Guide to Paling Fencing

Industry Standard


Cleats may be used where applicable, on short runs or where it is impractical to fit post into ground, eg: footing at brickwork or underground services in area but not pinpointed, and are fixed using ‘concrete nails or dynabolts'.

Timber: Unseasoned Hardwood CCA Treated Pine
Sizes: 100x50 or 100 x 38mm


On boxed paling fences, one 38mm x 2.2mm flat head nail shall be used at the top and bottom rail on the base paling and two 50mm x 2.2mm flat head nails at each rail on cover paling. Cover paling nails should be placed as close as possible to the under paling. Electro-plated, cad plated or ‘gal’ wire nails are available at extra cost and are strongly recommended for use with CCA Treated Pine palings. Fully hot-dipped galvanized nails are available but rarely used due to cost. Nail guns with fasteners of appropriate length, crescent or half moon shapes are normally used.


Capping is an optional extra and longer posts must be used so top rail is at top of palings.

Timber: CCA Treated Pine White Cypress Pine
Sizes: Ex 100 x 50 Ex 100 x 38

CCA Treated Pine comes in ‘wet’ grade or Kiln Dried (KD) after treatment, the latter being the premium and more expensive. Capping joints should be mitred and nailed with 75mm galvanized nail as 450 spacing. On angles, capping should be butt joined to angle, but not mitred.


Timber Types

Durability classes 1 or 2. Eg. Red Gum, Jarrah, Yellow Stringy Bark, Red Ironbark, Turpentine, Bloodwood, White Cypress Pine*, CCA Treated Pine *.

* Not recommended in high wind areas.
Timber posts minimum normal size 125mm x 75 mm Pretressed Concrete posts min size 110mm x 45mm All timber posts to have splayed top to shed water.

Post spacing to be 2700mm, with 3000mm panels allowed to complete a length of fence or bridge an obstruction.

End or Starter Posts

The client/s are to pay for additional posts where new posts are required at each end of fence. Extra posts are also required where there are breaks in fence line caused by buildings, trees etc. The fence erecter does not disturb existing end or corner posts attached to other fences and a new post is normally set back 400mm-600mm, and rails are run through to end.


Posts to be set plumb and embedded to an approximate depth of 600mm where ground conditions permit. Longer posts, at extra cost, may be required to counter a dip in land.

Sprinkler systems should be placed so soil around post is NOT CONTINUALLY DAMP.

Stabilise Soil

Refill post-holes with a mixture of soil from hole and 6kg of dry cement and consolidate by hand ramming or tamping. Wet mix will consist of 6kg dry cement mixed with the soil from the hole to form a slurry around the post. Clients should ensure fence is not distributed within the first 72 hours, as this will loosen consolidation around post.

Where posts are in sand, unstable soil, or depth cannot be achieved (due to rock), additional costs will be incurred for:

1. Digging deeper hole and using longer post

2. Setting post in full concrete mix (rather than cement and soil)

3. Fitting of soles and struts at base of post


Timber: Unseasoned Hardwood or CCA Treated Pine.

Size: 150mm x 25mm nominal size.

Thicker plinths should be used where soil is being retained and species should be durability 1 or 2 as for posts. Where multiple plinths are required to retain soil, heavier post footings should be specified and plinth droppers fitted to middle of panels.


Fencing is usually built to the contours of the ground and is rarely horizontal. Where ground levels undulate it is preferable, at extra cost, to fill the gaps with additional plinths (and longer posts) to maintain a straight top for as long a span as practical. Fence height may vary in relation to undulations of the land. All heights of fences are nominal sizes and are measured from the bottom of the plinth to the top of palings.


Unseasoned Hardwood (min. F8) OR CCA Treated Pine

Top & Bottom size: 75mm x 50mm
Centre rail size: 100mm x 38mm nominal 75mm x 38mm nominal

Rails fixed to posts with joints staggered.
Nails: Two 75mm x 3.05mm skew nailed per rail per post OR one 100 mm nail per rail per post.

PALINGS – for boxed paling fences

Timber Quality: Generally, fencing material is cut from low-grade logs. As timber is a natural product, knots, gum veins, defects. ‘hairline’ splits etc, should not be considered

Timber:Unseasoned Hardwood or CCA Treated Pine

Thickness: 12mm plus or minus 2mm Hardwood

Widths: 75mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm CCA Treated Pine 100mm and 150mm


  • All 100mm wide - 400 per 30m (100ft)
  • All 125mm wide - 300 per 30 m
  • 100mm + 125mm - 175 of each per 30m
  • 100mm + 150mm - 150 of each per 30m

All 150 mm wide should not be used due to excessive cupping when drying out.

Nominal overlap is 25mm each side of the paling. Palings will shrink and the original cover will be reduced after a short period of time.

Palings shall be rested on the plinth and fixed vertically to rails.

On sloping sites a 10mm gap tolerance under palings is allowed. At additional cost, the palings may be scribed to angle of plinth, however this does not reduce the nominal height of fence.

The top of the palings shall be cut off not higher than 200mm from the upper edge of the top rail to a straight line with each panel, but preferably in as long a straight run as ground contour permits.


Because of the need for the material to dry evenly, domestic paling fencing should NOT be stained or painted within 90 days of construction. When stained it must be done on both sides, or period should be extended to 180 days.

Minimum Specifications only.

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