How Much Does a Timber Paling Fence Cost in Melbourne?

timber pailing fence with metal posts

How Much Does a Timber Fence Cost: A Comprehensive Guide

Building a timber fence could be ideal if you’re considering enhancing your property’s curb appeal, security, and privacy. Timber fences add a touch of rustic charm and serve practical purposes. However, before you embark on this journey, it’s crucial to answer the burning question:

How much does a timber fence cost in Melbourne?

Timber pailing fence prices in Melbourne generally start from ~$150 per linear meter for a basic 1.8 meter high one but more commonly start at $170 per linear meter when built by a professional. This includes the cost of materials and labour.

1. How Much Does a Timber Fence Cost: An Introduction

What Is a Timber Fence?

A timber fence, also known as a wood fence, is a classic and versatile option. It’s constructed using wooden posts, rails, and pickets or panels. Timber fences can be tailored to various styles and sizes, making them suitable for residential and commercial properties alike.

Why Choose Timber for Fencing?

Timber is a popular choice for fencing due to its timeless appeal, natural aesthetics, and versatility. It blends with different architectural styles, offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Timber also provides privacy, security, and durability when properly maintained.

The Importance of Cost Estimation

Understanding the costs involved is paramount before you start building a timber fence. A well-thought-out budget ensures that you get the fence you desire without overspending. Let’s explore the key factors influencing timber fence costs.

2. Factors Influencing Timber Fence Cost

The cost of building a timber fence can vary significantly based on multiple factors. Examining these factors allows you to create a precise budget that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Fence Length and Height

The length and height of your timber fence play a substantial role in determining the overall cost. Longer and taller fences require more materials and labor, which can substantially increase expenses.

Timber Type and Quality

The type of timber you choose directly impacts the cost. Hardwood timber, such as jarrah or redwood, tends to be more expensive than softwood options like pine. The quality of the timber also matters; premium-grade wood will come with a higher price tag.

Fence Style: Paling, Picket and More

Timber fences come in various styles, each with its own cost considerations. Common styles include paling and picket. The complexity and materials needed for your chosen style will affect the final cost.

Additional Features: Gates, Staining, and Decorative Elements

If you plan to include gates, staining, or decorative elements in your timber fence design, be prepared for additional expenses. These features enhance aesthetics and functionality but can add to the overall cost.

Location and Accessibility

Your geographical location and the accessibility of your property can impact timber fence installation costs. Remote areas may incur higher transportation costs, while difficult terrain can require more labor and time.

Labour Costs and Installation

Labour expenses are a significant portion of the total cost. Deciding between a DIY project and hiring a professional fence installer will greatly affect your budget.

Now that we’ve identified the key factors influencing timber fence costs, let’s explore the various types of timber fences available.

3. Breaking Down the Costs

To estimate the cost of your timber fence accurately, it’s essential to understand how each component contributes to the total expenses.

Timber Costs: Hardwood vs. Softwood

The type of timber you select is a primary cost factor. Hardwood timber, known for its durability and resistance to decay, comes at a premium price. In contrast, softwood options like pine are more budget-friendly. Consider your budget and desired fence lifespan when choosing the timber.

Style Variations: Cost Differences

Different fence styles come with varying material requirements and complexity of construction. For example, a basic timber pailing fence will cost less than a tubular security fence due to the latter’s decorative design and additional materials.

Additional Costs: Gates, Staining, and More

Beyond the basic structure of your timber fence, you may have additional expenses such as gates, staining, or decorative elements. These features can significantly enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your fence but should be factored into your budget.

Labor Expenses: DIY vs. Hiring a Fence Installer

Labor costs can be a substantial portion of your budget. While DIY can save money on installation, it requires time, skill, and the right tools. Hiring a professional fence installer ensures a quality build but comes with labor fees. Obtain quotes from reputable fence builders to compare costs.

4. Getting an Accurate Fence Installation Quote

To get an accurate estimate for your timber fence installation, it’s crucial to follow specific steps and consider various factors.

Factors Considered by Fence Builders

Professional fence builders take several factors into account when providing quotes. These include the length and height of the fence, timber type, style, additional features, and labour costs. They may also consider your location and accessibility.

The Importance of On-Site Assessments

Reputable fence builders often conduct on-site assessments before providing fence quotes. This allows them to accurately assess the terrain, confirm measurements, and identify any potential challenges that could affect costs.

Comparing Multiple Quotes for Savings

To ensure you’re getting a competitive price, obtaining quotes from multiple fence builders is advisable. This helps you gauge the market rate and gives you negotiating power.

5. How Much Does a Timber Fence Cost? Real-Life Examples

To provide you with a better understanding of timber fence costs, let’s explore three real-life case studies:

Case Study: Timber Paling Fence

Location: Suburban neighbourhood Fence Style: Timber Paling fence Length: 10 linear meters Height: 1.8 meters Timber Type: Treated Pine Additional Features: None Labor: Professional fence installer

Cost: $1,500

6. Tips for Cost-Effective Timber Fence Installation

To make the most of your budget, consider the following tips for cost-effective timber fence installation:

DIY vs. Hiring a Fence Installer

Deciding whether to install yourself or hire a professional fence builder is a significant cost consideration. While DIY can save labor fees, it requires time, effort, and expertise. Professional fence installers ensure a high-quality finish but come at a cost. Professional fence installers can often also get the materials at cheaper cost than a DIYer.

Timber Fence Maintenance: Long-Term Savings

Investing in routine timber fence maintenance can extend its lifespan and save you money in the long run. Regular tasks such as staining and repairs can prevent costly replacements.

Negotiating with Fence Builders

When obtaining quotes from fence builders, don’t hesitate to negotiate. Discussing your budget and exploring cost-saving options can lead to a more favorable outcome.

7. FAQs: Your Timber Fence Cost Questions Answered

1. How much does a basic timber paling fence cost?

The cost of a basic timber paling fence supply and installation can range from $150 to $300 per linear meter, depending on factors like timber type, height, and location.

2. Does the fence length significantly affect the cost?

Yes, the longer the fence, the higher the cost. Longer fences require more materials and labour, which increases the overall expenses.

3. How much should I budget for staining my timber fence?

Staining a timber fence typically costs between $1.50 and $4.50 per square foot, depending on the size of the fence and the stain quality.

4. Can I save money by installing my timber fence myself?

DIY fence installation can save on labour costs but requires time, skill, and the right tools. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons based on your capabilities.

5. Is hardwood or softwood timber better for a fence?

Hardwood timber, such as jarrah or redwood, is more durable and resistant to decay but comes at a higher cost. Softwood options like pine are budget-friendly but may require more maintenance.

6. What are the advantages of hiring a professional fence installer?

Professional fence installers have the expertise and tools to ensure a high-quality, durable fence. They also handle permits and compliance with local regulations.

8. Conclusion: Balancing Quality and Budget

In conclusion, the cost of building a timber fence varies widely based on several factors, including the fence style, timber type, length, height, and additional features. To ensure you get the best value for your investment, obtain multiple quotes, consider maintenance, and weigh the advantages of hiring a professional fence installer.

By carefully evaluating these factors and considering your specific needs and preferences, you can balance quality and budget when answering the question, “how much does a timber fence cost?” Whether you opt for a charming picket fence or a robust security fence, your property will benefit from enhanced aesthetics, privacy, and security.

Armed with this comprehensive guide, you can confidently embark on your timber fence installation journey. Happy fencing!

How to Build a Timber Paling Fence

Timber pailing side fence

How to Build a Timber Paling Fence: A Comprehensive Guide For Australians

Building a new timber fence might be the perfect project for you if you’re considering adding a touch of rustic charm to your property while also enhancing its privacy and security. Timber paling fences have been used as boundary fences in residential and rural areas for centuries, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits. This extensive guide’ll walk you through constructing a timber paling fence, from selecting the right materials to mastering the essential techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned fence installer or a DIY enthusiast, this article has something for everyone.

Getting Started: Materials and Tools

Building a timber paling fence requires careful planning and the right set of tools and materials. Here’s what you need:

Timber Selection

  1. Choosing the Right Timber: Your choice of timber is crucial. Opt for durable and weather-resistant wood, such as treated pine timber or hardwoods like cedar or redwood. These woods are sturdy and naturally resistant to decay and insect infestations.
  2. Paling Dimensions: Decide on the width and thickness of your fence palings. Standard dimensions are around 75mm wide and 15mm thick, which can vary based on your design preferences.
  3. Posts and Rails: Select sturdy, rot-resistant timber posts and fence rails. Treated pine timber fence posts or hardwoods work well for this purpose.
  4. Plinth: many people are now choosing to install a plinth at the bottom of their fence as it is usually resistant to determination and, if it does deteriorate can easily be replaced.

Essential Tools

  1. Hammer and Nails: A trusty hammer and high-quality nails are your best friends during the construction process.
  2. Circular Saw: You’ll need a circular saw for cutting timber to size accurately.
  3. Spirit Level: Ensure your fence is straight and level with a spirit level.
  4. Post Hole Digger: Digging post holes can be physically demanding, so a post hole digger will save you time and effort.
  5. Concrete Mix: For securing your fence posts firmly in the ground.
  6. Measuring Tape and Pencil: Precise measurements are essential for a professional finish.
  7. Safety Gear: Don’t forget safety glasses, ear protection, and gloves.

Planning Your Timber Paling Fence

Now that you have your materials and tools ready, it’s time to plan your fence installation.

Design Considerations

  1. Fence Height and Privacy: Determine the height of fence that you want and how much privacy it should offer. This will influence the number of palings you need.
  2. Spacing and Overlap: Decide on the gap between each paling and how much they should overlap for maximum privacy and stability.
  3. Gate Placement: If your fence will include a gate, plan its location carefully for easy access.

Calculating Materials

  1. Measure the Perimeter: Measure the length of the area where you plan to install the fence to calculate the number of palings, posts, and rails required.
  2. Estimate the Concrete: Calculate the amount of concrete needed for securing the posts. Typically, you’ll need one bag of concrete mix per post hole.
  3. Account for Wastage: Always buy a little extra timber to account for cutting errors and future repairs.

Building Your Timber Paling Fence

With your plans in place and materials ready, it’s time to dive into the construction process. But first if you have an old fence on the fence line then you will want to ensure that the old fence has been pulled down and removed first.

Setting the Posts

  1. Digging Post Holes: Use the post hole digger to dig holes for your fence posts. The depth should be around one-third of the post’s length. Ensure that the post holes and fence post is straight, you should use a string line to check that they are in a  straight line.
  2. Inserting the Posts: Place your fence posts in the holes and use a spirit level to ensure they’re perfectly vertical.
  3. Securing with Concrete: Mix the concrete according to the instructions and pour it into the post holes around the post. Allow it to set for at least 24 hours.

Installing Rails

  1. Top and Bottom Rails: Attach the top and bottom rails horizontally to the posts. These rails will provide stability to your fence structure.
  2. Intermediate Rails: Depending on the height of your fence, add intermediate rails for extra support.

Attaching Palings

  1. Starting from the Top: Begin attaching your palings from the top rail and work your way down. Ensure they have the desired overlap and spacing.
  2. Nailing Techniques: Put the paling on the fence and put a nail in each fencing post. Use two nails at each attachment point for added strength. Make sure the nails are driven in straight to prevent splitting.
  3. Check for Level: Periodically check with your spirit level to ensure your fence is level and straight.

Completing the Fence

  1. Finishing Touches: Trim any excess length from the palings to achieve a neat, uniform appearance.
  2. Staining or Painting: Depending on your wood choice and design preferences, you may want to stain or paint your fence for added protection and aesthetics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common questions about building a timber paling fence:

1. How long does it take to build a timber paling fence?

Building a timber paling fence can take a few days to a week, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

2. What’s the cost of a timber paling fence installation?

The cost varies significantly based on factors like the type of timber, fence height, and labour costs. On average, expect to spend between $150 to $200 per linear meter. Some companies will provide fence quotes for you.

3. Can I build a timber paling fence myself?

Yes, if you’re comfortable with basic carpentry and have the right tools, you can certainly tackle this project as a DIY endeavor. If you don’t think you are up to it you can always hire a timber pailing fence installer or builder.

4. Do I need a permit to build a timber paling fence?

Permit requirements vary by location, so check with your local authorities to ensure compliance with regulations.

5. How do I maintain my timber paling fence?

Regular maintenance involves cleaning, staining or painting, and checking for loose or damaged palings. This can help extend the lifespan of your fence.

6. Are there eco-friendly options for timber paling fences?

You can choose sustainable timber options or consider recycled materials to reduce the environmental impact.

7. What’s the expected lifespan of a timber paling fence?

Properly maintained, a well-built timber paling fence can last 15 to 25 years.

8. Can I install a gate in my timber paling fence?

Absolutely, gates can be incorporated into your fence design for easy access.

9. What are some alternative designs for timber paling fences?

You can explore various styles, including picket fences, horizontal palings, or even decorative lattice tops.

10. Is it possible to add security features to a timber paling fence?

You can enhance security by adding locks, spikes, or motion-activated lighting.


Building a timber paling fence is a rewarding project combining craftsmanship and functionality. Whether you want to increase your property’s curb appeal, establish boundaries, or boost security, a well-constructed timber paling fence can meet your needs. Remember to plan carefully, choose high-quality materials, and follow the steps outlined in this guide. With a little effort and creativity, you’ll have a beautiful and enduring addition to your property that will stand the test of time.

So, are you ready to embark on your timber paling fence installation journey? Gather your tools, pick out the perfect timber, and let your creativity shine as you build a fence.