17 Nov 2011

Fences and walls to enhance your home

Posted by bcsands

Timber FencingThe right choice of fence or wall to ‘contain’ your home and garden will not only mark your boundaries, but fencing also enhances the whole look and feel of your property.

Timber fencing

Once the most traditional way of fencing in a garden, timber fencing is affordable and if you use treated timber it will be more resistant to pests and rot. Timber is very versatile – timber fences come in many different styles including picket, panels and palings, and they can be painted or stained as you wish. Some maintenance is inevitable, though.

Vinyl fencing

At first glance, a vinyl fence looks like a regular wooden fence – but it never needs painting or staining! Vinyl fences cost more to install than a wooden fence, but their lifespan is longer and they are almost completely maintenance-free – and totally splinter-free.

Brick walls

A low brick wall is a common choice for the front of properties – it’s a solid and traditional option, which is now back in style for modern homes, often enhanced with pillars, wrought iron or timber. However, building a high brick wall around an entire property is both expensive and rather forbidding and is best left to celebrities.

If you have a brick wall that you think is rather stark, rendering it in a colour to match or complement your property can help. Or simply grow plants next to it, or allow a climber to clamber over it, to soften the look.

Stone walls

These are less common in Australia than in some other countries, but a natural stone wall is a beautiful finish to a cottage-style garden. More formal stone walls can be built using purpose-made blocks such as Baines blocks. Again, these can be expensive to use around an entire garden and, like brick walls, are often just used at the front of a property.

Purpose-made blocks are one of the best materials to use to build a retaining wall.

Metal fences

Steel and aluminium fences have become very popular for their ease and convenience – they are relatively quick to install, lightweight and durable and if you choose solid panels, they offer considerable privacy. Metal fencing is available in a range of colours – choose one that matches the colour of your house or woodwork, go for drama with contrast or choose a timeless neutral shade.

The CSIRO has also shown that steel fencing can slow the progress of bush fires, so it could be a good choice if you live in the country.

Glass fencing

If you want to preserve a view, or go for a modern, fence-free look then glass fencing is for you. Popular around pools, it gives a modern, stylish look.

Grow your own

If you don’t mind a little waiting, a hedge is a beautiful way to delineate the perimeter of your property. If you choose an evergreen plant that grows to around two metres in height it will give you year round privacy. As living things, hedges do need more care than fences and walls, though – they will enjoy an occasional burst of fertilizer to keep them healthy and they will need an annual prune to keep them tidy.

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