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Australia. Owner in a top floor unit with a large outdoor area. I want to attach screen to a wall and pillar, using some kind of rear mounted post, (like one of those 'screen up' rear mount posts), or even something as simple as a sail track to put a shade sail into. Problem is that the pillar in question is hollow concrete sheets, and most likely contains HVAC for the rooftop vents, so while an engineer has told me I could mount stuff to it if correctly sealed, I would rather not tbh as it would require a lot of strata back and forth and if anything breaks it's much more expensive to fix. It's not load bearing.

What I want to do is create a box frame around the pillar that can be used to mount things to. I've created a prototype with some wood and L brackets, and it works ok but it's definitely a temporary thing that wouldn't hold up (and looks awful)

What materials should I use for a more sturdy and version that can hold up to lateral forces? Was thinking some kind of metal tubing, but not sure of the best way to connect it all up so it's strong and secure, or how to get it tight enough around the post

It would get a lot of rain, so either galvanised steel or aluminium seems the right material. Are there any considerations I should take into account here?

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  • Without knowing the whole story about its construction, it's hard to recommend actually attaching anything to the column.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 14, 2023 at 13:31
  • I want to wrap the column with a frame rather than attach anything, and use the frame to attack fixtures to Apr 15, 2023 at 23:21
  • Can you be more specific about what exactly you want to mount, and where it needs to mount to? I see talk of screens and shade sails, so...
    – Huesmann
    Apr 16, 2023 at 12:26
  • Either something like this bunnings.com.au/… or a sail track bunnings.com.au/… Apr 17, 2023 at 5:15
  • I think in your situation I would build a couple of frames out of rectangular metal tubing, to fit around the column. If you can weld, great, if not, you'll want to bolt angle brackets at the corners. Paint the frames black to match the railing, and fasten a piece of lumber to the frames to which you can attach your screen mount.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 17, 2023 at 13:29

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If you want to attach to the pillar, I'd suggest a bracket which straps around it rather than drilling into it.

BUT: Since this appears likely to be a condo, I wouldn't do anything without getting approval first. You may not be contractually allowed to do so, or conversely they may have a recommended solution.

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    OP does say "owner" in the very first sentence...
    – FreeMan
    Apr 14, 2023 at 17:51
  • Mention of rental removed. But owner of a condo unit may still be very limited in what they can do to the building, and even an engineer's testimony may not be enough to change a condo board's mind. Which is one reason condos are sometimes described as combining all the worst aspects of renting with all the worst aspects of owning.
    – keshlam
    Apr 14, 2023 at 20:42
  • Yeah I mention strata in my post, that’s the building corporation. I’m on the committee but it still wouldn’t be easy, so I’m looking to avoid permanent fixtures where possible. Strapping a bracket around it rather than drilling into it is exactly what I’m proposing, but looking for help with the implementation Apr 15, 2023 at 23:14
  • I have no idea what your committee will let you get away with, or what's common/available in your area,. And this is presumably safety equipment. And there may be fire-rescue regulations that would restrict what you could do. So I'm not going to try to suggest specifics. Though actually, asking your local fire and building-code inspectors to recommend solutions is not a bad thought.
    – keshlam
    Apr 15, 2023 at 23:28
  • I’m allowed to attach fixtures to it I just need to get written approval and a bylaw which costs money, so I’d rather not hence the wrap around frame idea. Do you have anything you can contribute to the question about the construction of the frame? I’m not asking for the legality in my committee, that is well outside the scope of my question. Apr 16, 2023 at 1:48

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