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The best post and rail fencing in Western Australia: Comparing different options.

Western Australia is a land of striking beauty and formidable challenges. Here, the landscape is mostly flat with the Perth Hills beautifully poised in the backdrop and stunning coastal areas, but behind this beauty lies a tough environment for property owners. Summers are scorching hot and dry, making it a task to keep plants green, and feed animals and the constant threat of fires. Plus, there’s the constant worry of termites wreaking havoc. To cope, many rely on underground water, but it’s full of heavy metals that stain everything they touch brown. And let’s not forget the relentless sun, which can weather fences in no time. 


You might already be aware of these issues. So, when it comes to fencing in WA, it’s crucial to find a solution that can handle the heat, resist staining from the water, and stand strong against the elements. While painting might protect, it can also end up discoloured. 


At Stock and Noble, we provide the finest fencing solutions to high-end property owners across Australia and New Zealand. We understand the challenges you face in Western Australia. With our expertise in helping clients create beautiful properties in this state, we’re here to share insights about how to choose the right fencing solution for a signature property. 


In this blog, we will explore the ins and outs of post and rail fencing in Western Australia, evaluating different options that could stand up to the challenges of this state. Thus, arming you with the knowledge and tools to make the right choices for your property’s durability, beauty and ROI. 


Overview of Fencing in Western Australia 

In the vast rural farms of Western Australia (WA), the primary fencing material you’ll likely see is timber, steel, combined with wire and mesh. Steel is the more dominant of the two. with a significant quantity being treated pine.  


Fencing Varieties in Semi-Rural Properties: 

In semi-rural properties and hobby farms across WA, fencing materials vary between timber, metal, and PVC. Hardwood fencing, while not as common in WA, does exist, with Jarrah being a native hardwood used in rural properties. However, sourcing Jarrah is becoming increasingly challenging, prompting property owners to explore alternatives. One of these options is Treated Pine with PermaPole being the preferred choice for semi-rural properties. This Treated Pine fence is characterised by round posts rather than the traditional square or rectangular ones commonly seen in the rest of Australia.  


Treated Pine Post and Rail Fencing in Western Australia 

In recent years, treated pine has emerged as a popular alternative to hardwood fencing in Western Australia (WA), primarily due to the increasing scarcity of hardwood resources. Compared to hardwood, treated pine offers greater ease of use and installation, making it a preferred choice for many property owners. While its lifespan may not match that of hardwood or metal, treated pine fences typically last between 10 to 15 years, meeting the expectations of most property owners who aren’t investing in a forever or signature property. 


Durability and Maintenance: 

Treated Pine post and rails can withstand severe wetting, more than other timber types unless you paint the timber. Painting timber and the use of bore water could lead to staining or discolouration over time.  

Also, like all timber, exposure to the sun can cause treated pine to dry out, warp, and crack. To tackle this, proper securing of the fencing materials is crucial to ensure longevity and stability. 


Aesthetic Considerations: 

The treated pine aesthetic, with products like PermaPole, has become familiar to WA property owners. Whether it enhances the overall look of a property is subjective and depends on individual preferences. However, it’s worth noting that hardwood or premium steel fencing options may offer a more upscale appearance, as seen in lifestyle properties across Australia. Check out some inspiring fencing designs at signature properties. 


Fire Resistance and Termites: 

While treated pine fencing in bushfire-prone areas may become charred depending on the intensity of the fire, it tends to fare better than PVC fencing in such scenarios. Additionally, the treatment process for PermaPole includes additives such as arsenic, chrome, and metal, enhancing its durability and resistance to termites. 

While this treatment aligns with Australian guidelines, some equine property owners may be apprehensive about using treated pine if they have cribbers on their property.  

Watch the story of equine property owners, who feared using Treated Pine chemicals being licked by their horses. 

Jones Property Video - Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing - Southern Highlands


Different Approaches to Fencing Construction: 

While traditional fencing methods involve morticed square posts and rails, PermaPole fences utilise round posts with corresponding round holes. The absence of fixings in PermaPole fences simplifies installation, as rails can effortlessly slide into the post holes. However, like other timber fencing options, installing these fences may require additional time and effort. 


PVC Fencing in Western Australia 

PVC fencing offers a cost-effective solution for property owners in Western Australia (WA), providing a traditional post and rail look without breaking the bank. This makes it a popular choice for properties on a limited budget. One of the key advantages of PVC fencing is its pre-coloured post and rails, eliminating the need for painting. However, it’s essential to consider its limitations, particularly in the context of WA’s harsh summer climate and unique environmental challenges. 


Fire Resistance Concerns: 

One significant drawback of PVC fencing in WA is its lack of fire resistance. As bushfires are a common occurrence in the region, this poses a notable risk to properties equipped with PVC fencing. Unlike other materials that may withstand fire to some extent, PVC tends to melt and shrivel up under high temperatures, offering minimal protection against flames. 


Brittleness and Safety Considerations: 

Moreover, PVC becomes brittle when exposed to the harsh sun prevalent in WA. This brittleness can pose safety concerns, especially when used for horse fencing in small yards or paddocks. In such scenarios, the risk of injury to horses is heightened, as the fence may shatter upon impact, creating sharp shards that can cause severe harm. 


Staining Issues with Bore Water: 

In addition to its vulnerability to fire and brittleness, PVC fencing in WA is susceptible to staining when exposed to bore water. The white colour of PVC easily absorbs stains, turning the white into a brownish fence. It might require frequent cleaning and maintenance to preserve its appearance. 


Metal Fencing in Western Australia 

While not as popular as in New South Wales or Victoria, metal fencing is still used in Western Australia (WA).  


Strength and Safety: 

Premium steel fence is strong yet safe for equine properties with its bend, buckle and release system.  

Cattle rail boasts great strength but may not be the safest choice for containing horses due to its design. Premium steel fencing presents a viable alternative, offering robustness without compromising on safety. 


Cost Considerations: 

One deterrent to metal fencing in WA is its perceived higher cost compared to alternatives like treated pine or PVC. However, it’s important to recognise that while metal fencing like premium steel may require a larger initial investment, the durability and aesthetic appeal often justifies the expense over time. Metal fencing stands up admirably against the harsh elements prevalent in WA, providing long-lasting protection and visual appeal. 


Advantages of Premium Steel: 

Premium steel fencing is particularly suitable for WA for its ease of installation, beautiful post and rail look, and minimal maintenance requirements. Powder-coated steel varieties excel in withstanding the intense heat of the sun and the potential hazards of bushfires, ensuring longevity and continued attractiveness. 


We’ve recently done two projects in Western Australia, for arenas in North Dandalup and Walliston. The clients were looking for horse safe, beautiful and long-lasting fence that could combat the WA weather. 


Staining Concerns: 

In areas where bore water is prevalent, white steel fencing may be susceptible to staining. Opting for black metal fencing reduces the visual impact of staining.  

If you’re choosing a cattle rail, again painting it black will lessen the noticeable effect of staining, although considerations must be made for its suitability on equine properties.  

That’s where the powder coating of Premium Steel Fence comes in, offering safety and style. It’s secure for the horses and choosing Premium Steel Post and Rail Fence in black can help hide any staining caused by the tough WA conditions. 

It’ll be worth learning more about the differences between Cattle Rail and Premium Steel Post and Rail fence. 


Ready to Choose the Best Fencing for Your Property in Western Australia 

In summary, Western Australia presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for property owners when it comes to fencing. From scorching summers to the constant threat of termites, fires and the possible staining effects of bore water, selecting the right fencing solution is key. In this blog, we’ve explored various options available in WA, comparing their strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for the region’s demanding environment. 


Treated Pine Fencing: While treated pine offers a cost-effective solution with decent durability, it may not be the ideal choice for equine properties.  

PVC Fencing: PVC fencing provides a budget-friendly option with a traditional look, but its lack of fire resistance and tendency to become brittle under the sun make it less suitable than other fencing options. Property owners must weigh these limitations against their budget and aesthetic preferences. 

Metal Fencing: Despite being perceived as expensive, metal fencing, particularly premium steel, offers durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. Powder-coated steel varieties excel in withstanding the harsh WA climate while offering minimal maintenance requirements. Property owners should consider the long-term benefits of premium steel over initial cost concerns. 

The choice of fencing finally depends on your priorities – whether it’s durability, low maintenance, looks or anything else. This fencing quiz will help you make the right start and bring clarity to your vision. 

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If you have any more questions about choosing the right fencing for your property, feel free to discuss your vision and questions with our fencing experts. Whether you’re looking for the easy availability of treated pine, the affordability of PVC, or the beauty and durability of premium steel, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

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