How much do basic fences and gates cost?

Basic, white picket fence.
ARTICLE Libby Schultz

Unless you live miles from your neighbours or the nearest road, you’ll probably have to stump up for some fencing. To help with the decision process we’ve put together a project estimate guide for putting up a fence or gate on a basic budget.

Where do I get started?

Not sure where to start when it comes to fencing? Have a snoop around your neighbourhood, and take note of any styles you like. Your contractor should also be willing to show you some of their previous fencing projects.

When choosing the design of your fence, you’ll usually want to stay within your home’s theme. A cottage-style home cries out for a picket fence, while a modern home demands something with similar sleek lines.

Think about clever ways to tie the fence with your home’s architecture. If your house has a stone foundation, for instance, you might incorporate stone columns in the fence. Be careful, though, not to stray into boring or become too ‘matchy-matchy’.

“You don’t have to coordinate everything exactly,” says landscape designer, Jules Moore. “Using contrasting colour or materials can turn your fence into a design feature on its own.”

Classic, open-bar, white gate
IMAGE InStyle Gates


How do I get my neighbout to contribute to the cost of a new fence?

If you’re planning a new fence, the choices you make will also affect your neighbours. So it’ll be necessary (not to mention courteous) that you tell them about your plans – and preferably early on. If neighbourly relations are a little strained, you can always ask your fencing contractor to liaise with them on your behalf.

Under the Fencing Act, your neighbours are obliged to go halves on the cost of your common boundary fence. This applies whether you’re building your fence for the first time, or replacing an unsatisfactory existing one.

Before you start sketching your dream design, however, your neighbour is only obliged to pay for an “adequate” fence under the law.

So they can object if they don’t see the need for the flash new fence you’re proposing. To find out more about your rights, search fencing law


Planning your work

When asking your contractor for a quote, Matt Gillespie from Zones advises you should arrange a site visit, rather than asking for a price over the phone or email. That lets them assess the site and see exactly what’s involved.

“They need to see what the access is like – as well as things like the slope of the site, the type of ground, and whether any trees or old fencing needs to be removed.”

Don’t underestimate the cost of this prep work. If you need to get in a digger and truck just to clear out your section, for instance, you could be looking at an extra $1,000+.

Building a fence on a contoured site requires extra time and labour. You will either need to ‘step’ your fence down a hill, which leaves a gap above the ground (and is usually required for panel fencing); or ‘slope’ it, which keeps the bottom of the fence level with the ground.

Open bar, low lying, solar-powered, black driveway gate
IMAGE InStyle Gates


What are the afforable fence material options?

So what are the best materials if you’re on a strict budget? A simple wooden fence, made from low-grade radiata pine, is one of your cheapest options at around $100 per lineal metre for the finished fence. (As a guide, an average size section is around 60 lineal metres). Unless you leave the timber to weather, you’ll also need to add the cost of painting or staining.

Neville Thomson is a fencing expert who partners on building projects with Zones. For durability at an affordable price, Neville reckons you can’t go past a fence made from Coloursteel panel. The powder-coated panels are maintenance-free, and can withstand up to 170k winds.

“The cost of a Coloursteel fence is only slightly higher than a basic wooden fence. Depending on site conditions, you’re looking at an average of $145-$150 for a 1.8m fence installed.”


How much do gates cost?

Of course, you’ll need a gate too. Mark Barden from Instyle Gates advises those on a budget to look at open-bar aluminium styles. Or perhaps wooden palings.

“As a rule of thumb, the more open the design is, the lower the budget you need,” says Mark. “The solid-clad styles usually cost more; whether that’s tongue-and-groove, louvres or slats.”

A basic aluminium pedestrian gate with a mechanical lock will cost around $800, says Mark. A basic driveway gate - with automation and a standard height - costs around $5,000 plus GST installed.  


Get in touch with Zones to discuss your landscaping project

If you would like to discuss basic fencing and gate options and ideas for your outdoor renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your landscaping design and build. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.


*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Zones landscaping specialist. All Zones franchises are independently owned and operated.

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