braced – it will stand firm for years to come. If it isn’t, you’ll soon know about it.

“Tu (the specialist we recommended) is by far the most pleasant ‘tradie’ that I have had dealings with,” wrote Marion. “Any hiccups encountered with the fundamental design and construction of the fence were nutted out and resolved with amicable discussion between us. The result being that I have a lovely well-built fence that I am most happy with.”

You’ll find more ideas and advice in the Fencing & Cladding section of this website.

And if you follow the golden rules, your new fence will be the envy of the street.