Home Improvement

Does Your Fence Need a Repair or Replacement

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If you own a house with a yard, you most likely have a fence, and that fence can sometimes suffer significant damage. Once that happens, the big question pops up: should I repair it or replace it.

Fence repair and replacement is a topic that causes massive headaches to many households.

For example, in Australia, the price can go up to $100/m or sometimes more. And if the damage is non-reversible, the costs for fence replacement can be anywhere between $75/m to $350/m, including labour.

Below, we gathered some signs showing that your fence needs fixing ASAP in short explanations.

Table of contents:

Signs your fence is due fixing

If you are on the verge of wondering whether your fence needs fixing, you are at the right place. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to distinguish whether your fence needs a quick fix or a complete replacement. And since all of this involves funds and the question of whether it might be too costly to replace a fence, we distinguished the most common signs for you.

Rotting and termite bites

Wooden fences can sometimes rot due to incorrect wood treatment as the years progress. You can see the damage appear at the base of your fence, where the posts are in the ground. Keep in mind that if more than a quarter of your fence has damage, it needs replacement.

Another way for you to have a broken fence is termites, and you can quickly stop that by using products to eliminate the pests. If you want to repair the fence, you must ensure that all termites are gone and then continue.

Otherwise, it makes no sense to repair it, only for the damage to appear again.

Wear and tear

Old age is an inevitable way for your fence to get damaged. If your fence has been around for more than 20 years, it is time to think about fence replacement.

Weather and climate damage

Extreme weather conditions such as fire, a fallen tree, massive wind, and such have damaged your beautiful fence, and you will have to replace it. Sometimes Mother Nature can get the best of us, and it can get your fence.

The sun can also impact the material of your fence and the cold, too.

Loose parts

Fences can sometimes get wobbly, and their panels might get loose, and you will need professional help to fix them. It’s not a big job, but it needs a quick reaction to fix it before it’s too late.

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Should you repair or replace your fence?

Sometimes it’s tough to tell if you need fence replacement or repair. After all, you must evaluate one or the other since funds are involved heavily. And it’s not a good idea for your budget to replace something that needs a quick fix.

Down below, we gathered some common signs that you need rapid fence fixing:

Sagging fence

The sagging of a fence can be caused by various factors such as rain, wind, or the aging of the wood of your fence. It might seem like the end of the world, but it’s a problem that’s easily manageable with a bit of fix.

There is no need to replace the entire fence, just small sections where the damage is more visible. A rule of thumb is to check your fence condition carefully every month, and if you see anything that’s starting to sag, fix it.

Rotting posts

Rotting in fences is commonly seen in fences that are left untreated. If you catch the rotting process earlies, you can prevent fence replacement and some mild fence post repair. You can check the fence’s posts where they meet the ground and see if any rotting can be detected. Afterwards, call professionals to handle the matter before the entire fence collapses.

Rotting is one of the many ways for you to have a broken fence that could be beyond repair.

Water damage or rust

Rain can easily damage your fence, and it can lead to mould, rot, rust, and decay, depending on the material. If you have a metal fence, chain fence, PVC, and other similar materials, they can easily rust or rot. If you have a timber fence, it can easily mould due to humidity and water. Sometimes even algae can appear, which can contribute to the overall damage of the material.

Termites and wood buckling

Pest problems within your fence can be detected by the water damage, cracking, swelling, insect tracks on your wood, and more. If you spot any of these signs, immediately call a professional to handle the little critters.

Once you catch the termite damage on time, you can repair the fence and omit to replace the entire thing all at once.

Wobbly and loose parts

Wobbly and loose parts of your fence can signify that the fence is old or the weather damages it. However, sometimes it’s a sign of the bad quality of the fence material.

Always check the provider that sells and installs your fences. Check if they are certified and use only the best high-quality materials.

Broken Colorbond fence

If your Colorbond fence is broken, you have to determine the percentage of the damage. If it has a dent, you can easily fix that. However, if it went through dramatic weather changes and it’s broken, it’s probably best to replace it.

Colorbond fences are usually quite sturdy, but sometimes the wear and tear of age, weather, damage of protective coating, and various other reasons can tear down a fence.

Generally, it’s cheaper to fix a small section of your fence than replace the whole fence. If the damage is not colossal, paying the fence replacement cost is not very budget-friendly. After all, aside from the price of the replacement materials, a big chunk of the price is labour. When replacing, the labour and materials are a lot less.

Is fixing the fence your responsibility?

This is the real question before wondering how to repair the fence. When it comes to fence repair planning, it’s hard to know whose job is to pay.

According to Australian laws, there are two types of fences – a dividing fence and a sufficient fence. A diving fence is anything from panels and wire to embankments, creeks, and ditches. Such fences are also cattle grids, gates, or any parts forming a closure type. You don’t have to stretch out the fence along the length of the property to call it a dividing fence.

On the other hand, a sufficient fence is a fence that meets the minimum of standards set by your local government. A sufficient fence is considered one if it’s capable of containing cattle. However, this can be different in your area.

Now that we cleared this out of the way, it’s time to discuss who is responsible for the fence repair and pays it.

Generally, costs can be split between the two owners or covered by one of them. If there is a sufficient diving fence, but one of the owners wants a new one, they have to cover the total cost.

Damage by a neighbor

In this situation, the Australian government has a defined set of circumstances when one neighbour must pay for the fence repair. These circumstances include fire falling of trees which are also considered neglect.

If the circumstances are different, both owners have to chip in and pay equally for the repair. However, if you are sure that your neighbour is at fault, you should seek legal advice.

If the neighbour at fault doesn’t repair the dividing fence, you have to pay or replace the fence and ask your neighbour to recover your costs by referring the situation to the Magistrates Court.

Natural event

If the whole dividing fence or parts of it are destroyed or damaged by a storm, fire, flood, lightning, or other natural causes, one of the owners must act quickly to repair it. Then, they should inform the other owner to recover half of the expenses.

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Cost of repairing or replacing your fence

The fence repair cost and the fence replacement cost vary depending on the type of fence, project size, and even your location. There is a suitable range of prices for every taste, every home, and every budget.

When it comes to the fence replacement cost, the project cost can vary from $50/m to $2000/m, depending on the material. Of course, the price of the fence itself is added on top of that.

And when it comes to the fence repair costs, they can vary for around $64/m-$77/m on average for labour. The total cost depends not only on the labour but also on the damage and used materials. The project cost can be anywhere between $250 and $750 depending on the type of repair.

When you know the cost per meter, you can easily calculate the cost for fence repair. You should first calculate the number of fence panels by subtracting the total lineal feet of the project and the gate width, dividing them by the fence panel’s width. Then, calculate the number of posts by adding the number of panels to 1 and the number of gates.


  • Keep in mind that if more than a quarter of your fence has damage, it needs replacement.
  • If your fence has been around for more than 20 years, it is time to think about fence replacement.
  • Treat your fence with products against pests and coat it with chemicals that the climate and weather wear.
  • If your neighbor damages the dividing fence by fire or a tree in their yard, they should pay for the fence replacement.
  • If the dividing fence is damaged by a natural accident, then one property owner should pay and fix it immediately. Then, they should inform the other one to cover half of the expenses.

Check out our article on fence repair and replacement now! Read all about the causes of fence damage, the responsibility of you and your neighbor to keep your fence intact, and how to calculate the costs.

So, have you ever had a badly damaged fence or a quarrel with a neighbour about repairs? Leave a comment down below, tell us if this article was helpful, and share your experience with fence repair and replacement.

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