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

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?)

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All the Reasons You Should Install a Fence

Fences serve so many more purposes than just privacy alone.  If you have a pet that likes to wander, if your neighbors are coming too close to your yard, or if you want to feel more secure you might want to call us.  Read this short piece from to consider all reasons for having a fence.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Top Reasons to Fence Your Landscape

Robert Frost, the foremost New England poet, knew what he was talking about when he wrote that famous line. Fences do, indeed, make good neighbors. Many homeowners may consider the installation of a fence at some point or another. The following lists some of the most popular reasons to install fencing around your landscape.

Set your boundaries. Property definition is a major reason to fence your landscape. It leaves no question as to what features belong to which property owner. This is important because as time goes by and the property changes hands, a clear definition of a landscape will only make neighborly relations better. For example, it will be quite clear who is to prune which trees and shrubs as well as who is to mow the grass. By leaving no plant in a gray area, you are able to take responsibility for your property and let the neighbors be responsible for theirs. 

Add beauty to your garden. Aesthetic reasons make various fencing styles an attractive option for homeowners. Fences can add a stately formality to an estate. They can also help define a landscape theme. For example, that white picket fence adds that traditional charm to rustic country gardens. Or, a bamboo fence is the perfect accompaniment to a Japanese tea garden or an Oriental rock garden. Wood, stone, wrought iron – these materials will add an attractive dimension to your landscape plan.

Safeguard ponds and pools. If your property contains a water feature like a garden pond or pool, than fencing is likely a must for safety reasons alone. Children frequently roam the neighborhood and you wouldn’t want your ornamental waterlily pond to appear too inviting to young kids looking to cool off. Some villages may require fencing of swimming pools, and there may be a discount in sight on your homeowner’s insurance if you take the precaution of installing a fence. Safety is also a concern if your garden is known to contain poisonous plantings like foxglove, oleander or the castor bean plant – in such instances, keeping children out is a priority.

Animal control. Keeping pets in and keeping other animals out is a top reason to install a fence. You wouldn’t want your Pomeranian prancing around town and christening your neighbor’s petunias, for example. Likewise, as long as other dogs run free, you are likely to find unwanted tokens of their visit if you do not fence. Fences may also prevent deer or other types of animals from visiting your garden.

Privacy. Of course, keeping pets from nosing around is only half as important as keeping neighbors or strangers from taking a peek if privacy is a concern for you. Fences help create that border of privacy that can be indispensable. If you plan to entertain or simply to sunbathe, a solid-board fence can truly protect your landscape from prying eyes and afford you to keep your business your own. If you neighbor keeps commenting about the weeds overtaking your vegetable patch, it might be time to consider a privacy fence.

Support climbing plants. Fences also make great supports for climbing plants and vines. For a small gardening space, they give the gardener more room to grow. As climbing plants are among the most attractive – consider common jasmine or golden trumpet flowers – they are likely to be a focal point of the landscape. They also help to add privacy by covering the fence in a relatively short amount of time, making a common chain link fence an attractive feature.

Add lasting value. And, if none of the above means much to you, perhaps thinking of a fence as an investment will. A durable and well-built fence may add to the value of your property. Consider wood or stone in a traditional style. By investing in a beautiful design with timeless materials, you may incorporate the costs into your asking price should you plan to sell the property.

Buying and installing a fence is a good idea for all these reasons, and you may have your own to add. Choose quality materials and your fencing is likely to last and perform the functions you need it too. Installing a fence can be pricey, but if you are willing to do it yourself, you will likely cut that cost in half.

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Knock on these kinds of Wood

Not all wood is created equal.  Some kinds make for better fencing material than others.  After reading this piece from Pro Referral you might realize that you would prefer a certain type of wood over others.  Although prices and availability may vary, check with us to get our opinion and see if it is doable for your property!

What are the Best Types of Wood for Fences

What are the Best Types of Wood for Fences

According to the International Association of Certified Home Builders, a wood fence has an approximate lifespan of about 20 years with regular maintenance. A fence’s life expectancy can be increased significantly, however, if you pay more up front for a high-quality wood. Here are a few of the species that tend to hold up better than others, along with a few characteristics of each that will help you decide if any of these are the right choice for your next fence project.


  1. A fence’s life expectancy can be increased significantly if you pay more up front for a high-quality wood.

    1.Western Red Cedar

    Like many of the woods on this list, western red cedar is naturally resistant to many of the ills that your average pine is likely to succumb to. Its beautiful appearance is prized by many homeowners, and its natural resistance to moisture, rot, and insect infestation make it a great choice for pickets as well as posts.

  2. 2.White Oak

    A tough, hardy wood, white oak weathers well and stays strong when exposed to the elements. Many folks who keep horses choose white oak for its strength and the fact that some horses enjoy chewing on pine (though pine is usually cheaper). Oak does have a tendency to warp or bow, however, so this should be taken into consideration when the fence is planned.

  3. 3.Black Locust

    Another favorite for those who keep horses, black locust is one of the toughest woods found north of the equator. Championed in particular for being an excellent material for posts, black locust fences can last for decades and decades without any significant maintenance needs.

  4. 4.Tropical Hardwoods

    Some of the most durable and beautiful fence, deck, and outdoor woods of any kind come from South America. Woods like Ipe, Tigerwood, and Brazilian Cherry are extremely hard, heavy, and dense–so dense, in fact, that they must be pre-drilled (a hammer and nails just doesn’t cut it with tropical hardwood). The most obvious drawback to these species is their price, which is significantly higher than other fence options.


    The use of tropical hardwood has been criticized by some for being less-than-friendly to the environment. While it is true that these woods are harvested in tropical regions and then shipped to the U.S., the fact that tropical hardwoods are available from responsible sources and will need to be replaced far less frequently than many domestic woods provides a sound argument that they are actually a greener choice than many others on the market.

  5. 5.Pressure Treated Pine

    Less expensive than the preceding types of wood, pressure-treated pine gets its durability and moisture resistance not from Mother Nature, but through chemical treatments and physical processes performed by people. Though once championed as the very best in outdoor building materials, pressure-treated pine is losing popularity among some sections of the population. More expensive and much more resistant to rot and insect activity than untreated pine, the chemical used to make it so hardy (as well as the energy use involved in the pressure treating) have raised a few eyeballs among environmentally-focused homeowners and contractors. This material’s practicality should not, however, be ignored by any prospective fence-builder.

  6. 6.Plastic Lumber

    While not technically a wood, the look of synthetic fencing materials is now closer than ever to true wood. PVC fencing can last a long time – many put its estimated lifespan at 100 years or more – and will require only minimal maintenance. Bugs don’t eat it, fungus won’t harm it, and it won’t check or develop cracks due to moisture issues. PVC fencing is pricey (though not as pricey as some tropical hardwoods), and it’s not actually lumber, but investing in it will give you a practically worry-free fence for decades and decades to come.

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Alluminum Fence Guide from Pro Referral

We design and install tons of aluminum gates.  They are timeless, strong, and secure.  If you are on the fence (pun intended) about choosing aluminum as your new fence material, check out this article from Pro Referral that will give you the full run down.

Aluminum Fence Guide

Aluminum Fence Guide

Aluminum fences aren’t for people who are overly preoccupied with things that are fancy and delicate. They’re for people who want something done right. Fences made from aluminum are sturdy and strong. Aluminum fences don’t rust like iron fences.


You might be considering an aluminum fence for your own home. If so, there are some things you need to know. Read this guide to learn all about aluminum fencing.


  1. 1.Why Choose an Aluminum Fence?

    Because they are so strong durable, aluminum fences are great for when you need extra security.

    Because they are so strong durable, aluminum fences are great for when you need extra security. So, if you have a pool that you want to make sure the neighbor kids stay out of, an aluminum fence might be perfect for you. Aluminum fences are also good if you have an unfriendly dog that you’d like to keep inside your yard or just for overall added security to help keep ne’er-do-wells away from your home.

  2. 2.Who will Install Your Aluminum Fence?

    Find an experienced professional to install your fence. It’s important to find someone with experience so that the fence will stand the test of time, without tilting or leaning. Ask your neighbors for recommendations of qualified fence builders. Be on the lookout for scam artists. The Federal Trade Commission warns against hiring contractors who solicit door-to-door, accepts cash payments, or asks you to get the required building permits.

  3. 3.Prep Your Yard for a New Aluminum Fence.

    There are a few things you should do before having your fence installed on your property. First, if your community has a home owner’s association, check with them to see if there are any rules or regulations about what kind of fence you can put up, or if you can install a fence at all. Next, talk to your contractor about any building permit you might need, and make sure they are on top of applying for the correct permit. Make sure there aren’t any cables or wires buried beneath your yard that could be disturbed by workers digging for fence stakes. Finally, check to make sure you know where your property line starts and stops so that your fence stays on your property and not your neighbor’s.

  4. 4.How to Care for Your Aluminum Fence

    One of the selling points of aluminum fences is that they require very little care and maintenance. Keep your fence clean by washing it with soap and water occasionally. If your fence is exposed to chemicals like the ones used in pools, or salt, you might want to wash your fence more frequently. Plants can grow into your fence, so keep them trimmed back and away from the fence to make sure that doesn’t happen. Inspect the fasteners and other moving parts of your fence to make sure they are still working smoothly.


    If you’re looking for a fence, aluminum might be the material for you. Aluminum requires much less care than wood, and can be made to look as attractive as wrought iron. Don’t just sit on the fence – call your fence installation professional today!

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Insight on Picket Fences

Picket fences are classic and pretty.  But is a picket fence the right fence for your property?  There are things this article points out that you need to consider like security and maintenance.  If you love outdoor projects and are willing to commit to keeping your fence picture perfect, then this type of fencing might be the right way to go!

“It seems as though many homeowners are scrambling to install large privacy fences, but what if you want to showcase your landscaping, while still protecting your plants and yard?

Picket fences can be a pleasing way to create a sense of privacy without blocking out the world. This classic and practical fence might be the solution for your home.

Before considering a picket fence, you must first decide whether it is a practical choice for your home. If the purpose of the fence is to contain an animal (or keep one out) the height of a picket fence might not be adequate for your needs. But, if you are looking for a fence to indicate the boundary of your yard, while maintaining a welcoming feeling for visitors, then a picket fence might be for you.”

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Repairing Your Gate from Pro Referral

If the gate on your property is in need of a repair this article is a great read.  If you have been able to determine the source of the problem then you should be able to easily make repairs.  Make sure you have the necessary materials and you will be set!

Surrounding your property with a fence adds security, privacy and aesthetic beauty to your landscape. To enable convenient entry and exit through the fence, it will also be necessary to include gates. Keep your fence gates in good working order for easy passage into and out of your property.
There are many details to consider, both when choosing a fence and as you maintain its functionality and beauty. Utilize nifty gate repair tips and tricks to keep your gates moving smoothly and to make sure your fence operates as nicely as it looks.

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Spicing Up Your Stairs

Did you know we also build and install custom staircases? This article is a fun read on how to customize or liven up your stairs by yourself. It suggests painting designs, adding fabric, attaching wallpaper, painting the spindles, and more! If you don’t have the budget to get a new staircase just yet, these simple and inexpensive methods can work in the meantime!

As the Content Editor for, Mady writes about interior design and decorating, home remodeling, and loves scouring Pinterest for the best DIY projects. You can find her work on ForbesLife, PopSugar, Huffington Post, Money, Seattl… Do you have stairs in your home that could use a fresh look? Make a statement with your stairs by dressing them up with bright colors, patterns and fun designs.

Start the conversation, or Read more at She Knows.


Feel secure at home

Turn on the news at any given moment and you will see why investing in home security is always a good idea. It is, as the common adage stages, always better to be safe rather than sorry. A security fence can keep your family safe from intruders, critters, weathering and certain other bad scenarios. Here’s what factors you need to consider before investing in a security fence.

In Mexico, most residences are built like a compound with the house safely inside perimeter walls and security fences. This makes every square foot of space usable and safe for family life both in front and backyard. Today’s home invasion crimes make this idea a progressively more appealing option for those concerned for the safety of their family and possessions. However, building codes in many neighborhoods are very specific about the kind of security fencing allowed, its height and materials. But in the suburbs and rural regions where houses are on larger lots, often acreage, the ability to safely enclose all or part of the property is a highly appealing proposition.

Security Elements and TipsThere are two halves to a successful security fence. First is visually discouraging intruders through fence design and the addition of security signage. The other is strategies of fence design that makes it hard for intruders to go through, over or under. When both these factors are met, the fence will provide maximum security.

  • Focus on height as a deterrent. This is where commercial security fence panels can be helpful due to the typical six foot height limit of most residential fences.
  • Strong gates with bolted or welded hardware make sure this portal doesn’t become a weak link in perimeter fencing. Nuts should be welded on and bolt threads stripped to prevent nut removal. Maintain height and add technology such as cameras, lights and intercoms at this point to deter potential intruders
  • Scalability dictates how hard it is to climb over a fence. Fencing material or fabric that is not easy to gain a toe or hand hold is best. Anti-climb spikes, barbed wire and other fence-top deterrents restrict scalability and may provide height increases where codes are more limiting.
  • Strive for a “lethal look” with electrified fencing that stings when touched, but will kill, hurt or maim. Electric fence is a powerful deterrent, but may be as safe as traditional “hot wire” for livestock enclosures. Electric fence signage is a big part of making the most of this option.
  • Avoid solid fencing because it is easier to climb and makes it easier for intruders to hide behind while breaking in.

Security GatesA chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and when it comes to fencing, there are many options to make gates the strongest link in the system. Often there are multiple gates in a perimeter security fence, so each should be considered in a hierarchy when it comes to security measures. Those used most often will benefit from modern upgrades that require electricity at the gate itself, which can be costly for long runs and here solar may prove the only viable option. Even then some climates aren’t well suited for year around solar driven systems.

Security Fence Accessories

  • Barb Wire Arms – 3 wire
  • Electric Wire
  • Security Camera
  • Motion Sensors
  • Barbed Wire
  • Intercom

Chad Hoover, owner of Hoover Fence understands this all too well. “Security of residential areas has become a high priority for property owners. Our system designers are also being asked more and more questions regarding lighting near gates, cameras, and other home automation equipment. There is a large selection of cost effective hardware and equipment to simply secure pedestrian and driveway gates. Start with high quality hardware which positively locks gates, doors, and windows. Remember the old cliché, “Keep the honest – honest”. Later you can get more elaborate after the simple items are secured.”

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Keeping critters away with a well placed fence

Deer are a gorgeous creature that unfortunately can do a lot of harm to the environment around them, including your yard. Especially if you own a lot of property, it can be hard to keep these creatures from devastating the landscape. Many advocate getting plants that deer do not like to eat but that is not a cure all for the situation. A fence is usually needed to really curb the issue.

Deer are at once beautiful and destructive. Where they exist in rural and suburban areas, they can devastate a landscape overnight. While there are so called deer-resistant plants, these will vary by region, and in times of little food deer will eat them too. Increasing populations of deer in some suburban areas has resulted in more aggressive food finding behavior which is why there can be some variations in just how high this fence must be to function properly during drought or exceptionally long winters.

There is a second way that deer can damage your landscape. Each year they rub the felt off new horns which can severely damage or even kill young trees and shrubs. Inevitably homeowners in deer country will be forced to come to terms with the deer problem if they want to enjoy a beautiful or productive landscape.

Some communities created to create a wildlife rich place to live prohibit deer fence, and in some cases, all fences to encourage an open range. It is important to determine if your neighborhood is under similar regulations before you put up a deer fence. Conservation agencies of the government may also have limitations set up around national parks, preserves and other managed wildlife habitat.

A good local landscape architect or site planner can help you better manage your landscape through specific design strategies. Those familiar with larger homesite design and local deer behavior are ingenious at devising ways to use deer fences so they are more limited and less visible. Remember, this fence is expensive to buy and install, and it must be maintained if aggressive hungry bucks decide to take it on with their antlers. A good strategy gets the job done for the least cost.

Certainly deer fencing can be built on a site-wide basis along the property boundaries, which is the most expensive option and also requires a deer-proof gate for your car to go in and out. To avoid the cost and inconvenience of a gated compound, focus first on the most plant oriented parts of the homesite such as a food garden or orchard.

Deer Fence DetailsDeer can jump straight up and over a six foot fence, so any barriers must be at least 8 feet tall. However, in areas with extreme pressure for food or overly large populations of deer, there may be individuals that can jump higher than the norm. This height of fence must be able to stand up to wind, winter storms and snowfall, which is what contributes to the expense. To lower materials costs there are some contractors installing electrified fencing like that used in livestock pens. These can be driven by solar powered units, but these too have their shortcomings and may be illegal in some communities.

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Pool Safety

One of the biggest reasons that many people invest in getting a fence is because they have a pool. If you have a pool, you are legally and morally obligated to build a fence around it to keep any accidents from happening, like young children falling into the pool. This doesn’t mean however that you have to sacrifice style for safety. Contact Western Fence Co. for any design, cost or miscellaneous questions pertaining to your fence needs.

A beautiful sparkling swimming pool is the crowning jewel of a well landscaped yard, but it can also be a dangerous amenity if not properly fenced. Designers struggle with this important safety element because no pool fence is ever attractive. This is a no-brainer in a home with children, but in an all adult community there can be great conflict over the necessity of a fence at all. Sure, there are ways to make them look better, to help them blend into the surroundings, but it’s never a good idea to skirt these codes due to the potential for life or death consequences.

Pool Safety Codes

The Building Officials and Code Administrators (B.O.C.A.) outline contains safety measures for swimming pool fences. Many communities have adopted these national standards in an effort to minimize and, hopefully, eliminate accidental drowning of children. However, there may be additional local regulations as well.

A skilled designer will assess your site and your lifestyle to determine the best way to provide swimming pool safety fence. There are three basic strategies:

Perimeter fence
The perimeter fence around the yard itself can serve as a pool safety fence only if it conforms to the height and gate requirements set by the safety code.

Interior fence
This fence encloses the pool area leaving the rest of the yard open to general use.

Removable fence
This fence can be entirely removed or only partially removed for a short time allowing full access to the pool. This is a great solution for parties when the house and pool can become one larger space. It also provides pool security while the children are young. Once they are old enough, it is removed and the code requirement is then met by the perimeter fence. This fence can be designed to be reinstalled at any time in the future when there is concern for children or pets having full access to the pool.

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