How to build a PowerFence



The innovative, alternative to brick makes masonry fencing easy and affordable. An ideal fencing system for DIY.

Hebel PowerFence is an attractive and versatile fence system that provides an efficient and effective privacy and noise barrier for residential applications.

Perfect for boundary fencing and low front walls, Hebel PowerFence provides a modular masonry structure using lightweight panels and steel posts which can be easily and quickly erected without the need for extensive excavation or strip footings, as is normally the case for traditional masonry fence construction.

Hebel PowerFence can be finished in either Expressed or Monolithic and can also be adapted to include a range of different decorative treatments such as timber panels or ironwork.

The PowerFence system uses a specially designed PowerFence Bracket, allowing the single square post to be used for a large variety of fence configurations. The PowerFence Bracket can be rotated around the post for easy installation of corners. The brackets can be separated vertically on the post to allow panels to be ‘stepped’ for sloping terrain.

PowerFence:

  • is simple, cost effective and attractive
  • creates privacy and acts as reflective noise barrier system
  • perfect for boundary fencing and as an alternative to brick or block masonry for front fences
  • can be decorated with a range of profiles and looks to provide design flexibility is non combustible and termite resistant – the perfect choice for bushfire prone areas
  • uses 75mm Hebel PowerPanel, with specially coated reinforcement to deter corrosion and provide maximum durability
  • is engineered for the majority of conditions in urban Australia.

Step-by-step guide:

Download file

Gather your supplies

What components you'll need

  • PowerPanel for fence panels
  • The primary component of the standard PowerFence system is the 1800mm long by 600mm wide and 75mm thick, steel-reinforced Hebel PowerPanel.

  • PowerFence Bracket
  • The Hebel PowerFence Bracket acts as the supportive cleat for base panels and tPowerFence post extensionshe lateral restraint for all other panels as they are positioned between posts.

  • PowerFence Capping
  • For maximum weatherproofing and a stronger finish to the top edge, PowerFence panels can be quickly and simply capped with a purpose made, galvanized steel, 76 x 50mm ‘U’ shaped capping channel

  • PowerFence Posts
  • PowerFence Posts are 75mm x75mmx 2.5mm galvanized box section steel. They are supplied in a standard 2.4m length to suit up to a 1.8m high fence when anchored in 600mm deep concrete bedded footings.

  • PowerFence Post Extensions
  • Where deeper footings are required a post extension piece is available. This easily connects to the base of a standard PowerFence Post.

    Note: Extension pieces are only used to increase the embedment depth of the post in the ground – the maximum fence height for standard PowerFence posts is always a max. of 1800mm.

  • PowerFence Post Covers
  • To complete the structural design of PowerFence, sturdy 15mm compressed fibre cement panels are screw fixed onto each side of the steel posts. These complete the structure and also decoratively cover the PowerFence Brackets to create an attractive ‘engaged pier’ appearance that further emulates the look of a solid masonry fence.

  • Hebel Capping Blocks for PowerFence Posts
  • To cover the tops of posts Hebel manufactures 50mm thick solid capping blocks. Simply cut and fix to the top of the fence panels next to the post and create a solid ‘capital’ over the fibre cement covers.

  • Screws
  • 1. 10–24 x 40mm: self-drilling metal screw, countersink head. For connecting bracket to post and post cover to post.

    2. 14-10 x 100mm: needle point screw, bugle or hex head. For any fence capping to Hebel panel connection.

  • Hebel Adhesive
  • 20kg Bags – for glueing together of all Hebel components, both panels and blocks

  • Hebel Patch
  • 10 kg bags. For repair of any holes or construction damage to Hebel blocks or panels - prior to final coating

  • Construction Adhesive
  • Selleys Liquid Nails or Fullers Max Bond – for glueing metal fence capping and post covers to metal posts.

  • Hebel Anti-Corrosion Paint
  • For protection of any exposed reinforcing steel when cutting panels

  • Decorative coatings
  • Hebel PowerFence should be finally coated with a flexible exterior acrylic paint or render system

  • Bagged concrete
  • To cement posts into the ground.

What else can I build with Hebel?

FAQ's

Can I install PowerFence on sloping or uneven ground?

YES. Simply fix the PowerFence Bracket starting cleat in the correct position to follow the sloping terrain. The vertical step between each bay shouldn’t exceed 200mm (approximately 15 degree slope). For full instructions see Step 6 in the DIY Guide.

Can I change the direction of PowerFence to any angle?

YES. You can achieve angle turns by embedding two posts close together at the required turn of angle and installing the panels at the splayed corner like an end bay. The two closely aligned posts are then fully covered on both sides using PowerFence Post Covers and screw fixings.

Can I use PowerFence as a retaining wall?

NO. Although the backfilling of light soils along the base is permitted, PowerFence isn’t suitable as a structural soil retaining wall. The reason is straightforward - PowerFence is made of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) which is too lightweight to be an effective long-term structural barrier against the high mass and pressure of deep, wet soils or clay.

Can I place PowerFence panels directly onto the ground?

YES with waterproofing. The base of the fence should be coated with a suitable exterior waterproofing compound. This is to protect the panel in the long term, and importantly, maximise the life of the coatings you use to complete the fence./p>

Can I install PowerFence higher than 1.8m in height?

YES with engineering consultancy. The standard PowerFence system is engineered to a maximum 1800mm (or 6ft) height when using the PowerFence Post and three standard 1800 x 600 x 75mm PowerPanels, slacked horizontally. For all fence heights above 1800mm you need to consult an engineer for a specific design of both the post and supportive base cleat.

Is it possible to install PowerFence at lower heights?

YES. PowerPanel can be cut in both length and width to suit lower fence heights if need be. See Cutting PowerFence in the DIY Guide which includes safety notes.

What is the maximum bay length of a PowerFence panel?

PowerFence is designed for the majority of suburban wind loads with an 1800mm bay length. That’s one reason why the PowerFence system uses the standard 1800 x 600 x 75mm Hebel PowerPanel.

Under more strict design conditions, PowerFence can be installed in up to 2400mm bay lengths using the 2400 x 600 x 75mm PowerPanel. For more details see Table 1 in the DIY Guide.

Can I cut PowerPanels on site?

YES with a minimum 270mm width. See the Cutting PowerFence section in the DIY Guide for details. This includes advice on painting any steel reinforcement exposed with Hebel Anti-Corrosion Paint and important notes on working safety with Hebel.

How do I determine my soil type and terrain category for post embedment?

The DIY Guide provides general guidance on broad soil types and terrain categories for PowerFence post embedment. We recommend you contact your local building authority or consult a relevant engineer to find out the type and category for your local area.

Can I leave my PowerFence unpainted?

NOT BEST PRACTICE. The Hebel PowerPanel is made from aerated concrete with coated steel reinforcing mesh which does absorb moisture. See the DIY Guide on Finishing & Coatings for more information.

Do I need to fully render my PowerFence?

GENERALLY NO. PowerFence does not need a thick, troweled-on render finish unless you want to achieve a very flat, monolithic surface finish similar to fully rendered brickwork. PowerFence is more simply and economically finished by coating with a roll-on coloured acrylic texture coat paint.

What is special about the PowerFence Bracket?

The PowerFence Bracket is a registered design component (patent pending), which is not only a structural cleat to support the fence panels, but also acts as a lateral support during construction to hold the panels in place immediately after each panel is placed onto the fence. This ensures high safety during installation, particularly for DIY installers.

Why do I need Hebel Adhesive between PowerFence Panels?

The Hebel Adhesive between the PowerPanels bonds so they act as a composite fence bay between posts. This maximises the panel strength and ensures the best substrate for final coating.

Is it possible to have different post covers or post decoration?

YES. A range of different finishes can be achieved using Hebel blocks or other decorations, to form a natural chipped stone or engaged pier look to the fence posts. However, the structural fibre cement posts covers must be installed onto PowerFence before any decorations can be applied.

Do I need to cap PowerFence Posts?

YES. The PowerFence Posts are a square hollow section (SHS) steel and can fill with water unless capped. A number of options are possible. The simplest way is to use a 50mm Hebel block as a capping piece. Best practice is to use a knock-in plastic or knock-on steel cap for the 75mm x 75mm post, then attach a solid capping piece for final decoration.

Do I need to cap or treat the top edges of PowerFence panels?

YES. If the PowerPanel is the top edge, Hebel recommends an initial coat of exterior grade waterproofing compound - compatible with the final coating system. It should be applied on the top and down to 100mm either side. This will protect the panel from water ingress maximising the life of the coating system used.





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