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What is the maximum height a garden fence can be

23rd Nov '20 • By Rohit Mankame

You are likely to come across the need to install a fence to protect your property or even create a bit of privacy for your house when you will renovate or construct a property. As basic as it seems there are really a quite a range of requirements for Australian fencing regulations that you have to comply with.

White man painting white fenceFencing is an important aspect of any house. It gives you a sense of safety and although, it is possible to handle the job on your own, but you should make sure that the fence is properly erected, physically sound and safe. Also, there will be a lot of work involved in taking the proper measurements and preparing the fence, so keep this in mind when deciding if you should tackle the project as a DIY.

All fencing types are affected by factors such as structure, height and position. This can make things a bit complicated. We have put together this article to discuss existing Australian fencing requirements in order to ensure that your fence construction is as straightforward as possible. 

If you’d rather leave the task to a professional, you should take into consideration quotes from various different fencing businesses and then choose the best one based on their experience, warranty, past projects and customer reviews.

White fencing at stadium

What are the Australian fencing regulations?

To ensure that everyone gets what they need out of their fence, there are a range of Australian fencing requirements in operation. This requires legislation for separation of fences, pools, materials for fences, height requirements and so on.

When  it comes to the height of your dividing fence, each state and territory will have a different rule.

Please note that the local council will have its own rules in force anf you may need to get in contact with your local representative or us at 

Queensland - QLD

A dividing fence is deemed appropriate in QLD if it is between 0.5m to 1.8m height. In QLD, the main rule of thumb is that if you and your neighbor accept that your dividing fence is adequate, it meets the local norms. You can find out more about regulations here.

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New South Wales - NSW

A residential fence can as a general rule not exceed 1.8m in height. In NSW, there are a variety of variables that can contribute to a need for a planning permit. You can find more specific information for NSW regulations here. 

Victoria - VIC

In most situations, if the height of the fencing is above 2m, you would require a permit. When you share a neighbor's fence, make sure that you work together to make a decision that works on both sides. You can find more specific details for Victoria here

chain wire fencing

Australian Capital Territory - ACT

It is a government suggestion that before you build or install a boundary fence around your house, you review the Common Boundaries Act 1981. You can find ACT specific information here

Northern Territory - NT

You would require a permit to build a fence that reaches 1 m in height in most circumstances. You are not allowed to have a fence around a residential estate in certain regions. Take a look at the government website or contact your local council for more detail about Australian fencing requirements in NT.

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South Australia - SA

In most situations, if your proposed fence reaches 2.1m in height, you would need a permit. The height limit (before permission) is usually 1 m if it is a masonry fence. Brush fences and retaining walls have different criteria, so for more information about your personal project, you will need to speak with your local council or one of our South Australian fencing businesses or click here for all the relevant SA fencing regulations. 

Western Australia - WA

In terms of fence height, each distinct area in WA has its own regulations. Generally, the height of your fence should be about 1.2m and 1.8m. Again if you share a boundary fence, you would need to collaborate effectively with your neighbours. FInd out WA specific information here.

Tasmania - TAS

In Tassie, you will need a planning permit for rear and side fences if the fence height exceeds 1.2 metres and beyond 4.5 metres of frontage. If you are unsure you can refer to the Boundary Fences Act 1908 from the Tasmanian Legislation here.

colorbond fencing

What are the types of fences?

There are many different types of fences to pick from and the cost of the fencing job depends on the materials that are chosen for the new fence.

The choices you may have are:

  • Metal or chain fencing
  • Timber fencing
  • PVC fencing 
  • Wrought iron fencing 
  • Colorbond fencing

timber fencing

What are the alternatives to extending fence height?

Erect a fence next to the neighbors. As long as you stick to the approved height requirements for the garden wall and it is standing on your side of the property, you should be fine. 

You could plant freestanding mature hedges and bushes or other bamboo-like tall-growing plants. These can reach a height of 2 metres, serving as a living extension to your wall. You would share the burden of trimming it with your neighbor if the hedge is the only barrier between you and your neighbor.

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You could build your own freestanding trellis and grow some thick climbing vines. The vines can spread over 2 metres quickly. This will help to soundproof the garden and keep the neighbours from looking at it. Evergreen clematis, honeysuckle, trumpet plant, will make appealing choices.

You can also build a small shed or a greenhouse next to the fence. As long as their height does not exceed 2.5 metres when they are placed within 2 metres of the boundary, constructing outbuildings does not require planning permits. 

wall fencing

What determines the cost of fencing?

So now, you must be wondering how much does fencing cost? Fencing specialists consider several factors when giving a quote for your fencing installation. These include:

  • Material used
  • Height of fence
  • Soil type
  • Size of the job
  • Terrain (flat or sloped)
  • Previous fence removal
  • If you need gates
  • If your fence needs painting or staining

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