Is this the best looking fence ever!? I think so, tucked away in the narrow side streets of St Kilda – Melbourne – this gem of a fence would look right at home on a beach, the whited out workers cottage will have to do though ::::
In Australia we have fencing standards, I’m not rattling on about that neighbour with a tumble-down yellow brick horror. Standards Australia has a bunch of rules that apply to different fence uses, like pool or spa fences.
And then of course there are state and local council laws, geez you could kinda say the Fence thingy is all locked-down.
Pool fencing is pretty straight forward, you need one, it’s a non-negotiable Standards Fact!
Many local governments have also incorporated these standards into their pool fencing laws. But, pool fencing laws differ between states and territories, it’s wise to contact your local or state government’s building authority to make sure your fence meets current laws.
Australian Standards AS2818, AS2820, and AS1926 stipulate the following:
- Pool gates must be mounted to swing outward, away from the pool zone.
- Gates must also be self-closing and latching after.
- Pool gate latches must be at least 1.5 metres off the ground, or enclosed if below 1.5 metres.
- The height of pool fences and gates should be at least 1.2 metres.
- The gap between vertical pickets shouldn’t be more than 10 cm.
Gone are the days when a pool fence was a cheapass galvanized wire mess, my prefered pool fence is all glass with stainless fittings, much like the image below, Glasstek’s frameless wonder. Check: www.glasstek.com.au
Dividing Boundary Fences
That strip of property dividing you from next door, is often a contentious patch of earth. Fortunately most states – and local councils – have laws that regulate what divides you from the McLintocks.
In NSW for example:The Dividing Fences Act 1991 regulates neighbours’ responsibilities towards dividing fences and is designed to settle the contentious aspects of sharing a fence. Nothing in the Act prevents neighbours coming to their own agreement about a fence, for example that one owner will pay the whole cost, or coming to an agreement that exceeds the requirements set out in the Act.
In Queensland the government takes a nip-it-in-the-bud approach with it’s fence laws, they;’re covered under the dubiously titled Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act (pdf)
If a fence is built on the common boundary line, a dividing fence is owned equally by the adjoining neighbours. However, a fence, or part of a fence, built on one neighbour’s land is owned by that neighbour, even if the other neighbour helped pay for the fence. You should be careful to build your fence on the boundary if you are paying half the cost.
Building a fence is shrouded in regulation, from the materials to the height of the fence – it varies on where on your property the fence is – A general rule on height is 1.5m, but if your on a main road you might be allowed a 2m tall fence. Boundary and dividing fences also have height restrictions confused? unless you absolutely know what your doing, call a pro!
Finding the Right Tradie
With all this talk of regulation, it must have dawned on you by now that build a fence is a little more complicated than it sounded. Throw into the mix that there isn’t a single governing body for fence contractors, finding the right tradie is essential.
Your going to need a tradie that has a clear understanding of what your after, the local, state and national building regulations on your home and a solid reputation. My recommendation would be to go through the HIA – Housing Industry Association – Their members are required to keep up with all the paperwork.
HIA has recently launched a clever new website housinglocal.com.au The site is a one stop shop for hunting down the right tradie for any job, including fence building.
You can click onto housinglocal.com.au if you want to find a quote – click the quote link – or go straight to their Tradelink page – tradebuild.com.au – and a simple Select Trade dropdown menu will guide you through.
Now your on your way to finding a tradie that will hook you up with the fence of your dreams.
This recommendation isn’t a paid advertisement! HIA tradies are the best in the business. Having a qualified and reliable contractor with the right skills and experience, can save you time and money and ensure that your project is of the highest quality, or you could call a bloke who knows a guy who build a fence…
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