What You Should Know About Chain Link Fences

There are many different types of fences in existence today, but one of the most commonly used of all is none other than the traditional chain link. This style can be found in just about every part of the world, on residential properties, commercial businesses and on school campuses. There are numerous reasons why this style of fence is so popular, though it is important to install it properly and maintain it in order to ensure it lasts for as long as possible. If you are considering a chain link fence for your property, here’s what you should know:

The Benefits of a Chain Link Fence

As a barrier, a chain link fence of course serves the primary purposes of a fence in the first place: privacy, security and even appearance. That said, it also happens to be a lot more cost effective than other types of fencing, saving property owners a ton whether they need a lot of it or just a little. They can also be installed rather quickly (usually in less than a day), and are also usually flexible enough to fit around any property (hills and curved boundaries are not obstacles).

As for appearance, this is really just another benefit of chain link. Many people like the fact that they can see through it, providing more sunlight and an open feel. Others choose to create a more private effect by growing ivy or other plants along their chain link fence. Of course, chain link can also be painted a wide variety of colors for those who want it to coordinate further twith their personal tastes.

Other benefits include:

  • Security– Pets and small children have a contained space to run around in
  • Openness with neighbors– While these fences do provide privacy, many people like the fact that they can easily communicate with their neighbors and foster relationships.
  • High durability– Chain link fencing are almost shockingly durable. Thanks to their ability to withstand just about any weather condition, they are sometimes referred to as “hurricane fences”. Additionally, mold and natural pests like termites are not a threat.
  • Low Rust Risk– Thanks to a galvanization process used on modern chain link fences, the risk of rust is relatively low compared to other metal materials.
  • Easy Maintenance– These fences are fairly easy to keep up, and on the rare occasion when lasting damage does occur, it usually just involves a post or small sections that need to be replaced.
  • Increased Property Value– Well maintained fencing always ups the value of any property

Things to Consider Before Installation

Now, before just marching ahead and installing a chain link fence on any property, it is important to take a few things in to consideration. For example, some areas have specific zoning and construction laws that may restrict what kind of fence you can use on your property, and these laws may also affect where it can be placed. You should always do your research on these before making your decision, but of course consulting with an experienced fencing contractor can also help.

And as great a choice as chain link fences usually are, there are also a couple of downsides to consider. The most obvious here is that they do not provide as much privacy as some other types of fencing, and it is also wise to consider the fact that they do not provide as much security (chain link can easily be climbed by those who are determined). Nevertheless, if your highest values are with affordability and the various other benefits that chain link fencing can provide, then these small shortcomings may not be an issue.

Finding the Right Contractor

The quality of chain link fencing depends greatly on how it is installed. A poorly aligned or badly measured fence, for example, may wear down and sag not long after it is installed. If you’re unsure of how exactly to find the right contractor for the job, following these points is a good rule of thumb:

  • Experience– Make sure the contractor has years of experiencing specifically with chain link fencing. Furthermore, they should have experience working on the same type of property as your own (beware of hiring someone who only has experience with residential jobs for a commercial one, for example)
  • High Responsiveness– Any contractor who is serious about their work and their clients will respond quickly and reasonably to all inquiries
  • Attention to Detail– Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. A good contractor will pay close attention to details and will be able to answer everything.
  • Proper Accreditation and Certifications– Take a look at what your local laws require for contractors, and make sure that the business in question had everything they need to legally perform the work. BBB Accreditation and commercial insurance are also good signs.
  • Good Value– It’s not always wise to go with the cheapest option, nor is it best to go with the most expensive. Your contractor should be priced fairly for the work they are performing while still providing high quality services.

Contact Western Fence Co. to learn more about how we meet all of these points and more.

Fence Maintenance

Once your fence is installed, it is important that you take proper care of it so that it lasts for a long time. It is a good idea to clean it regularly (usually just spraying with a water hose and gently wiping away any tougher soiled areas will be enough). You should also check it for loose components, especially around the posts. When caught early, the fence can easily be tightened before it worsens into a bigger problem. At Western Fence Co., we can provide you with all the information you need about keeping your fence looking like new and lasting for decades.

Repurposed Fence Materials

Making a fence stand out might be tricky for some.  It is easy to choose the traditional fencing materials that look the same from yard to yard, but going out on a limb with repurposed materials could allow you to be the talk of the neighborhood.  Take a look at the article below that talks about four different materials that make good fencing materials and think about making your fence truly unique!

Ideas for What to Use for a Repurposed Fence

By Jennifer Blair

Whether you like the idea of having a one-of-a-kind landscape or make an
effort to recycle whenever you can, using materials that are lying
around your garage or basement to build a fence is a budget- and
environmentally-friendly way to add character to your yard. It’s also a
project that allows you to get creative because you can use a number of
items for effective fencing. The key is determining which type of fence
you need because a privacy fence requires solid materials while a
decorative fence can have an open design.

Pallets

Wooden shipping
pallets work well for recycled fencing because they look similar to a
traditional wooden fence. Use pallets that are in good condition and
check those you’re planning to recycle for signs of mold or other damage
that might weaken the fence. Dry hardwood makes effective posts for a
pallet fence, and you can cut or partially disassemble the pallets in
any way you want to create a decorative look for the fencing. Removing
every other board from the front of the pallets and all of the boards
from the back is one of the more common ways to use them. To ensure that
your pallet fencing lasts, use a sealer or preservative to protect it
from the elements. You can also paint or stain it if you want a more
eye-catching look.

Tin Ceiling Tiles

If
you want a fence that makes an artistic statement, get your hands on
some old tin ceiling tiles. Vintage ceiling tiles are available at
thrift stores, antique shops and online auction sites. They come in a
range of colors and usually feature raised designs that give them an
interesting texture. The ceiling tiles don’t have to match — the beauty
of using them for your fence is that you can create a patchwork effect
that adds a whimsical look to your landscape. You will need to use
lumber to create a frame for the ceiling tiles, but recycled or
reclaimed pieces work well if you want the entire fence to be made from
reused materials.

Windows

Old
windows can serve as a garden fence. You can use the windows with the
glass panes still in place or use the frames by themselves for
open-style fencing. The trick to repurposing windows for your fence is
finding frames that are all the same size, which is why window fencing
works best for shorter fences where you won’t need as many frames to
create the fence. If you can’t find enough windows in the same size to
enclose your entire garden, try alternating large and small frames to
create a decorative edge for the top of the fence. Screw the frames for
each section of fencing together and add posts to install it as you
would a traditional fence.

Glass Bottles

If
you want to create a truly striking fence, gather up all the bottles
that you’ve been planning to recycle. Glass bottles can become
surprisingly effective fencing materials when you pair them with rebar.
While you can use any bottles, colored glass usually provides the most
interesting look. Drill holes in the bottles, which can be tricky, so
use a special glass-cutting drill bit and work slowly to avoid cracking
the glass. Once you have holes in the bottles, stack them on rebar that
you’ve cut to right height. You can use reclaimed lumber for the frame
or use additional rebar to serve as the frame. Glass bottles create a
lovely effect because they reflect light, but plastic bottles are
lightweight and easier to work with.

Why Fences Rot

Fences are susceptible to all weather and elements, therefore if you want your fence to look great and stay strong for many years you should protect it from weather as much as you can.  To do so, it is important to first understand the top causes of a rotting fence.  That way you can combat the situation.  You can also look into better materials as well.

Top Causes of Fence Rot

Home Improvement Writer: Kathy Hatter

Because installing a fence involves significant effort and expense,
it’s important to choose the best materials for your fence to ensure
that it stays structurally strong and attractive. One of the most common
issues with an existing fence is decay or rot of the fencing materials.

 

Because wood fence materials have direct contact with the soil over a
long period of time, it’s imperative that you take steps to prevent
decay. Once you know the top causes of fence rot, you’ll be ready to
minimize and eliminate issues that could threaten the integrity of your
fence.

  1. Overview of Fence Threats

    A wood fence has two significant threats that will affect its
    strength and stability — dry rot and wet rot. Dry rot involves the loss
    of protective oils over the wood surface, which causes the wood to dry
    out and become brittle. Wet rot involves moisture continually contacting
    the wood — usually at the points where fence posts contact the soil.

  2. Types of Wood

    The type of wood you choose for a fence has a significant impact on
    how the fence withstands environmental factors. Some wood is very hard
    and resistant to decay, while other types of wood are soft and will not
    resist decay as effectively. Types of hard woods well suited for fences
    include cedar, cypress, oak and redwood. Types of wood that are slightly
    less dense include Douglas fir, tamarack and pine.

     

    Wood with pressure treatments have chemicals forced into the wood to
    create deep protection against both insects and decay. To analyze
    pressure treated wood for durability, check the stamp or label that
    shows certification. The stamp should specifically show pressure
    treatment for ground use if you’ll be using the wood for fence posts.
    Wood with a stamp showing “above ground use” will not resist decay if
    you use it for fence posts.

  3. Protecting and Staining Wood

    Apply a protectant and stain over the surface of the wood to create
    an effective barrier against moisture. It may be necessary to reapply
    the stain annually to maintain an effective moisture barrier. You can
    test the wood to see whether it needs a fresh application of stain by
    sprinkling water over the wood surface. If the water forms beads on the
    surface and does not penetrate down into the wood, you know the barrier
    is still working effectively. If the water absorbs down into the wood,
    this indicates that you need to apply more stain to the fence to protect
    the wood.

  4.  

  5. Keeping the Fence Clean

    The accumulation of debris on and around a fence can
    contribute to fence rot. Never allow a pile of leaves to accumulate
    around fence posts and under fence slats. If debris accumulates in
    crevices, including dirt and soil in cracks, wash or brush it away to
    prevent decay. Allowing debris to accumulate on the wood may also invite
    insect infestations, which can damage a wood fence.

            Protect your investment and keep your fence strong and attractive for many years.

Source: https://www.proreferral.com/hg/top-causes-fence-rot/

Strong Fences

Anyone can take a look at a fence and tell if it is strong and sturdy or not.  There is logic behind the design and installment of a fence to ensure that it will be strong for years and years.  The article below explains what components are responsible for a strong wooden fence.  Check it out!

What Are the Components of a Strong Wooden Fence?

April 3, 2017 by: Minara El-Rahman

Spring is officially here and that means lots of outdoor entertaining.
Is your outdoor space ready? While most homeowners focus on building a
new deck or on deck maintenance, redoing your fence can transform your
space. Do you know what the critical connections of a fence are? We will
outline them here along with a sneak peek at our newest fence bracket,
the FBFZ, just in time for spring.

Select the Right Wood

Since fences are exposed to the elements, using the right type of
wood can make all the difference. Using woods like cedar, redwood or
preservative treated lumber ensures that your fence lasts for years to
come. Finishing with an exterior grade stain or paint is

Strong Fence Posts

It is essential to set your fence posts into the ground properly.
This means for wood fences that are 6 feet tall, you need 2 feet of the
post in the ground. It is also recommended that a 2″ gap be maintained
between the bottom of the fence and the ground to help prevent rot. We
recommend that your fence posts be set in concrete for strength and
durability.

Exterior Grade Hardware

Using connectors, screws and nails that are rated for exterior use
will prevent rust and corrosion and ensure that your fence will last a
long time. Using exterior-rated Simpson Strong-Tie connectors can save
you on long-term costs by adding strength while minimizing repairs. The
new patent-pending FBFZ flat fence bracket creates a simple and strong
connection between the rails and posts. With a new flat-plate design, it
is easy to install and creates a secure connection. It has a ZMAX
galvanized coating for additional corrosion resistance, so you know you
won’t have to worry about a rusty fence in a few years!

A well-built fence not only gives you some privacy, it gives you the
peace of mind to know that your children and pets are out of danger’s
way. Plus, who doesn’t love a nice picket fence?

Source: http://diydoneright.com/blog/components-strong-wooden-fence/

Pretty Deck Railings

All decks need railings because they are extremely important safety features.  But, who says they have to be eye sores?  There are many different styles and designs available these days, and the article below showcases several of them.  We can work with you and your ideas to create the beautiful deck railing you want!  Keep in mind that we can also do custom plasma cut pieces!  You can browse through those in our gallery after reading this post!

Deck Railing Design Ideas

An essential safety feature, your deck railing is also a key component of your overall deck design.

By: John Riha
 

Choosing a deck railing design is putting the icing on the cake of your deck-building project. You can add a railing system that matches the material of your deck, or mix it up, like adding a colorful powder-coated aluminum railing to your redwood deck.

 

Whatever you come up with, remember that building codes have a lot to say about how to build a deck railing. Railings are required on decks that are 30 inches or more above grade, railings must be at least 36 inches high, and balusters must be no more than 4 inches apart.

 

With the codes in mind, here are basic types of deck railings:

 

Composite + Vinyl

Composite and vinyl deck railings come in many styles and colors, and are virtually maintenance-free. Railing kits have posts, balusters, rails, and connectors that make installation a DIY-friendly project. The structural core of the system are pressure-treated wood posts covered with a composite or vinyl sleeve, and some systems offer mix-and-match baluster materials, such as steel and aluminum spindles. Composite and vinyl kits are readily available at home improvement centers for $25 to $30 per linear foot.

 

Glass

At $40 to $60 per linear foot, glass makes an oh-so-chic but oh-so-expensive deck railing system. Nevertheless, they’re great when you want to see all the vistas your deck has to offer. Use tempered, shatterproof safety glass, but check with your local building codes about glass railings before you proceed. Look for modular railing systems with aluminum posts and supports. Choosing tinted glass helps prevent birds from flying into clear glass.

 

Metal

Metal deck railings are made of either powder-coated aluminum or steel. Both are rugged, but only aluminum is rustproof. Metal deck railings that you find at home improvement centers come in a limited number of styles and colors. Expect to pay $30 to $40 per linear foot for a metal tailing system.

 

Cable railings

Cable deck railing systems are another good way to open up views, and to give your deck design a modern aesthetic. They include stainless steel cables and posts made of wood, aluminum, or composites, and a system runs about $125 to $150 per linear foot. The cables run through intermediate posts and usually end at a corner where the cable is attached to a turnbuckle for creating — and maintaining — the correct tension. To comply with codes, the cables must be no more than 4 inches apart, so maintaining the proper tension is vital.

 

Wood

Wood railings run the gamut from inexpensive to downright pricey, depending on the wood you choose. Pressure-treated wood is the most budget-friendly, at about $10 per linear foot for a railing system. Tropical hardwoods such as ipe run up to five times as much.

 

If you’re looking to liven up your wood railing, try these deck railing design ideas:

• Style up a wood DIY railing with classic designs, such as Chippendale and Craftsman. Look online for motifs you can copy.

• Build your own railing sections, using galvanized wire mesh in place of balusters.

• In places where your deck is less than 30 inches above grade, trade out a railing for built-in benches to define the edges of your deck.

Source:  http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/patios-and-decks/deck-railing-design-ideas

All Fence Considerations

Want to fence in your property or just part of your yard but don’t know where to begin?  This article from Forbes by professionals over at Houzz offers any and all considerations for the right kind of fence for your needs.  Need to keep pets in or other animals out?  There are specific fences for that!  Need to secure your pool or an entrance from the street?  There are fences for that, too! Continue reading below, and you will be full of ideas for your project.

How To Choose The Right Fence

Houzz, Contributor to Forbes

Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

Need a new fence for your yard or patio? Whether you crave more privacy in your outdoor space; need to block chilly wind, mask a street view or secure your pool; or keep your dogs in (or deer out), we’ve got you covered. Here’s the need-to-know info on choosing the right fence based on space and needs.

Gain Privacy

If you want true privacy, choose a fence with little to no space between boards. A closely spaced lattice can be nearly as private as a solid material when combined with the lush foliage of climbing plants. The height willdepend on the slope of your yard and your neighbor’s yard, the position of your seating areas and any applicable local building codes. Try using a length of paper or cardboard the height of the fence you are considering, and have a friend hold it up while walking the perimeter of your yard. Stand up and sit down in each area of your yard to see if the fence will be high enough for your privacy needs.

Consider going gateless. If ease of access is more important to you than security, consider forgoing the gate entirely and installing several offset fences to allow room for a path while blocking the street view, as shown here.

Consider a stepped design. If it seems like too much to have a tall privacy fence all the way around your yard, consider going with a stair-step design to get privacy just where you need it. For instance, you could have a taller section of fence around your seating area and hot tub, and lower fencing beside the lawn.

Shield Wind

When you need to block strong breezes but don’t want to lose the light — or a grand view — the best option is glass, as shown on this stunning rooftop patio. If blocking a view is not an issue, any privacy fence with few to no gaps between boards will work well. For height keep in mind that if you primarily need to keep the wind out of a seating area, the fence can be a few feet lower than around an area where people will be standing, such as around the grill.

Feel Secure

The most important features to have for a security fence are a taller height, a lack of places to grip and a sturdy, lockable gate. Any security fence should be at least 8 feet high, although you can add a few feet of trellis to the top of a 6-foot fence for security that doesn’t look quite so imposing. Choose a fence with flush boards and no horizontal rails on the outside, to deter potential intruders from attempting to climb it.

Block a Street View

When your home is on a busy street, creating a peaceful backyard space begins with the right fence. If you want to allow some light in, pick a fence with small gaps between boards (or even a lattice-like design) and layer lush plantings on both sides to provide additional privacy. Or try a frosted glass design, as shown here. As with privacy fencing, it can be helpful to test out the fence height you are considering before you commit.

Keep Your Dogs In

The first step is knowing your dogs. Are they jumpers or diggers? How high can they jump? Are they likely to try to escape from your yard, or are they generally content to hang out? A 3- to 4-foot fence could be adequate for smaller dogs and those who do not jump; larger dogs will need something taller. If your dogs are diggers, bury the fence at least 6 inches underground or place hardscaping along the fence line.

Consider blocking visual stimuli with a solid fence.While nearly any type of fence can do the job of keeping your dog in the yard, if your dog is excitable or loves to bark, consider investing in a solid fence to block the visual cues (cars, pedestrians, cats) that get him going.

Keep Deer Out

Some deer can jump nearly 8 feet high, making it quite difficult to keep them out of garden beds using normal fencing. A solid privacy fence is ideal because it blocks the deer’s view of your tasty plants — it’s not likely deer will jump into an area if they can’t be sure it is safe. If privacy fencing is not desirable (for instance, you want to be able to see and enjoy your own garden), you can make a regular garden fence taller by attaching netting to taller poles, in effect making a taller (but nearly invisible) fence. Another option is to make your fence significantly wider by planting large hedges along one side — deer cannot jump as high if they must also clear a long distance.

Secure Your Pool

Even if you do not have children in your home, it is important to take steps to secure your pool — friends or relatives with children could visit, and neighborhood kids could try to sneak into your pool without your knowledge. Be on the safe side by securing both your yard (with a security fence) and the pool itself. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety barrier guidelines for home pools suggest using a fence with a minimum height of 48 inches, a maximum spacing of 1¾ inches between pieces and no handholds or footholds for children to use for climbing. The gate should be self-closing, should be self-latching with a childproof latch and should open outward from the pool.

Before You Buy That Fence …

  • Check local building codes and apply for a permit if necessary.
  • Find out where your property line is. Hire a surveyor to map it out for you if you are unsure.
  • Be sure there are no underground utility lines in the way.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2014/07/26/how-to-choose-the-right-fence/#42ffaaab2ad7

Landscaping a Fenced Yard

If you have been wanting to spice up your yard by adding landscaping, look no further!  There are ways you can landscape along your fence to accentuate the fence instead of hiding it.  The article below offers some ideas and even suggests how you can bring in even more nature with certain plants.  Use these ideas for inspiration and then get started!

Landscaping Along Fencing for Beauty and Privacy

Fences, by nature, are often quite boring and bare. But you can change that. The addition of plants along your fence adds beauty, provides additional privacy and gives you more room to grow the plants you enjoy.

Choose Plants Based on the Type of Fencing

  • White fences highlight colorful plants, such as flowering shrubs and perennials.
  • Chain-link fences aren’t attractive, but flowering vines can transform your fence by covering it with appealing foliage and blooms.
  • Horse fencing, whether made of vinyl or metal, doesn’t provide much privacy. By adding smaller trees and shrubs (horse safe, of course!) along the fence, you can create areas of privacy.

If you have a lawn, install a border to separate the lawn from the landscaped area and to prevent grass from growing into it. The border should be at least 12 ft. away from the fence to allow space for plants to grow. There are different types of landscape borders available, including flexible plastic, metal and brick. The height of the plants you select depends on your fence. If your fence is decorative, choose lower-growing shrubs and perennials that won’t cover the decorative details of your fence. However, if your fence is plain-Jane boring, then select plants that will grow tall and cover it.

Ideas to Get Started

  • For a tall, plain fence, create a layered landscape with tall shrubs planted in back, shorter perennials in front and groundcovers along the border. This will add depth and beauty to your landscape.
  • Create a colorful seasonal display with annual flowers in front of a white fence. Plant cosmos, daisies, marigolds and nasturtiums. Another great option is to plant a row of brightly colored sunflowers.
  • Instead of a straight border, create a curved border, which will soften straight lines and angles. Use a garden hose to outline the area to help you create the curved shape you want.
  • For beautiful color contrast, use plants that have leaves and flowers that are a different color from your fence.
  • Grow vegetables! Plant tomatoes, cucumbers or beans along your fence. Provide tomato cages to support tomatoes and trellises for cucumbers and beans.
  • Attract butterflies or hummingbirds to your garden by creating a habitat just for them along your fence. Add agastache, bee balm, penstemon, red salvia and trumpet creeper to attract hummingbirds. Butterflies will enjoy the colorful flowers of cosmos, dogwood, lantana, milkweed and purple coneflower.

When selecting plants, keep your property line in mind. Keep unwanted trees and plants from extending into your neighbor’s property. Avoid adding invasive plants along your fence, since they can be difficult to keep under control.

So start looking at the area along your fence as a great opportunity to add beauty to your garden!

 

Source: https://www.tractorsupply.com/know-how_home-garden_gardening_landscaping-along-fencing-for-beauty-and-privacy

Fixing Wobbly Fence Posts

Does part of your fence need reinforcement until the whole thing is
ready to be replaced?  Do you need to make sure your pet doesn’t escape
or someone doesn’t get hurt?  You can reinforce your fence posts easily
if you follow the suggestions in this article.  After getting together
your materials, you can be your own handy man!  Continue reading below
for directions.

Reinforcing a Weak Fence Post

SF Gate Home Guides

A wobbly fence post is an accident waiting to happen. Whether children climb on the fence, fall off and get hurt or your dog lunges at the fence and makes an impromptu escape due to the weak point, it’s trouble. Because reinforcing a weak fence post isn’t a difficult task, take quick action to repair it as soon as you discover it and prevent a possible catastrophe.

Assessment

Before you can reinforce a weak fence post, it’s crucial that you assess the amount of damage that lies below the surface. Wiggle the post with your hand to determine whether it seems to be intact from top to bottom. Wood fence posts may decay and metal ones may rust. Shine a flashlight into the hole surrounding the post to see if it is still in one piece. If necessary, dig away a small amount of the surrounding soil to increase your view of the post for further assessment. Check nearby posts to determine if they need reinforcement too.

Materials

Fortunately, the materials required to reinforce a fence post, whether wood, vinyl, steel or aluminum, are minimal. A bag of rapid-set cement mix, gravel, a gallon of water, a shovel, a spirit level and a rubber mallet are sufficient equipment to get the job done. Wear old clothes to reinforce the fence post, particularly when working with cement mix. Add a pair of heavy work gloves to the ensemble, especially if you’re working with a wooden post that may cause splinters.

Method

To begin reinforcing the post, dig a few inches of soil away from it around the perimeter. Fill the hole with approximately 6 inches of gravel. Top the gravel with rapid-set cement mix powder to fill the hole to 3 inches below the surface of the soil. Use the rubber mallet to pound the fence post into place and place the spirit level on top of the post to ensure that it’s level vertically. Add water to the cement mix that is already in the ground. One gallon per 50-pound bag is a good rule of thumb. Because you’ll probably use less than a whole bag, decrease the amount of water accordingly. For example, if you’ve used 25 pounds of mix, decrease the water to a half gallon. Wait 30 to 40 minutes for the mix to set into concrete.

Maintenance

Once you’ve set the fence post in gravel and concrete, chances are it won’t require your attention for a long time. However, that doesn’t mean all the fence posts are equally secure. Periodically walk the fence line to inspect your entire fence for damage. Check each post to ensure it’s secure by applying pressure to the post to see whether it shifts or gives way. If you find a loose post, repeat the procedure for reinforcing a fence post to secure it as well.

Making Your Fence Pretty

There are ways you can add some beauty to your fence without breaking the bank. like painting, hanging planters, and other eco-friendly options!  We know that there are a lot of suggestions out there for decorating fences, but this article seems great for summer!  Check it out below.

7 Ways to Dress Up Your Fence

Sometimes a drab old fence can be an eyesore, even in a landscape brimming with beauty. But instead of allowing plain planks of wood to become an unattractive focal point, use them as a backdrop for an exciting design. There are many ways to accessorize a fence, from a new coat of paint to unique, mounted art.

1. Give It Color

A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to revitalize a boring fence. When choosing a color, think about what will highlight your landscape. If you have mostly greens and browns in your yard, pick something with a pop of color such as bright yellow or turquoise. If your garden is already colorful, go for something neutral but eye-catching like moss green, charcoal, or a rusty red.

If you like a more natural and rustic look, think about using a wood stain, which will bring out the natural luster and pattern of the wood itself. It highlights the earth tones, making them richer, deeper, and brighter.

2. Make a Pattern

If you really want something eye-popping, consider painting a pattern instead of a solid color. This can be as easy as painting the planks in alternating colors. For a pattern like thick zigzag lines, houndstooth, or paisley, do a quick internet search for wall painting stencils. These come in every shape and size and are as easy to use on a fence as they are on a wall. Prices range from around $20 to $60. To use them, simply put down a fresh coat of neutral paint, wait for it to dry, and then paint over your stencil in the color of your choosing for an instant “Wow!”

3. Paint a Picture

Murals are certainly more involved and time-consuming, but you come away with a one-of-a-kind piece of art right in your own yard. Not artistic? Search for a local muralist in your area. Many are reasonable on price and, depending on the size of the fence, can have the piece done in one or two afternoons. Themes are unlimited and can include personal aspects like a favorite scene from a family trip, an important quote, a favorite book cover, or a dream destination. They can also be totally abstract.

4. Go Green with Vines

Plant perennial or annual vines beside or in front of your fence, and train them to climb up and over the fence or to spread out along the face of the planks. This will take time, but within two growing seasons your vines will nearly double in size. Although many vines will not scale a wooden fence, there are a few easy ways to get vertical growth.

Set trellises in front of the fence, either simple wood ones or wrought iron, and train the vines up these. Get them started by tying the vines loosely to the trellises with dental floss. Soon, they will figure out which way is up and start climbing all on their own. You can also mount chicken wire directly onto the face of the fence using a staple gun and train the vines onto this. The narrow wire is perfect for climbing and the vines will wrap their tendrils around it in no time. Vigorous vines include clematis, wisteria, and trumpet vine, which all have striking flowers. Keep in mind that some vines like wisteria and ivy are very strong and have been known to pull down houses. Make sure these are climbing on freestanding iron trellises to avoid damage to your fence.

5. Go Green with Planters

Another way to use plants to hide your fence is to mount planters or hanging baskets directly onto the wood. Many pots are made with a flat side or with a side hook for vertical mounting. Window boxes are also excellent choices because they commonly come with hooks so that you can hang them over your fence without having to affix them permanently. A sunny fence would be an excellent place for an herb garden or for butterfly-attracting plants such as lantana, pentas, zinnias, and canna lilies. Trailing annuals, like Swedish ivy and sweet potato vine, will dangle prettily and blow in the wind.

6. Let the Moss Grow

An easy way to cover or dress up a shady fence without messing with pots or soil is to spray it with a moss mixture. With a little time and moisture, the moss will germinate and grow right on the wood. All you need is two handfuls of fresh moss (from a nursery or just picked from your yard or the woods), two cups of buttermilk, and two cups of water. Get an old blender and mix up these ingredients. Then, grab a hose and give your fence a nice rinse. Pour your ‘moss milkshake’ into a spray bottle and spray it on the moist planks, or use a paintbrush and paint it on. To get creative, paint it on in words or pictures. Keep the fence damp by giving it a light spray from the hose once a week, twice in drought conditions, and watch your moss grow!

7. Use Unconventional Decorations

You don’t have to rely on plants to dress up your fence. There are lots of cool things you can hang or mount onto it that will add an element of whimsy. So, instead of just painting a new color or pattern, have your kids or friends paint small pictures on the fence and mount multicolored picture frames around them.

Other popular ideas right now include things one would not typically find on a fence. For example, you can mount thrift shop mirrors of different sizes for a flashy and unusual hint of silver. Try something themed with your items too, like drilling bolts into the fence and using ceramic glue to attach teacups, teapots, saucers, and serving platters to the bolts for a very Alice in Wonderland-esque look. Also try using some wooden crates; spray paint them fun colors and mount them on the fence, and then use them to display interesting chachkies like potted plants, statues, candles, and pretty colored bottles. Using repurposed items for décor is both a cost-effective and trendy way to achieve something different.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match

Keep in mind that you can use two or more of these methods in tandem. Painting your fence a neutral color and then hanging decorations and plants are all beautiful ways to accessorize. Start small and build on key focal points that you really love. The most important part of decorating any fence is to make it be a reflection of yourself. Your garden fence, and of course your garden, will soon mirror your personality, complimenting your home perfectly.

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/7-ways-to-dress-up-your-fence

Fences That Withstand High Winds

Fences should always be designed and installed so that they withstand strong forces like the elements, animals, and general settling over time.  Thinking about strong winds specifically, there are certain kinds of fencing materials that are superior to others.  Learn what they are in the article below.

Best Fences for Areas With High Winds

Fences are a great way to give your property line a definitive border, to make your yard safer for pets or children, to add curb appeal, or to increase privacy levels. When you install one around the perimeter of your home, you expect that it will be strong and durable enough to stand up to the outdoor elements. If you live in an area prone to high winds, however, you may want to tailor your fence choices accordingly.

Read on as we explore the best fence types to withstand the wear and tear that high winds can have on the structure, as well as tips and tricks for installing and maintaining them.

Picket Fences

Known to be both warm and welcoming, picket fences are probably one of the most common out there, and are highly desirable because they’re aesthetically pleasing. Although these fences don’t necessarily offer much privacy given the openings between slats, it is exactly this feature that makes them a great contender for high wind regions. The openings between slats allow for the wind to pass freely through the structure, minimizing the wear on your fence, even among the windiest conditions. Note that these fences are only ideal for windy conditions when the vertical slats have several inches of space between each of them, as smaller spaces will not let the wind pass freely.

Because picket fences are made of wood, they require maintenance to prevent them from rotting away. While these structures should last 10 to 15 years before requiring replacement, you can lengthen their lifespan by applying a wood preservative to seal it, which will protect it from rain and other natural elements. You should also avoid letting your sprinkler touch your fence and reduce the weight put on it by keeping bushes and vines away.

Iron Fences

Iron fences are a superb option for windy regions because they are extremely sturdy, and the space between iron posts allows for air to freely flow, which ensures that the tension put on your fence is minimized during windy spells. Iron fences are of great quality and are sure to last for years to come, not to mention their regal look that’s guaranteed to up the curb appeal of your home.

One important note about iron fences is that they must be maintained in order to diminish the chance of rusting, which is likely to happen after repeated exposed to rain and humidity. The best defense against rust is prevention. To cut down on the chances of this damage occurring to your iron fence, it should be treated with a protective sealant or a coat of wax. You can also coat it with paint to put a layer between the iron and the air, which is helpful.

Vinyl Fences

Vinyl fences are about five times stronger than wooden options, besides being more flexible. That makes them the perfect choice for windy areas, as they’re less likely than wood to break even in the windiest conditions. This option has other benefits, as well. These types of fences are not susceptible to problems such as termites, rotting, warping, and mold.

Vinyl fences have a long lifespan, but they do need to be maintained. They are prone to grass and even algae stains, and a power washer may not always do the job in getting them clean as a whistle. To renew their look, you can use your garden hose with a sprayer attachment, dish soap, and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad to wipe the structure clean. You should work from the bottom up while cleaning the fence.

If that method doesn’t work on tougher stains, you should substitute the dish soap for bleach. (If you are using this mixture, you might want to wear rubber gloves as you scrub, since bleach can be harsh.) In general, you should mix one part bleach with five parts water to create the cleaning solution. However, darker colored fences require less bleach and lighter shaded ones require more.

Safety and Longevity Tips

When installing any fence, first ensure that you do adequate research and have all buried utility lines located and marked. When choosing the materials of your fence, you want to pick those that will stand up to the test of time. Use treated lumber that is approved for ground contact along with weather-resistant galvanized nails and exterior screws.

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/best-fence-types-for-areas-with-high-winds