Designing your farm fence

Six simple steps to designing your farm fence by Waratah Fencing.

Whether building a new fence or updating an existing one, ask yourself a few simple questions before you rush out and buy the same materials you always have.

Spending time designing your fence may save you time and money when building and maintaining your next fence – the result will most likely be a better performing fence.

1. Map your property

Sketch out on paper a map of your property or print an aerial image of your property from free online sources such as Google maps.

2. Mark boundary fences

Mark out boundary fence lines, corners, angles and gates on your property map, avoiding natural obstacles like creek beds where possible.

If your map is to scale, this will help with calculating the length of your fence lines.

3. Mark internal fences

Designate certain areas (grazing, laneways, yards or cropping) of your property. This will help you determine the level of pressure your fences will face and what products will help you address that.

Generally, high pressures require more posts and wire and low pressures require less posts and wire.

4. Internal and external forces

Think about what you are trying to keep off your property. A fence can be breached in one of three ways – Over it, Under it, or Through it.

If feral animals are a threat, note the characteristics of those animals – do they jump, burrow or charge fences.

Your answers will help you choose the right products for your needs.

Careful consideration should be given to designing a strong boundary fence using the best quality materials you can afford.

5. Natural forces: fire and flood

If fire is a common occurrence, consider using low-medium tensile Waratah wire which helps minimise the chance of the wire snapping or losing tension under the heat of the fire.

If flood is a common occurrence, consider using JIO™ MaxY® posts to strengthen the fence line and Longlife® wire for the best protection from corrosion.

6. Terrain

If your property is rocky and hard, consider using shorter steel posts that you don’t need to drive in too far and are easier to install.

For loamy and soft soils, consider using longer steel posts that you can drive further into the ground to establish better ground holding.

Also consider the slope – for flat ground, post spacings may be increased and most wire products are suitable, but for sloping ground, post spacings may need to be closer.

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This story was first published in The Fence magazine.