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Merbau panel screening

Budding Contributor
Budding Contributor

Installing Merbau panels hid an old fence and changed the look of this courtyard.



fence 1.png


The project


We have become obsessed with these SpecRite 1800 x 902mm Pre-Oiled Merbau Alternating Slat Fence Panels from Bunnings. They are perfect for hiding our fence and creating a nice view of the courtyard. The structure itself does not touch the existing fence and the panel installation was quick. We did this over the space of about two weeks during our spare time outside of work, painting the timber before any cuts were made, installing the frame in sections and then finally the panels. We had a spare panel and it worked perfectly to hide the hot water service as well as display our plant we like to call Dreadlocks.


fence 2.png


The courtyard slab wasn't perfectly square, so our starting point was the straight brick wall of the house. We measured out to find the placement of the first vertical post and then ran a string line to find where the following posts were to go. There was a lot of double and triple checking going on to make sure we got the placement we wanted. Within the vertical posts, we fixed horizontal timber to hold two Merbau panels per section. These were set back by the depth of the panels to get the flush finish. The Merbau panels themselves have their own framework on the back, which meant we were able to sit these on our horizontal supports first to check placement before we did the screw off. At this point we would also use the level to work out the pre-drill lines. We repeated this process for each section just so we could tweak as we went along and maintain the straight lines. We also used self-tapping decking screws.


This was built almost a year ago now and all the panels look as good as they did on day one and are all still perfectly aligned. We applied one coat of Cabot's deck stain. The only thing that is bugging us is the treated Pine horizontal posts that are connected to the house as they have twisted and bowed a little.


We are thrilled with the way this space has turned out and have our eyes on a pizza oven in future. We are now looking for ideas for the concrete as it needs a little something. Since these photos, we have introduced potted trees and more greenery, with more plants and funky outdoor furniture to follow.

fence 3.png


Before and after


fence before.png


fence after.png


More popular fence and screening projects


Find ideas for your own space in our Top 10 most popular fence projects and Top 10 most popular screening projects.


Occasional Browser

What a brilliant project! Your notes are comprehensive and it is great you were willing to share. You make s very important point: stay away from treated pine for such a precise project! It is my experience that TP always warps, most especially where it is air-dried. Try laminated wood carefully treated before assembly, or straight grained cypress. In a similar construction, you might mount the panels with stainless steel bolts to allow for future maintenance. It is such a fine job, I am sure you will want to preserve it. Great job!

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @Ecobuild


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about what timber to use and what fixings to attach them with.


Are you currently working on any D.I.Y. projects at the moment? If you are, we would be more than keen to see what you're working on. If you have any questions you would like to ask, please don't hesitate to post them. Our members are more than happy to provide advice and information.


We look forward to seeing your projects.




Valued Contributor

What an awesome difference @WendyL !!!
Goes to show how a little work & ingenuity can turn a pretty dull space into a serious 'Wow!' lifestyle space.

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