One of the first big jobs you will need to undertake on your lifestyle block will be the construction of a good boundary fence.
Why? Because a lifestyle block is by definition larger than your average home plot, meaning that you will likely be unable to view your boundaries or effectively control your livestock, pets or children! Fencing your lifestyle block is essential – having a solid, well-constructed boundary fence of sufficient height to contain any animals on your land is crucial. Just ask any neighbours of poorly-fenced blocks how they feel about having livestock trample their gardens! For the sake of neighbourly relations, if nothing else, ensure your land is well fenced.
Why are you fencing?
When deciding on your type of fencing, ask yourself what the purpose of the fence will be. Are you keeping in livestock? Do you have overly-adventurous children? Is your dog a jumper, climber or burrower? Are you simply wanting extra security for your belongings, orchards or gardens? Selecting a fencing solution is very dependent on your needs: here are some of the more common fencing reasons, and the fences to suit.
#1: Fencing to Protect Your Pets
So you have a dog or two, and you need to ensure their safety (not to mention the peacefulness of your neighbours!). To stop your dogs from escaping, you may need to look at installing a taller-than-average fencing solution. Depending on the type of animal, your fence will need to be high enough to discourage the athletic jumpers and closely-battened enough to stop the sneaky squeezers. In the past we have used existing 5-wire fencing, with wind-stop fabric clipped along the length. This deterred any squeezing, and a ground-level barbed wire (pre-existing on our property) certainly deterred any digging. The problem of leaping still remained however, which finally led to the removal of this fencing and the installation of post and rail fencing. We had to take particular care to ensure the rails were close enough together to prevent escape: and on this occasion we even decided to add wire between the rails as an extra precaution. Dogs: unless they are well trained, you need to fence smart!
#2: Fencing to Protect Your Livestock
To be honest, the topic of fencing for livestock is a massive one. There are some fantastic resources out there written by true experts in the field – we recommend reading this comprehensive livestock fencing guide by fencing contractors nz .
#3: Fencing to Protect Your Children
Believe it or not, fencing for children was one of the biggest concerns we faced upon moving onto our lifestyle block. Not only was this land running onto 2 neighbouring properties, but there was also a stand of bush which came out onto a road… We found wooden post and rail fencing beautiful to look at, but very easy for our small kids to climb over. The addition of windbreak over the inner boundary of the fence slowed them down considerably and also created a great sheltered environment for our young boundary plants. The post and rail fencing is also much nicer to look at than conventional 5-wire fencing!
#4: Protecting your property
When you’re looking at shielding your property from prying eyes, you’ll need to consider more substantial fencing than post and rail or traditional wire farm fencing. Times are changing, and lifestyle properties are being targeted more often by thieves due to their isolation. Protect your belongings – and your family – by installing substantial fencing anywhere you have belongings that could tempt sticky-fingered malingerers. Think post and panel or solid wood: if you decide on electric fencing, just be sure to follow the law by clearly sign-posting your electric wire (if it’s outside your boundary fence). Removing temptation is half the battle won: so shield with fencing, grow a shelter-belt, or simply lock up all machinery and farm toys in well-locked sheds and garages.
One final note…
One last piece of advice: if you’re keen to try your hand at fencing, but have no practical knowledge; ask a local contractor if they will work alongside you for the first day or so. Get some hands-on experience from someone who knows what they’re doing, before you make any costly and time-consuming mistakes! There are some jobs that may require machinery – or that are simply much more efficiently completed with the right tools. Weigh up the cost vs efficiency and quality of hiring a post rammer for the boundary; your fencing will only be as strong as the strainer posts! Too shallow and they’ll topple, crookedly set and they’ll throw your lines out. Also check the integrity of your posts: there are a few different grades, and the correct posts for your needs will depend on a few things: the type of fencing, your soil type, and of course your budget! Also make sure your posts (and the bottom rails, if you’re going that way) are treated to resist rot.
It’s a lot to take in – why not see some lifestyle fencing ‘in action’? Contact the team at goodGround Real Estate: they’re always happy to head out to the country!