Fence design for your garden or landscaping project

Front fence with plant recesses
Plant recesses designed into the front wall will ultimately hide parts of the wall

A well-designed fence, especially a front fence, is an important part of the overall design and look of your home – whether its mainly for privacy, security, sound isolation, marking a boundary or simply to keep out the neighborhood dogs. No matter what your needs are, the following information will provide some basic design and construction guidelines for you to follow.


New fashions in fence design have rwesulted in an exciting range of fences to choose from. The old timber paling style of fence will always be popular. Lattice, trellis, wrought iron and cast aliminium, as well as steel and tea-tree infills, are all materials available in a variety of different fencing styles. Your choice of fence will reflect your individual taste as well as the style of your home. One important thing to note is that the fence does not have to “match” the house so much as to harmosnise with all your design features.


Fence Design

The first thing to think about when designing a fence is its purpose. What are your priorities? Privacy? Security? A wind, sound, sand or light barrier? If you only want to mark the boundary lines of your property a simple, low fence will suit your needs. For inner city residents, security has become a serious concern, and high, substantial briock and composite material fences are being built for greater security and privacy.

Plant recesses designed into the front wall will ultimately hide parts of the wall
Plant recesses designed into the front wall will ultimately hide parts of the wall

A high front fence will not necessarily deter a burglar. Once an intruder has climbed the wall and is inside your garden, the walls helps rather than hinders him, becuase he is not visible from the street. a 1.5m wall will give the same degree of privacy and protection as a 1.8m wall and the intruder will still be seen from the street.

Fence height is an important urban design consideration. the increasing number of high fences and walls has made our streets less attractive and more impersonal. Local councils are trying to modufy fence designs with community interests in mind.

The overwhelming visual impact of a high front fence can be reduced in several ways. Other shapes can be incorporated into the wall, for example, recesses for plants which will eventually obscure the wall. Other materials, such as tea-tree infills can be combined with an otherwise full brick structure. Combining materials and varying the texture and form of a front fence will make it more interesting and improved the look of your home.

Even if a front fence has been designed with your privacy in mind, it should welcome, rather than intimidate your visitors. If the entrance way is hard to find, or if your visitors have to wait out in the puring rain while the remote control latch is operated, your home will seem unwelcoming. If you want to install that level of security, consider how the system will affect both welcome and unwelcome guests.

If you do have a security system think about some form of covered entry way – an entry portico can be a delightful addition to a well designed front fence.

Composite Fence Design

Brick and timber lattice used together make a light and secure fence.
Brick and timber lattice used together make a light and secure fence.

Many fence designs now combine materials like bricks and timber lattice to create a look of delicacy and lightness. timber lattice is very popular now, probably as a result of the current appreciation of Federation style architecture. Modern timber protection methods sucgh as CCA (Copper Chrome Arsenic) treatment, provide excellent weather resistanfce and also stop termine and insect attack. Lattice is often insserted into timber frames fixed inside brick piers.

Timber lattice and trellis will eventually weather to a light grey colour if left untrwated, or may be stained or painted. Tea-tree and melaleuca fencing is also being used to break up monotonous surfaces and to harmonise with less formal landscape designs. These two materials are normally installed by specialist contractors and you should seek professional advice about fence installation.

Another propular fence desing, inspired by oriental garden architecture, consists of narrow slats of stained or painted timber fixed to horizontal rails, and set very close to each other. The slats are usually 50mm x 25 mm pieces of dressed westernb red cedar placed about 15-20mm apart. This design is well suited to smaller gardens. Although it is quite expensive in terms of both materials and labour, the delivat and interesting effects are well worth the cost.