Side Fence Ideas – 8 Best Fencing Options for the Side of Your House

Side fences are good to have for a number of reasons. They can help you define the borders of your property so that there is no confusion with neighbours about who owns what. They also provide extra safety both for keeping people out and keeping pets or young children in. Another thing that side fences can provide is privacy.

It goes without saying that privacy can be difficult to come by in urban and suburban settings. Installing a side fence is one way to limit the amount of people who can see into your yard, creating your own private oasis. This is particularly comforting if you have an outdoor pool, kids, or parties in the backyard often. There are a number of privacy fence designs and ideas which are engineered specifically for this purpose.

However, side fences are not all for practicality’s sake. The fencing around your house serves a functional purpose, yes, but it should also compliment the aesthetic style of your exterior façade. A good side fence will blend seamlessly into the materials and colour scheme of the entire front exterior. Some common combinations include timber fences for rustic, ranch-style houses and tall, dark fences for contemporary homes.


Depending on where you live, there are a few rules and regulations you will have to navigate in order to install a fence. The first is the question of who will install your fence. In NSW, you must have a building license before you can complete any type of building job (fencing included) that exceeds $5,000 in value. However, if your budget for building a timber fence is less than that, you are eligible to DIY.

Another thing to consider is the necessary permits. Height restrictions vary between local councils, so be sure to check the appropriate webpage for your specific location. Very few residential fences will be taller than 1.8m – if you want a tall fence, you will have to do the research first. Common practice dictates that you chat to your neighbour where possible about the height of their fences, the average height around the neighbourhood, and your own plans.

Side fences are more common in American and European homes where neighbours are close by. However, there is still a huge market for side fences in Australia that ensures you have access to the best materials and designs possible. To help inspire your search, here are some of the best side fence ideas for Australian homes.

Fence ideas for side of house

08. Vinyl

Vinyl fences are extremely cheap and easy to install. Vinyl is a type of material manufactured from PVC plastics. It is also used in flooring and cladding because of its excellent durability, water resistance and low maintenance. Installing a vinyl fence is not a difficult DIY project – in fact, vinyl is one of the easiest materials to work with even as a beginner. Vinyl fencing will usually cost between $150-$200 per square metre. Learn more about vinyl here.

07. Bamboo

bamboo privacy fence screen vertical

Bamboo is an affordable material that is extremely environmentally friendly. The regeneration rate of bamboo makes it quick and easy to harvest multiple times, which helps to reduce deforestation. A bamboo fence is durable and strong, especially once sealed.

06. Aluminium

timber look aluminium privacy fence

Aluminium is a lightweight and durable material used for a variety of home improvement projects. It can be made to look like natural timber or kept sleek and metallic for a more contemporary feel.

Aluminium cladding is a popular way to protect houses from weather damage, because it can withstand heavy wear and tear from the outdoor elements. As such, it makes an ideal side fence.

05. Living fence

natural fence hedge plant fence on side of house ideas privacy

A fence made from living plants is a great way to gain some privacy without having to clutter your yard with imposing, industrialist materials. Plants such as hedges will still allow light to get through and add to the greenery of your backyard garden. They work to shield your backyard from street view without blocking your yard in. Popular plant choices include bamboo, boxwood, hicks yew and cypress.

04. Side fence gate ideas

timber gate for side of house fence pets dogs kids safety protection

Most side fences will need to have a secure gate. This will help to keep people out and your pets in. Side gates are usually tall and should stretch from the house to the fence with no gaps to ensure maximum protection. Because they are usually quite narrow, horizontal designs are favoured over vertical.

03. Garden fence

fence with garden protection design ideas lining fence small backyards

One way to make the most out of a side fence is to have your garden follow its borders. This creates an aesthetic path that is easy to follow and reduces the amount of space that the garden takes up in the backyard. It will also help to shelter the plants from the wind and provide some protection from the scorching sun.

02. Timber

timber fence horizontal palling design easy DIY home fencing neighbour privacy

Timber is an absolute classic when it comes to fencing. The vast majority of Australian fences are made from some type of timber – usually treated pine, redwood, eucalypt, blackbutt or cedar. Sustainable timber is readily available and will ensure that your backyard is as environmentally friendly as possible. Consider trusted manufacturers Mullholland Brand for all of your fence needs.

01. Privacy screening fence

privacy screen grey fence with gaps design ideas for protection

Privacy screens are the best way to shield your backyard from outside view without sacrificing any natural light. With a privacy screen, horizontal paling is installed at slight intervals. This means that there is a gap between each board where light can get through, but the overall view behind the wall is distorted.

This is surprisingly effective, though it does not limit the natural light. To see through the fence properly, someone would have to press their face right up to the gap between boards – so you will definitely be shielded from passers-by. A screen like this is the perfect option for families with small backyards who want privacy without making their backyard seem smaller. Read more about privacy fences here.

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