by Janice Anderssen
As an alternative to brick, plaster or precast concrete walls, fences can be constructed of timber or composite boards in so many wonderful designs.
Whether you need to close off the perimeter of your property or add privacy to a small garden, fences allow you to choose from an extensive range of designs and materials that can complement your landscaping or style of garden. They may not offer the same level of security as would a solid brick wall, but they definitely are the more attractive option and many prefer wooden fences for this reason.
Fences are excellent for screening off a particular section of garden, or for providing a privacy screen around pool and / or entertaining areas. And whereas plaster and precast walls can be an eyesore, fences blend in with the surrounding greenery, fading into the background.
Erecting a fence takes far less time, mess and effort than what goes into building a brick wall, and you have the option to choose whether you want to build the fence yourself or get someone to do it for you. Materials for fencing can be found at many hardware stores and at timber merchants around the country.
Using timbers such as Meranti or Saligna allow you to design a long-lasting privacy or security fence at reasonable cost. While pine for fencing may require more ongoing maintenance, the cost of building a pine fence is fairly cheap when you look at alternative materials.
Not just excellent for security and privacy, fences are an easy alternative to close off sections of a garden, or disguise elements you would prefer to be out of sight, such as rain water harvesting tanks or pool equipment. Once the support posts are in, you get to choose whether to have vertical or horizontal planks, as well as finishing options.
For those living in a flat or townhouse where neighbours overlook the garden, a wooden screen provides all the privacy you need, and it can be erected as a freestanding structure that may not require planning permission (although it’s always better to check beforehand).
If you are looking at options for your home, shop around for the best prices on timber but don’t forget to take a look at composite materials. The latter require almost zero maintenance, are long-lasting, and are just as easy to install as timber.
A fence painted to complement a particular garden design or element within a garden creates a finished picture.
A slimline fence mirrors the design of the awning overhead and ties the look together.
Something as simple as varying the thickness of the planks in a wooden fence can add a new dimension to plain wooden fencing.