Privacy fences and sun shields: Tips for a garden staycation

25. August 2020

Lots of people will be spending the summer at home after the coronavirus pandemic put an end to their original holiday plans. But green spots around the home can also provide space for relaxation. All you need is some protection against the elements, noise, and inquisitive glances, in which case fences, sun sails or marquees are ideal.

This summer is an extraordinary one for multiple reasons. Many travel plans have been cancelled due to corona. According to a survey by the British market and opinion research institute YouGov in June 2020, over 40 per cent of those surveyed in Germany stated that they did not have any holiday plans for this summer. The good news is that you don’t have to fly great distances to get away from your daily routine. Staycations and leisure time at home can provide plenty of relaxation.

Bild: vladdon / 123rf

A holiday at home without any onlookers thanks to privacy fences

When spending time at home, privacy fences provide protection against nosy onlookers. Variants made of corrosion-resistant metal are durable and easy to maintain. But wooden privacy fences also offer advantages by providing a natural look and flexible processing.

Before installing a privacy fence, DIYers should ask their town or community planning department whether installing a fence requires a permit. Then they can make a start on the project.

The foundation of the fence can be laid on the plot boundary using a string line with pegs and a spirit level. Wooden posts in particular require protection against moisture. The foundation forms a base that allows the fence to be installed in a manner that protects the wood against rotting and the metal against corrosion while simultaneously providing a stable hold.

Post support brackets or ground sleeves prevent any direct contact between steel or wooden posts and the ground. They can be embedded in concrete or anchored into concrete surfaces and existing foundations using stainless steel bolt anchors and concrete screws such as those offered by fischer. When using a fischer injection system, the drill holes are completely filled, preventing any moisture penetration. Next, the posts simply need to be fastened using the beams and fence elements, and the privacy fence is completed. Gabion walls, metal cages filled with stone, are another popular choice. When using them to build longer or higher fences, they should also be anchored in concrete using posts without touching the surface of the earth.

Sun sails provide shade and protection against excessive heat

Sun sails provide a shield against the heat, blinding light or reflections on laptop screens while also protecting against inquisitive glances. External wind forces should be kept to a minimum to ensure that the sun sail and its fastenings will work in the long term. The external wind forces will be higher depending on how big the sun sail is, as this gives the wind a bigger sail area. Picking a location sheltered from the wind would be an advantage.

One of the corners should be placed lower down to allow rain water to run off without pooling. The recommended inclination angle is approximately 30 degrees. The corners of the sail can be attached to railings, poles, rafters and walls using the rings provided or D-rings. Anchor or angle plates with eyelets are used to affix the sail to a house. Stable poles with eye hooks are another potential fixing point. The poles are able to carry heavy loads when installed at an angle of 10 degrees facing outwards from the direction of the pull. The poles can either be re-embedded in concrete or be attached to existing foundations or concrete surfaces with fischer bolt anchors or concrete screws. The anchor plates and pole eyebolts can then be connected to the sail with snap hooks, sail rope, steel cable and turnbuckles.

Heavy-duty fixings should be used to install sun sails to walls, rafters and beams. The fischer bolt anchor FAZ II is suitable for concrete, for instance, while the fischer injection mortar FIS V and its system components is suitable for masonry. If the facade has a thermal insulation system, stand-off installation systems such as the Thermax 12 and 16 can bridge the insulating material and securely attach it to the girder support system. Push-through anchor sleeves such as fischer’s FIS H K bridge the distance between the external weather-facing leaf and the inner supporting leaf in double-leaf masonry systems. The steel anchors and anchor rods of injection systems or stand-off installation systems must consist of stainless steel.

Marquees are also effective at providing shade. They are anchored in the construction material through fixings consoles, which the sun protection system’s supporting tube or hood unit can be attached to. There are strict requirements that apply when attaching heavyweights such as these (EN 13561 and the BKTex Directive), as marquees that fail due to tensile and wind loads can cause severe personal and material damages. Steel plugs should be used when installing marquees in reinforced concrete, whereas injection systems are recommended for masonry.

Injection mortar FIS V

The versatile injection mortar for anchorings in masonry and cracked concrete.

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Bolt anchor FAZ II

For highest demands. Powerful and flexible.

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