- Polycarbonate as a non-standard solution to pressing problems
- Construction of a polycarbonate fence
- Gate and wicket
Any person with a plot is faced with the need to fence it off. As a rule, traditional materials are used for this – wood, metal or stone. This article will tell you how, using polycarbonate, not only to build a fence, but also to solve a number of other pressing problems.
My home is my castle. For a long time, this principle was at the heart of deciding what to build a fence. Making impregnable fortresses out of houses, people did not care at all about the aesthetic component. And this is not only some non-standard color and texture solutions, various decorations, but also the lightness and elegance of the design, that is, those characteristics that directly conflict with the concept of inaccessibility. It is clear that protection against penetration is still the main task facing the fence, therefore traditional materials are used to solve it – stone, metal, wood, capable of ensuring the strength of the structure. And what to do if there are other requirements for the fence?
With the development of individual construction, and the word “individual” also means unique, such tasks are set before the fences that cannot be solved by traditional methods, or the result will be far from unique. The use of non-standard solutions allows you to bypass the restrictions imposed by traditional materials. One of these materials is polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate as a non-standard solution to pressing problems
For most people who hear the word polycarbonate, a greenhouse or a canopy immediately appears in front of their eyes, but not a fence, let alone a gate or a gate in the fence. Unfortunately, it is a common phenomenon to think stereotypically and thereby limit your imagination. But the characteristics of polycarbonate in no way limit its use not only in the construction of fences, but also in other, often most unexpected places..
So, polycarbonate is a colorless polymer plastic. In construction, it is used in the form of sheets. They are usually called polycarbonate. There are two types:
- Honeycomb – has a honeycomb structure, where cells (honeycombs) run parallel along the entire length of the sheet. It can be 4–16 mm thick. Cells of different shapes give different characteristics to the sheets.
- Monolithic – in fact, almost the same as the well-known plexiglass. It has similar properties, but differs in chemical composition. Can be 2 to 5 mm thick.
Of the main characteristics of polycarbonate, those that are important specifically for the construction of fences should be highlighted:
- High light transmittance – for a monolithic one it is even higher than that of glass. Cellular is lower, but still high enough.
- Lightness – a sheet of 12000x2100x10 mm cellular polycarbonate weighs about 10 kg.
- Due to the cellular structure (for cellular polycarbonate), it copes well with noise reduction.
- Ease of processing – cut and processed with any hand tool or power tool.
- Ease of use of finished products – to maintain a good appearance, it is enough to periodically wash them with plain water.
- Strength – true, this is true in relation to monolithic. Cellular polycarbonate is also strong enough, but will of course give way to traditional materials.
So, to summarize, we get transparent or translucent, that is, it does not create a shadow, light in weight and easily processed, that is, it does not require special skills and devices in work, durable and at the same time sufficiently flexible, which allows it to withstand heavy loads on the plane or to make fences with curved surfaces, material with a price comparable to the cost of metal profile sheets. The only thing that polycarbonate will give way to other materials is impact resistance. This makes it an unsuitable material for building an external fence in places where vandalism is possible. Although the combination of polycarbonate with other materials often gives a very unusual and beautiful effect. So, for example, a wrought-iron fence will provide protection against penetration, and polycarbonate will make it obscure, while maintaining airiness. By the way, 1 m2 4 mm colorless cellular polycarbonate can be purchased for 3.5 USD. e. Easy to calculate the price of anyone else. How many times the one you are interested in is thicker, the more expensive it is. To calculate the cost of a monolithic, multiply the cost of a honeycomb of the required thickness by 8. To calculate a color, add 5% to the price.
Example:12 mm colored cellular polycarbonate will cost about 3.5 cu. Ie .:
- 12/4 + 5% = $ 11.025 e.
transparent monolithic 5 mm about 3.5 cu Ie .:
- 5/4 8 = 35 usd e.
Now let’s move on to places where the use of polycarbonate is not just appropriate, and sometimes this is almost the only solution to the problem..
Boundary fences– that is, fences between adjacent areas. It is clear that a high, blank fence between the warring parties is the only option to separate from the unpleasant neighborhood. And if you are friends with your neighbors? To completely abandon the fence is the wrong option – you have your own life, they have their own. I want the fence to be, and really separate you from them both physically and visually, but at the same time it was invisible. Using traditional materials, it is almost impossible to build such a fence; in any case, it will be a blind partition. Cellular polycarbonate will allow you to make a fence through which nothing will be visible, that is, visually enclosing you, not giving a shadow, which is especially important for already shaded areas, and when using color options, which makes it possible to make it both invisible against the background of greenery, and on the contrary, it is underlined highlighted, for solving problems of landscape design.
Separately should be highlighted boundary fences in suburban areas.According to SNiP 30–02–97, boundary fences in collective garden partnerships cannot be deaf and higher than 1.5 m. These rules have been introduced to ensure the minimum shading of neighboring areas. It is generally not possible to put a fence that meets these requirements, not from a chain-link mesh or similar material. Cellular polycarbonate is a light-transmitting material, therefore, it is quite suitable for country fences. The most important thing is to make it no higher than 1.5 m.
Zoning sites.Often there is a need for a visual division of the site. For example, there are neighbors and there is a fence. But the house of the neighbors is two or even three stories high. Wherever you are on your site, you will be perfectly visible from the windows located above the fence. By installing polycarbonate enclosing structures, you will protect yourself from unnecessary eyes without creating unwanted shadows. Another example is a playground. Children want to have their own personal space, that is, they would like the playground to be closed. But from the point of view of adults, children need constant supervision. Again, the ideal solution to this problem is a polycarbonate fence. Having created the effect of a closed space for children, thanks to its high light transmittance, polycarbonate will allow adults to easily control their children. There are many such examples. Almost every person who has his own land plot faced this kind of problems. Many of them can be solved using polycarbonate.
Construction of a polycarbonate fence
So, the task is clear, how to solve it is also clear, all that remains is to bring your ideas to life. First you need to know a few nuances when working with polycarbonate:
- Cellular polycarbonate is most often used. It is clear that it is much cheaper than a monolithic one. If the task is not to obtain a surface of increased strength or complete transparency, then cellular polycarbonate will be preferable, therefore we will consider it. Where monolithic will be mentioned, this will be emphasized especially.
- As mentioned above, the thickness is from 4 to 16 mm. The thinnest is usually used in greenhouses. There is no need for high strength. The main load in greenhouses is borne by the metal structures that make up the frame. Thicker 8-10 mm is used for roofs, awnings. For fences, it makes sense to use polycarbonate from 10 mm and above. In this case, the strength will be at a height, and the visual component will not suffer..
- Standard sizes of polycarbonate sheets are 2.1×6 or 2.1×12 m.
- There are standard colors for polycarbonate sheets – transparent, bronze or white. In addition to them, you can buy colored sheets – turquoise, blue, yellow, red, green or just matte. The price of colored polycarbonate is about 5% more expensive than transparent.
- Polycarbonate is cut with any hand tool – a hacksaw, scissors, knife, or with a power tool – a grinder, circular saw or jigsaw with a fine tooth.
- Since polycarbonate has a rather large coefficient of thermal expansion, it is necessary to take this into account when cutting the material and use original guides and docking strips.
Work on arranging a polycarbonate fence is similar to work on the construction of fences made of corrugated board, but with some nuances:
- Installing vertical posts. We deepen them into the ground not less than 80 cm and tamp them around the ground with rubble, or better, fill them with concrete. The posts should be located at a distance of 2 m from each other.
- We weld or in any other way attach the horizontal components of the fence. There must be at least 3 of them. One will go along the top, the second along the bottom, the rest evenly in the middle.
- We cut polycarbonate sheets to a size 8–10 cm larger than the distance between the horizontal guides. This must be done to fasten the sheets with self-tapping screws, screwed at least 4 cm from the edge.
- We begin to fix the polycarbonate. To take into account the thermal expansion of the sheets, holes with a diameter of 5 mm larger than their diameter must be made for self-tapping screws. A sealing washer should be used. Thus, the mount will be floating..
- If polycarbonate sheets are enclosed in a bounding frame, then it is necessary to leave expansion gaps of 4 mm per linear meter. The sheets should fit into the framing frame by at least 25 mm. It is advisable to drill holes in the lower guide so that moisture does not accumulate in it. When evaporated, it will give unwanted condensation inside the sheets..
- When building a fence with a solid plane, the joint of the sheets is carried out using special H-shaped docking strips. The upper and lower edges are closed with U-shaped strips. It is recommended to drill holes in the bottom.
Since polycarbonate is very lightweight, all work can be done by one.
Gate and wicket
As soon as you have an unusual, or at least unconventional, polycarbonate fence, there is no point in making a gate from ordinary materials – this will ruin the whole appearance. It is clear that they and the gate should be in the same style. Here, perhaps, is the only place where it is undesirable to use cellular polycarbonate. Still, the gate requires a more impact-resistant material. There are two ways out of this situation:
- Apply solid polycarbonate. You can easily pick up one similar in color and texture to the one used in the construction of the fence. Thus, in appearance, the gate and wicket will absolutely correspond to the general appearance, while in terms of strength they will not be inferior to metal counterparts.
- Make a combined version. Metal construction on the bottom and honeycomb polycarbonate on the top. The part of the gate that is exposed to increased shock and other loads will be made of metal, and the decorative upper part will create harmony with the polycarbonate fence.
Generally speaking, there can be more solution options – these are the main and most frequently used ones. You can, for example, combine not metal, but other materials with polycarbonate, or even just honeycomb with monolithic. In any case, you will get a design that is much lighter, both visually and in fact. The latter is especially important, since the weight of the doors and wickets directly affects their service life. In this sense, I would like to especially highlight the automatic gate. Using polycarbonate, you can significantly relieve the mechanism of their opening / closing.
In fact, the unconventional use of polycarbonate is not limited to enclosing structures alone. Applying your imagination, you can find non-standard solutions to almost any problem, and polycarbonate can help a lot in this..