Modular Wall Fencing Vs Brushwood Fencing
Since its invention in 2002, modular wall fencing has revolutionised Australian backyards, with over 16,000 projects choosing to #makeitmodular. So, how does it stack up? Check out our latest comprehensive side-by-side comparison against brushwood fencing.
Firstly, let’s look at the main question on everyone’s mind…what sort of price difference are we looking at, here?
Modular fencing more or less sits on the same scale, depending on the type of wall style you choose (following costs are per lineal metre at 1.8m high):
- $130 for SlimWall modular fencing
- $180 for a VogueWall modular wall
- $240 for an EstateWall modular wall
When it comes to ongoing costs, both have a substantial lifespan. However, you will need to replace the top roll of brush fencing every 5-7 years for adequate maintenance, whilst a modular wall will only require a fresh lick of paint to refresh its look.
Take home message: Modular wall fencing and brushwood fencing sit at the same price point.
Can you DIY it?
Brush fencing can be DIYed, but requires quite a lot of confidence in your skills; even the panel options require a fair amount of detailed manual construction. Many brushwood contractors advise you leave it up to the professionals to ensure that it is installed safely and securely.
On the other hand, modular wall systems were specifically engineered for the DIYer. As long as you have two people, you simply concrete the posts in, slide in the panels, pop on the capping and finish as desired. The best part? You save a huge portion of money, without the labour costs!
Take home message: Modular walls are DIY friendly for all skill levels, while brushwood fencing requires highly skilled DIYers.
Brushwood fencing installation is a manual process and subject to many design factors; therefore, it is tricky to estimate long installation times. However, brushwood panels can offer tighter turnarounds than hand-thatched options. Alternatively, modular fencing is broken down into 4 simple steps; in fact, you can install a 10m run in a single weekend, as seen above!
Another notable factor is the level of customisation available for installation. Hand-packed brush can be curved around gardens or even constructed around existing trees and structures, whilst modular wall panels can also be easily cut to size, to accommodate unique site conditions. Additionally, due to its light weight and post and rail construction, modular walls can be built over underground services, easements or close to pool boundaries.
Take home message: On average, modular wall fencing can be installed faster than brushwood fencing, whilst both options can overcome unique installation challenges.
If 60mm or thicker, brushwood fencing can reduce noise through a combination of reflecting and absorbing it.
However, not everyone has the space for such a thick fence. If you’re after a more slimline design, ModularWalls’ products start at 50mm thicknesses and have been tested by the National Acoustic Laboratory of Australia, offering an average 20-25dB reduction.
In our 16 years, we’ve found that this level of reduction meets or exceeds around 90% of the residential noise issues that our customers have brought to us. In fact, our modular wall systems are regularly chosen by the likes of commercial chains such as Coles, McDonald’s, ALDI and KFC, as well as for numerous childcare centres, road noise barriers and other public works.
Take home message: Both options are known to offer noise reduction, whilst modular walls have been tested by the National Acoustic Laboratory of Australia.
At first glance, it is almost impossible to compare the look of each fencing type, as they both offer such different aesthetics. Brush fences offer a natural, rustic look, whilst modular wall fencing offers a more modern, premium finish.
However, with time, these aesthetics do age differently. Over the years, modular walls will simply require a fresh coat of paint every 5-7 years to look good as new again. Brush fencing, on the other hand, will need more regular repairs and replacements to keep up its aesthetic integrity.
There is also the factor of customisation to consider. Brushwood offers very little scope for personalisation; it generally offers a single aesthetic to all. Modular fencing, however, offers a world of design potential; the wall design itself offers various post, capping and joint options. Furthermore, it can accommodate a variety of wall finishes, including paint, textures, tiling and cladding, and can easily integrate slats, infills, lighting, speakers and letterboxes.
Take home message: Brushwood delivers a natural aesthetic that requires ongoing repairs, whilst modular fencing delivers more modern, premium aesthetics that are easier to maintain.
Aesthetics aside, both options do offer a substantial design life. However, there are a few differences in durability:
- Brushwood fencing is susceptible to rot, whereas modular walls are not.
- Brushwood is not suitable for any bushfire zones, whilst modular fencing adheres to BAL29 fencing regulations.
- ModularWalls offers a 15 year warranty for all their wall systems.
- Brushwood can take a hard hit in storms, with repairs usually needed in cyclonic wind regions. On the other hand, modular fencing offers options that are suitable up to Wind Region C.
Take home message: Both options are durable, with modular walls offering a slight advantage with certain environmental conditions.
Is it Aussie-proof?
As touched on briefly above, modular fencing does offer advantages when it comes to our beautiful, yet harsh Aussie climate.
For fencing in cyclonic wind regions, brushwood is known to offer wind resistance, but sustain damage in storms and constant wet conditions.
With modular fencing, VogueWall is rated for wind regions A, B and C, while SlimWall and EstateWall are engineered for wind regions A & B. In fact, one of our DIY customers from the Whitsundays, QLD, chose a modular wall after Cyclone Debbie tore her brick pool wall down.
Take home message: Modular wall fencing is slightly more ‘Aussie-proof’ when it comes to bushfire zones and cyclonic wind regions.
For more side-by-side fence comparisons, check out:
Written by Evelyn Kandris