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The Real Fencing Costs: Comparing Maintenance Expenses Across Fencing Types 

Choosing the right fence for your horses goes beyond the initial price tag—it’s about the long-term investment in safety, aesthetics, and your peace of mind. Maintenance, often overlooked, plays an important role in ensuring you spend your valuable time enjoying the property rather than fixing it. It has a much larger impact on your quality of life than we give credit to. If you want to make the right choice between a weekend with family or fencing chores, keep reading. 


Different fencing materials have different upfront costs, but that’s not the end of it. Some materials need more heavy maintenance later on, and others might need fixing or replacing sooner. All these things should be in your mind when deciding on a fence for your horses. 


At Stock & Noble, we provide the finest fencing materials to high-end property owners across Australia and New Zealand. We’ve helped numerous clients build signature properties and understand the importance of easy-to-maintain fencing. Our products are thoughtfully chosen based on their proven success, high aesthetics and low maintenance. 


In this blog, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of maintenance costs across various materials to help you make an informed decision. 


So, whether you’re creating a new property or upgrading existing fencing, you will have all the information you need to choose what’s best for your property, your vision, your animals your weekends and your pocket. 


Factors that impact the maintenance of your fencing 

4 key variables decide whether your fence will need frequent repairs, give up in a couple of years or last for decades – weather, horse behaviour, vegetation and installation. 

The local climate, with its extremes in temperature, humidity, and rainfall, uniquely impacts different materials—wood may warp, and metal may rust.  

The temperament and behaviours of your horses, including chewing on wood or testing boundaries, can lead to more frequent repairs.  

Vegetation and wildlife interactions, such as overgrown plants or encounters with animals, add challenges.  

Lastly, the quality of installation plays a key role; a well-installed fence resists environmental and animal-related stresses, minimising the need for frequent repairs and ensuring a prolonged lifespan. 


Which Fencing is the Most Expensive to Maintain 

When considering horse fencing, the choice between various materials involves assessing both immediate costs and long-term maintenance. Let’s get into the specifics of different fencing types over a decade. 


Timber Post and Rail Fencing 

Timber fencing is popular for its natural and traditional charm. If you choose a cheaper variety like Treated Pine, it’s often initially more budget-friendly. 

However, it requires consistent maintenance like painting or staining and occasional part replacements. Also, its susceptibility to rot, splintering, and horse-induced damage increases repair and replacement costs over time. In our observation of visiting many equine properties, the treated pine is a soft-wood and the rails in particular are liable to twist and buckle in an extreme way if you’re in a hot/dry part of Australia. 

If you have an issue with termites in your location, you should be careful of investing in timber. You can learn in detail about the problems with timber post and rail fencing, along with their solutions. 


PVC Post and Rail Fencing 

Higher quality PVC fencing, while pricier upfront, offers longevity and resists weathering. Yet, it can require periodic cleaning and checks for breaks, potentially incurring repair costs over the years. This fencing has proved to turn brittle under the harsh Australian sun. When this happens, if a horse runs into the fence, it can break, and the splinters could end up injuring the horse. Thus, PVC fencing isn’t considered very safe for equine properties. 


Wire Fencing 

Wire fencing is a cost-effective option, particularly for expansive areas.  

Often property owners are not worried about aesthetics if they have chosen this type of fencing therefore the need for upkeep for presentation reasons isn’t typically required. Where work is needed as ‘maintenance’ is checking your horses for injuries or if you’re near wildlife, checking the fences regularly for trapped kangaroos etc. 

It’ll be worth digging deeper into the safest fencing for horses. 


Electric Fencing 

Electric fencing, though initially affordable, involves ongoing costs for electricity and regular checks.  

While effective for containment, its reliance on a constant power source and potential visibility issues for horses contribute to higher long-term maintenance. 

To be used effectively and have a higher visibility, electric fencing should be ideally paired with a post and rail fencing or an option like Horserail Hottop Plus could be considered. 

This might increase the cost but will give you safe and beautiful fencing that can last for decades with less maintenance than basic braid or tape electric fences. 


Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing 

Premium Steel Fencing from Stock & Noble with a higher initial investment, stands out for its durability and design. Engineered for minimal maintenance, it resists weather and horse impact, proving cost-effective over time compared to frequent repairs needed for wood or wire alternatives. 


Here are few of the reasons why Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing proves to be a wise long term investment: 

Minimal Upkeep: Built to last with little care needed. Strong construction means fewer fixes, saving money over the years. 

Durability: Made to resist weather, horse hits, and general wear, these fences keep going for decades. That’s different from other materials like wood or wire that might need more replacements. 

Safety: Smooth edges and a strong but flexible design make the Steel fence safer. It’s less likely to hurt horses compared to wire or well-kept wood fences. The bend, buckle and release system means the rail pops out upon high impact, preventing serious injuries to horses and easy to fix for the owner. 

Aesthetic: A fence is more than just a border – it’s a big part of how your place looks. The sleek design of the Premium Steel fence adds to how good your property looks, boosting its overall worth. 

Peace of Mind: Knowing your horses are safe in a fence that needs little care brings priceless peace. This lets you focus more on what you love – spending time with your horses. 


Ready to Make the Right Long-Term Investment? 

Choosing horse fencing is not just about what you want now. It’s a long-term investment in your property, your vision and your horses’ well-being. The initial cost is important, but the real value is in thinking about long-term care and costs. 


Overall Timber post and rail fencing require regular maintenance, involving the application of paint or stain to combat the impact of weather elements. Additionally, periodic repairs become necessary to address issues like rot or breakage.  


For PVC fencing, occasional cleaning and checks for cracks are essential, especially in hotter climates. On the other hand, wire and electric fencing systems can require ongoing attention, including increased monitoring of your horses for injury or animals trapped in the fence line. 


Each material comes with its unique set of care requirements to ensure longevity and effectiveness. 


While timber may seem cost-effective initially, the high maintenance makes it the more expensive in the long run. In contrast, the Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing, with its upfront investment, offers durability, minimal upkeep, and aesthetic value, making it a smart long-term investment for horse owners seeking both quality and savings. 


Putting your money into superior quality fencing like Premium Steel Post and Rail fencing pays off with fewer fixes and less maintenance, plus the safety and beautiful looks it adds to your property. We know it’s a premium fencing solution, and might not fit every property owner’s budget or vision. However, it’ll prove valuable to find out the reasons why our Premium Steel Fencing is so expensive. 


If you have more questions on suitability, maintenance, installation or cost of horse fencing, reach out to our fencing experts. They will help you every step of the way to create a safe and beautiful property, just the way you imagined. 

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