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Style File: How to Choose the Right Fence for Your Home

By Kayla Hides

From picket and period to ultra-modern, here’s how to pick the right fence to frame your home.

A fence can be made to look so many different ways – from a traditional picket to a modern modular style. Here, a steel-fencing expert guides you through fencing styles and materials, focusing specifically on steel’s style capabilities, with some tips and tricks to help you match your fence to your home.
What to consider when fencing a modern home
If you’re creating a fence for a modern house, one of the first things to consider is how you can create a fence that has points of contrast, as well as ways to blend in, with your home. In general, fences that surround contemporary homes look best when they use colours or materials that add a sense of dynamism to a house.The combination of a number of materials can be useful here. For example, a mix of aluminium slat fencing and brick posts, or sections of aluminium slats teamed with hardwood elements. Deep, stained hardwood can also be teamed with bright rendered sections to create a softer, yet undeniably modern, look. This type of fence is perfect for homes with sea frontage, or any home that aims to create a coastal atmosphere.

Tip: Modular fencing is also a great option for those looking for style on a budget. By combining a fibre-cement outer skin with a lightweight expanded polystyrene core, modular fencing also has noise-reduction qualities.

What to consider when fencing a heritage property
For a period property, such as a red brick Federation cottage, you can honour the feel of the property by going with a heritage-style fence. Heritage-style fences are characterised by restraint, elegance and the absence of striking contrasts that you find with modern fencing.The shapes of heritage fences are also softer, gentler and more curved than modern fence shapes. For example, curved wrought-iron designs, wooden picket fences with rounded spears or post-and-rail fences with ornamental post features. Good options for heritage-style fences are woods painted in pastel or simple colours, such as blue, grey or black.

Tip: If you want an option that doesn’t require as much maintenance, you can create a beautiful looking fence out of steel, especially if you include ornamental caps, spears and other design pieces. Aluminium slat fencing allows you to mimic the look of a hardwood fence by including a jarrah or merbau powder coating.

Glass fencing
There’s something undeniably indulgent about glass fencing, whether it’s around a pool or courtyard. It provides the perfect frame while allowing plenty of light in. Modern techniques allow for frameless glass fencing, which means you can create a completely transparent fence. By fixing the glass panels into an aluminium channel at the base of the fence, you can also anchor your glass panels without the need of a visible frame. By using rubber to cushion the glass against the channel, you can also rely on your glass fence lasting for decades.Glass fences are modern and if you don’t mind getting the glass cleaner out on a regular basis, will be a design piece and value-adder for your home.
Steel fencing
If you want to create an open fence that serves as a boundary, rather than a blockade, then steel fencing is an option for you. Steel fencing is cost-effective, low-maintenance, durable and if you select the right spacing and add some spears, it is a stylish option. When it comes to spacing your fencing, you need to consider the landscape you’re fencing. Wide spacing tends to favour neat, ordered gardens while close spacing works better with wilder, natural-looking gardens.There is also a large range of spears to choose from, including round ball heads, pointed ball heads, star-shaped spears… and everything in between. If you go with a fencing manufacturer that can fabricate steel product, you can also create your own design.

Tip: For a truly grand entrance, consider adding bricked columns to the side of your gate.

Picket fencing
The white picket fence is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fencing designs, and for good reason. It’s classic, timeless, elegant and suits any housing style, from heritage to homestead and modern.There is one issue with the white picket fence, however, in that it needs a lot of maintenance. If you can’t be bothered with the annual or biannual paint job, you could consider going with a steel picket fence with white powder coating – the look is similar, you’ll still get to enjoy your weekends, and your initial investment will last a lot longer. There are over 100 colours to choose from, featuring everything from earthy reds and browns to light blues and deep greens.

Tip: The colour you choose needs to reference the colour scheme of your home. White will work perfectly with red-brick and Hamptons-style weatherboard homes. Earthy colours, such as reds and brown look great with cream-coloured rendered homes, and black – as always – works with almost any aesthetic.

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