Feature fence uses timber and steel panels
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Fence feature design evolution

With so much creativity going into the cladding on our three homes, it’s not surprising David (our builder) saw an opportunity to enhance the plain, boring, wooden paling fence.  Let me show you what happened when the crew took the idea of a fence feature and ran with it.

Fence feature for 23 is practical and decorative.

It all started when David looked at the entrance of 23A from the back deck of 23 before the boundary fence was built.  He explained to us that he was wondering how to give both homes more privacy without hemming in everyone with the paling fence equivalent of the Berlin Wall.

That’s when the fence feature idea was born.  Give people a distraction which doubles as a privacy screen.

Now a fence feature needn’t be an expensive option.  Looking around the site, David found some leftover KlipLok steel cladding that could be used instead of a section of palings.  From the pile of reclaimed timber, he took a few odds and ends that didn’t have a specific purpose.

Voila.  Painting the palings the Monument colour matches the steel and fades the fence into the background.  The oiled timbers stand out as a contrast.

Feature fence at the back of 23

Standing on the deck of 23 is now a completely different view.  The eye is drawn to the fence feature in the foreground with the entrance of 23A mostly obscured and very much in the background.

Looking from the other side, residents of 23A have a plain privacy screen.  Over time, the indigenous shrubs in the garden will grow to add a splash of green and soften the straight lines.

Back of the fence between 23 and 23A

23A fence feature goes one step further.

As the makers of Mortein would say, “When you’re on a good thing, stick to it!”

Mortein advertising slogan

The privacy screen for the entrance of 23B was always going to be similar to the 23A prototype.

More leftover KlipLok steel panels plus reclaimed timber provide the necessary height without the structure becoming too imposing.

Feature fence uses timber and steel panels

However, round the back, there’s something different.  David thought a few extra timber strips would add colour to both sides.  Now two properties share the feature.

Back of the privacy screen for 23A

I thought putting a variety of reclaimed timber sections on the fence was an obvious link to the wood used to decorate the front entrance on 23B.

Timber features above the front door for 23B

Of course, there’s also a connection to the timber strips decorating the carport roof.

Permeable paving and unique carport design on display

Going all out for one more fence feature.

Alright, I admit there wasn’t an issue with screening an entrance at the back of 23B.  However, our neighbour has a garden shed near the fence at the back of their yard.  Why not use this as an excuse for one more fence feature?

By now, the leftover steel cladding well had run dry.  But, there was a section of rusty old steel wall from the original carport.  The wall served as part of the temporary site toilet for a couple of years.  Rather than take it away for recycling, could we use it for a fence feature?  Yes, indeed we could.

Section of steel wall is the starting point for another fence feature

To paint or not to paint? Should we stick with the rusty look and allow the panel to weather over time? Nah, the yellow V12 wasn’t a good look. Adding a couple of coats of black paint covered all the imperfections.

Steel panel looks good after coats of black paint

Bang on a bunch of oiled house stumps, bearers, joists, etc and there you have it.  Another privacy screen that works because the feature is far more interesting than anything behind it.

Final fence feature screens the neighbour's garden shed

Sometimes, less is more.

Meanwhile, over on the other boundary fence, there seems to be something missing. Is that a hole in the fence?

A section of paling fence seems to be missing

No, that’s not an oversight.  Before the new boundary fence was erected, we’d discussed ways to share the back garden of 23B with our neighbour Joan.  Like us, she doesn’t enjoy looking at long lengths of  blank paling fences. That’s what she would get unless we did something unusual.

Our answer was to replace sections of wood palings with wire mesh panels.  The mesh is readily available at Bunnings and fits neatly into the standard height fence.  The fence contractor was happy to make the switch as long as we provided the mesh.  Unfortunately, the wire frames wouldn’t fit in our car.  Still, it’s true what they say.  You’re never too far from a Bunnings store.  In this case, we’re an easy 3km “stroll” from our local.  We clicked, collected and then walked them home, much to the amusement of other pedestrians.

One section allows Joan to enjoy the landscaping in our back garden.  In time, both sides can admire flowers on the climber she’s planted at the base of the mesh.

Wire mesh fence panel allows neighbours to share gardens

Another mesh section is the ideal spot for Joan’s beloved sweet peas.  They’re thriving with an open growing space and sunlight on both sides of the climbers.  I’m looking forward to the colour and perfume from the sweet pea flowers later this Spring.  With her hay fever, Libby might not be as keen on the perfume … 

Mesh panel in the fence is ideal for sweet pea climber

Another positive for the mesh panels is being able to chat with Joan “through” the fence. That’s especially important during the COVID19 lockdown in Victoria.

Fun with fences.

All in all, the quirky privacy screens show what can be done with a bright idea and leftover materials.

Fence features are another thing that makes this development so special to us.

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