Every human has the right to request privacy, as guaranteed by basic human decency and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (of which Australia is a signatory). People deserve to keep their matters to themselves, especially within the safety of their homes, provided they don’t interfere with the rights of others.
What does all this have to do with fences? Guaranteeing privacy is one of the primary jobs of a privacy fence. Unlike a picket fence, this fence leaves no gaps unfilled, preventing anyone from peering into one’s property from the outside. The only way one can lawfully see into someone’s house is when they’re invited as a guest.
If privacy fences seem like what you need, this guide is must-read. A full enclosure is already a given, but what are the ideal materials to do it with?
Let’s start with the most affordable: Timber privacy fences. Depending on style prices start as low as AUD$80 per l/m. As an organic material, wood is susceptible to rot and animals that feed on it, such as fungi and termites. Any holes they make on a privacy fence’s surface compromise the privacy aspect of the fence, and even worse if they feed on the posts.
To mitigate this risk, the timber to be used for fencing undergoes pressure treatment, often with chrome copper arsenic (CCA, also known as chromated copper arsenate). Think of this process as making every square inch of the timber too toxic for termites to feed on or for fungi to thrive in. With proper care, pressure-treated timber can last upwards of 40 years.
With a timber fence for privacy purposes, you can opt to either keep its natural look or paint it a different colour. But keep in mind that painting isn’t the same as baking the paint into the fence palings and posts. Chipping or fading may occur after ten years or less, and plenty of prep work goes into repainting timber fences to ensure the paint bonds well.
Hot on the heels in terms of popularity and fairly comparable price wise we now have steel fencing. It doesn’t take an in-depth discussion to know that steel is the epitome of durability in modern construction. It won’t be knocked down easily under cyclone-force winds. Provided adequate coating, it can also resist corrosion when used in saline environments like coastal areas.
For the record, we aren’t talking about iron here. Without delving too deep into the science, steel is iron mixed with carbon that alters the former’s lattice structure to make it harden several-fold. This boost in strength allows the steel to stand firm against everything Mother Nature can throw at it, though it can make it harder to form into fencing.
It also makes the steel heavy, often requiring specialised equipment to transport and install the parts on-site. Contractors take their time setting them up, as loose fittings can rattle the entire fence and reverberate throughout the property.
Another option is vinyl privacy fences. With a price bracket between AUD$100 and AUD$180 per m, vinyl is well-liked among residents looking to have a fence and not worry about anything else. They’re also called PVC fences after the base material: polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
It’s the PVC that makes this option reasonable priced on pockets, specifically the abundance of it. PVC is one of the six major plastic classifications, found not just in fences but also pipes, vinyl records, home sidings, and food containers, to name a few. Demand for this polymer is so high that manufacturers know they must maintain enough supply, driving costs lower.
Aside from its affordability, vinyl is the lightest of the materials on this list. It also won’t fade under intense UV exposure (modern vinyl, at least) and won’t succumb to termite infestation. But extreme heat or cold can cause the material to expand or contract excessively. Also, a fully-enclosed vinyl fence will take the full brunt of cyclone winds, which might not hold for long
Privacy fences live up to their name, but cost considerations can be a dealbreaker for many. But if you think about it, there’s a lot to gain when such a major investment can lessen the likelihood of burglary and other crimes. More importantly, when installed properly, your privacy fence of choice may be the last you’ll ever need in your lifetime.
Leave installation work to professional fencing contractors Gold Coast like Pride Fencescapes for added peace of mind. Contact us today.