Fence

Fences serve a wide variety of functions, depending on the size of the property, the goal of the homeowners, and the style of the architecture. Fences may feature spaced boards or solid faces, depending on the desire for privacy and the look homeowners wish to achieve. Fences can be concave or convex, scalloped along the top or straight edged. Fence styles vary widely from the standard to the custom, and often reflect regional and architectural preferences. The key to any fence project is to determine the need and the budget, then work with the available components to create the style.

Fence Cleaning/ Power Washing

Any wood left exposed to the outdoor elements will cup, crack, and warp within the first year or so if it is not protected. The two most common natural enemies of wood are sun and rain. Sun breaks down the surface fibers, causing the wood to weaken and turn gray during the process. Rain causes the wood to swell excessively, eventually leading to the breakdown of the internal fibers. Once this happens, the wood becomes spongy and weak.

Obvious signs of trouble are:

  • Grayed surface (sun, or UV damage)
  • Warping and cracking (water damage)
  • Loose nails (a sign of excessive swelling and shrinking)

Wooden walls have fewer problems than decks and fences due to the fact that they are vertical surfaces protected by roofs. A vertical surface means that rain and snow drain off, leaving the wall dry. Regular cleaning and sealing extends the life of a deck or fence many times over and will keep clean wood fence algae. It saves trees, and saves you money over the long run. Preparation of the wood before sealing is more important than any other phase of caring for decks and fences. Proper fence cleaning:

a) Eliminates dirt, mildew, mold, and algae

b) Opens the pores of the wood

c) Balances the pores of the wood so that the sealer bonds to each fiber.

Choosing the right cleaner is not as easy as you might think to pressure wash fence. For example, most deck and fence cleaners are either acidic or alkaline. Many home improvement stores recommend acid-based cleaners to power wash wooden fence because they are less dangerous than most alkaline for the average homeowner to handle. Unfortunately, they are also quite a bit less effective. At Ultimate Washer, we offer a biodegradable commercial-grade cleaning solution that is natural, consumer-friendly and a lot more effective. This product will serve as a:

Cleaner – it will deeply clean the wood and will not strip off any old finishes

Brightener - used to remove bleed marks and darkened wood will get back its natural color.

Basic recommendations when learning how to clean a fence using a cleaner, brightener or stripper is to avoid having the product dry on the surface of the wood. This can leave residue and prevent proper adhesion or absorption of sealers. You must rinse it off within 15 minutes. Read more on how to successfully apply cleaning solutions. With this cleaning product you will bring back the natural color of your wood, making the fence look fantastic. Bleach-based cleaners lighten the wood, whereas non-bleach based cleansers, gently remove the dirt and nail stains without any damage to the wood fibers or the wood's natural color while being very environmentally friendly to surrounding plants and shrubs. After you allow the cleaner to do its work, rinse with a power washer.

The proper washing technique is to use light pressure, the right wood cleaners, and large amounts of water. Wood should be washed with pressures between 500 and 800 PSI. Generally, powerwashers come with several tips or adjustable spray nozzles. Be careful, using the wrong spray tip or nozzle adjustment can direct a stream of water so powerful that it may splinter and damage the wood. Experienced contractors who specialize in wood care have their wands or pressure-washers modified to work at these pressures. Never use a hot-water pressure washer. The hot water will raise the grain severely. Striping, which is the marking caused when someone starts or stops the cleaning stroke of the pressure washer wand too close to the surface of the wood, is another problem. A lot of striping marks will make the deck or fence look uneven and unprofessional. Homeowners should practice making an arc (a partial golf swing) with the wand before they start to clean the wood. As a general rule, previously sealed decks or fences usually need to be stripped before re-sealing. This involves using very strong chemical strippers, and is the sort of job best left to an experienced professional. Mold spreads easily and may return if all the mold spores have not been removed or killed.

Fence Sealer / Protection:

  • Step 1
    Determine the amount of fence to be stained and sealed. Multiply the length of the fence by the height of the fence. Because a fence is rarely solid wood, only take 1/2 of the final square footage for the fencing. For example, if you have a fence 20 feet long and 5 feet high, then multiply 20 by 5 and you get 100. Divide that by 1/2 and you get 50. The total square footage is 50 square feet.
  • Step 2
    Choose the color and amount of stain necessary for your application. After deciding on the color of stain that you wish to use, you may also choose the finish/sealer type. Choose flat, semi gloss or gloss, depending on your preference. There will be a coverage chart on the side of the stain and sealer cans. Use that chart to determine the amount necessary for your particular job based on your square footage. Also, remember that if you choose water-based stain, then you must choose water-based sealer. The stain and sealer/finish must match, and they must be exterior. Plan on applying two coats of stain and sealer, so that means that you will need to double the amounts when figuring the square footage.
  • Step 3
    Shake the can of stain vigorously and open the top. Make sure that the stain is mixed consistently. If it has not mixed well, there will be a layer of light colored liquid on the top.
  • Step 4
    Pour the entire contents of the can into the pump sprayer. Pump the sprayer until you reach the desired pressure, and spray on the stain. It may be necessary to go over the application with a brush. If any stain runs, then just brush over the stain quickly. Follow the drying time instruction on the can, and reapply the second coat.
  • Step 5
    Shake the sealer vigorously with the lid on the can. Check to see that there is no separation of materials inside the can; if so, then reshake it. Fill the pump sprayer to the top, pump up the pressure and apply the sealer to the fence. Just as in the step above, use a brush to brush over any extra sealer or any runs. After the first coat dries, apply the second coat in the same manner.
  • Step 6
    Clean the sprayer and brush with soap and water if you are using water-based products; however, if you are using oil-based, then use paint thinner to clean the tools.

Cedar Fence:
Three grades of cedar are available; all weather and wear the same. Fairway Greens recommends only using Clear and #1 cedar. Grade #2 cedar is not recommeded due to the number of knot holes which causes the fences appearance to unsitely. These knot holes will fall out in time reducing the privacy in which the fence was intended. Cedar fences with steel posts should easily last 15 - 20 years plus under normal conditions. Cedar is naturally weather, rot, and insect resistant, but resistance is greatly reduced after the fence has dried. Fairway Greens recommends sealing or staining to assist and extend the natural resistance.

Spruce Fence:
Spruce/Whitewood is an economy wood, irregularities, warping, and blemishes are common and should be expected. Texture and color also may vary. Life expectancy is 5 to 8 years under normal conditions. Some fences have been known to only last three years. Life span can be increase with sealing or staining

Red Cedar Fence:
A Western Red Cedar Wood Fence serves many practical purposes. The wood fence will act as a boundary marker, preserve light, screen unwanted views, offer a degree of micro-climate control, provide shelter, and create visual points of interest in the streetscape.

A wood fence can take many sizes, shapes and designs ranging from heavy, solid boards that deter intruders to lightweight open lattice-work that invites cooling breezes. But no matter the style or function of the fence, wood is usually the construction material of choice. And you can make no better choice than Western Red Cedar fence material.

Western Red Cedar fence material should be your only choice when you consider its unbeatable quality, appearance and longevity. The natural oils in cedar help make the wood material resistant to decay and insect attack, increasing its durability and weatherability without the use of chemical treatments. Cedar fence material is dimensionally stable much more so than other woods so there is minimal shrinkage; your cedar fence will stay straight and sturdy. And you'll find the cedar wood easy to work with; no special tools are needed. Above all, the cedar wood has a beauty all its own with colors, grains, and textures unmatched by any other fence material. If you want colors other than cedar's own natural tones, the wood can easily be stained. Properly constructed and maintained, a cedar wood fence will look good for years, adding prestige and value to your home and garden.

You have a wide selection of Western Red Cedar wood fence material to choose from. There are Clear and Knotty grades with smooth or rough textured surfaces and a range of plain or patterned fence material. Cedar wood fence material meets the quality specifications of published grading rules or the product standards of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association's standards have been developed to meet consumer's expectations for products of structural integrity and appearance appropriate to the product's end use. Please review this site for guidance on typical grades, descriptions and illustrations of Cedar wood fence material.

If preferred, you can purchase pre-cut patterned cedar wood fencing with round, pointed, dog-eared, spearhead or gothic tops; latticework panels; and pre-assembled solid and lattice-work fencing sections from most building supply dealers.

Retaining Wall:
Before you even begin to build or design your retaining wall you need to get a handle on the site, soil conditions, water drainage patterns and final grading. These elements play a critical role in the actual design of the wall system. Make a drawing or sketch of what you have and take it with you to the local company that sells your block system. Numerous 'before' photos of your yard would be of great value as well. Take them from multiple angles so that you can communicate just how your yard looks.

Design:
Now is the time to plan exactly where your wall(s) will go. This will allow you to determine the height and the wall's batteras well. Quite possibly you will need to develop terraces to make your plan work.

Most of the manufacturers have great design guides. However, I found Allan Block's to be one of the best. It is available on their web site for free downloading in a PDF file. Most of the other manufacturers also have some type of design guide on their site. Perhaps you will find that the diagrams of one are easier for you to understand. All of the guides offer fine color diagrams and cross sections.

Construction:
Segmental retaining walls begin at the lowest part of your lot. A trench is required in order to install the gravel base to a sufficient depth. The gravel also is the leveling medium. You install and compact the gravel in a level fashion so that the wall will be level side to side. If the courses of the wall begin to bury themselves into a rising slope, that is no problem. You simply begin a new trench as soon as the first row disappears below grade.

As each course of the wall is installed, you install the gravel backfill and compacted earth. An old mason taught me how to keep the gravel and dirt separated. Simply use a piece of plywood that acts as a form. Position gravel on one side and dirt on the other. After you install the materials level with the top of the block course, lift the plywood up. Compact the materials and start with your next course.

DIY Wood Fence:

Fence Rail  Reparation: 
  • Step 1


    Determine if the rail is salvageable or has to be completely replaced.
  • Step 2


    If a horizontal rail is not rotten, hammer two pieces of 2-by-4 to the fence post directly under the damaged rail with galvanized nails to support it. Hammer the nails through the rail and into the 4-by-4-supports. A metal T-brace can also be hammered into the rail to support it.
  • Step 3


    If an entire rail needs replacement, disassemble the entire section of fence.
  • Step 4


    Cut individually-measured rail lengths of 2-by-4 so that each rail fits tightly against the fence posts. Each rail will need to be measured because of the inconsistencies in fence sections.
  • Step 5


    Nail rails into place with angled galvanized nails. The bottom rail can be positioned at grade level or up to 12 inches in height.
  • Step 6


    Measure and cut individual fence boards attempting to keep all of them a standard length.
  • Step 7


    Nail the boards into place using two nails at each rail. It's best to nail the top rail first so that adjustments may be made at the lower rail. Leave a space of one board between each board as it's nailed into the rail. Then return to the starting point and fill in the gaps

Fence Post Reparation:

  • Step 1


    Determine if a wobbly fence post is completely rotted. If not, it can be splinted or supported instead of being replaced.
  • Step 2


    Brace the post by hammering 2-by-4-splints along the weakened area. Be sure to put one on each side.
  • Step 3


    If the post is loose in the posthole, brace the post by driving stakes into the posthole along the sides of the post, pinching it into a stable position. If the post cannot be secured this way, concrete can be added to create a secure concrete base.
  • Step 4


    Paint the new pieces of lumber to match the rest of the fence. Because of weathering, matching may be difficult and the entire fence may need repainting.

Board-on-Board Fence:
The ultimate in privacy. Installed for totall privacy with little or no creaks between pickets. 1 1/4" Over lap on each side of pickett to reduce sun cracks. 1"x4" and 1"x6" pickets available. Great for pools, jacuzzies, etc. where total privacy is wanted.

Side-by-Side Fence:
This is the most economical style of wood fence in North Texas and is also called “butt joint.” The pickets on this style of fence are nailed with the boards “side by side.” You can expect a small amount of shrinkage of the pickets that will cause a small gap in between the pickets. This is a standard expectation with a side by side fence.

Kick Board/Base Board:
Also called “kick board” or “rot board”, this is a 2x6 pressure treated board that runs horizontally at the bottom of the fence. Pressure treated wood is intended to be in contact with the ground and allows the pickets to be kept up off of the ground for protection from moisture decay and termites.

Fence Trimmings:
We have a variety of trim/cap options:

  • Standard
  • Top Cap with Standard 1x4 Trim
  • Top Cap with 1x4 and 1x2 Double Trim
  • 1x2 Double Trim without Top Cap
  • Top Cap with 1x6 Arched Trim and Corbels

Fence Caps:
Caps are added to the tops of posts to provide a finished look or further enhance the style. Like posts and boards, caps come in a variety of styles and are matched to their period or vernacular style. Post caps may be modern, Victorian, classical, colonial, gothic, one of several vernacular architectural styles like Cape Cod, Newport, or ranch.

Galvanized Fence Posts:
This is the best choice and will be set 30" to 36" deep depending on layout requirements. Post are 2 3/8" DIA., .095 Gal., set with 100 lbs. of concrete. Post will include metal caps

Electric Gates:
Feel secure knowing we put the best brands to use when building your gate.

  • Sliding and Swinging Gates with Solar or A/C Charging.
  • State of the Art Micro Processing.
  • Custom Frames Fully Welded and Powder Coated.
  • For Residential, Commercial, Farm and Ranch use up to 37ft. length.
  • Licensed Distributor of Patriot and Chamberlain Elite Operators.
  • Fully System Capable for All Accessories.

Iron Fences:

Chain Link Fence:

chain fence is an affordable solution to securing your yard. If you have pets and want them to be able to run freely in their backyard, a chain fence will keep them safe. The benefit to a chain fence is that it is not only affordable; it is easily maintained and will secure any size pet.

If you have a large dog, you may have to consider if he can jump over the chain fence or not. In these cases a taller, privacy type fence may be needed. For smaller dogs, and even the majority of large dogs, a chain fence can keep them contained safely and securely.

Installing a Chain Fence:
In many cases you may want to hire a professional to install the chain fence to ensure it is secure and effective. You can however, install a chain fence on your own with a little bit of effort. The chain fence material is found in any hardware store and you can pick up some great tips for installing it while you are there.

Make sure you understand the process completely before attempting to install your own chain fence.

Ornamental Steel & Aluminum Fence:

All of our ornamental iron fences are built with galvanized steel material and are then finished with a baked on powder coating which gives years of low maintenance fencing. Powder coating requires no primer coat and gives a far more superior and durable finish than painted finishes and will last many years longer than paint.

No matter if you want something simple and standard or complex and custom, we are ornamental iron experts. We can custom build iron to match any design such as a gate specially designed to match our client's front door.

Vinyl Fence:

Vinyl fencing is a relatively new product, but is catching on fast. Designs that look like post and rail fencing, traditional wood fencing or decorative iron fencing are made of rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and have great appeal for the property owner looking for a virtually maintenance free fence.

The right material for the job:
Vinyl fence is made of essentially the same material as vinyl siding and vinyl windows - not PVC pipe. While PVC pipe does use some of the same ingredients, it doesn't have the weatherability and strength found in siding, windows and fence. Making vinyl fence requires careful process controls during manufacturing to ensure a quality product. While most manufacturers offer lengthy warranties on their products, the warranty alone does not define the quality.

Two ways to make a vinyl fence:
There are two methods of vinyl fence manufacture: mono-extrusion (single layer) and co-extrusion (two-layer). Some manufacturers maintain and advertise that mono-extrusion is better. Here's how to decide which is right for you.

Mono-Extrusion:
The mono-extruded fence profile (in sizes such as 2x6, 5x5, etc.) is made from one layer of material. This process puts ultraviolet inhibitors (which protect the vinyl from sunlight) all the way through the product-even on the inside where they're not needed. The ultraviolet inhibitor is the most expensive ingredient in the extrusion formula. Since mono-extrusion uses only one extruder instead of two, and the mono-extrusion die is more simple to make, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars less to set up a factory for this process. Mono-extrusion also requires less technical expertise on the factory floor. But the greater quantity of ultraviolet inhibitors required, raises material costs to a level that cannot be offset by the slightly lower labor cost and equipment investment. That means mono-extruded products ultimately cost more to produce which means you may pay more, or the manufacturer has to make up the difference to remain competitive.

Co-Extrusion:
The co-extruded fence profile is made out of two layers: an outer layer containing the ultraviolet inhibitor and an inside layer with reduced ultraviolet protection. Co-extrusion demands a higher investment in equipment, tooling, training and overall manufacturing sophistication, but it significantly lowers material costs. In order to make the product even more affordable, many manufacturers make the inside layer out of reground material (rework) that may be a different color than the outside layer. This does not affect the product's performance as long as there is no recycled materials used. The lower cost of co-extruded vinyl creates a slightly more affordable product without sacrificing quality. In the mid 90s, only a few manufacturers in the vinyl fence business were co-extruding. Today, a majority of the key players co-extrude. These are reputable companies that back their products with lifetime warranties, meeting ASTM vinyl fence standards. Some mono-extruding manufacturers warn that since co-extrusion can result in a different color of substrate material, a scratch on a co-extruded fence will reveal the substrate color-much like a scratch on a car will reveal the undercoat color. However, quality co-extruders make the outside layer thick enough so that a scratch will not penetrate through to the substrate layer. You cannot "key" your way through to the substrate the way you can with a car; the top layer is just too thick.

Look for a commitment:

Since co-extruding manufacturers make bigger investments in fixed assets and people, they must be committed to the vinyl industry for the long haul. They must do a superior job over a longer period of time before obtaining a reasonable return on investment. Whether a company co-extrudes or mono-extrudes has little to do with producing a quality product. Both methods should produce superior-quality products. When deciding which is best for you, look for details that indicate the company's commitment to total quality in every aspect of the fence you buy:

  • Notched rail-fastening systems
  • Heavy wall posts and rails
  • Galvanized steel inserts in rails on certain residential styles for added strength on longer panels
  • Painted-head stainless steel screws on styles using fasteners to attach pickets
  • Stainless steel fasteners and hardware
Understand the Warranty:

Most manufacturers provide a 20 year to lifetime warranty. It is important that you understand not only the details of what is covered, but also the company behind the warranty. Let's face facts, when it comes to a "Lifetime" warranty, very few things last forever and vinyl fencing is not the exception. A lifetime warranty that never terminates due to a change in ownership of the property or some other event is a tremendous liability to any manufacturer. A warranty that can be passed from generation to generation, owner to owner is either a very good deal, or the limit on the warranty is probably the lifetime of the manufacturer. A good warranty will cover cracking, breaking, and excess fading or yellowing. It will not cover damage from external forces, such as striking the fence with a vehicle or other abuse.

Pool Fence:

Mark Holes:
When your kit has arrived, the first step to take is to mark your holes. Marking your holes before drilling is a smart move every handyman should take to heart. This helps to eliminate unnecessary mistakes when drilling. Each kit comes with a cardboard template for easy, consistent marking. The cardboard template has three holes. 2 holes are 36 apart for marking the distance between poles that are attached to one another in the 12 length of fencing. The additional hole is 2-1/2" from one end. This hole is used to mark the proper space between the fence sections. Mark these holes using a china marker or similar waterproof marker. China markers can be found at most local hardware stores or Home Depot. DO NOT drill through the template.

Prepare your drill:
First prepare your drill. We suggest putting electrical tape around the drill bit at 4 inches from the tip. This provides a guide to keep you from drilling too deep in your concrete.

Erecting your gate
Before you begin, it is important for you to mark where your holes should go. This will make it easy to get it right the first time. Using both templates, carefully mark the holes.

Mark the holes on the gate template where your gate poles will fit in.

Line up the last gate hole with on the fence-positioning template. The hole for the last pole of the gate will be lined up in the hole on the fence template in the hole where a second section of fence would begin. This is where the gate and fence will securely attach at a later step.

Drill the fence hole using the exclusive drill alignment tool. This tool is designed to create a straight hole every time. When drilling the holes for the gate, drill at a 2.5 degree angle towards the gate itself. This will make it easier to insert poles, as well as keeping the gate and fence securely in place.

Slide poles into the corresponding holes.

Use the hook and eye mechanism provided with gate

Lastly, all you need to do next is to close the gate and lock it in place. The gate is spring loaded to close automatically to the locked position. To open, lift up knob on the top and pull gate open.

Now you can enjoy the beauty and fun of your pool without compromising safety. And with a DIY Pool Fence, it is just as easy to take down for those special occasions.

The gate, as well as pool fence has been designed for quick and easy installation. DIYpoolfence.com takes the element of human error into consideration. The gate lock and latch height can be adjusted so that it fits correctly together. Unscrew the bottom piece on the locking mechanism. Adjust the height until the gate aligns with the latch. Screw in place and your gate is set!

Drill the deck:

IMPORTANT DRILL NOTES: If using a DIY supplied drill please follow these drill instructions carefully!

1) Keep the drill set to hammer drill (on side hammer symbol).

2) Hold the drill tightly but do not apply excessive downward pressure. Let the drill do the work. It will not feel the same as drilling into wood and will take more time.

3) Blow away drilled cement.

4) Wear protective eye wear and keep all body parts away from the drill bit during use.

5) Follow all other warnings and instructions on manufacturers drill usage instructions.

The alignment tool is designed for standard 5/8. masonry drill bits which have a head that is 5/8 and a flute that is ½ If your bit is an industrial bit with a full body of 5/8. it will not work with our guide. Standard bits are available for purchase on our website. To insert the bit, feed the bit up from the bottom of the alignment tool, and then attach the bit to your drill after it is in the guide.

With the drill alignment tool, DIYPoolfence.com has cut hours off the drilling process and made it almost error-proof. Once you have the drill positioned and leveled correctly, you will be able to make perfect holes each time.

On straight sections, center the drill bit on the mark. Align the leveling bubble center on the drill guide using the adjustment screws on the three corners of the base (as shown). This will make the drill level and your hole straight. Aligning the bubble to the center means you are level. Drill straight up and down, do not angle the drill. The unique drill alignment tool provided by DIYPoolFence.com will help to keep any handyman from making common human slip-ups.

For curved sections changing directions by 45 degrees or more at one pole, use your alignment tool to set your drill to make a hole at a 5-degree angle leaning away from the curve. For curved sections changing directions by less than 45 degrees at one pole, use your alignment tool to set your drill to make a hole at a 2.5-degree angle leaning away from the curve. The angles will keep tension at the top of the fence. The curve in the fence will pull your fence into the curve creating an unwanted inward slope, drilling at an angle away from the curve will prevent this sloping. Accomplishing angled drilling without the help of the DIYPoolFence.com alignment tool is a daunting task for even most professionals, but with the alignment tool your angled drill will be done accurate every time.

When you reach the meeting point of two sections of fencing, drill the holes at a 2.5-degree angle leaning towards each other. Attaching the two sections of gate will be easier if they are slightly angled towards each other.

Insert the plastic sleeves:
After drilling your holes, insert the plastic sleeves that come standard with every kit. The plastic sleeve extends the life of the rod and preserves the integrity of the hole. It also creates a snug fit to hold the rod tightly every time you take it in and out. We at DIYPoolFences.com realize that you may wish to take down your fence over the course of the swimming season. You may have barbeques and family gatherings where mostly adults will be in the pool area. Our goal is to make the process as simple and painless as possible, and yet still provide a superior fence that will remain as durable as the first time it was erected.

Gently slide sleeves into holes

Press sleeves firmly into place. Make sure they are pressed all the way into hole. This will prevent any injury and will protect the life of your fence (right).

Modify the fence to correct lengths (If Needed):
Some fences will have one section of fencing that will need to be modified to fit the correct length of you fence. We have prepared our fence sections to be so simple to modify it will only take a few minutes and very little effort or skill. This modification should take place prior to assembling your fence. Return to the area you drilled that is a shorter length then 36. Slide the pole in the hole to get an accurate measurement.

Take the loose mesh and pull tightly around the pole. Fold over on itself and mark the top and bottom. Staple all the way down to the bottom to keep mesh in place for next step.

Unscrew the back molding from the extra pole and slide the flap of material under the back molding. Then simply screw the panel back in place tightly and your fence will be ready to withstand anything your toddler can throw its way. This simple method provides an easy method of adjustment that is also forgiving of slight measurement errors.

Erect your fence:
Now that you have your gate the correct length, it is time to stand it up. Place each pole in the appropriate sleeve covered hole. Install the spring-loaded hook and eye components on the end pole and adjacent end pole or wall. Use the existing holes on the top of the poles. Many times two walls provide excellent end boundaries for your fence. Pull the end pole tightly towards the adjacent pole or wall and place the spring-loaded hook into the eye.

For your installation DIYPoolFence.com has a knowledgeable and dependable staff available 9AM - 9 PM Eastern Time 7 days/week to help you find quick answers to any questions that may arise. Why take chances with your family's safety, count on DIYPoolFence.com to be your first choice for providing an excellent product with fast, accurate delivery and ongoing project support.                                                                 

Privacy Fence:

Privacy and semi-privacy fences—board-and-post or board-on-board—are defined by the width of the board and the amount of space between them. A full privacy fence, commonly found in urban or closely settled suburban spaces, is tall (six feet or more) with overlapping, shadow box, or tongue-and-groove boards. Semi-privacy fencing aims to allow air and visual space between the boards, while protecting the space and residents from full view. Board on board fences like shadow box offer an advantage to homeowners in that they can show finished faces on both sides. Often topped with a lattice, top board, or ornamental top section, privacy fencing features more detail and board feet than picket or rail fencing. Among full privacy fences are stockade and tongue-and-groove. Either style can be finished with Gothic, French Gothic, flat, or dog-eared tops.

Stone/Rock Wall:

Depending on the size and weight of the stones used to construct the wall, the tools and materials for the project will vary. Landscape fabric and a crushed stone or gravel are commonly used to create a base that allows moisture to drain. Proper drainage is essential. Water buildup can exaggerate freeze and thaw cycles, forcing the wall out of its intended shape, or worse, toppling sections altogether.

Smaller stones can be transported via wheelbarrow and moved into position by hand. Larger stones require mechanized lifting equipment. Strings, stakes, brick hammer, hammer drills, and chisels round out the remaining most-used items.

Stone wall construction basics:

With a gravel base for drainage in place, heavy base stones are maneuvered into position with the help of a front-loading tractor.

A hammer drill is used to bore holes in large stones prior to splitting them into smaller pieces. Holes are drilled 2-1/2- to 3-inches deep.

Special wedges are placed into the holes bored in the stone and stuck with a three-pound hammer in sequence. As the wedges drive into the stone, they split the rock along the path of the holes.

Once split, the smaller sections of stone are positioned in the wall.

As the height of the wall rises, smaller stones able to be positioned by hand are put in place. Care is taken to stagger joints both for appearance and strength. The wall does not need to be a uniform thickness from front to back. The void not filled in with stone is backfilled with gravel and soil.

Small stones are chinked into place to fill gaps. Each row of larger stones can be leveled using smaller stone pieces like shims.

Fence Painting:

Tom Sawyer had fence painting all figured out. Tom made painting his Aunt's fence seems like it was such a privilege that only a lucky few could aspire to do it and pretty soon he had more folks wanting to take on the job than he could handle. So if you're another Tom Sawyer you probably don’t need to worry about painting your fence, you'll have others do it for you. However, if you're like most of us sometime you're going to need to paint your own fence.

Painting a fence isn’t difficult. It is a time consuming, repetitive job that unfortunately needs to be done. But, try to look on the bright side, a well-maintained fence will last for years and it will add an attractive design element to your home's exterior. Isn't that better than just ignoring your fence and having to replace it every few years?

Here's all you'll need to keep your fence looking good:

  • Good quality outdoor paint
  • Good quality 4 inch paint brush
  • Good quality 1 inch brush (or angled/cutting brush)
  • Whisk broom
  • Cloth
  • Work gloves
  • Rubber gloves
  • Warm water

Painting the Fence Before You Put It Up:

While some folks like the appearance of cedar as it ages naturally (and turns a grayish silver color) most people prefer the appearance of a painted or stained fence. The time to start painting your fence is before it even goes up. Paint the boards, stringers and even the fence posts before you build the fence. It's a whole bunch easier to paint fence boards lying in your garage than fence boards nailed up in your fence. Plus, this way you can easily cover all four sides.

Don't forget to paint or stain the ends of the boards as well. This is open end grain that will be exposed directly to the elements, and if left unpainted, moisture will very easily work its way down into the boards, rotting them as it goes.

Once Your Fence is Up:

Painting a fence is one of those tasks that just have to be done. If you don't protect the wood, the fence won't last. Use good quality paint formulated for outside use. This means it will contain UV inhibitors and be designed to stand up to the elements.

Paintbrushes may seem like they're all alike, but they really aren't. Cheap paintbrushes will loose their bristles, will quite likely have rough edges that cause blisters and some are even badly out of balance and will be tiring to use. Spending a few extra dollars is well worth it to minimize your aggravation.

Before you actually start painting, take some time to clean up your fence. You've probably got cobwebs, seeds and who knows what else in the corners where the spreaders meet the posts. Clean these areas out with your whiskbroom and cloths. You'll also need to get rid of any bird droppings on the fence (particularly on the top of the fence boards). Rubber gloves, a cloth and a bucket of warm water will wash them away.

If any paint is flaking or loose, use a scraper or a wire brush to get rid of it.

Check for any insect damage while you're cleaning up your fence, If you see any signs of termites you could have an exterminator come in or you could just replace the boards that are damaged.

Finally, make sure the boards are firmly attached - if any are loose reattach them.

Painting the Fence:

You obviously don't need to be as careful when painting your fence as when doing your dining room, but its helps to follow a pattern or a process.

Work on the fence a section at a time. Start by painting the tops of the boards (the open grain) and then work your way down the front of each individual fence board and one edge. Slide a thin piece of wood under the bottom end of the boards so you can paint right down to the ground and not worry about your brush getting into the grass or dirt.

Paint each section in two steps. First paint one side and one edge of each fence board in the section (you may need to use a small brush to get into the edges depending on your fence design). Move onto the nest section and follow the same process.

Once all the fence sections have been painted on one side and one edge, go back to the first section and paint the other side and the remaining edge. By following this process, when you're reaching in to paint the edges, you won't get wet paint all over your hands from the board you just painted


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