1. Rainforest timbers, mainly from 3rd
2. Australian hardwoods.
Includes Merbau, Batu, Teak and Cedar. These
are usually the best performing timbers. However, much of
this timber has been over-harvested and is becoming rare or
endangered, although Teak and Cedar is now being plantation
grown in some areas.
3. Plantation timbers.
Includes Red gum, Jarrah, Spotted Gum, Ironbark,
and Cypress(though is a softwood).
While these timbers are still being harvested from native
forest, the forest management practices in this country are
among the best in the world. While you won’t do much
to preserve the iconic old growth forests, the use of these
timbers will do less to harm the environment, while still
using good quality timbers.
Treated Pine, Oregon, Messmate.
Fast growing trees such as Pinus Radiata are easy to grow
but tend not to be durable, so are impregnated with chemicals
to make them unpalatable to the bacteria which will attack
it if left in the environment. Green treated pine is pressure
treated with an arsnic/copper solvent which virtually guarantees
that no self respecting bug will want to eat it. Dry rot is
in fact a bacterium which eats wood. Seasoned or kiln-dried
treated pine has become a practical solution where cost and
sustainability are factors.
We want our products to have a good life
span, but realize cost is a factor, and so tend to use a mix
of the above timber groups. Posts need to be made from a stable
timber to minimize twisting and bending. Pickets likewise need
to be stable as their thickness makes them conducive to bowing.
Capping should be kiln dried to prevent shrinkage. We offer
two grades of materials, which we feel is a good compromise
between the competing demands as outlined above. Our premium
grade fence uses all hardwoods, while our standard grade uses
Cypress posts and a seasoned treated pine frame. We always use
Whichever timber you use, the best thing you can do for your
fence is to paint it properly when new. This means sealing the
timber with oil based pink primer before applying two topcoats.
Water based primers are not suitable as they do not seal the
timber from the weather. House paint such as Wattle Solarguard
is suitable for the topcoats.
Choose the position of your gates. Pedestrian gates should be
about 1 metre wide, while driveways these days need to be at
least 3 metres wide. Locate the end posts, and then divide the
distances between the end posts and the gate posts into equal
sections. Sections should be no wider than 2.7 metres.
You will now have the post positions.
The next question is whether you will want all featured posts,
or whether you want intermediate posts in between end and gate
posts. Intermediate posts will sit behind the fence cladding,
while featured posts will break up the fence run. The question
of intermediate posts is usually determined by another; is the
fence to be stepped, or will it run with the ground contour?
If stepped, you will need to have all featured posts, while
I like to have intermediate posts if running with the ground
This woven Wire fence has intermediate posts
between end feature posts.
This stepped Victorian fence has all posts
The posts are the foundation of the fence and need to be set firmly
and deeply in the ground. Post holes should be at least 600mm deep
and at least 300mm wide. The depth is important to minimize sideways
movement. The deeper the hole, the more firmly will the post be
set. Soil type is also a factor. Clay soil can shrink when dry and
expand when wet. Soil can be tested for it's stability, ranging
from stable to volatile. For instance, Richmond council regards
the red clay soil in it's area as volatile and requires one metre
deep post holes. Very tall posts will also require deep footings.
As a general rule, the depth should be 1/3 of the post height. A
100mm concrete pad should ideally be placed under the post so that
the post will not sink.
stepped Victorian fence has all posts featured.
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