Creating new boundaries
Creating new boundaries
Creating new boundaries
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Fences and walls
Love them or hate them, fencing and boundary walls
are an integral feature of your garden. They offer a
number of practical solutions for your property, as
well as enhancing your home and neighbourhood.
However, before building one, I would recommend
you consider the following questions. These will help
you to define the function of the fence, so you can
then choose the type and style of fence, which will fit
Why do I need a fence?
To keep pets and children safe?
Define your boundaries
Reduce traffic noise?
Create spaces within the garden?
To shelter me from the wind?
To keep my pool area safe?
There are also a number of important legal issues
to consider, especially if you are building a fence
that you share with a neighbor or if you live in
an area with a residential zone that has specific
fencing rules.Fencing is covered by the fencing Act
1978 and the Fencing Amendment Act 1979.
written by Sandra Batley - Flourish
Section 21. Give and take fence. When occupiers
cannot agree on a fence line, the court can decide
using a give and take principle.
Section 22. Where the fence is to be built. The
middle of the fence must be put on the boundary
line, or as near as practicable.
Section 26. About the rights of persons (and their
equipment) constructing the fence to go on to the
adjoining land. Note: It is important to read each
section of the act to get the full explanation.
When choosing the style of fence, it is important to
compliment the architecture of house, the
surrounding landscape and neighbourhood.
Consider matching materials that are used in your
home exterior. You are not just limited to traditional
materials like timber. Take a look around and you
will see a huge variation of fences using materials
such as, corrugated iron, natural stone and slat,
rock, brick, glass, coloursteel, concrete, and
Key points to be aware of
Section 9. Occupiers of adjoining land must share
the cost and work on a dividing fence.
Section 10. You can compel your neighbour to
contribute to the cost of a shared fence.
Section 11. Allows you to object to an order
compelling you to contribute to the cost of a joint
Section 14. This covers how long you have to do
the work on a fence after being ordered to do it.
Section 18. Persons taking advantage of a fence.
This covers a person benefiting from a fence they
didn’t contribute to. They can be charged interest of
10%/year on half the value of the fence at the time
of serving a notice.
You will also need to consider your budget. There
is a significant difference in cost between a timber
paling fence and a concrete block wall. If you are
on a budget, then a basic timber paling fence
painted or left in its natural state and softened
with shrubs or climbers is a good solution. Ask a
professional landscape designer or architect for
their ideas. And get a couple of quotes from
reputable landscape contractors or builders before
If its privacy you require, then solid materials such
as timber boards, brick, stone, concrete, and
corrugated iron would work well. In most cases
you can build a fence or wall to 1.8m high on the
boundary. Anything higher will require a resource
consent. You can achieve varying degrees of
privacy by using timber in a louver-style or an
open slat style or trellis to create a sense of
openness. Wrought iron is strong, enduring
material that fits in with a number of looks. You
can also create a living fence and windbreak
using plants. They provide all the benefits of a
built fence, with the additional advantage of
flowers, foliage and scent. There are a number of
shrubs and trees both native and exotic that grow
superbly in a number of situations, such as;
Photina ‘Red robin’
If security is important to you and your family, then
once again opt for high solid fence This may give
you the feeling of security, however, sometimes it
may have the opposite effect. Imagine how much
easier it is for intruders to target a house that is
not visible from the street or properties nearby.
Trellis, wrought iron or glass inserts can provide
views in and out of the property, while living areas
still remain private. Apparently, having a place that
is open, instead of fenced in, is less likely to be
broken into, thereby minimizing burglaries. Also,
having a high fence around your property can
block out valuable light and create shady areas
within your garden.
Safety for pets and children
Pets and children need to be kept save on your
property. A fence that is solid and well
constructed provides an effective solution. The
height of the fence is important. Children can
easily scale a low fence and dogs can leap over
and quickly escape. A solid fence ensures little
dogs can’t squeeze through the gaps. Gates will
need to be also installed across the driveway and
in openings around the property.
As properties get smaller and in-fill housing
becomes more commonplace, boundaries are
firmly declared with fences or walls. Issues with
privacy from neighbours have become a common
problem for homeowners. Fencing alone does not
solve this problem. Clever and intelligent planting
can offer some additional privacy as well has
softening the harsh lines between homes.
Reduce traffic noise
A wall can help to reduce the noise of traffic if you
live near a busy road. The wall must be solid with
no penetrations in order to be effective. Any
penetration, opening or gate can lessen the
effectiveness of the barriers. Concrete walls are
preferred but you can use other materials.
Spaces within the garden
Fences or screens give you the opportunity to
create and define outdoor rooms within your
property They give protection from the weather to
provide sheltered entertainment and seating
areas. Microclimates can be created for potages
or cold sensitive planting themes.
Protection from the wind
High walls or fencing can also act as a buffer from
prevailing winds but they do not completely block
them out. The wind simply hits the solid fence with
full force, surges over and causes worse
turbulence on the lee side. However, a slatted
screen or spaces left in a wall or fence, allows the
air currents to pass through it, reducing its force.
If you own a pool or spa you are required under
the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and
Building Act 2004 to erect a 1.2m high fence to
completely enclose the pool or spa area. There
are a number of other regulations that you must
adhere to prevent children entering a pool area
unsupervised. Some council’s have additional,
differing requirements. I would highly recommend
you arm yourself with all the information about
pool fencing before you start a landscape project
of this scale. There are a range of fencing
materials available including glass, wrought iron
and stainless steel. The design and finish
depends on what you want to achieve.