This wooden balau screen was installed at a property in Victoria Club Estate in Pietermaritzburg. The purpose of the screen is to offer some privacy between the neighbours. The brick wall does not offer enough privacy so the wall was in essence extended with a screen on top of it.
The wooden screen needed to be installed on top of the wall as opposed to being fixed to the face or front of it. It is much neater this way but it does mean that the posts need to sit on top of the wall rather than the face, so lateral strength becomes a concern. We use a 200mm piece of thread bar drilled and epoxied into the top of the wall 100mm and into the bottom of the post 100mm. The thread bar we use is 14mm so as to give it enough strength and prevent any bending of the pin itself. The holes need to be drilled perfectly straight and square otherwise the post will not sit perpendicular to the top of the wall. The epoxy that is used is the Sika or ABE product as it is extremely strong. We don’t use the same epoxy to fill screw holes as that epoxy is more pliable and doesn’t offer the same strength.
A simple post and rail system is then used to provide structure to fix the deck boards to. We used balau as a structure so that the back end of the screen also looked good. This as opposed to using a treated pine structure. Pine structures work just as well in terms of strength but are not as visually appealing.
The top was finished off with a deck board placed flat as a capping. Screw holes are filled with epoxy to limit water ingress and in this screen the screws were installed from the back end of the screen so they are not visible on the good side. In the pics you can see the epoxy that has been used and the pics were taken just before it was sanded flat.
This screen was left unoiled so that it could grey naturally. There are various articles on this blog regarding oiling or leaving it unoiled and the pros and cons of each system in terms of maintenance, longevity and appearance.
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