1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Articles
  4.  | On the Fence About Fencing?
AVI Glass

At a very basic level, pool fences function as a safety solution. But they can offer more than just functionality – they can create or complete a look for your property, whether it be elegant and sophisticated or modern and sleek. Glass fences can give the illusion of invisibility and help you discover the full potential of your outdoor space. Different styles can bring different things to a client’s landscaping and outdoor design. Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design’s Jessica Muller sits down with Denis Toogood, owner of AVI Glass, to chat about all things fencing.

When it comes to the supply and installation of glass fencing, AVI glass is the expert. Renowned for its ability to tackle any glass fencing needs, the company was started by Wayne A’Vard 30 years ago, who built it into a successful business. Denis Toogood came along after being asked if he wanted to be an installer for the business. “I had my own handyman business when a customer asked [Abart] to install a glass fence,” Toogood said. From installing a couple of fences for them, to working for them for several years, Toogood eventually took over the business in 2019.

Toogood has noticed that word of mouth is pretty big when it comes to the reputation of a business. “We pride ourselves on our quality. The evidence is that we’ve got a lot of referrals, and if people weren’t happy, we wouldn’t get referred,” he says. Toogood visits potential clients for a no-obligation quote and to advise them on their options, to see what looks and works best for them. No project is the same, so the individual’s needs and requirements need to be taken into consideration when deciding on a fencing solution.


There is a lot to consider when deciding on the type of fencing for your project, so we turned to the expert for his thoughts on the glass or aluminium debate. “Sometimes aluminium fencing is better than glass. There’s no point putting glass around the blind side of the house,” he explains. There are practical benefits to aluminium too, with it being more low maintenance due to it requiring less cleaning than glass.

When deciding what will best suit a space, Toogood advises he takes into account the ambience of the space. “You’ve got to look at things like no climb zones and stuff like that,” Toogood says. If there are things close to the fence that would enable children to climb over it, you can’t use aluminium.




But when it comes down to preference, Toogood admits to favouring glass wherever possible, just for the disappearing effect. Despite the new style and colour options that are available for aluminium fences, he feels that “aluminium is still going to look like a prison in most cases.”

Sometimes, however, the solution is the best of both worlds. “We can work with any combination of aluminium and glass. If you wanted to go with a certain curve or something like that, we can cut custom glass and aluminium and we have contacts to make custom fencing,” he reports. Custom glass can be difficult, but it can be a worthwhile endeavour.


When looking at installing a fence, you’ve got to consider if there is an appropriate surface for it, like concrete or decking. “I’ve seen some beautiful pools, but there’s nowhere to mount a fence!” Toogood explains. Too
much rock can make installing a fence impossible. But that’s not the only obstacle: “If you do glass on grass, that doesn’t work!” Toogood advises.

There are other factors that can make fencing a difficult feat. Other aspects of the existing landscape, such as retaining walls, can make things tricky. But these are easier to work around – sometimes you’ve just got to adopt the design to the space!


As with all aspects of life, trends in fencing come and go. At the moment, frameless and semi-frameless fencing are all the rage. “Framed isn’t as popular as it once was, but some people like the stability of the frame,” Toogood tell us. But framed fences can actually be harder to install: “You need it all lined up bang-on or the glass doesn’t fit, so the installation can be more complex,” he reveals.

Frameless, however, gives you that invisible look which allows you to soak in the beauty of your home’s natural surroundings, giving the illusion of a larger outdoor space. Frameless fences might appear fragile, but the contrary is true: “it’s quite sturdy and when you drill with a 67mm hold into concrete, you don’t see it eventually, and it’s the way to go,” Toogood informs.

The opposite trend is at play when it comes to balustrades, which are used to stop people from falling. Toogood has noticed a move towards framed balustrades for safety purposes, a trend that started in New South Wales and has now moved into Victoria. “Frameless is going out of fashion due to legal requirements,” Toogood warns. But if you are in love with the idea of frameless balustrades, they are still a possibility for indoor spaces. Toogood explains his process: “We template it first to make sure it fits. This is a fake piece, made from MDF or plywood, to ensure it fits the mount… we modify it before taking the template to the factory, because these pieces of glass are hundreds of dollars each, and you don’t want it to not fit!”.


Whether you’re building a new home, renovating your current one or just want to rejuvenate your space, you’ve got so many options when it comes to fencing. Toogood and his team at AVI glass can help you work out the best option for you, and their exceptional customer service extends well after installation: “The number of times people have said that they didn’t expect us to come back and fix this and tighten that. Things shift and settle over time, so it’s the care and attention to detail as well as a willingness to collaborate.” No matter your taste, there is a fencing option out there for you.

Photography courtesy of PBloc Photography

AVI Glass
AVI Glass