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  • James Treble

The Front Fence

First impressions create expectations, or disappointment. This can apply to meeting a new person, judging a book by its cover or a home from its façade. Often before we enter a home we already have an image of the interior of the home largely based on the impression we have from the view of the exterior. And the fencing is one of the elements that help form an opinion from the first arrival to a home. Like finding shoes to match a dress, the fence should complement the colour and style of a house, creating a cohesive and attractive looking façade, which will increase the interest in, and value of any property.

Looking at the pictures below taken from houses in the same Sydney suburb, you can see how the front of the home conveys very different impressions of the dwelling that sits behind the fence. Old or renovated, contemporary or tired? Looking at your own fence would you say it matches the overall look of the home? What first impression does it give?



First impressions: the front fence

But if your budget doesn’t allow for a new fence, there are things that can be done to elevate the status of the existing one. Here are a few practical tips to get you started with the impression this gives your guests on arrival:


1 – Its style should match the style of the home it surrounds and if it doesn’t, then painting it a matching or complementary colour to the façade of the house will help to bring the two together.


First impressions: the front fence

2 – Rendering or sand-bagging a fence made of dated looking bricks is the best way to give it a new life, especially if it is a solid one.



First impressions: the front fence

3 – The gate should open smoothly and match the handrails of the balconies or the grills at the windows. If not, then a new coat of paint might be what's needed to help unify their looks. Note: a missing gate might look better than one that’s falling apart.



First impressions: the front fence

If you’re planning to fix, modernise or change the fence altogether, our advice is to have a walk up and down your street and select a style that not only suits your home, but one that also suits the neighbourhood. Remember: the appeal of your home as well as its value starts with the first impressions it gives, right from the street.


James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information. More of James' knowledge is now accessible via Practical Design Online Know-How.