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Modern architecture is clear, light and transparent. Unfortunately, this attitude repeatedly collides with the wishes of the residents. Because some tenants or owners want a clear plus in privacy, especially when it comes to the balcony. A solution that creates an effective privacy screen and at the same time supports a cozy and friendly ambience is a bamboo fence. Mounted in front of the actual railing, it protects against prying eyes and offers a touch of vacation and nature. We explain how to install it in simple steps.
Bamboo is a natural and at the same time extremely resilient material. Its properties ensure that a bamboo screen is ideal for reconciling a natural material and a technically sound solution:
- Very straight and even growth
- Low own weight
- High dimensional stability
- High weather resistance
- No bark that peels off when it dries out
- Due to the very hard and smooth surface, there is hardly any risk of injury
- Restrained and at the same time natural look
When creating the mats, the individual bamboo sticks are connected either with wire or with textile fasteners. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages. On the other hand, both share the fact that the connections between the bamboo canes are far less resilient than the individual canes themselves. At the same time, these connections, which are continuous over the entire length of the bamboo mat, form the best starting point for a solid attachment, so that this is the weakest link and most suitable suspension point collide. Therefore, when choosing the right bamboo mats, the following points should be considered:
- The connections should not be too loose, otherwise individual bamboo stalks could slip out
With wire as connection material:
- not too thin wire, otherwise it may corrode and break too quickly
- Do not use a wire that is too rigid, otherwise breaks may occur when the bamboo mat is rolled up and unrolled
For textile fasteners:
- Natural fibers are usually more visually appealing, but less durable
- Synthetic fibers are weather-resistant, but may not be permanently UV-resistant
Fasten bamboo fence
explained step by step
Bamboo mats are not available in any length, but generous ones rolled goods. Before assembly, a measurement on the balcony must be used to determine how to cut. The actual work does not have to be done on the balcony, but can be done comfortably in the garage or in the basement.
tip: Even if you are initially inclined to work with as few individual pieces as possible, it is worth considering when measuring how the existing railing can be covered with as little waste as possible. Under certain circumstances, an additional division can mean that one roll less is required and waste and costs are significantly lower. Incidentally, if you first measure and then buy, you can save yourself two trips to the hardware store.
- Meter stick or measuring tape
- pad and writing materials
- Measure the length and height of the individual railing segments
- add a few centimeters for corner formations
- Draw the development of the railing
- Transfer the length and height of the bamboo fence to the sketch and define the butting points and cutting edges
danger: Since the bamboo fence is only fastened at certain points, it should not be too tight on the railing. Generally, after measuring, a few centimeters should be added to ensure a loose fit. A few extra centimeters are worthwhile for corners. Otherwise there may be tension in the bamboo mat, which can lead to unsightly distortions or holes in the structure at the attachment points!
The bamboo mat, delivered in a rolled-up "endless" form, is now cut to size based on the determined dimensions. Ideally, this activity takes place in a place where the mat can be worked on lying flat on the floor. In this way, compression, folds, etc. can be avoided and the desired size is actually achieved.
- meter stick or measuring tape
- scissors or pliers
- broom and shovel for clippings if necessary
- Roll out the mat loosely
- Determine the desired length with a meter stick or measuring tape
- Cut the connections of the bamboo sticks with scissors (textile connection) or pliers (wire connections).
- Unroll the mat loosely and ideally line it up against a wall or similar so that all the bars are flush
- Determine the desired height and mark it with string or a wooden slat
- Shorten the sticks with pruning shears or secateurs
- Sweep up and discard cut bamboo pieces
tip: Depending on the height, the bamboo mat is connected with several fasteners. When cutting the height, it can happen that a connection is cut off as well. In this case, the bamboo fence loses cohesion because of the long free bar ends. Here it can make sense to shorten from both sides instead and to keep as many connections as possible.
Now it is time to attach the cut mat segments to the balcony railing. When attaching it can be useful to work in pairs. This allows one person to hold the mat while the other person attaches it without pulling or tensioning the material.
- wire and pliers
- alternatively cable ties and scissors
- wood to underlay
- Roll up the mat and only unroll about 50 centimeters to attach the attachment
- Place wood underneath the roller until the desired distance to the balcony floor is reached
- Attach the mat to the vertical railing posts at the continuous connections with wire or cable ties
- Tighten fastener firmly but not too tightly to avoid unnecessary tension
- Cut off protruding wire or cable tie ends to avoid the risk of injury
tip: Even if it is actually sufficient to attach the bamboo fence to the top and bottom connection on the railing, it makes sense to use other connections for attachment. In this way, the pressure from your own weight, wind pressure, etc. is distributed more evenly and the load on the individual points is less.
Attach bamboo sticks alternatively
Again and again it can happen that attaching the bamboo as a privacy screen only works to a limited extent. Depending on the shape of the balcony railing, it can be difficult to attach the mat to the connections of the bamboo poles. In these cases, the privacy screen can also be attached directly to the bamboo sticks. However, you should then make sure to create more attachment points in order to keep the load on the individual bamboo sticks as low as possible. It can also make sense to take two or even three sticks together and put the attachment around several sticks.