Published at Thursday, February 28th, 2019 - 03:37:50 AM. Fence. By Denys Derrien.
Installing Fencing Around Your Home MATERIALS- Fencing with all appropriate fittings, caps, rails,etc. Concrete Redi-mix, (bagged) Nails Paint or stain for wood fencing Few wood scraps for temporary braces. There are many, many types of fencing available today including chain link, wood, aluminum, plastic, PVC to name just a few. All are fences but have differing abilities to do different jobs. If you are putting a fence up to contain a 150 pound pit bull, a soft plastic roll type fence sure wouldnt work. If you are putting a fence up to protect your garden, soft plastic roll fencing or chicken wire fencing may do the job. Determine what the fence is for and that will lead your to the types of fencing available for your purpose. For our example, lets say we are putting a fence up to protect an in-ground swimming pool. Several fencing types will work well for this application. Chain link, steel, wood and PVC all come in high strength materials. An in-ground pool requires a 48 high fence minimum in most states and when these types are checked, they all come in that height. PVC fencing comes in various heights, is strong and durable and provides vertical slats that are acceptable for a pool fence. Although high end on the price scale, PVC fencing has a long life and requires little maintenance other that occasional washing. This fence has locking gates, finials, corner posts and other decorative accessories that can be added to create a beautiful fenced in area by your pool. DIY Self installation? Most handy homeowners can do this work and with a little time and care can create a nicely finished product. Wood fencing comes in many styles and heights. Panels are generally 8 in length so help will be needed to handle these large pieces. Wood fencing requires support posts set in concrete and can be modified by cutting and re-nailing for odd shapes and obstacles. Chain link fencing comes in galvanized (gray), black and green wire colors. Plastic coated types are also available. Chain link comes in rolls ranging from 4 to 12 wide. Top, middle and bottom rails may be required to support the fencing and keep it straight and taut. Fencing is held to steel upright posts set in concrete, with heavy gauge wire loop ties. A special tool is required to bend these ties. Another special tool called a come-a-long is required to stretch the fencing tightly between posts before tying. Different gauges (thickness) of wire are available and you get what you pay for. Thin wire types will have a shorter life span than heavier wire. This fencing is not cheap to buy or install so invest well for long time use. Soft plastic roll fencing generally comes in 4 wide rolls. Steel or wood support posts are required for mounting the fence. This type fencing is considered temporary use only and is seen often at construction sites and along highways. Fence posts can be driven in with a sledge hammer and may have pre-made hooks on them to engage the holes in the fencing. This fencing is inexpensive and considered disposable. Wind does a real mean job on this fence and requires high maintenance.
Fencing-Each type of fencing has its own installation methods. Wood fencing can be cut with a hand or circular saw for both height and length if necessary. Use good quality galvanized nails or screws to affix the wood panels to your posts. Nail at least 12 on center to assure good support for the panels. Wind can cause severe damage to a fence that is not nailed properly. Keep the panel tops level. Nothing looks worse than a fence with sloping or uneven tops. If the ground level changes, make a step in the top of the fence to accommodate the slope, but in all cases keep the top level. Many states have laws regarding who gets to see the good side of the fence. In my area, the rear neighbor sees the bad side; the side neighbors see the good side. The front usually has the good side to the street for appearance. Your locality may have its own local laws governing this and front yard fence heights. Check first before your install your fence. Chain link fencing has a different set of installation rules and different equipment is needed to do the work. Post setting is basically the same except the posts are steel. Ask your retailer for post spacing recommendations for the height fence you purchased. After setting the posts and pouring the concrete, you must unroll the fence alongside the posts. Slide in an end bar which is a flat piece of metal the height of your fencing. Carefully standing the end of the fence up against the first post, place end clamps around the post and the end bar and insert the supplied bolts anchoring the fence to the post. Now when you stretch the fence, you are really pulling on the post and the bar not on the fencing itself. Wire ties come in differing lengths and gauges. A special wire tool is available that will bend the loop around the chain link. Ask your dealer. Pliers can be used but are lot a harder. Invest in the tool. Once you have the chain link fastened to the first post, you must stretch the fencing to obtain a taut condition between the posts. Chain link does stretch and will sag if not pulled tightly. By using another end bar, insert it at the other end of your fence run, at a corner or at least several posts away from your start point. Wrapping the come-a-long around the post and hooking to the end (termination) bar. By cranking the come-a-long up tight, you will pull the fence taut from end to end. Available at hardware or tool stores, Come-A-Long will hook to the post on one end and the hook will connect to the end or termination bar for pulling. By cranking the handle, you reel in the cable pulling the fencing taut. Once you have the fencing pulled tight, you can start installing the wires ties on the intermittent post, tying the fence to the posts. Using a minimum of three ties per post, place one on at the bottom, middle and the top of the post. Once all the posts are tied, you can carefully release the come-a-long and move on to the next section of fence. Corners are a bit tricky to get the fencing tight but after a few posts are done, you will get the hang of it. Remember-Each time you end the fence, you must install an end or termination bar. A four foot fence requires at least three clamps per bar. If your fence is in excess of 4 feet, you may want to install a top rail to keep the fabric from bending or bowing between posts. You may of course use one on a 4 foot fence as well but it is generally not needed. If your fencing is for security or around a pool perhaps, you may also want to install a bottom rail to keep unwanted intruders from bowing the fence and slipping underneath. If your goal is to keep rodents from your garden, you can bury a foot or so of the fence fabric below ground as many rodents burrow only a few inches below grade. Plastic or PVC Fencing- These fences are generally high end (costly) products but due to their long lasting appearance and very low maintenance, are becoming very popular to day. Unless you enjoy staining your wood fence each year, this may be the way to go. Installation is basically the same as wood or chain link as far as post installation goes but extra care must be the rule when handling and screwing the sections together to avoid marring the PVC finish. A goof here in cutting or scratching the finish will be long lasting.
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