A Complete Guide to Fencing Types

Did you know that the world’s longest fence can be found in Australia?

The dingo fence stretches 5,614 km from the farming region of Darling Downs to a cliff at the Great Australian Bight. Erected around the 1950s, this fencing system, mainly consisting of wire mesh (electric fencing in some sections), is designed to keep the Outback’s dingoes from preying on farmers’ livestock. The fence has had a significant impact on the ecosystem of both sides.

This long barricade is a textbook fence—keeping what you don’t want out and what you want in. When installing a fence around your property, whether by yourself or with the help of fencing experts in Gold Coast, it won’t be as long or as large as this, and the type of fence will be different. So, what are the types of fences available? Here’s a close look at the different fences you can have for your property.

Chain-link fence

It isn’t unusual for some households to settle for the bare minimum, whether because of financial constraints or other reasons. A chain-link fence serves this purpose, often consisting of a woven steel mesh attached to tubular steel frames.

The top and bottom ends of the steel mesh, called the selvedge, can be bent in either a barb or knuckle configuration. Barbs are simpler, leaving the sharp ends sticking out that can serve as additional deterrents against trespassers. Meanwhile, knuckles bend the ends toward the mesh, keeping the sharp ends out of reach of children or clothing.

Chain-link fences are a popular choice due to their lower cost and maintenance than most types. However, they’re neither attractive nor can keep passers-by’s gazes out. Even with a barb-type selvedge, they won’t be able to discourage trespassers from scaling the fence without adding an extra layer of barbed wire on top.

Timber fence

Timber or wood fences are above their chain-link counterparts by leaps and bounds, all while providing a reasonable degree of security. These fences can take the form of traditional picket fences or fully covered privacy fences.

Given that a timber fence should be able to withstand harsh conditions, manufacturers often use hardwoods such as cedar, cypress, and pine. To enhance their already-impressive resilience, the hardwoods undergo pressure treatment, adding a protective layer against voracious wood eaters like termites and white ants. One widely used treatment is copper chrome arsenic (CCA).

That said, timber fencing materials can be costly for several reasons. For one, hardwood trees grow slower than others, limiting their availability. Also, CCA-treated timber isn’t resistant to fire, and health experts warned that burning could release toxic arsenic into the air. A less toxic alternative is alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), but it isn’t as widely used as CCA.

Vinyl fence

Vinyl is another prevalent type of fencing, especially for those who prefer not to use timber. It isn’t timber, so it doesn’t need pressure treatment to protect against termites. Also, forming and dyeing vinyl fence parts happen at the factory, meaning all that needs to be done when the parts arrive on-site is installing them.

The key to vinyl’s lightweight and sturdiness is the material itself: polyvinyl chloride (PVC). You may not realise it, but PVC is everywhere besides fencing, from pipes to food packaging. With this much demand, suppliers are prompted to ensure a steady supply of PVC all the time, which lowers its cost in turn.

Unfortunately, if you know how unbearably hot it can get in Australia, vinyl fencing might not be up to the task. Despite its undeniable durability, vinyl fencing can be prone to failure when exposed to extreme heat due to heat expansion. Additionally, humid heat can introduce algae or mildew to the vinyl surface, which can grow into an ugly stain when not dealt with quickly.

Metal fence

Lastly, there’s the literal heavyweight of the fencing market: metal. This category includes steel and aluminium fencing, two great choices depending on the property’s location. Steel is ideal for inland areas, while aluminium is good for coastal regions thanks to its high corrosion resistance.

But what if you want both strength and corrosion resistance? Fortunately, that’s possible with Colorbond fencing systems, which have undergone rigorous testing in Australia’s geographic zones and climates. Colorbond fencing comes with a ten-year manufacturer warranty (claimable from your preferred fencing contractor), attesting to its longevity.

Metal fences don’t have many downsides. But apart from a high initial cost, they tend to rattle under windy conditions if not screwed in properly or reverberate noise within or outside the property. In this case, metal fences may require adding more plants to serve as a makeshift acoustic barrier or investing in dedicated acoustic dampening solutions.

Conclusion

There’s no such thing as a fencing system that doesn’t have a single flaw. These different types of fences have their own pros and cons worth considering before deciding on one. Nevertheless, when you clearly know what you need for your home, the pros will outweigh the cons over time.

This is why it’s always a good idea to enlist a professional’s help. At Pride Fencescapes, we’re one of the leading fencing contractors in Gold Coast, and we take great pride in offering customers the best possible service. Contact us today.