Modular Fencing Vs Timber Fencing
Fence shopping? We’ve taken out the stress of comparing fences for you! Check out our comprehensive side-by-side comparison of Timber Fencing vs Modular Fencing below…
First thing’s first — what does the cost comparison look like? According to the 2018 timber fencing costs listed on hipages*, you may be surprised to see just how affordable modular fencing is in comparison (note that these prices all include both materials and professional installation):
- $75 – $120 per metre for a treated pine paling fence
- $80 – $125 per metre for a hardwood paling fence
- $191+GST per metre for SlimWall modular fencing
- $280 – $350 per metre treated pine timber slat fence
- $320 for a pre-primed treated pine fence
- $330 per metre for a 1.5m hardwood Merbau fence
As you can see, modular fencing can actually be more economical than the higher end hardwood timber fencing options. When considering the durability, aesthetics, privacy and noise reduction that you get from modular fencing, you may be getting more value from modular fencing.
Maintenance is another long term cost to add to the initial price tag, as timber fencing age faster and need to be treated, maintained and repaired far more regularly. SlimWall modular fencing, on the other hand, is virtually maintenance free, with an extended 15 year warranty.
If you’re looking to save costs even further, the price tags for both modular and timber fencing drop again if installed DIY.
Take home message: Timber fencing can be cheaper, but be wary of the long term costs of higher maintenance.
Can you DIY it?
Definitely! As both options follow a post and rail system, the install methods are quite similar. Timber is a fairly manageable material to work with, and as long as you go slow and learn a few tricks of the trade along the way, you’ll be able to build a fairly attractive timber fence. With DIY modular fencing, you’ll simply concrete the posts in, slide in and secure the panels, and finish with capping and post tops.
As mentioned above, DIY will also save you labour costs; SlimWall modular fencing drops to around $130+GST per lineal metre, while TrendWall drops to $180 +GST per lineal metre.
Take home message: Both fencing types are DIY friendly.
Install time for a timber fence relies on a few different variables, including whether or not you’ll need to cut materials down to size, how intricate the fence design is, how wide your palings are and if there’s an old fence to remove. However, for a 10-20 metre run without anything too tricky to tackle, either type of fencing could be installed over a single weekend!
Take home message: Both fencing types offer rapid installation times.
Our products have been tested by the National Acoustic Laboratory of Australia, offering an average 20-25dB reduction. Watch the SlimWall vs Lawn Mower test here!
Timber fencing provides very little noise reduction, unless made with extra thick timbers and installed in an airtight design – which is difficult for wood! To get the thickness and design needed to adequately reduce noise, you’re not saving any money compared to a modular acoustic fence.
Take home message: Modular fencing provides cost-effective noise reduction.
In the age of headlines boasting the latest trends and hottest looks in home design, there is one truth that reigns supreme; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has different tastes, styles and aesthetic preferences; our homes should be a reflection of that!
Some prefer the natural grain of timber, whilst others adore the sleek, render-look finish of a modular fence panel. Some love the rustic charm that a wooden paling fence brings, whilst others feel more comfortable with a sturdy, secure boundary wall.
However, one thing to ask is, how long are those looks going to last? Will it age gracefully, or will it look prematurely outdated? For home improvement projects, every decision should be a long-term investment; choose a fence that will last the test of time and boost your property value, otherwise it’s money down the drain.
The only other aesthetic factor with timber fencing is choosing who gets stuck with “the ugly side”. Usually, unless you’re choosing an overlapping or more expensive paling design, one neighbour gets stuck with unsightly rails on their side. On the other hand, modular fencing offers the same smooth finish on either side, removing the risk of neighbourly tensions!
Take home message: Both fence types can look beautiful, but timber fencing ages faster.
Treated pine is the most cost-effective timber for fencing, but is extremely susceptible to weathering, rot and disrepair. Hardwoods last longer, but are more expensive, and still require ongoing treatment and maintenance. On the other hand, ModularWalls offers a 15 year warranty for all their fencing systems, made from strong, quality materials that are not susceptible to rot or termites.
Take home message: Modular fencing is more durable.
Is it Aussie proof?
Our stunning, sunburnt country is not exactly a gentle-natured beauty — in fact, she’s home to some seriously harsh climates. When you need a fence that can take the pressure, where can Aussie homeowners put their confidence?
For bushfire zones, timber fencing is obviously a no-go. However, modular fencing offers a standard BAL29 rating, with the option to customise the panels to achieve a BAL40 rating.
For fencing in cyclonic wind regions, considerations include choosing a material that is less likely to fail, and choosing a design that doesn’t cause extensive wind-borne debris in the event of it failing. So basically, an ideal fence in this region would include strong footings and less parts that can fly off. Furthermore, our products are suited for all Australian wind regions; in fact, one of our DIY customers from the Whitsundays, QLD, chose a modular wall after Cyclone Debbie tore her brick pool wall down. However, suitability depends on terrain and height. For more info, you can check out our detailed guide to how to choose fencing for your wind region.
For those in humid climates, such as NSW and QLD, termites are another environmental factor to consider. If you know you’re in a white ant area, timber fencing is risky business; chances are, you’ll be finding hollowed out tracks in no time.
Take home message: Modular fencing is more suitable for harsh Australian climates and environments.
Written by Evelyn Kandris