Here at Ace Landscaping we have over 20 years of experience serving both Walla Walla, Washington and Richland, Pasco, Kennewick (the Tri Cities WA areas). But the primary knowledge needed before you start your fencing project is pretty universal, anywhere.
As with any home improvement you make to your landscaping, you will hopefully raise the value of your home, or you could also lower its value. You could hire a professional fencing contractor to build a very beautiful, and structural, privacy vinyl fence for your back yard landscaping. Or you could have a chain link fence installed, to help keep your animals in. No mater the fencing you choose to have built, your decision to hire a professional fencing contractor to install your new fence will definitely add a great deal of benefit to you, and your family for years to come. So it is a very important decision you make, weather to build the fencing yourself, or hire a fencing contractor.
If you build the fence yourself, be honest with yourself as to your experience, and knowledge in building a well designed, attractive, and functional fence. I strongly blame the DIY shows, and information out there for the vast majority of screwed up fences, in most yards. Those shows make it look easy, but if you miss one critical part of the job, you will pay a very big price for your mistake.
But the simple facts are you, need to have many, many years of experience to draw up a detailed blueprint for your decorative, or privacy fencing, also the knowledge in how to properly build a fence that will look great, but most importantly stand the test of time.
The same way any professional home improvement project gets done right you need to follow these common sense guidelines to get your project done right, and on budget.
Here are the 10 most important things you need to know before building any type of either wood, vinyl, chain link, picket, split rail, metal, aluminum, privacy, semi privacy, composite, wrought iron, or cedar fencing:
1. What are the local codes in you city, or covenants pre existing in your subdivision, and do you need a fence permit;
This is obviously very important, to find out. Your fencing contractor should know immediately what the codes in your area are. You definitely do not want to spend a bunch of money on your new fence, only to find out you will have to pay a fine, by the city, or pay to tear the fence down. Also remember some neighbor hoods do have additional fencing regulations, on what type of ; wood, vinyl, chain link, split rail, metal, aluminum, privacy, semi privacy, composite, wrought iron, iron, cedar, picket, pasture, lattice, or deer fencing, you are allowed to have your fencing contractor install.
2. Hire a professional fencing contractor.
I have written some very helpful guidelines in my blog, for you to look at before you hire your next fencing contractor. The blog is: Hiring a great garden landscaping contractor (see link at bottom of this blog).
3. Talk to your neighbors about the fence.
You remember the old saying “good fences make good neighbors”. Well this is very true, but also happy neighbors who also want a similar type of fencing may also chip in on the money to build the fence. Even if your neighbors will not help with the money, you have the rights by law to build what ever type of fence you want, as long as it complies with the local fencing rules. Its up to you, but I would personally rather have a happy neighbor, even if it may mean changing my fencing plans slightly, to make them happy. Remember that what ever fence you choose to build, they will be looking at it every day, and may be thinking up new and innovative ways to make your life a living hell, if they are not happy with the fence.
4. Property line surveys, before you start fencing.
This is not an easy decision to make. Hopefully your property has already been surveyed, and you can find the survey stakes with a metal detector, this is not a fencing problem, and you simply build the fence a few inches in on your property. Now if you have no survey, you could pay thousands, not to mention the time to get the survey done for your fencing job. If you do not do a survey, you must get your neighbors involved in where you will build the fence. Remember you might have a good neighbor, right now who says build the fence where ever you want to build your fencing, and use what ever wood, vinyl, or chain link fencing you want. Then a new person buys your neighbors property, and does a survey, and the fence has to be removed. Like I said it is a hard decision. Let your professional fencing contractor add his 2 cents to the argument. Also by law if the fence sits there for more than 7 years, it is probably going to stay their, no mater where the property lines are.
5. Now it is down to the easy part, of picking out the type of fencing you like.
Here the sky is almost the limit from; wood, vinyl, chain link, split rail, metal, aluminum, privacy, semi privacy, composite, wrought iron, iron, cedar, pasture, picket, lattice, or deer fencing. There are obviously endless possibilities out there. Once again get the recommendations of your professional fencing contractor, as to what type of fencing he personally recommends, for both warranty length, and budget. I do my fencing here in the Walla Walla and tri cities areas, and I personally will not build any fences with wood in the ground, or concrete around the wood. These fences simply do not hold up. If you want to have your fencing contractor, build a cedar fence, or any type of wood fence, make sure he has some type of galvanized steal, fence posts used, that are wind rated fence posts. There are a lot of very good galvanized steal fence posts out there, that are designed for cedar, or wood fencing, that are hidden from view in your wood privacy, or semi privacy fence. White vinyl fencing is a great fencing option, when you are looking for a very structural, low maintenance fence. Always remember that there are high, and very low grades of vinyl fence manufactures out there. If you are going to go to the expense to get your fence installed by a fencing contractor, DO NOT INSTALL A CHEAP FENCE! Vinyl fences are made of PVC and they will expand and contract, so if you have a cheap fence “usually one that is screwed together, also one of thin PVC” and does not allow for the natural expansion of plastic, or PVC, you are setting yourself up for a fencing nightmare.
6. Amount and type of concrete for your posts.
The concrete needs to sit 6’’ inches below the lawn grade, so you can grow grass over the concrete, and right up to the fence. Do not put your concrete in as a dry mix, and add your water after the fact. Always pre-mix your concrete prior to setting your fencing posts.
7. Professionally attaching Fence boards, And 2 x 4 Fencing Stringers.
If you are building a cedar, or wood privacy fence, always use wood screws to attach the two by fours to the Galvanized metal fence post. Also use a nail gun to attach the wood fencing boards to the two by four stringers. The fencing nails in nail guns, are almost impossible to come out, because they are grooved on the sides to hold them in.
8. Number of 2 x 4 stringers, or cross beams used in your wood, or cedar fence.
For a six foot tall fence you should use three 2 x 4 stringers. For a 5 or a 4’ foot tall privacy, or semi privacy cedar, or wood fence, you should only use two 2 x 4 stringers.
9. To stain, or not to stain your wood privacy fence.
Your average homeowner is not going to stain their cedar, or wood privacy fencing every 2 years, or go to the expense of hiring a professional fencing contractor to stain the fence. It is not the end of the world if you do not stain the fence. Your wood fencing will not loose its structural, if you built it the way I recommend above, but the side boards will fade, and shrink a little.
10. Get a good warranty on your fencing.
As with all construction projects get a good warranty on your completed fence. Most of the fences we install here at Ace Landscaping, in Walla Walla and Tri-Cities Washington, are built with a 10 year warranty.
Now that you have done your fencing homework, and hired a professional fence built, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a job well done. I hope this fencing information has been of help to you.
Please contact Ace Landscaping if you would like more detailed information on: wood, vinyl, chain link, split rail, metal, aluminum, privacy, semi privacy, composite, wrought iron, iron, cedar, picket, pasture, lattice, deer fencing, or landscaping. We would like the chance to earn your business for years to come.
Thanks for reading my landscaping blog!