Vinyl Fence Positives and Negatives

If you have been on the fence (pun intended) about installing a classic looking, new vinyl fence this spring but want more information, then this article will be worth the read!  Much like any other fence material, there are pros and cons to vinyl fencing for various scenarios.  Read the pros and cons described in this article and decide if a vinyl fence is right for your yard!

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Fencing

By: Amy Jensen

Forget about building, hammering, painting, or lacquering your fence to get the look you desire — vinyl fencing is an easy way to create a beautiful fence around your home without much work on your part. There are many vinyl fencing styles to choose from, from a white picket fence to a stone wall. Vinyl fencing may seem like an easy choice and a dream come true, but before you order the materials for your next fence, make sure you’re aware of all the pros and cons of vinyl fencing before you make your final choice.

The Pros

  • Vinyl fencing looks as if it took a lot of work to build, but is premade and only requires installation.
  • The installation of vinyl fencing is much easier than building a fence.
  • Fencing comes in many designs and colors.
  • Prebuilt gates can be ordered to match your vinyl fencing.
  • Vinyl fencing has a longer lifetime than many wood fences which can fade, crack, and rot.
  • Vinyl fencing is easy to clean and requires almost no maintenance.
  • Many manufacturers have lifetime replacement for their vinyl fencing in the case of cracking, fading, or other types of natural damage.
  • Specific kinds of fencing are designed to keep out sound, while others have very specialized resistance to high wind speeds.

The Cons

  • The cost of vinyl fencing is much higher than the materials used to create a fence out of wood, rock, wire, or cement.
  • Vinyl fencing will not last as long as fencing that is made out of rock or stone, which is very solid and can last generations.
  • Vinyl fences do not have a long lifetime in very sunny climates because too much exposure to sunlight can cause them to crack and crumble.
  • While putting up a vinyl fence does not take much effort, it also does not give you the satisfaction of a heavy duty DIY project, since the fencing is premade.
  • Installing a vinyl fence requires at least two people and a few days to complete.
  • Different styles of fencing have different types of assembly and installation.
  • If a vinyl fence becomes damaged, it can be tricky to repair, depending on the fence style and manufacturing company.
  • To install a vinyl fence, posts must be placed in cement that takes time to dry. Posts cannot be moved after that, so installation must be correct the first time.
  • Vinyl fences are not good for temporary use, due to the posts and concrete. They cannot be moved after they are installed.

Vinyl fencing is great if you have the money to splurge and don’t want use the time and energy required to build your own fence. The money may be worth the effort, as it takes a lot of work to keep a fence in nice condition. If you really want to create a fence you can be proud of, you may want to build a fence the old-fashioned way with materials from your local hardware store.


Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/the-pros-and-cons-of-vinyl-siding


Decorating Your Fence

Fences can easily blend in to your outdoor space.  A lot of people want their yards to look great and inviting so they add decor to a fence or that compliments the fence.  If you have been thinking about doing this this spring to enjoy in the warmer months use the ideas in the article below.  At least one should stand out to you.

9 Tips for Decorating a Wood Fence

If you have a wood fence, you already know that it adds charm and curb appeal of your home. For added interest, you can also decorate the fence. Here are 9 tips for decorating a wood fence.

1 – Gates and Doors

You can use an old wooden door instead of a traditional gate in a privacy fence. It gives the illusion of a space beyond full of whimsy. If you have a shorter fence, consider using an ornamental metal gate for a sophisticated welcome.

2 – Flower Baskets

Hang flower baskets or boxes around the perimeter of the fence with bright flowing flowers. You can use any kind of containers for this project as long as you have holes in the bottoms for drainage. Incorporate some hanging plants in it for a waterfall effect.

3 – Climbing Plants and Flowers

Using string, attach one end in a stake in the ground, and the other end at the top of the fence. You can criss-cross the string or just hang it up and down. Plant climbing flowers such as morning glories, clematis, and ivy, which will grow up the string and cover your wood fence in spectacular color.

4 – Metal Finials

Add finials to the top of your wood fence for a regal look. They are available in different patterns and metals. This looks especially nice on a fence with scalloped edges on the top.

5 – Year Round Wreaths

Hang several wreaths around your wood fence in a material that will last year round in most climates, like grapevine. Leave them plain for a natural look, or add flowers and vines for additional color. You can even decorate them for holidays by adding different colors of bows, Spring flowers, hearts, battery powered lights, or pine.

6 – Iron Wall Hangings With Candles

Adding iron wall hangings that hold candles will give your wood fence ambiance at night. You can place citronella candles in the wall hangings as well, which will keep bugs at bay when you are enjoying time outdoors in the evenings.

7 – Bird Houses

If you love to watch the birds, hang several on your fence. You can paint them in bright, decorative designs to match your porch or patio. Use bird houses for different types of birds, and keep them filled with food. If bird watching is not your thing, plant a butterfly garden along the fence with plants that grow tall and produce nectar such as day lilies, heliotrope and goldenrod.

8 –  Add a Beautiful Arbor

You can attach an arbor to your fence. They are available pre-made in home improvement stores. After installation, you can plant grapes, flowers or ivy, to grow up the arbor. You can also add a seat in the center of the arbor for a little nook to read or just relax.

9 – Flag Bunting

Hang flag bunting around the center or the top of your fence. You have many choices in designs and color in departments stores or online. You can also change it out for Independence Day, using red, white and blue, or other holidays.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/9-tips-for-decorating-a-wood-fence

A Facelift for Wooden Gates

If you have a gate as a part of your wooden fence it might require more maintenance than the rest of the fence because it has more components.  There are tips in the article below from doityourself.com that can guide you through fixing worn down parts of the gate.  Read on if you need this guidance.

Solutions for Sagging Wooden Gates

Wooden gates are obviously an important part of your wooden fence, but because they are the most used part of the fence, and hopefully the only section that moves, they are usually the first part of the structure to suffer wear and tear. If you notice your wooden gates sagging or otherwise not fitting properly with the rest of the fence, consider the following points to be able to troubleshoot and fix the problem.


Screws

If you notice your wooden gates are sinking or crooked, first inspect the screws holding the hinges in place. Chances are some of the screws are either missing or have worked themselves out partly. Tighten up the screws and then monitor them over the next few weeks. If you notice the screws falling out again, choose different screws, maybe larger ones, or add a nut to keep them in place.

Hinges

Your wooden gates could be sagging because the hinges themselves are broken or worn out from too much use. If changing the screws does not seem to straighten out the gates, it may be time to replace the hinges themselves. Go for more robust hinges that will last longer than the previous ones and use heavy-duty screws or bolts to keep them in place.

Posts

The wooden gates will be attached to posts, which generally should be bigger and sturdier than the rest of the fence posts. Sometimes, the gates will sag, sink or become crooked because the posts are no longer straight. To fix the gate posts, first remove the gates and then either remove the posts to re-set them completely, or simply push them into a vertical position. To reinforce the posts, you can pile dirt or rocks around them or even pour some cement to make sure they stay where you put them. Re-attach your gates, and they should no longer be sagging.

Braces

If your wooden gates have no kind of extra support, they could sag no matter how straight the posts are or how tough the hinges are that hold them to the rest of the fence. If your wooden gates are simple solid pieces of wood or only have thin decorative wooden beams, you’ll need to add some kind of bracing or support. Do this by attaching sturdy pieces of wood to the back of your gates, either a single piece diagonally, three pieces in a “Z” shape or two pieces in an “X”. If you elect to add a single diagonal support, make sure you attach it from the bottom hinge at the gate post up to the opposite side of the gate.

Tension Rod

Another fairly straightforward way to secure your sagging wooden gates is to attach a tension rod to each gate. This works similarly to a diagonal wooden brace, but is made of cable and uses tension to hold the gates straight. There is a turnbuckle in the middle of the cable which you can tighten to increase the tension if needed. These turnbuckle tension rods are available in most home improvement stores.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/solutions-for-sagging-wooden-gates

Keep Your Wooden Fence Looking Great

With time, wooden fences can wear down with exposure to the elements.  The good news is that there are easy tasks you can do to improve the appearance and structure of the fence.  Read the article below from doityourself.com to learn more about this.

Wood Fence Maintenance

A wood fence is a great way to keep your property private. However, the nature of the wood means it’s not indestructible. It needs to be regularly maintained. This does take some work, although if performed on a regular basis, it needn’t take up too much time. The tasks are very simple.

Step 1 – Pickets

Check all the pickets on the fence to make sure no nails have come out or that none of them have started to rot. Hammer in any loose nails or replace with new ones. Where a picket is rotting or broken, put in a new one. Where you have sectional fencing, test each of the sections to check that it’s secure. If any are leaning, you’ll need to ensure they’re replaced in the ground properly so they’re straight. 

Step 2 – Cleaning

Where there’s mildew on any sections of the fence, you’ll need to clean it off. You can use a purchased mildew cleaner for the job or go with soap and water and a scrub brush. Hose the area down afterward with clean water.

Periodically, you should also scrub the entire fence with soap and water to remove all the dirt and grime that’s built up. This will help the fence last longer. Be aware that you will always need to inspect the area where the wood fence meets the ground to check for any signs of rot. Rinse it clean with cold water from the hose. If you have one within range, you can also use a pressure washer on the wood fence.

Step 3 – Painting

Every few years, your wood fence will need to be repainted or stained. You can do this with a roller, a brush or a paint sprayer, but be aware that there can be problems using a sprayer, as there will inevitably be overspray. You can place cardboard behind the fence and above it, but the simpler solution will be to go with the brush or roller, as this will allow you to get into all the nooks and crannies of the fence, especially down where the fence meets the ground.

Put on two thin coats of paint or stain and give the first ample time to dry before you apply the second. If you haven’t used paint or stain on the fence, you should use sealer, and this should be reapplied every year to give the most effective protection. Don’t skimp on the water seal. Buy the best you can afford to give really good protection for the wood fence.

Step 4 – Caulk

Using caulk helps with wood fence maintenance. Every year, you should put caulk between the wood fence and concrete fence posts. This will keep out the moisture and help give the wood fence a much longer life. By performing all these tasks, you can greatly extend the life of your wood fence and keep it looking good for as long as it lasts.

Article sourced from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/wood-fence-maintenance

Snow Fences

There is another kind of fence you have probably seen throughout the winter that serves a pretty important purpose. They are called a snow fences, and they are sometimes bright orange. They stop snow from blowing into areas where it could be hazard. Snow fences can be purchased at most hardware and home supply stores (like Home Depot) and can be set up by anyone. If you have ever been curious about the purpose of snow fences, read the article below.

Snow Fence

Big piles of snow: inconvenience or death hazard?
Well, both really. Blowing snow can get onto roads and property that
could lead to a ton of shoveling, or at worst an auto accident or a
snowing in of a log cabin or a home.

How Does A Snow Fence Work?
Luckily there is a
safe and easy way to divert the flow of snow that uses simple physics.
No chemicals, no contractors and absolutely no shovels. Snow fences are
extremely easy to install and you can use just about any material you
want, as long as it is sturdy enough to stand up to the elements in your
area.

How a snow fence works is remarkably simple. Whenever the wind blows
over a fence or wall, it forms an eddy current behind that wall.

An eddy current is a rolling wind current that flows downward and
back to the back side of the fence. Therefore it causes fast and slow
places to develop in the wind. It makes a drift form in front of the
fence on the windward side.

This process empties most of the air of snow before it can cross
road. It also fascilitates fast air to form, as it is drawn downward, a
little farther away so that it blows the snow away from that entire
area.

The snow fence relies on the fact that the wind that deposits the
material you want to control directly in the path of the other snow you
want to control, thus reinforing the barrier.

In Canada, the winter snows blow mostly from one direction, west. So
it is easy to predict where to build the snow fence. While in the
winter we all know that it seems like snow flies in every direction, it
will only bring in small particles. Any other snow accumulation is
inconsequential.

Snow fences really don’t stop snow from blowing across the road or on
top of your home, they simply pile it along-side and like a leaf blower
they blow any snow off the road.

Hopefully this can help you understand the function of a snow fence.
This is quite similar to the building of groins or jetties along the sea
coast to control the deposition of sand on beaches and harbors.

Article sourced from: http://www.repair-home.com/fences/snow-fence.html

Ornamental Fences 101

Ornamental Fence Guide

Pro Referral

> Home Guides

> Fence
> Ornamental Fence Guide

The use of an ornamental fence is a great way to blend style and
substance. That’s because ornamental fences aren’t just pretty to look
at, they are strong and durable. Ornamental fences are usually metal,
and can be made of steel, iron or aluminum. They can be straight and
narrow, or curved into intricate designs. Fences can also add to the
property value of your home.

If you’ve been putting off buying your own ornamental fence because
you weren’t quite sure what the task entails, don’t put it off any more.
This guide will tell you what you need to know.

1. Select Ornamental Fence Material

Ornamental fences can be made of steel, iron or aluminum. Figuring
out which type you want will take mix of a few factures: how much care
you want to invest in your fence, your environment and how much money
you want to spend. Aluminum fencing is lighter weight, low maintenance
and lower cost. Iron – especially wrought iron – is beautiful and long
lasting. Iron can also be pretty pricey. Steel fences can rust, but they
are very strong, and can give you the look of iron without the hefty
price tag. Is the climate where you live very humid and wet? Then steel
might not be the best option for you. Do you have a large area of land
that you are looking to fence in? Then you may be looking to save money
by going with a material that is lower cost.

2. Check Your Ornamental Fence Against Regulations

Your community might ask that you get certain building or work
permits your new fence can go up. Contact local officials and ask them
if you’ll need a permit. It’s best to do this as soon as possible, as
these things can sometimes take time. Also, if your neighborhood has
certain rules or regulations about what kind of fence you can use, or
what height the fence must be, now is a good time to familiarize
yourself with those.

3. Find a Ornamental Fence Installation Professional

Fence work can be tricky. The stakes must be buried deep enough in
the ground, and spaced out just so, so that the fence can remain upright
for a long time. Sites like RedBeacon.com can help you weed out just
the right fence professional for you. They do that by screening
professionals and providing you with contacts for the very best ones.
You could also check with neighbors to see who installed their fences,
making sure to ask if they are happy with the work.

4. Learn Property Lines Before Installing Your Ornamental Fence

Good fences make good neighbors, but if your fence is
installed on your neighbor’s property, no one is happy. Make sure you
know exactly where your property stops. You could mark off your property
line using spray paint or flags. This is also a good time to make sure
there is nothing underground that would cause a problem when it’s time
to bury the fence posts. Be on the lookout for underground wires or
cables. Also make sure there aren’t any tree roots or other plants that
could get in the way of your fence.

5. How to Care for Your Ornamental Fence

Once you’ve invested time and money into your new fence,
care for it to keep it looking good for as long as possible. The type of
care your fence will require depends on what it’s made of. Generally,
it’s a good idea to keep it free of dirt and debris, and make sure that
trees and plants don’t intertwine themselves in your fence. Also, keep
things from leaning on or across your fence, which can weigh it down
over time.

A fence is a great investment in your home. They can increase
property value, add beauty and even provide an extra measure of safety.
When shopping around, keep yourself open to all different styles and
types of fences – don’t fence yourself in!

Article sourced from: https://www.proreferral.com/hg/ornamental-fence-guide/

Information on Underground Fences

Underground Fence Installation Guide

Pro Referral

> Home Guides

> Fence
> Underground Fence Installation Guide

Underground fences help keep your pets safe and under control without
distracting from the beauty of your home. Some pet-owners might
initially balk at the idea of an underground fence system for their
pets, erroneously thinking they cause the animals harm. However, the
systems only provide a very mild correction that feels like the “shock”
you get when you shuffle your feet across a carpeted floor. Some systems
correct the pet by exposing them to a burst of citronella or by making
noises.

If you have been considering installing an underground fence system
on your property, you probably have a few questions. Read this guide to
learn all you really need to know.

1.How they work

The underground “fence” is really just a transmitter, a wire and a
receiver. The wire is buried around the perimeter of your property,
usually buried a few inches beneath the surface of your lawn. The wire
is connected to a transmitter, which is usually installed in your
basement or garage. The transmitter sends a radio signal along the wire.
Your pet is outfitted with a collar-mounted receiver so that, when it
gets too close to the transmitter, a correction device is activated. The
wire doesn’t actually have to be buried to work, however, burying it
keeps it safe from the elements and keeps people from tripping over it
and disturbing it.

2. Do-it-yourself vs. Call a pro

To install your fence, you can head to a pet or home improvement
store and pick up your own fence, or call a professional to do it for
you. There are benefits and drawbacks to either option. Doing it
yourself give you the instant gratification of getting the job done
quickly. However, it also means maintenance of the system and training
of your pet are up to you, too. Professionals usually provide service
and maintenance packages to keep your system going for a long time.
Also, they often offer resources and information about how to best get
your pet used to the system. Some companies have professionals who come
to your home to help train your pet. To learn about the costs associated
with have your fence professionally installed, see our price guide, Invisible Fence Cost.

3. Half the battle

Your underground fence is only half of the battle when it comes to
keeping your pet safely within the boundaries of your home. Remember:
your underground fence can help encourage your pet learn how to stay
within the boundaries of your property, but it can’t force your pet to
stay there. You must take steps to train your pet where to go and where
not to go. Experts recommend training your pet on a leash before setting
them free to roam around unrestrained. Before even using the collar,
put flags around the perimeter of your property so that you and your pet
will know what areas are ok, and what areas are off limits. Keep the
flags up for about two or three weeks (or maybe even longer). You should
also give your pet some time to get used to the system’s collar before
turning on the system, especially if your pet has never worn any kind of
collar before.

There are lots of reasons any responsible pet owner would want to
keep his or her pet safely close to home. Cars, disease and not-so-nice
people are all risks to an unaccompanied pet. Not to mention the fact
that many neighborhoods and communities do not allow pets to roam free.
Figure out if an underground fence is the right choice for you and your
pet, and find the right pro to help you get it today!

Article sourced from: https://www.proreferral.com/hg/underground-fence-installation-guide/

Temporary Fixes for your Wooden Fence

If your wooden fence is in need of a quick repair to keep it intact you can try one of the five solutions in this article.  Make note, however, that these can only be temporary fixes and a professional should repair the damage when time allows. 

5 Emergency Fence Repair Tips For Wooden Fences

By

If you have a fenced in yard, it’s probably because you want your
yard to be a haven for your family and your pets. But storms, accidents,
decay and predators can damage your fence. How can you maintain your
family’s and pet’s safety if your fence gets damaged? Start by calling your Atlanta handyman
or fencing specialist to schedule a fence repair appointment and get a
price quote. While you are waiting on professional help to arrive, there
are a few things you can do to temporarily seal the hole in your fence.

  1. Thick cardboard:
    Staple or nail cardboard over the hole. Make sure it does not gap or
    stick out. It’s important to note that you should only use this option
    if you do not expect rain or you have no other materials available. It
    is the least durable of the fence repair options but will close off your
    yard for a short period.
  1. Waterproof cowl board: Staple this
    over the hole in your fence the same way you would staple cardboard to
    the fence. This pressed board looks like cardboard but stands up to
    water. It is normally used to make car door panels, and if you don’t
    have any on hand, you can normally get it from an upholstery shop that
    works on car interiors.
  2. Chicken wire: If you
    choose to use chicken wire, avoid leaving sharp wires sticking out by
    using pliers to fold the sharp ends of the cut wires down before you
    attach the chicken wire to the fence. You will need to use staples to
    attach chicken wire.
  3. Plywood: Stick with screws
    if you patch the fence with plywood due to its weight, and since
    plywood is thicker than the other patch materials mentioned, use longer
    screws.
  4. Scrap metal: If you have a thin sheet
    of metal that is big enough to cover the hole in your fence, you can
    fasten the metal over the hole with screws. Sheet metal is typically
    very sturdy and lasts longer than the others, but will rust if left out
    very long.

For all of these temporary fence patching
options, cut the patch material at least five inches larger than the
damaged area in the fence. Use long staples, upholstery tacks, one inch
long nails or screws to securely fasten the patch material to the fence.

Remember,
none of these suggestions are intended to serve as permanent wooden
fence fixes, they are only emergency solutions to help you maintain the
short-term safety of your yard.

Article sourced from: http://www.kudzu.com/article/GA/Atlanta/5-Emergency-fence-repair-tips-for-wooden-fences-id10003407

Maximizing Outdoor Space

If you have a small outdoor space there are ways you can maximize your space. Besides a great fence, you should think about at least one of the sixteen suggestions in this article from Houzz. Utah has great weather that you should enjoy as much as possible, and if your outdoor space is optimized and inviting you can do so! Check out the first part of this article below and follow the link for the other thirteen tips.

16 Ways to Get More From Your Small Backyard

Make a tight or awkward yard a real destination with these design tricks from the pros

Mitchell Parker | March 20, 2016

Big cities have a lot going for them, but spacious backyards aren’t
one of them. Designers in high-density places like San Francisco and New
York have long dealt with getting homeowners the most bang for their
buck when it comes to their compact homes, and that means turning tight,
narrow or awkwardly shaped backyards into comfortable, functional
extensions of the home. No matter the locale, their methods can work for
anyone trying to maximize an outdoor space and turn it into a
destination to enjoy. Here are 16 ideas to try.

3. Extend an indoor space. Architect Carson Arthur
likes to ask his clients which indoor room they feel is too small, then
establish more of that space in the backyard. “Is your kitchen too
small? Do you need a bigger family room? Why not do that outside?” he
says. “With the development of outdoor technology, anything inside can
now be done outside.”

Here an outdoor rug helps establish an extra living space on a small deck in Detroit.

Read more of this article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/27949082/list/16-ways-to-get-more-from-your-small-backyard

Make Note of These Tips

If you are big on doing projects around your house and keeping the value of your house high there are home improvement tips you should know. This article is great because it focuses on making the most of your time and money for long-term results versus easy, short-term projects that are temporary solutions. Read the first part of this article below, then follow the link to read more.

Top 10 Home Improvement Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

By Melanie Pinola 11/8/14

It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought a newly built home, a condo in a maintained community, or a fixer-upper—owning
your own place brings out the home improvement itch in us all (or at
least requires us to do necessary repairs and maintenance tasks). Here
are ten pieces of advice to help turn your dwelling place into a better
home.

10. Choose the Improvements That Add the Most Value to Your Home




If you were offered $100,000, no strings attached, what home
improvements would you do? Chances are, a long laundry list of changes
come to mind, from refinishing the hardwood floors to adding a new
bathroom. Some home improvements, however, are more likely to increase your home’s value than others. Although you shouldn’t think of your home as an investment, with limited home improvement funds, it’s good to consider whether a project has a decent return on investment.

9. Tackle the Quick Projects That Are Most Timely

Whether winter is coming or you’re considering projects in another season, some home improvements are more urgent than others—saving you money immediately or preventing devastating damage. Sometimes it only takes ten minutes or less to make simple changes around the house that boost your living space.

8. Decide to DIY or Not

Even if you’re a weekend warrior with a well-stocked workshop, not all
home improvement projects are suitable to do yourself (or at least,
without the help of a professional). Know your limits, start small if you’re a beginner, and then keep calm and DIY on (if you so wish).

7. Hone Your Home Improvement Skills

Big projects or small, probably all of us could stand to learn some
decent home repair or home improvement skills. (All around the home,
there are things we should never have to pay others to fix for us.) Learn Bob Villa-worthy skills and help others at the same time by volunteering or through free clinics and other resources. Turn to great reading resources and try starter projects too. If you get stuck on a project, iOS app Fountain will connect you to a home improvement expert to answer your question for $5. (Also, did you know we have a home improvement subblog here at Lifehacker called Workshop?)

Continue reading this article: http://lifehacker.com/top-10-home-improvement-tips-every-homeowner-should-kno-1656251243