Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors use pine that is grown especially for such needs, so it could be said to be a sustainable source. However, pine is a softwood; it will need to be painted regularly to keep the water out so it doesn’t rot.
If you are intent of having a timber fence, there are other places to source the timber from apart from what the contractor offers. Here are a few examples.
Old railway sleepers – this is hardwood with still plenty of use in it and is ideal for fences. While hardwood is more difficult to hammer a nail into without drilling it first, it will certainly last for ages and using it saves the waste of it being burned as rubbish, just because it has been replaced by concrete sleepers.
Bridge decking – can be cut up into lengths suitable for a fence and will last for many more years when it doesn’t have to be strong enough to hold the weight of vehicles crossing it.
Piers – any kind of timber that has been used for piers or other used in water is the kind that will not break down easily.
Storm or natural forest waste – if you live near a forest and a storm brings down trees, or better still, if you have a property you can convert fallen trees into timber suitable for fences.
Timber recycling centres – more suitable for town and city dwellers, recycling centres for timber and other kinds of waste are springing up in many areas. Builders often leave left-over timber at such places rather than see it go into landfill.
Recycling centres not meant specifically for timber – these can have any number of things such as gates and fence panels you can use for a very affordable price.
Before you look for recycled timber for your fence, it’s a good idea to ask the council what rules and regulations they have regarding fencing for your area. These differ from state to state and from council to council. Much will also depend on where your property is located within the town and what type of land is bordering it.
Remember, your neighbour has some say about what kind of fence goes up between the two properties, since they have to pay half the cost. And in some areas, front fencing is not permitted, while if the fence is to replace one that was there to start with, it is usually fine to have the same kind of fence, however, it is well worth checking first just to be sure. Once you know what the regulations you can go ahead with peace of mind that your fence will be approved.