Learn About The Different Types of Wood Fencing

Wood is arguably the most common and popular type of fencing used around homes throughout the country – and it’s been this way for the better part of four centuries. There are plenty of other materials to choose from – many of which are excellent in their own right, but homeowners seem to turn to wood fencing in particular over and over again. In fact, back in 2007, American homeowners installed around 59,000 miles of wood fencing, which is enough wood fencing to circle the earth two times over. Almost ten years later, wood fencing continues to be in just as high demand.

Why is Wood Fencing so Popular?

Wood has a lot going for it that makes it a more popular choice than other materials. The following are some of the benefits that wood fencing can provide to homeowners:

  • Wood fencing is inexpensive – It costs a significantly less to invest in wood fencing than it does to use other materials, such as stone, brick, steel or iron.
  • Wood fencing will improve curb appeal – Although cheaper than other materials, wood fencing can still look extremely beautiful and can complement the look of your property. Wood has a traditional beauty that few other materials can match, and it certainly looks better than materials that are cheaper than wood, such as chain link fences.
  • Wood fencing is flexible – The biggest advantage of using wood for your property’s fencing is that it is an extremely flexible material. It can be shaped to give your property a unique look. There are dozens of different styles that you can choose from – and they can be painted various colors too. Although other materials may have their own advantages, this is typically not one of them. There’s only so much that you can do with steel or stone in terms of the fence’s aesthetic.

What Types of Wood Should Be Used?

The specific look of your fence and its overall durability depends a lot on the type of wood that is used. It’s just another facet of wood fencing that makes it so flexible. The following are a few of the higher quality species of wood that can be used for your wood fencing:

  • White Oak – White oak is extremely durable and tends to remain so even when exposed to harsher elements, such as rain, snow, and the wind.
  • Black Locust – Black locust is another wood species known for its durability. In fact, black locust wood fences have been known to last for decades without the need for maintenance.
  • Western Red Cedar – Western red cedar is naturally resistant to insect infestations, rot, and moisture – all things that often cause problems with lesser quality wood.
  • Tropical Hardwoods – Tropical hardwoods, which include Brazilian Cherry and Tigerwood, are considered exotic and therefore tend to be on the most expensive end of the spectrum. However, they are incredibly hard and dense, which means that your fence will not only have a unique beauty but will be built to last.
  • Pine – Pine is typically one of the more affordable wood species to use for your fencing. However, pine fencing can be more vulnerable when it comes to insect infestations along with moisture and rot issues, which means it requires more maintenance. You can have the pine wood pressure treated to make it more resistant to such problems, but this is more expensive and does require the use of chemicals.

What Types of Wood Fences Are There?

There’s more to choosing a wood fence to install than just deciding what species of wood to use. Wood fences come in dozens of different styles. Choosing what type of wood fence to use depends on a number of factors that reflect your particular needs, from your personal tastes to the function you want your fence to provide. The following are some of the more common wood fence options:

  • Picket Fences – Picket fences are better suited for improving curb appeal and defining the boundary around your property. They can also keep children and animals out of your yard.
  • Vertical Boards – For a fence that can do a more effective job securing your property as well as helping block out the wind and noise, vertical boards are a good option. The smaller the gap between boards, the more privacy you’ll have.
  • Lattice Fences – Lattice fences are great if you want to privacy and security but want to allow sunlight and the wind to come through. This makes lattice fences a good option for gardens.
  • Louver Fences – Louver fences use staggered boards so that they provide privacy when viewed straight on, but allow you to see outside your property from an angle. This means that airflow and sunlight can still get through and you can still enjoy a view but will still retain some privacy while providing security as well. Louver fences are a good fit for pool areas, decks, and patios.
  • Dog Eared Fences – If you want complete privacy and security, dog eared fences are a good choice. They make use of vertical boards without any gap between them, thereby creating a solid wall. Dog eared fences are a popular option for properties where the land is uneven since you can modify the fence sections to fit your property without breaking the flow or uniform look of the fence.

Wood fencing remains one of the most popular fencing choices for good reason. As you can see, there are a lot of options to consider, which makes it easier to find a wood fence that fits your particular wants and needs.

 

Sources:

https://www.proreferral.com/hg/what-are-best-types-wood-fences/

http://www.a1-fence.com/7-popular-types-of-wood-privacy-fences/

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/all-about-wood-fences

http://www.rusticraftfence.com/wood

Keep Your Wrought Iron Fencing Maintained and in Good Repair

Wrought iron is a beautiful and durable option for fencing. It is crucial that you take care of the metal if you want it to retain its beauty and remain durable.

In order to understand how to care for your wrought iron fencing, you should first understand some basic points about wrought iron. Unlike cast iron, which is produced en masse by a fast process that enables manufacturers to produce cheaper products, wrought iron products take much longer to make.

Making wrought iron products once required a skilled blacksmith to work the metal into the proper form. The process has since been mechanized; however, it is still a much more involved process than that of making cast iron. The end result is that cast iron isn’t as durable or as strong as wrought iron. When you purchase a wrought iron fence, you are making an investment in your property.

Keep-Your-Wrought-Iron-Fencing-Maintained-and-in-Good-Repair

Rust Prevention

On the most basic level, wrought iron fencing will require only minimal care. You should make sure that the grass and plants around the fence aren’t making contact with the fence in a way that will damage the fence. This is especially important during the rainy season since wet vegetation could cause damp spots that encourage rusting on the fence.

As you are removing these items from the fence, take the time to check the fence for signs of rust or damage. Rust spots usually start off very small, so pay close attention to the wrought iron. If the rust has gone all the way through the metal, you will need to contact a professional to determine the options you have for dealing with the area.

Treating Rust Spots

Besides just making sure that you are preventing rust, you should also treat rust spots as soon as they occur. This likely won’t happen often, but taking immediate action when it does could prevent a costly issue. While you will have to treat the spot and repaint it, that is a lot less expensive than having to replace the fence because it has rusted beyond repair.

If you notice rust, use a wire brush to remove the surface rust. Don’t use a wire brush that has corded wires. Instead, opt for a thin wire brush.

Once you have the surface rust removed, wash the area with a nonionic detergent and rinse it off completely. You can then apply a rust converter. Follow that up with some primer and paint that matches the paint on the rest of the wrought iron fence. Be sure the products you use are safe for metal so you don’t damage the fence.

Cleaning Wrought Iron Fencing

You should clean the wrought iron fencing twice a year to keep it in the best shape possible. Simple soapy water is all you need to clean the fence. You can use a towel or a sprayer to clean the fence. If you opt for a sprayer, keep the pressure low. High pressure sprayers might damage the paint job on the fence.

Once the fence is washed, you can apply some wax to it. Metal-grade wax will help to keep the paint job protected so that it doesn’t wear down as quickly and leave the metal exposed.

Maintenance for Hardware

If your wrought iron fence has any hardware attached to, those items should also be properly maintained. Gate hinges should be oiled each time you wash the fence — and more often if they squeak. Other hardware, such as fasteners or finials, should be checked at the twice-per-year cleanings to ensure they are properly connected to the wrought iron.

Hardware on the fence poses a unique danger to the fence. If it isn’t properly maintained, hardware can trap water against the fence in a way that can lead to rust.

Repairing the Fence

If you have any damaged fence areas, you should properly repair the fence. Ideally, you should hire a professional to make the necessary repairs. In some cases, portions of the wrought iron fence might have to be cut out and replaced. You certainly don’t need someone inexperienced to try to do this job because you might end up with more of an issue than what you had when the damage occurred.

Sources:

https://www.nps.gov/training/tel/Guides/2008_Iron_Fencing_Care_pg.pdf

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/maintain-iron-fences-47566.html

8 Benefits of Using Automated Gates

8 Benefits of Using Automated Gates

Adding a gate to your property is a great way to improve a number of things, from the privacy of your home to its security. However, there are many different types of gates that you can choose from. For added benefits, you may want to think about having automated gates installed. Automated gates work by either punching in a code or pressing an entry transmitter, which results in the gates opening up automatically. The following are eight of the benefits of installing an automated gate onto your property:

1. Automated gates increase the security of your property

Potential thieves are much more likely to avoid homes that have gates in general, but they’ll be even more wary of attempting to break into a home with automated gates. This is because they will have to attempt to scale the gate to enter the property, whereas with a normal gate they may have a chance of picking the lock and sneaking in. Few thieves will want to expose themselves by climbing over the gate since such a suspicious act will be more likely to be noticed by neighbors or the police.

Additionally, you’ll be able to keep track of who comes and goes from your home since you’ll need to open the gates for any visitors that arrive.

2. Automated gates improve the convenience of your home

Although a normal gate does provide adequate security, the process of coming and going becomes much more involved and inconvenient. If you’ve just gotten back home, you’d have to park your car in front of the gate, open the gate, drive through the gate, park the car and then close the gate behind you. You can eliminate all of these steps with automated gates since you can just open them with the press of a button.

3. Automated gates increase the safety of your family

Not only will automated gates help keep out thieves and potential criminals, thereby keeping your family safe in that respect, but automated gates will help keep your young children and pets from wandering off of your property and getting lost.

4. Automated gates increase the curb appeal of your property

Automated gates are available in all types of designs and styles. A well-designed automated gate can complement your property’s aesthetics and even improve it by adding an element of luxury and elegance to your property’s look. You should have no issues customizing the look of your automated gate using a variety of colors and styles.

5. Automated gates increase your property’s value

Because automated gates can improve the curb appeal of your property, they’ll help directly increase the value of your property. Additionally, buyers recognize the added security and convenience of a property that has automated gates and will be more willing to pay a higher purchase price for the home.

6. Automated gates offer more customization options

The customization options of automated gates aren’t just limited to their design options. They refer to the way the gate functions as well. For example, automated gates can be built so that swing open (like traditional gates), lift up or even recede by sliding into the perimeter. You can also use either remote operation or password-protected access to operate the automated gate.

This makes it much easier to invest in an automated gate that will fit you and your family’s unique needs.

7. Automated gates can help lower your insurance premiums

Homeowner’s insurance is not something that you can do without. If you purchased your house using a mortgage, then your lender most likely required you to purchase homeowner’s insurance. Even if you were able to pay for your home entirely out of pocket, homeowner’s insurance is a smart way to protect yourself financially should your home experience any damage.

Insurance companies will determine the cost of your premiums depending on a large number of factors, including how much your house cost, how big the house is, what the crime rate in the neighborhood you’re living in is and whether there are any potentially risky features on your property (such as a swimming pool).

They’ll also take into account any safety or security features that you’ve invested in, which is why automated gates could help to lower your homeowner’s insurance premium. An insurance company will realize that your home will be much more secure due to the automated gate. There’s a much smaller risk that your house will be robbed than a house without an automated gate. Since there’s less of a risk, they’ll be more willing to cover you for a smaller premium.

8. Automated gates provide excellent ROI

Considering all of the previous benefits, from the added security and home value to the ability to help reduce your homeowner’s insurance, the ROI (return on investment) of an automated gate should be pretty clear. Automated gates are also not very expensive considering those many benefits, and they are incredibly easy to take care of.

Automated gates require very little maintenance and are designed to provide long-lasting durability. A high-quality automated gate will not wear down or break down over time due to exposure to severe weather or from decomposition, making automated gates a fantastic investment for your home.

As you can see, there are a number of benefits that make the installation of automated gates well worth their cost. If you plan on investing in a gate, put some consideration into automated gates instead of traditional manually operated gates. For more information about installing automated gates on your property, contact us at Lonestar Fence and Construction today.

 

Sources:

http://www.washingtonfence.net/8-benefits-automatic-gate/

http://www.gateautomation.com.au/blog/6-benefits-automated-gate/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_gates

What Are Some Interesting Points About the Metal Used in Wrought Iron Gates and Fencing?

What Are Some Interesting Points About the Metal Used in Wrought Iron Gates and Fencing?

A wrought iron gate and fence can add an instant upper class appeal to any business or home. These accent pieces are very heavy and require ample time to get them properly installed. If you are considering a wrought iron fence or gate, you must understand some simple points about this durable metal. These points might help you decide if you are going to spring for wrought iron accents or opt to use a less expensive option.

Passes the Test of Time

Ironwork has been around since the days of ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia and the evidence of it has remained throughout time. As the abilities of humans have advanced, so too has the presence of wrought iron for architectural purposes. In fact, as time has progressed, the durability of wrought iron has improved and the cost of the popular metal has gone down.

In previous centuries, wrought iron was an architectural element that was only used in upper class homes. Wrought iron gates and fences weren’t commonplace. This was due in part to the prohibitive cost of the metal, as well as the difficulty that was associated with getting the heavy metal to a destination.

During times of war, wrought iron has been considered a premium metal because of its strength. This made it a very popular metal that was often used for goods that needed to be used in the war. Because it was so precious, people often donated wrought iron accents to the war efforts. When the war was over, homeowners would try to replace precious wrought iron accents that were sacrificed or damaged.

 

Malleable and Durable

Wrought iron has some unique characteristics that make it ideal for use in architectural applications. One of these is that the metal is malleable, but the metal gets stronger as it is worked. This means that even ornate designs on wrought iron fences and gates are likely to last a long time.

When wrought iron is worked, it is heated up. It is possible for wrought iron to be worked and then to be reworked. Each time the iron is worked, it is heated up to make it more malleable. As the wrought iron is cooled afterward, the strength of the metal becomes evident.

Wrought iron has a minuscule (.035 percent or less) amount of carbon. This and other characteristics such as high tensile strength and elasticity make wrought iron suitable for compression and tension applications. That means it is ideal for a gate or for a suspension railroad.

Different Processes

There are two different types of wrought iron — puddle and charcoal. The type of wrought iron is determined by the way that it is manufactured. Puddle wrought iron is manufactured using an indirect coal fired furnace. Charcoal wrought iron is manufactured by using the direct heat of charcoal fire. The puddle method of making wrought iron has been used since the beginning of the industrial era, while the charcoal method was used primarily from the Iron Age through the 18th century.

As the processes to make wrought iron have revolutionized, the usage of this type of iron as become more commonplace. This evolution is partially responsible for the start of the Industrial Revolution. The primary invention that led to wrought iron as we know it today was the puddling furnace which was invented in 1794. That furnace did away with the need to use charcoal to work the iron.

Ease of customization

One bonus to getting a wrought iron gate or fence is that it can be customized to meet your company’s or home’s needs. The ability to customize it (such as deciding what types of finials or toppers to use) gives this type of metal an instant appeal.

Whether you need a simple wrought iron gate and fence or something more ornate, you can get it made to meet your specifications. As the metal is customized it is heated, which means that being picky about how the metal looks might end up working out better for you in the long run.

When you are trying to decide on the specifics for your project, make sure that you consider the overall project, the items that are going to be around it once it is installed, and the look that you want for the area have to be considered.

Considering all of the customization options you have (which can include the color and style of the pieces) can help you to get exactly what you need for your project. Because of the expense and time investment that wrought iron projects require, you should make sure that you are completely happy with your choices before moving forward with the project.

Experience Matters

Because wrought iron is very heavy, having a professional install the fence and gate is crucial. You should hire a company that has ample experience working with wrought iron. You should make sure that the company you choose is bonded (and licensed if required in your area) before doing business with that company. If something does happen and the workmanship is called into question, doing business with a company that offers a warranty is a huge bonus.

Whether you want your home to look stately or your business to have a professional appeal, wrought iron gates and fences can help with the appearance. These landscaping accidents can also serve the practical purpose of keeping outsiders out and insiders in.

Sources:

http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/111770

http://www.carolinarustica.com/history-of-iron-and-steel

Benefits of Wrought Iron Fencing

Choosing a fence for your home or business is a big decision.  Not only do you have to consider the appearance of the fence, you also have to consider the budget that is allocated for the project.

When you start looking into your options, you will come across several different types of fences — wood, chain link, aluminum, wrought iron, and others. Each of these options has its own benefits. If wrought iron is on your short list, you should familiarize yourself with its benefits.

Durability

Wrought iron fencing is very durable and is suitable for residential or commercial use. It can withstand the hot Texas summers and the rainy season. It can even withstand snow and ice if winter weather finds its way here. This helps to ensure that your property remains secure.

The construction is solid. There aren’t any nails or metal twist clips used to secure the pickets to the rail. Instead, the pickets are welded to the rails. The rails are secured firmly to the posts, which keeps each panel in place without much, if any, wiggle room.

Since this fence isn’t flexible, you don’t have to worry about cracks occurring in bends because there isn’t a way for the fence to bend. If the fence is on an incline or decline, it has to be stepped.

Curb Appeal

The curb appeal that wrought iron fencing provides can fit in with any area. Historically wrought iron fences were used in wealthy areas that were filled with stately homes. In the modern day, these fences can be found around mansions and other smaller homes. Wrought iron fencing is also commonly used around swimming pools and other areas of a yard that need to be partitioned off. In some cases, wrought iron fencing is used on top of retaining walls.

Wrought iron fencing is available in several different designs, which enables you to choose the style that meets the needs of your home. Some options are a basic style that keeps the focus on the building and landscaping. More intricate designs add a style element to your property.

When you are considering wrought iron fences, you should think about the overall style that you are trying to achieve. This can involve taking a look at the style of your home and the landscaping that is visible around the fence. Since the design of wrought iron fences is open, it won’t provide privacy or hide what is behind it so be sure to take the whole background into consideration when you choose the wrought iron fence for your project.

Multiple Applications

Wrought iron fences are suitable for multiple applications. They are good for homes or businesses. They can mark property lines, provide security, and add beauty. The purpose of the fence has an impact in the style of fence you choose. Let the person to whom you speak when you are finding out about wrought iron fencing options known the intended application so you can learn which options are suitable.

Even though these fences have an open design, the small space, usually smaller than 4 inches, between pickets ensures that intruders can’t squeeze between the pickets. The pickets aren’t easy to remove, so that makes it even more difficult for someone to get through the fence. One thing that it won’t keep out of the yard is animals, so make sure you consider that when you are planning the fencing project.

When you consider the fence style you are going to have installed, the height is important. If the fence is decorative, it might be a shorter fence. If it is for security, it would need to be higher. If the fence is being installed around a pool, it must meet height and other requirements.

Learning about state and local ordinances is also important since some areas have height restrictions and other caveats that can affect your options. In some cases, a permit might be required. Using a professional installation company means that you likely won’t have to worry about the permit or ordinances because professional installation companies have a working knowledge of these aspects of the project.

Another consideration is the gate you will need. If the fence is around a driveway, a matching driveway gate is necessary. You might also need a smaller gate for a walkway. Be sure the fence you choose has the gating options you need.

Easy to Complement

The openings between the fence pickets make the space around the fence a perfect area to add design elements that complement the fence. It is crucial to consider the style of the fence when you are planning to add things like statutes, hedges, flowers, trees, fountains, and other items.

The style of the finials is one of the important design elements that you have to consider. Almost any design elements would work with a basic wrought iron fence that doesn’t have any finials, such as a basic pool surround fence. Fleur de lis finials, however, would work better with traditional decor instead of something like a modern art sculpture.

Cost Effective

When you think about all the benefits of wrought iron fencing, you can see that it is well worth the money that you will spend on it. Wrought iron fencing is an investment in your property. This is one reason why you should make sure to have it professionally installed so you know it was done properly.

Source:

 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.757.htm

Everything you need to know about hiring fence companies

Everything you need to know about hiring fence companies

So you want the privacy and security of a new fence, but you still have questions? No problem! Lone Star Fence & construction is here to help. Here are some of the questions we receive from our customers on a regular basis.

How much do fence companies charge?

At Lone Star Fence & Construction, we provide homeowners in the Houston Metro Area with custom fences and automatic driveway gates. Every home is different, so every fence is a little different.

However, it is possible to provide you with a ballpark figure. In general, we agree with the folks at Improvenet who list the average cost of a fence job at about $2,388, not including the automatic gate.

We would also note that while we support learning the average cost of a fence for your own planning purposes, we do not think most people should be focused on finding the cheapest price.

For example, when we build wooden fences we work with cedar. Cedar is ideal because it is a natural insect repellent. It’s also naturally rot-resistant. The average lifespan of a cedar fence is 10-15 years. Some cedar fences can even last as long as 20 years! Compare this lifespan to pressure-treated pine, which lasts for 7 to 10 years at best.

How much have you really saved if you end up building twice as many fences during a 30 year period?

You also want to think about the experience you will have as a customer at any fencing company. It’s important to compare each fencing company carefully. Read reviews, look at BBB ratings, and take a look at their gallery. Do you feel satisfied with the quality of work? Does it seem like the company takes pride in their craftsmanship? These things make a difference, and can matter far more than “price.”

Do fence companies finance?

Some do, some don’t. All fence companies handle things a little bit differently. When you call, we’ll explain your options. As with most projects, however, it may be better to avoid financing so you don’t have to pay interest on your fence. Who wants another monthly bill, anyway?

What kinds of fences are available?

When it comes to fencing you’ve got a lot of options for building materials and styles. We offer wooden fences, chain link fences, wrought iron fences, vinyl fences, masonry fences and more.

Which fence option should you choose? Much depends on your taste, your lifestyle, and your reasons for building a fence.

For example, if you’re very busy then high-quality vinyl or brick may make the most sense, as these fencing types are relatively low-maintenance.

If security and style are your biggest concerns, then a wrought iron or brick fence might fit the bill.

If you don’t mind a little maintenance and are in love with the beauty of wood then there’s no replacing our cedar fences.

Finally, chain link is great for those who are just trying to keep kids or pets safe and are not particularly concerned with appearances.

Why hire a professional fencing company?

These days big box stores certainly do sell fencing materials. You can go onto YouTube and learn the basics of how to make use of those fencing materials.

But unless you are a skilled fencing professional, you might be very happy with the results.

Big box stores are selling kits, but a kit won’t help you contour the fence to your yard. They’re also typically made of inferior materials. At best, you’ll get four to five years out of your fence before it falls over and becomes an eyesore. At worst, your fence will look terrible from Day 1.

There’s also the matter of your own time and labor. Does it make sense to devalue both by forcing yourself to spend hours on fence installation? You could be inside watching TV while we do the hard work!

What steps should I take before installing a new fence?

Before you call us for an estimate you should go knock on your neighbor’s door to discuss a fence project. Trust us, it will save you some pain and heartache later.

You may also want to learn where your legal property lines are. You can save yourself some headache by keeping your fence just inside of your property line. If the fence straddles the property line, your neighbor may take on shared responsibility for the maintenance of that fence. Your neighbor may also feel free to paint his side, hang items off the fence which may damage it, or otherwise aggravate you. It’s nice to avoid these headaches when you can.

But that’s really all you have to do.

At Lone Star Fence & Construction, we’re already acquainted with state and local ordinances governing fence height, fence design, driveway gate rules and fence materials. We can ensure your fence doesn’t block traffic or hinder emergency personnel. We can also ensure your fence is beautiful so you don’t get accused of putting up a “spite fence.” Finally, we’ll handle the permitting process so that local officials are satisfied and you don’t incur any additional costs.

So go right ahead. View our gallery, see what interests you, and call us for a quote. We think you’ll be very pleased by what we have to share with you. All of our estimates are absolutely free, and you’ll get a chance to meet with us and learn whether we’re the type of people you can be comfortable doing business with.

Got more questions you’d like to see us address here on our blog? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources:

http://www.improvenet.com/a/how-much-does-a-fence-cost?

7 tips for hiring a quality wood fencing contractor

In the market for wood fencing, but not certain how to judge the options in front of you? Don’t worry, with these seven tips, you’re certain to find quality wood fencing, backed by top notch labor, guaranties, and support.

1) Look into references

References are the single greatest tool available when looking for a wood fencing contractor. A good company will have its share of happy customers willing to share their story, especially if they work for businesses. Even if they work primarily with residential customers, it’s easy to find good references. If nothing turns up, that’s worth worrying over.

Of course, you should take any bad reviews you come across with a grain of salt, especially on the internet; people are far quicker to take action when they’re unhappy. Most people aren’t as eager to leave four or five-star reviews as they are to leave a complaint about a perceived slight. Use your judgment.

2) Check their history

A new company isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a long-lived one is certainly doing something right. A business won’t make it for twenty years by constantly botching jobs and engendering negative word-of-mouth.

If you find the company you’re investigating doesn’t have a long history, look at the employees. Even if the company is new, the top decision-makers have a history of their own. If no one has any experience, or at least none they want to mention, then it’s time to start worrying.

3) See what products they offer

If you know anything about wood fencing, you can get a good sense of the company by looking at the quality of the materials they use. Good products? You’re probably looking at a strong company that cares about its work. Terrible goods? Then beware, because customer satisfaction clearly isn’t a high priority. This should be doubly alarming if lower-grade products come paired with ambiguous or weak guarantees/warranties.

Also, you don’t want a company that’s looking to shoehorn their favorite choice into your home or business. You want a company that knows how to adapt, and can install the wood fencing most appropriate for your needs.

4) Ask a lot of questions

Questions will be your single greatest weapon. Do some homework on what you’re looking for, so you know which questions to ask. Then, pay attention to the answers and how they’re delivered. Confident delivery of answers, refusal to guess without more knowledge, and frank admissions that they’re not sure about a particular matter are all good signs.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the other items on this list outright, either. It’s  easier to be up-front with a contractor, instead of trying to dig up dirt on the internet.

5) Check warranties and guarantees

Companies love to be able to brag about their warranties and guarantees. It’s an excellent marketing tool, after all, so a company that doesn’t mention it should be viewed carefully.

Why? Because companies that offer strong promises can fulfill them without having to come back and waste time and money. Companies that can’t keep their end of the bargain can’t make promises without going bankrupt.

6) Look for professionalism

A good wood fencing contractor should be a professional in their interactions with you. Not posh or subservient or anything like that, just confident, straightforward, and reliable. That means that if they set a schedule, they should adhere to it—no late arrivals to meetings without a good reason. That means not trying to trick you or leverage dishonest tactics to raise prices or sell unnecessary additions. If you don’t get a sense that the contractor takes your fence as seriously as you take your own job, move on to another.

7) Investigate customer service and support

Customer support is always important. If you need it, you don’t want to find out it’s terrible when it’s already too late to change contractors. It also serves as a strong indicator of overall work ethic, confidence, and quality. A business that frequently disappoints customers with customer service likely has other problems. You want a company that cares about the customer experience, because it will reflect on other aspect of the company.

Final thoughts

A good wood fencing contractor may cost more, but it pays off long term. Take some time, do your homework, and be sure your wood fencing contractor stands up to scrutiny. The peace of mind alone will be worth the investment.

Sources:

lonestarfenceco.com

9 pros and cons of Wrought Iron Fencing

Trying to decide whether wrought iron fencing makes sense for your home or business? There’s a lot to be said in favor of wrought iron, but for every positive you face a trade-off of convenience, cost, aesthetics, etc. To make the best possible decision for your needs, consider these 9 positives and downsides to going with wrought iron, and think carefully about how each will impact your needs and wants:

 Pro: Timeless Few forms of fencing hold up as well over time and trends as well as wrought iron. No matter the time, no matter what’s popular and what’s not, you’re never going to be far from the mark with a wrought iron fence around your property. That doesn’t mean you have to give up personality, either. You can get lots of character from the little things with wrought iron, more than enough to add a modern twist, without sacrificing the essentially classic, timeless design that’s been so popular for so very, very long. So if you’re not interested in chasing trends with new fences on a regular basis, but do want to be somewhat on-the-mark aesthetically, wrought iron is a great choice.
 Con: Lack of Privacy The vast majority of wrought iron fencing designs are going to be so-called open designed, which means you can see right through them. Now, some might find this to be a positive—if you want security, but don’t want to hide your house or garden away—but many will find the lack of privacy to be an overall downside. You can mitigate this problem with a number of clever solutions, ranging from special panels meant specifically to add privacy to wrought iron fences to clever use of bushes and other greenery, but it is something you’ll need to think about and account for if it matters to you.
 Pro: Durable Very, very few fences can offer the sheer indestructible durability of a proper wrought iron fence. Whatever you expect or don’t expect to come crashing into your fence, wrought iron’s probably up to the task of surviving the experience none the worse for wear. This makes wrought iron an extremely smart choice for any fence that’s going to potentially take a thrashing, such as one around large livestock or in areas with intense weather. It also means that as long as you keep up with your maintenance, it’s going to last for a very, long time.
 Con: Expensive Unfortunately, that durability we talked about means that wrought iron is comparatively expensive. It’s dense, it’s heavy, it’s more difficult to work with. It’s quite easy to see why it’s going to cost you significantly more to set up a new wrought iron fence than a comparable wooden, plastic, etc. fence. You don’t necessarily need to use true wrought iron to get the same aesthetic and much of the same benefits, of course, but it’s not necessarily going to be cheaper to go with another metal, depending on what material costs look like in your area. Do your homework.
 Pro: Versatile There aren’t too many buildings or applications where you can’t find a wrought iron design appropriate to the situation. This makes wrought iron a fairly versatile fencing option, compared to materials which might look out of place against the backdrop of certain architectural or landscaping styles. With the right company handling your fencing, your options for wrought iron designs are essentially limitless; some designs might sacrifice in one way or another to make everything look right, but the option’s there for you want to take it.
Con: Needs maintenance Wrought iron is iron, usually, which means it’s susceptible to wear from the weather. To avoid ending up with a pitted, worn away fence, you’ll need to put in a little bit of maintenance from time to time to keep everything looking right. This isn’t much different from any other form of fencing, of course, but the results for long-term inattention can be more expensive with wrought-iron, due to the higher material costs, relative difficulty of swapping out damaged sections, and sheer destructive power of rust. Keep your fence clean, coated, and fix little problems as soon as they appear, however, and none of this will be a big deal.
Pro: Security Near indestructible, easily designed to have built-in deterrence to climbing, what’s not to love about wrought iron fencing from a security standpoint? No wooden fence can possibly offer a comparable level of sturdiness, nor as easily dissuade people from scaling the top. Of course, that second benefit means committing to an aggressive profile for your fence, but that has a timeless charm of its own—many, many, many classic fences feature exactly the same points and prods that you’d want on a modern fence for security purposes, for the exact same reason.
Con: Labor intensive installation Wrought iron is heavy, takes a lot more work to attach properly, and demands proper anchoring to not simply fall over in certain soils, the list goes on. That means you’re either going to be working on it a long time, or you’re going to pay a premium for the installation. It’s one of the few unmitigated downsides of working with wrought iron for your fence. It’s the same problems you see with any of the other ‘durable, long-lasting, classic housing materials’ out there, like tile roofs.
Pro: Pest-proof If you’ve had troubles with pests ruining fences in the past, good news: barring strange mutations or alien invasions, nothing’s going to be chewing up a wrought-iron fence. With the right design, they can actually keep many annoying animals away from your home completely, though there’s probably no fence so amazing a truly determined animal can’t figure out a way past. So if pests pester you, wrought iron’s a great choice.
Final thoughts  Hopefully, this all adds up to make your decision an easy one. Wrought iron might not be for you—but if it is, you’ll be very glad you chose it.

 Sources:
lonestarfenceco.com
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-fence-has-evolved-from-a-wrought-iron-decoration-to-a-line-of-defense/2014/09/22/e5f21898-4294-11e4-b47c-f5889e061e5f_story.

5 Benefits of Wrought Iron Fencing

Wrought iron fencing has become synonymous with elegance and sophistication. It is a signature feature of upmarket townhouses and stately homes. This style of fencing can be seen around private school campuses, government buildings, and legal offices. Where there is wrought iron fencing, there is the ambiance of wealth and style.

While this choice of material does cost a little more than wood or aluminum, it is guaranteed to stand the test of time. It is sturdy, robust, weather resistant, and it can be plied into stunningly beautiful forms and shapes.

Beautiful Shapes and Designs

One of the main reasons why so many homeowners choose wrought iron fencing are the material’s almost limitless design opportunities. Other materials like wood may have a degree of flexibility, but it cannot be molded into the variety of shapes and patterns wrought iron can. If treated with care, iron fencing truly looks like a work of art.

Few fencing materials are as diverse and adaptable as wrought iron.

Long Lasting and Super Strong

Wrought iron is almost impossible to break, as it is usually welded and then inserted into cement or linked to other robust materials (like concrete or brick). Wrought iron fencing can last for a hundred years or more if cared for properly.

Privacy and Security

While the degree of privacy provided depends on what kind of design you choose (how tall the fence is, whether the design is open or closed, etc.), it is true that wrought iron fencing can offer increased security, too. For those with a home or business to protect, it is worth thinking about a full-height wrought iron fence. These are difficult to climb, which makes them very popular with celebrities and people who own expensive homes and cars.

If it is privacy that you want, a medium-height fence, with a patterned or entirely closed design, could be a worthwhile option. The right kind of patterned fence will obscure the view of your home from a distance. Also, wrought iron fencing can be combined with hedges, bushes, small trees, and shrubs to create the perfect marriage between privacy and style.

Minimal Maintenance and Care

You will also be pleased to hear that wrought iron fencing is very simple to maintain. To keep this kind of material looking fantastic and retain its weather resistant properties, you only need to repaint it once every 2-3 years. If you spot areas which the sun, rain, or climate has worn away, a little bit of paint in the faded area is all that is needed.

The maintenance associated with iron fencing is remarkably minimal. Unlike other kinds of fencing, broken or misshapen pieces do not spell disaster for the entire fence. It is perfectly acceptable to remove bent bars and replace them with new ones.

More Green Than You Think

Wrought iron fencing can be recycled or repurposed. It is highly sought-after for used as garden decorations. And, of course, iron fencing wins even more green points for being so durable. If you only have to buy one iron fence in your lifetime, its (and your) carbon footprint will be kept to a minimum.

How to Choose the Right Wrought Iron Fencing

Once you decide wrought iron fencing is right for your home or business, it’s time to find a reliable and skilled fence installer.

A good provider may be willing to initially consult with you over the phone or online, but this should always be followed by an onsite consultation. Only after measurements have been taken and the worksite was assessed can a proper cost estimate be given. An onsite meeting is also your opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the design, installation, price, mess, or anything else that comes to mind.

Once your wrought iron fence has been installed, you can enjoy a safer and more secure property with little, if any, fence maintenance.

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Sources:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Benefits-of-Installing-Wrought-Iron-Fences!&id=6190446

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/pros-and-cons-of-owning-a-wrought-iron-fence

7 Questions to ask fence companies before hiring

Deciding to put up a fence around your yard, home or other property is a great decision. A fence adds protection to your space, keeps your family and pets safe and gives an air of luxury and security to your home. A well-built fence also adds a feeling of privacy to your property and protects the lawn and garden from unwanted visitors and intrusions.

Fence companies offer different services at different prices and it’s up to you to choose the right one for the job. From commercial installations to small jobs, fence companies cover a huge range of projects and, unfortunately, it’s no secret that standards vary to quite a degree from one fence company to the next. Fence companies have varying levels of experience and some are more adept at different types of installations than others.

So, how do you choose from your local fence companies to find the best one for your needs? There are a number of things you need to consider, different factors you need to weigh up and you need to take an in-depth look at the type of fence you have in mind before coming to decision on which fence companies you might consider.

Think about the following questions and if in doubt, ask each of the fence companies for their answers. You will very quickly weed out the good from the bad and find a great contractor who will be able to deliver what you want on time and within budget.

1. Are they friendly?

First impressions are everything. When speaking with the different fence companies in your area, pay attention to how friendly, approachable and helpful they are. After all; depending on your project, you’re going to be working with this company for anything from a few days to a few weeks or even months, so try and find a contractor who is friendly and helpful from the beginning.

2. Are they experienced?

Fence companies, like all contractors, should be experienced. This will not only speak to their ability to do the job but will also let you know to what standard you can expect the job to be completed to. Do you want to hire a fence company who is doing their first job or a company with years of experience who will surpass your expectations?

3. Do they have a good reputation locally?

When hiring fence companies in your local area, it absolutely paramount to ensure that they have a good reputation. Ask around. Talk to friends, family members and other people you know in the local community and see if they have any information on the company you are thinking of hiring.  If someone has direct experience working with a company, sit down with them and hear how their experience was, you’ll very quickly know if this is the contractor for you or if you need to continue searching through the available fence companies in your area.

4. How was their previous work?

After speaking with the locals in your area, ask them to view any work that the company you are considering has done. If they are proud of the job and how it has transformed their home, you can be sure that that particular fencing company will be worth your consideration. On the other hand if you get there and the fence already looks like it needs to be repaired or replaced then it will probably be best to consult other fence companies and leave this one well alone.

If you can’t find a local who has worked with the company directly then ask the fence companies themselves. Simply tell them you would like to see some of their finished work outside of the showroom and brochures. After all if they are a reputable company with plenty of experience, they should have completed some work in the local area. Don’t be shy about asking, it’s perfectly within your rights to ask these questions and the information you can get from seeing previous work is honest.

5. Can you speak with a previous client?

To take things a step further, you can very politely approach the homeowner at the address the fence company has provided you to view their previous work. Compliment their beautiful yard and explain how you are thinking of having a similar job done by the same company. Ask if the job was completed as promised, to budget and within the allocated timeframe. Find out if they were happy with the workers, if they were courteous and friendly while on the job. Be careful not to be too pushy though, some people put that fence there for more privacy. Just be friendly and polite.

6. How are their online reviews?

Your next stop should be the internet. The fence companies in your area may have reviews from previous clients online. Google is your friend here, simply search for “COMPANY NAME Review” and you will quickly find out what previous clients thought of the fence companies you have in mind.

7. What materials will they be using?

The materials used when constructing your fence are going to make a world of difference in terms of how long it lasts. Remember, the majority of fences are erected outdoors so they have to be capable of standing up to all kinds of weather conditions, interaction with animals, passing foot traffic and debris from the road. Ask about what materials the company will be using and ensure that they are going to stand the test of time. Fence companies will sometimes quote the lowest price possible which will usually involve the cheapest and lowest quality materials available. Be aware of this and ask for clarification if necessary.

After asking all of these questions you will be in a much better position to choose from the fence companies in your area and find the best one for your budget and your requirements. After considering all these factors, the final thing is to follow your instincts. If you get a bad feeling from a particular contractor, walk away. Find a company that you trust, that has a good reputation and uses high quality materials to complete the job.

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External Link: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,219983,00.html

List of Sources:

•    http://www.agfence.ca/news-and-advice/news/News-Advice/2014/01/31/19:what-to-look-for-when-hiring-a-fencing-company
•    http://revolutionfence.com/hiring-meridian-fence-company/