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Battens: Powder coated aluminium versus timber

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Timber battens

Timber batten screening is currently very popular for fencing and privacy screening, it looks great but it has its pitfalls. There are other options on the market that look just as funky, are much more durable and don't cost as much.

Timber pitfalls

Timber battened fencing or screening needs to be maintained, either oiled every 6 months or painted.

This type of product can also be subject to wood rot if located in a shaded or wet environment.

Most timber is also in danger of termite attack unless it is made from termite resistant timber such as Cypress pine or chemically treated.

Timber battens made from treated pine will not meet Bushfire requirements for dwellings requiring Level 2 or 3 construction, unless they are coated with a fire retardant paint. If you like the oiled batten look the timber will need to be a naturally fire retardant species such a Merbau - you can get a full fire retardant timber list from the rural fire service. Note: these timbers cost around five times as much as treated timber but they look sensational and they will meet level 2 and 3 requirements, but not 'flame zone' level.

Powder coated aluminium battens

Powder coated aluminium battens

Powder coated aluminium fencing and screening is finding a niche market for people requiring a more versatile product.

Powder coated aluminium (PCA) battens are low maintenance and will only require a wash down every now and then to keep them looking great for years.

In bushfire prone areas PCA battens are one of the very few products that will comply with flame zone requirements.

There is a standard colour range but you can have any colour you if you are happy to pay a little more, this allows you to match-up with existing colours of your home.

Further reading

Decorative privacy screens. Decorative screens have a history dating back to the mid-600's in China. During the 1950's and 1960's Australia saw a strong revival in decorative privacy screens in residential and commercial architecture. Today we are enjoying another revival with strong traditional designs implemented with contemporary styles and materials.

External Privacy Screens. Since the late 1990's they have become more popular and more decorative; with both contemporary and traditional materials being used So what type of screen is right for your backyard? Here's an easy 4 step guide.

Garden walls. Up until about 20 years ago Australians played it safe when choosing their style of garden wall and gates But now, and particularly in the last ten years, home owners have ventured out and there are some amazing new products on the market.

How to choose a new fence. Five important tips when selecting a pool or boundary fence.