Ah the lowly fence! We all need one but the decision of what material to use must be weighed heavily. You’ve seen those gorgeous wooden fences and decide that your material of choice is wood and no other will do!
In Australia, wooden fencing is still the most popular choice for many reasons. They are durable and reliable and will go very well with your outdoor furniture. They give privacy to your homes and are easy to install by a professional. They are readily available in most hardware stores. If you need any kind of alteration, height adjustment or additional fencing, wood is easy to use. It can very versatile and can be easily painted. There are so many advantages to wooden fencing!
But what’s the down side?
Very manageable if you compare the beauty and overall appeal of this material. Wood must be treated, sealed and coated right from the get go. Having the posts on the ground, there is a chance of rotting and infestation. But with proper installation and regular maintenance from experts, your fence is safe from harmful elements and will give you that elegant backdrop for your home.
So what wood to use?
And so maintenance starts with the type of wood you choose. The correct one will save you money by not having to repaint it after a long time. The wrong one, however, will make you regret big time. The posts, rails and cladding are the 3 elements that are all exposed to external elements. But the most important element is the post since it carries the whole fence.
Classifications of natural timber are based on its durability.
- Class I – First class timber because it is the most durable and is not prone to decay. They can last for more than 25 years if used at ground level.
Examples: Cypress, Turpentine, Ironbark, Yellow Cedar, Tallowwood
- Class II – Less durable that Class I but can still last from between 15 to 20 years when used in-ground.
Examples: Western Red Cedar, Merbau, Spotted Gum, Yellow Stingy Bark
- Class III – These are more cut out for above ground fencing.
Examples: Sydney Blue Gum, Brush Box
- Class IV – Although not advisable to be used as fencing, they should be well treated first.
Examples: Softwoods like Slash Pine, Radiata Pine, Douglas Fir; Hardwoods like Tasmanian Oak, Victorian Ash
Like all kinds of wood classifications, treated wood also come in a variety of choices.
- H1 is used indoors only.
- H2 is treated wood is more durable than H1 but cannot stand up against wetness.
- H3 is used in moderate weather and above ground.
- H4 is Radiata Pine, for in-ground use.
- H5 is very durable against wetness.
- H6 is the choice as marine wood.
So the choice is yours!
Wooden fences will always have that air of sophistication that no other fencing material can deliver. This distinction comes at a price but it can be less back breaking and bank breaking for you with the proper choices. If you’re still stumped at which material to use for your wooden fencing, call your local fence supplier and get the best advice. In the end, it will be a very wise investment indeed.