Saturday, January 20, 2018

Defining Your Outdoor Living Space

April 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Springtime ~ A Perfect Time to for Fencing!

Such lovely spring weather always calls for outdoor projects, and it’s a fine time for fencing. If you’ve been considering building or replacing a fence, be prepared to choose from many types, styles, shapes, sizes and materials.

Before you make your choice and lay out the cash, here are a few points to consider:

  • Approvals: First and foremost, make sure your neighbors are onboard with your plans. Next, and equally important, if you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association (HOA), make sure there are no restrictions or requirements for fencing. It could be costly to find out after the fact that you have violated your CC&Rs.
  • Privacy and height: Height is clearly an important consideration, yet while you may desire a tall privacy fence, again, the necessity for approvals can’t be overstated.
  • Design: Your fence design and materials should tie in with the design of your house and landscaping. A high-end fence and a middle-of-the-road house will not be a good match.

As you consider the basic types of fencing listed below, also take into account which type is durable and suitable for your climate and environment:

  • Wood/timber: Affordable, versatile and the most popular choice. It can be found in a number of styles, including panel and picket fences, and can be painted to change its appearance. When shopping for this type, beware of rotting and low quality wood.
  • Vinyl: Durable, low maintenance, and never needs replacing or repainting, and looks like wood.
  • Composite: A combination of recycled wood and recycled plastic, durable, doesn’t need repainting, and looks like wood.
  • Brick: Usually more expensive, but a strong choice for a fence that will outlast wood. There are several shapes and color choices available.
  • Steel: Also available in a number of colors and designs, and provides a strong barrier.
  • Aluminum: Low maintenance, won’t fade or discolor, is heavy gauge and powder coated, has the look of wrought iron, and available in a variety of styles and sizes.
  • Chain Link: Not typically chosen for esthetics or design, but is extremely useful for defining a space and containing animals.
  • Alternative materials: Bamboo can prove to be a unique addition to your yard. It is greener, stronger and said to be more durable than traditional wood fences…and it’s termite resistant!

Tips for Reducing Your Costs

  • If you share a common fence with your neighbors, don’t hesitate to ask them to share the cost of replacement with you, especially if the fence is deteriorating. They may be more than happy to do so.
  • It may not always be necessary to use the highest grade of timber. Ask a fence expert if there is a more affordable, lower grade that still provides a degree of quality.
  • Make sure that your fence has a good warranty. This can save you money on future repairs or damage.

Getting started

Now that you’ve made a decision, you’ll need to determine what is needed to complete the project. Do this BEFORE beginning construction to avoid issues you can’t afford. Some of these considerations are:

  • Materials & tools needed
  • Purpose of the fence-any safety issues to consider?
  • Building it from scratch or purchasing a ready-to-install fence?
  • Whether or not you’ll outsource any part of the project
  • The need for approvals from local government entities

Site Prep

For your fence to be successful, site preparation is critical. Depending on the type of fence you’ve chosen to install, you may need to put in some type of reinforcement, like concrete footings, to ensure sturdiness and stability. Don’t guess–find out before you begin.

The prep work you’ll need to do will be determined by the height of your fence and the materials you’ve chosen. Avoid taking short cuts–if your fence requires footings, make sure they are deep enough and of the proper construction to safely support your fence.

If you have any doubts whatsoever about any portion of the installation of your fence, consult someone with experience or, in the case of a ready-to-install fence, contact the manufacturer.

Don’t let yourself get bogged down in the seemingly endless research and options. Remember that the purpose of your fence should be to enhance your surroundings and compliment your home…so make it a fun project!

Not up to fixing or repairing it yourself? Check out our “Fix Your Fences” Spring Special for the month of April. If you would like help with your fences, or even your decks, outdoor lighting, garden benches, or other out door projects, just ask The Fix-It Professionals to help you!


One Response to “Defining Your Outdoor Living Space”
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