What is it for?
There are many reasons to build a fence. You may wish to keep your
young children or dogs safe from the street, you may wish to create
a secure place for your family, or you may wish to add a feature
to your property in keeping with its architectural heritage. Whatever
the reasons, you will have some definite parameters in mind when
wanting a fence., whether it be a picket fence, garden fence or high privacy fence.It needs to provide enough privacy for your peace
of mind. It needs to be high enough to keep the children and dogs
in, and the world out. It should look good, in keeping with the
overall architectural style of your home. It needs to have functioning
gates and a letterbox. Do you want to see through the fence to highlight
your cottage garden and roses, or do you want a solid barrier for
So these are the basic parameters in which to
Height of the fence.
See-through or solid.
Number and positioning of gates.
You will now be in a position to consider what style of fence will
suit your home. If you live in a heritage overlay, the local council
will have definite ideas about your streetscape and will require
you to build a fence in keeping with the architectural style of
your home. This is a good idea anyway as it is generally the best
way to harmonize your fence with your property, and thus add to
its overall value. There is no excuse for a badly designed fence,
as the template for your fence will be right there in your suburb.
Take some time to drive around, looking for homes similar in style
to yours, and study the fences. When you find one you like, take
note of its design features and construction details. Measure the
size of the posts, rails and plinth, the gaps between pickets or
the type of cladding, the design of the gates, whether stepped or
running with the slope, and any other distinctive details. Note
the construction details. Are the plinths and rails mortised or
rebated? How are the post caps made? Do the gates have a metal
or wooden frame? Take a pad and pencil or a camera and record the
distinctive detail. You can then sit down and design your fence.
You will want to envisage it in front of your house. How will the
overall look feel? If your house is elevated, consider a slightly
higher fence to keep the overall proportions in order. Will you
be able to see the bottom or the top of the windows? If you are
after privacy, the top of the fence will need to be just above eye
height. If you are after effect, you will want to have the features
of the house on display. The style of your home will depend upon
its age. For instance, housing styles in Melbourne over the past
century can be clearly divided into definite periods as we move
through the decades, with its economic booms and depressions, wars
and social movements. You will find some of these styles featured
in this website. They roughly follow the guidelines opposite: