Are you wondering how to choose the right front fence? It’s the first thing visitors or buyers see when visiting a property, can improve security, and keep pets and young children safe when outside.
To decide on the kind of fence do you need we need to consider if it’s primarily for security, a property boundary or a purely aesthetic choice? Of course, all Balustrade Design’s fences are aesthetically pleasing – and we have fence options to suit all styles and eras of construction.
Step One: Confirm property boundaries
Don’t go building a fence without having the block dimensions. You can find general information about titles and surveys through the Government of Western Australia’s Landgate Website, though there is a small cost associated.
If your fence is on the boundary with a neighbour or a public footpath, it’s important to gain approval with the neighbour or the council respectively before commencing the build.
Special rules apply to strata arrangements, such as apartments and subdivided properties. Costs for building and upkeep for fences in shared areas may require you to revisit your strata agreement (or consult your strata manager).
Step Two: Get a quote for your fencing options
Because you know the exact dimensions of the area to be fenced, you can get more specific with your options. If it’s a street-facing fence only, for example, you may be considering a load-bearing brick base-structure to support an automated vehicle gate. The number of pillars possible may also determine which fence designs are available to you.
Choose between glass, steel or aluminium fence options, with gates available to match.
Step 3: Check/Get Council approvals required
Every council is different, but you’ll need to check if planning approval is required under the Planning and Development Scheme 2015. We’re happy to help clients navigate these requirements if you should need.
Local governments may have local laws that prescribe what is a sufficient fence. Lastly, if you know or suspect that your property may also fall under heritage listing, your fence may also form part of redevelopment restrictions, such as the style/architecture of the fence you choose.
Housing Fun Fact: Pre-war homes often have coloured stained glass windows. The trend came to a halt in Australia in 1939, as lead was needed for WW2.
Considerations: Fencing options and neighbours
It’s a cliche, but good fences make good neighbours. If you’re building a dividing fence, it might be a good idea to have a conversation face to face (over a cuppa) to talk through timeframes, costs and any concerns. Remember, however, that there is also a formal process if you’re erecting a dividing fence.
According to the WA Building Commission: “If you wish to claim half the cost of erecting a sufficient fence and avoid any disputes over payment, you should approach the owner of the adjoining land to discuss your proposal and reach an agreement.”
Their handy guide to home fencing also says that notice must be served by either delivering it in person; or sending it by registered mail to the person’s usual or last known place of residence.
If you don’t know the property owner’s name or contact details (i.e: you have a rental next door), details can usually be obtained through the rates section of your local council.
Splitting the cost of a fence between neighbours
There is no specified method for estimating the value of a fence. In most councils, claiming a 50/50 payment may only be for the lowest cost option that reasonably does the same job. In rare cases, if adjoining owners cannot be agreed upon the cost, it may be necessary to have the matter decided through mediation or in court.
Why choose a fence over a wall?
While boundary walls may offer the illusion of privacy and security, it’s been shown that solid brick boundary fences actually encourage trespass and burglary. The theory behind this (supported by criminal court testimonials) is that burglars are afforded a cloak of invisibility from the street, allowing them to be more brazen with finding a method of entry to a home.
Lastly, on choosing your fence installer
First impressions count, so don’t risk a DIY job on your front fence. Balustrade Design is a family-owned and operated business which has been servicing the Perth region and the WA market for over eighteen years. We don’t just make and supply the products, we install and maintain them too.
If the worst should occur and you need a new panel, gate or balustrade, rely on a company that’s been around for the long term and will continue into the future.