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The Fence Post

Fence Stretching Basics - Video

January 21, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

We sure do appreciate any help we can get when stretching a fence. Here, precautions are taken when working on a grade.

 

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Topics: welded wire fence, Fencing Tips

The Frost Line and Your Fence Post

December 24, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Considering Frost Heaves

Frost heaves are caused by water that is drawn up through deep unfrozen soil to the varying depths of frozen soil beneath ground level. A horizontal ice lens grows particularly in clay type soil and collects below the frozen soil and creates what is known as an ice lens that then expands as it freezes and slowly pushes soil and whatever rocks and debris upwards.

graphic drawing about frost heaves science

                                                                                                                               Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

The stability of your fence is dependent on what lurks below. 

Certain types of soils are not a concern. Gravel and sandy soil are not susceptible to the exchange of moisture that create frost heaves. Very thick clay soil is also immune. Also, where frost only penetrates the soil an inch or two there is no need to be concerned about frost heaves, such as on the west coast and the southern most parts of the U.S. 

However, where freezing goes deeply into soil, your fence posts (and the footings of your deck) are subject to this upward pressure. The concrete in the fence post's base is an excellent conductor of heat and attracts moisture which can form an ice lens around the concrete base, rendering it susceptible to movement. A pressure treated wooden post is not a good conductor of heat, particularly when wrapped with plastic or coated with tar; this helps prevent the up and down movement of the post. 

Some General Guidelines

Most likely, setting a post a couple of feet up to 5 feet are required to offset this issue. Your local town building inspector probably has guidelines for the best depths for fence posts in your particular area. If you dig a hole that's wider at the top in a V shape, you'll have a problem. The smaller bottom of the hole will provide little resistance for the upward pressure of the moisture and what follows it. A hole dug in the shape of a bell (wider at the bottom) is better, filled with concrete, gravel or gravel with masonry sand for good compaction, and then tamped down every six inches. Bring the concrete or fill within a few inches of ground level and fill the rest of the way up with tamped-down dirt. Concrete footers are the best bet for offsetting the pressure that works on the fence above the frost line. Some experts recommend an insulating pad of styrofoam about 2 inches thick beneath the footer. A chat with a trusted local building contractor may be helpful as circumstances vary so much according to soil types and the depths of freeze in your area. 

Frost heaves can also push up plants and expose roots to damaging wind and cold, not to mention poorly prepared roads and sidewalks.

Here's a thorough going-over of the process with a variety of scenarios:  

 

Do you have expertise in your area on the subject of frost heaves? Please share your insights or recommendations below.

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Topics: concrete fence posts, wood post & rail fence, how to, posts, Fencing Tips

Spite Fences

November 20, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Spite Fences

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, 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

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. The neighbors become cut off from the angry builder of the fence and 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

4 Keys To Choose the Best Fence for Your Needs

May 26, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Top Considerations

Buying fencing without seeing it can be difficult but we are here to help you. We have pulled together our top 4 key considerations to help you choose the best fence for your needs.

Louis Page's Illustration of the 4 Keys to Choosing a Fence

1. Wire Type - Determines Durability and Use.

For example, vinyl-coated and stainless steel fences offer maximum durability, making them ideal choices for harsh environments and applications where longevity is a must.

We provide four unique types of welded wire to address any durability and budget needs.

Galvanized Before Weld (GBW)
GBW mesh is made from strands of galvanized wire welded together. During the welding process, the rust preventing galvanizing is burned off at the weld points where the wires intersect. These meshes are economical but have a limited lifetime. A general purpose mesh, ideal for low-cost fencing, kennels, cages, and a variety of other uses.

Galvanized After Weld (GAW)
GAW mesh is made by dipping previously welded mesh into a bath of molten zinc. The entire mesh, including the welded areas, is thoroughly sealed and protected against rust. This wire is particularly useful for animal enclosures or other applications where rust prevention and long life is desired. Ideally suited for use as ground wire for bird enclosures and animal enclosures. (ZA (zinc aluminum for agricultural fences (one step between GAW & Vinyl Coated).

Vinyl Coated (VC)
VC mesh is made by coating either galvanized before or galvanized after welded mesh with a thick layer of black or green PVC fused to the wire by a heat process, creating an attractive, tough, long-lasting, weather and chemical-resistant mesh. Vinyl coated meshes have the longest lifetime in any application. The 1-1/2" x 1-1/2", 12-1/2" gauge mesh makes a particularly excellent floor for dog kennels.

Stainless Steel
SS welded wire mesh, strong and long-lasting, needs no additional finish to protect it. The wire itself is extremely resistant to rust, corrosion, and harsh chemicals. Use stainless mesh or fence in areas with prolonged exposure to salt and other corrosives.

2. Wire Gauge - For a Fence that Endures

Determines durability and use. The lower the gauge number the thicker the wire, making low gauge fencing ideal for applications where strength and durability are required.

Along with Wire Type, Wire Gauge will determine how durable and long-lasting your fence will be. Louis Page sells welded wire in 10.5, 11, 12.5, 14, 16, 19, and 23 gauge thicknesses.

Remember, the lower the gauge number, the thicker and stronger the wire will be.

Thicker wire is more durable in the elements AND tougher for critters to chew through. A sharp beak can make short work of a thin gauge wire. No such luck with a thicker gauge!

For these reasons, Wire Gauge is an important factor in determining both how long your fence will last and what use it is best suited to.

3. Mesh Opening - For a Variety of Uses

Smaller mesh opening is important for fencing in or out smaller animals, which could slip through a larger opening. Smaller openings also make for more rigid panels, making durability a secondary consideration.

Mesh opening is a very important factor to consider based on what you’re planning to fence in or out.

For example, a small mesh opening would be required for fencing in baby rabbits or birds, while a larger mesh opening would be better for fencing in goats and other livestock. We sell welded wire fence in a variety of mesh opening sizes from ⅛” x ⅛” to 3” x 3”. In addition to different sizes, mesh openings also come in a variety of shapes including square, rectangular and hexagonal.

Durability is also a secondary consideration with mesh opening, as smaller meshes create more rigid, durable fencing.

4. Fence Height - Animals that Test the Boundaries

Quite simply, taller fencing is required to fence in and out larger animals, and animals that can jump high.

Fence Height is another very important factor based on what you’re planning to fence in or out.

Simply put, taller fencing is required to fence in and out larger animals, and animals that can jump high.

For example, shorter fences are ideal for uses like chicken enclosures, rabbit cages, and puppy kennels. A taller fence is required for enclosing large farm animals like cows and goats and fencing out deer.

A taller fence is also required when safety and security of people is the goal, as in pool fence and fences at places like construction sites and zoos and public parks.
 
Our experts are ready and waiting by the phone to answer your questions and help you choose the right fence for your project. 
 
Bird on a Wire
 
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Topics: stainless steel, galvanized after, galvanized before, Fencing Tips, vinyl coated

Swimming Pool Fence Requirements & Considerations

April 7, 2017 | by Debbie Page

 

child jumping in swimming pool

Fence Safety and Your Peace of Mind

Getting a swimming pool? Don't forget about the swimming pool fence required to keep the pool and pool area safe - especially for young children who may be drawn to the water to check it out.

You have probably planned the pool and its installation very carefully - putting into place all your thoughts and ideas for creating the perfect pool for you and an attractively landscaped pool area.

Installation

If you are installing the fence yourself, remember that you need to check with the local building inspector in your town to determine what is acceptable for pool fence and all the other requirements - such as self-closing gates. If a child forgets to close the gate when passing through, the gate will automatically close itself. While this is an added safeguard, never rely solely on this technology for protection. Having your eyes on kids is a must. Even very young children are unpredictable and clever; a swimming pool is a powerful incentive for beating the best system in place.  

If you are having the fence installed by a reputable fence company any questions you may have can be answered by them.

For peace of mind and everyone's safety remember to install or have installed the proper fence around your dream pool so that it doesn't become a nightmare. Do as much planning for the fence as you would for planning and designing the pool.

Practicality and Aesthetics

There are many different types of swimming pool fences available that will meet code requirements. Which type best fits your design requirements?

We carry pool fencing made in the U.S.A, Italy and China. Our product options fit various budgets and project specifications. We also offer free quotes.

Download the Swimming Pool Fence brochure!

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Topics: swimming pool fence, Fencing Tips

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