Charlene Ara Gonzales

The next thing you want to do after mapping the layout of your outdoor space is to plan your garden walls and fences. Yes, you can build it later, but don’t neglect it because it’s an important element in your landscape design.

Your fences and wall boundaries can do more than defining the limits of your property. These ensure privacy; enclose your outdoor space; secure your kids and pets; block noise and pollution; enhance your home’s curb appeal, and cover undesirable parts of your home.

You can enjoy all of these benefits if you choose the right boundary structure for your home. This is the hardest part because the market offers us a lot of material options.

To make this daunting task easier for you, here’s a run-down of the best and popular materials used to divide and secure a property. Understand the pros and cons of each one before you proceed.  

Wood

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A classic, versatile, and reliable building material, timber is a go-to fencing material. It compliments on a wide range of landscape designs and is customisable to match the architecture of the house. Wooden fences are usually the cheapest option, but it requires regular maintenance.

Timber battens

These stunning lightweight timber structures are great for improving your home’s facade. It’s also used as a screen, partition, and a vertical garden support. This material is affordable and easy to install, but it only lasts for one to three decades.

Tip: Install horizontal battens to make your garden space seem wider. Use the vertical ones to spice up the height of the structure.

Corten steel

Known as the weathering steel, Corten is the popular choice for homeowners who want to enhance their contemporary garden. They can’t resist the warm and rustic colour that it possesses. It’s also surprisingly low-maintenance . You don’t need to paint or weatherproof it to ensure structural integrity. It develops a protective patina that resists corrosion. However, it’s expensive and will require skilled installation.

Corrugated steel

Corrugated fences are popular in rural spaces. It’s practical, lightweight, and long-lasting. Homeowners usually paint it to make it appealing. They use plants and garden decor to soften it. If they don’t, these boundaries will look disturbing.  

Concrete

It’s versatile and used to build bespoke, fabulous walls or boundaries. It can be moulded in precast panels or poured on-site. You can also purchase concrete blocks. There are large and small block sizes available in the market to cater the needs of homeowners. Concrete can also be finished in different ways too. You can use clear sealants, paint, plaster, or stucco.

While the material is cheap, labour isn’t. You will need the service of  a skilled builder to erect your concrete walls. It will also need regular cleaning to avoid mould build-up.

Stone

There’s a lot of things to love about stone walls. It’s solid, hardwearing, versatile, and timeless. Also, there’s a large range of stones you can use to build walls and each one boasts an impressive level of hardness. But, it’s not cheap to build. The materials and labour cost a fortune! If you want to cut the costs of building yours, use a locally-sourced stone. It’s cheaper and coherent to your surrounding landscape.

Brick

It’s is a versatile building material, is available in a range of attractive colours, can be laid in a variety of patterns, low-maintenance, timeless, and durable. Brick can get a little expensive, so if you’re on a tight budget, consider using recycled ones.

Laser-cut metal screens

Both functional and decorative, these screens are worth every dollar you spend on them. You can purchase ready made designs or have them personalised. It’s perfect for contemporary and traditional garden designs.

But, what if there’s an existing boundary?

Unless you’ve moved into a brand new subdivision, chances are you’ll inherit boundary fences or walls. There are plenty of things you can do to improve them without breaking the bank. You can repaint it — it’s cheap and you can DIY this project. But if the fence and walls you inherited look horrible, take it down and build a new boundary structure that will be a dominant feature in your garden.

Charlene Ara Gonzales

Charlene Ara Gonzales is the design writer in Superdraft’s team of architects in Melbourne. She’s an interior geek, but she’s not ashamed of it because she’s not the only one obsessed with living in a nice home. More than that is her immense passion for working with people and helping them build their dream homes. Follow their team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.