Gil's golden rules of fencingI had a letter this week from Marion of Avondale Heights in Melbourne expressing her delight at her new EnviroSlat front fence. I knew it would turn out well because she did all the right things, things that I think are worth sharing. Let’s call them Gil’s Golden Rules of Fencing!
Gil’s Golden Rule of Fencing #1 – CLARIFY exactly what you want from your fenceMarion enjoys the outlook from the front of her home, while her loyal lab cross, Poppy, likes to make friends with the passers by. Now Poppy is safely contained inside their new 1.2-metre fence of Mahogony EnviroSlat boards, spaced 10mm apart so she can still keep an eye on the passing parade.
So think carefully about what you want your fence to deliver. If you want more privacy, have someone hold a large piece of cardboard on the fenceline to see how high it needs to be. If you need access for a mower or other sizeable items, make sure the gate is wide enough for them. A removable panel is often a good idea, too.
Gil’s Golden Rule of Fencing #2 – CONSULT, especially with your neighboursAre there any building permit requirements, council regulations or body corporate guidelines you need to consider? Check first so you don’t have to pull it all down later on.
Marion didn’t need a permit because her fence was under 1.5 metres. But she still discussed her plans with both her neighbours, which is always a wise and thoughtful thing to do. In fact one of them has now decided to build his own EnviroSlat fence, which will make for a very complimentary streetscape.
Gil’s Golden Rule of Fencing #3 – CONTRACT a good installerOnce she’d decided on an Enviro-slat fence, Marion asked who we’d recommend to build it. It’s an important question, because if it’s done well - measured up accurately, posts sunk every 900mm, corners well braced - it will stand firm for years to come. If it isn’t, you’ll soon know about it.
“Tu (the specialist we recommended) is by far the most pleasant 'tradie' that I have had dealings with,” wrote Marion. “Any hiccups encountered with the fundamental design and construction of the fence were nutted out and resolved with amicable discussion between us. The result being that I have a lovely well-built fence that I am most happy with.”
You’ll find more ideas and advice in the Fencing & Cladding section of this website.
And if you follow the golden rules, your new fence will be the envy of the street.
- Created on Monday, 29 April 2013 01:20
Are you walking all over the environment?It takes about 50 trees to build the average house.
Some of that timber is responsibly forested. Some of it isn’t.
Rainforest timbers commonly used in timber decking, for instance, are being plundered throughout the world at a frightening rate.
Merbau is already considered an endangered species facing extinction within 35 years and some of the Merbau decking sold in Australia still comes from questionable sources.
Deforestation, particularly in the most vulnerable underdeveloped countries, is a massive problem with implications for biodiversity, local populations and climate change that are hugely worrying.
So what’s the future of wood?
For us, it’s Futurewood.
Futurewood is a highly sophisticated composite material manufactured from recycled HDPE (post industrial waste), rice husks and recycled hardwood, which has the look and properties of timber with a host of additional benefits.
Unlike timber decking, fencing or cladding, it doesn’t need painting, oiling or staining, which are all chemically based products.
It is virtually maintenance free.
It doesn’t cup, warp or twist, and there are no knot holes or splinters.
It resists mould and water absorption, and carries a ten-year guarantee against rotting and attack from white ants or termites.
And installation is as easy as falling off a log.
If you care about the future of the planet, Futurewood is the environmentally sustainable choice you’ve been looking for. Leaving trees where they belong - in the forests.
- Created on Monday, 29 April 2013 01:16
Seeing a doc about a deck"Dear Gil
Our house goes on the market next weekend, so I’ve been sprucing the place up bit. Paint touch ups, fence repairs, that sort of thing. And the front deck, which was looking very down at heel after 8 years of resolute neglect. A bit of a stain would do wonders for my decking maintenance duties, I thought.
So I moved all the pot plants off the hardwood timber decking, the outdoor table and chairs, Buddha the concrete God of obesity and the bamboo screen that hides the neighbours from us – or us from them, depending on your point of view.
Once they were out of the way, the need for a bit of preparation became starkly apparent. Not a lot. Just a few stains that I thought added character but the wife didn’t, some boards that were curved like a left-over sandwich and a few others at the edges that had already started the recycling process.
The sander made quick work of the problem bits on my timber deck. It also made the rest look crap, so I had to do the whole lot in the end which took most of the morning for the sanding and much of the afternoon for the back manipulation. But at least it was ready for staining.
Now the last time I bought a can of stain I probably paid in pounds, shillings and pence. It’s gone up since then. I had just enough change from a hundred dollars to buy a sausage in bread on the way out. I also got one of those stain applicators to save my back from further expense, tipped a quarter of the can into the tray and got rolling.
The timber deck loved the stuff. It soaked it up like the Collingwood cheer squad and before I knew it I was back at the hardware with the other end of the timber deck not looking very much closer than when I’d started. It was a trip I repeated twice more before I’d reached the other end and managed a quick second coat with a little help from the turps bottle. I won’t mention the two occasions I painted myself into a corner, or the footprints of Tuscan Sunrise that won’t come off the lounge room carpet.
I did miss one bit of timber though. A wedge the size of a cricket stump that ended jammed so far into my heel that a doctor with a pain threshold much higher than mine took 45 minutes to extract it.
On my final visit to the hardware I collected one of your CleverDeck brochures for future reference, and found many of the benefits – pre-coloured, rot-free and the like - quite compelling. May I suggest you add another. No splinters!
- Created on Monday, 29 April 2013 01:13
Cleverdeck made him a clever danThomas Edison once said, “There is always a better way.”
And after 10 years of building decks for people, Daniel Sawyer of Bedazzled Landscape has finally found a better way to do it. And he’s thanking his lucky stars.
Daniel came across CleverDeck at Masters and immediately thought of a job coming up in South Morang in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. The clients had only thought of conventional timber decking, but when Daniel ran through a few of the CleverDeck benefits – low maintenance, termite resistant, environment-friendly – they quickly became as enthusiastic as he was. And decided Mahogany was just the colour they wanted.
“It’s really good to work with,” says Daniel. “It all screws down, which I love, with little hidden clips that keep it really strong. And screws are better because they don’t pull out.”
The job also involved a couple of sections of screening, for which EnviroSlat proved ideal, with installation again a highlight for Daniel.
“There’s nothing worse than when you come to do something, you’ll pick up a piece of long timber and it’s twisted or bent,” he points out.
“And you’re trying to put it up on the screen and it just doesn’t want to go. Whereas with Futurewood, the decking and the screens, every piece is perfect, all one exact length and straight as an arrow. It’s a joy to work with.”
The screening also houses a beaut little water feature, so the fact that EnviroSlat is water and rot resistant is a real bonus. But the best thing for Daniel was the client’s reaction when it was all finished.
“They were just over the moon about it. They couldn’t believe how nice it had come up.”
And there’s nothing better than that.
We back our products all the way and are thrilled Daniel is another happy customer.
- Created on Monday, 29 April 2013 01:04
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