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The Fence Post

Spite Fences

November 20, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

The Eyesore

Some neighbors might ignore you quite satisfactorily, other neighbors are kind or conversational in passing, while some offer more exchange, even the possibility of becoming true friends. And then there are those neighbors that consider your mere presence an insult, the sight of you and your domain an anathema. This grumbling soul can for the most part be ignored by you, you imagine that there must be good reasons, and as you are not in charge of this curmudgeon's emotional state, it is best to simply go on about your business, keeping the glaring eyes in your periphery. Seething anger is unpleasant all the way to being scary and best not to jostle a hornet's nest. Until the day when it goes up--the eyesore, that pure symbol of animosity, a monument to meanness: an ugly fence. A spite fence. An intentionally unappealing fence that: 

  • has no purpose
  • goes with nothing
  • interrupts everything
  • calls attention to itself 

seated angry man raging with hoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           www.asmussenfoto.dk

Litigation, Ordinances

A new concept for me, the phenomenon of "spite fences": when a neighbor builds a fence to purposefully antagonize his neighbors. If the fence is unattractive, the eyesore may elicit a response from the neighborhood as a whole and the neighbors become cut off from the angry builder of the fence, possibly from other neighbors. Litigation that involves such disputes is difficult to measure, as the offense for the most part is psychological. In the U.S., the blocking of light and air is generally not considered an offense (as it can be in other countries.) If the issue is actually the height of a fence, local codes may be consulted and the law may have your back; however, merely blocking the view of a neighboring yard is not a cause for official complaint. A major directive on fence building is that it not cause injury to others. Some states have adopted ordinances regarding spite fences and guidelines have been created. Generally, it must be established that the fence is solely built to antagonize and has no practical or seemly purpose. It is up to the defendant to prove that the fence has a function other than to perturb those living nearby.

Reconciliation Possibilities 

At the outset, it may be important to consider that you're not the one to approach the offender. One of your other neighbors may have a better relationship with with the problematic fence owner and may be able smooth the way. If you've collected other complaining neighbors, it may be best to put your objections in writing rather than showing up at the door en masse. On your own time, venting and gossiping about your neighbor may seem unifying with others, but it may be fueling the fire and raising your blood pressure. If at all possible, depending on the willingness of the various parties involved in a fence dispute, a mediator might be able to assist in a standoff. A trained mediator enables a discussion with both parties in the aim of establishing a dialogue, exploring the fence's purpose and the potential dismantling of the fence.  

two person writing on paper on brown wooden table

Lacking a Resolution

You must question yourself and realize that the conflict may never go away and that you must acknowledge your part in the dispute, working on the triggers the fence brings up in you. Is it possible you are being arrogant and high-minded? Is your being right propping up a sense of self-righteousness that borders on obsession?  Are there any inroads you could make to mollify the hostility with the neighbor? Is there a way you can introduce humor into the situation moving forward, if only for yourself?  Not feeding the antagonism may assist in a resolution. Adjust your perspective and try to find a bigger picture to help diffuse the tension. Taking a step back and waiting to respond when conflict arises is always a good plan. It never hurts to retreat, reflect, allow your blood pressure to lower, and then return to the fray, if indeed necessary.

Woman Sitting on Brown Wooden Chair Beside Coconut

 

While we're on the subject of neighbors and boundaries, have a look at our blog, "Does a Good Fence Make a Good Neighbor?"

 

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Topics: fence building, fence choices, Fencing Tips

What to Look for When Shopping for a Quality Welded Wire Fence

August 8, 2014 | by Duncan Page

AdobeStock_186966406


A few necessary details to consider...

When you are thinking about fencing, you have many choices.  You have a variety of materials, designs, and types of construction to consider.  If you have decided to use metal fencing for your yard, farm or other property, there are several styles available.  There are two main classifications of metal fencing, decorative and purely functional.  Decorative fencing, usually made of aluminum or wrought iron, looks good and is functional as well.  It is a good choice for yards, but it is expensive, and not commonly used to enclose large areas.  When cost is a primary concern, wire-fencing styles such as chain-link, barbed wire or welded wire are better choices.

Welded wire fencing is similar in design to a chain-link fence, but, as the name implies, the wires making up the fence are welded together, making the fence stronger.  If you want to install welded wire fencing on your property, there are several things to look for in a quality welded wire fence.

  • Manufacturer

First, look for fencing made by a good manufacturer.  A history of making quality products and a reputation for good customer service are the indicators of the best manufacturers.  Look for these attributes when you are shopping for welded wire fencing.

  • Country of Origin

Building wire fencing is not too complex.  Wires are assembled on a jig and welded together, often by machines.  Because there is little labor involved, there is little advantage in choosing fencing manufactured overseas, where labor costs are lower.  The price of shipping increases costs; to keep prices competitive, many overseas fencing companies must cut corners on materials.  Choosing fence products made closer to home makes it more likely that you will end up with a quality product that will last for many years.

  • Wire Gauge

Gauge is a measurement of the diameter of a piece of wire.  Originally, gauge referred to the number of drawing steps required to manufacture wire of a specific diameter; now, wire gauges are standardized to correspond to specific sizes.  Lower numbers are thicker.  Wire fencing is typically made from 12 to 16 gauge wire, with a diameter of 0.08 to 0.05 inches.

  • Wire Finish

Steel is a common metal used in making welded wire fencing, but it is susceptible to corrosion.  To combat this, most welded wire fencing has some kind of protective finish.  This finish could be paint, plastic, or zinc.  Steel protected by a thin layer of zinc is called galvanized steel.  Galvanization can be done before or after welding.  Galvanizing before welding offers some protection, but galvanizing after welding gives steel a thicker, stronger zinc coat that is extremely durable and can withstand many years of harsh elements.  A vinyl coating is also an option.  Vinyl is often combined with galvanization, giving the fence the best of both protection and looks.

Welded wire fencing is a cost-effective material that is just as functional as chain-link fencing, but will not give your property quite the same industrial look.  When you are shopping for welded wire fencing, look for the attributes discussed here to ensure that you purchase a high-quality product that will give you many years of service.
 
farm fence and field with hills in background 
 
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Topics: welded wire fence, galvanized after, fence choices

Determining Your Deer Fence Height

August 5, 2014 | by Duncan Page

Deer and fence 

Beautiful and Hungry

Deer are beautiful animals, with incredible natural abilities.  To people who live in cities, watching and admiring deer seems like one of the major attractions of country living.  People who live in the country know better; deer may be incredible animals, but their beauty and majesty quickly fade when they become uninvited guests in your garden.  One hungry deer can destroy an entire crop of fruits, vegetables or flowers in just a few hours.  If you live in an area populated by deer, and you want to keep your garden looking nice, you must find some way to keep them out.  You need a deer fence.

Deer Fence Answers

Deer fencing is, oddly enough, metal, plastic or wooden fencing designed to keep deer away from your yard and the plants that you don’t want them eating.  If deer are a problem for you, deer fencing is most likely the solution.  Before you install fencing, you will need to answer a few questions.  What material do you want to use?  What design is best?  How large an area you need to enclose?  How high does the fence need to be?  The answers to these questions will determine what kind of fence you need.

  • Material

The two main materials to choose from are metal and plastic; wood is a less common choice.  Metal is more durable, but plastic comes in a wider range of colors and styles.  In addition to the fencing material, there are also the posts to consider.  Posts are available in plastic, metal, and wood.  Choices here influence the next decision.

  • Design

The range of designs available for deer fencing is overwhelming.  Between the choice of materials, the nearly infinite range of colors and the incredible range of designs to choose from, the sky is the limit.  The most important thing is to find a fence that fits the style of your property.

  • Area

The size of the area you want to enclose has an influence on your choice of materials.  If you want to enclose a large area, you may need to choose a less expensive material.

  • Height

The height of the fencing you need is governed by the size of deer that live in your area.  In Florida for instance, a four-foot fence would be sufficient to protect your property from Key deer.  On the other hand, in certain parts of the American Northwest, you may need a much higher fence to protect your property from Moose.  A typical North American deer can clear a six-foot fence, if they are sufficiently motivated.  An eight-foot fence should keep even the most determined deer, moose or elk out of your garden.  Talk to your local planning commission or check online for any zoning requirements for building codes that may limit your options.

There is no doubt that deer are majestic, beautiful animals.  Though they may be beautiful, they are best enjoyed at an appropriate distance.  Install the right deer fence, and you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature and still have a beautiful yard or a productive garden.

Please call us if you have more questions.  (866) 328-5018

Deer and Wildlife Fence

Brown Deer Jumping

 

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Topics: deer fence, fence choices, deer and orchard fence

Choosing a Fence - Good, Better, Best

April 5, 2011 | by Frank Langone

woman thinking about choices

A Wide Array of Choices 

Are you overwhelmed by all the fence choices available today? It seems that every category of fencing materials is covered with a specialized fence made specifically for a particular job. Even though there are many fence choices, you can determine what's best for your project by looking closely at your specific requirements.

Something Sturdy, but Temporary

Do you want a temporary fence? Maybe one that will last for just one season? Think about a galvanized before welded - GBW - wire product. You will get good use for a short period of time as the wire tends to rust over time since the welds are not protected by extra galvanizing.

Sturdier

If longer life is desired then galvanized after weld - GAW - is a good fence choice. In this case, the welds are protected with an extra coat of galvanizing and will last much longer than galvanized before welded wire.

Extra Protection and Attractive

For the longest life consider vinyl coated wire made to give many years of service as well as add good appearance to your project. For example, you may choose vinyl to enclose your garden area this spring and summer. Your vinyl choice should be a smaller mesh wire to keep out the little critters which seem to get into the smallest openings. Once your fence is in place you can feel satisfied you have chosen both good appearance and long wire life for your project. Vinyl lasts!

Still overwhelmed by the many fence choices available? This fence and mesh guide will go over the various details you'll need to be able to choose the right fence. If you still have questions, we can advise you. 

green vinyl wire with post-rail fence

 

Hexagonal Netting

 

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, galvanized after, galvanized before, fence choices

Fence Jumping Gone Wrong - Videos

February 22, 2011 | by Duncan Page

 
Oh man, that's gotta hurt--
 
Have you ever been tempted to jump a fence? Make sure you know what you're doing before you make a fool of yourself. Here are a couple of examples of how not to jump a fence.

 

A fence deserves a little respect. Here's another:

Do be careful out there!

Browse Products Now

 

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Topics: garden fence, video, fence choices

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