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Ornamental Fence FAQs

Will my fence rust, fade, peel or chip?

Without question, this is the greatest concern with ornamental fencing. Consequently, you should not purchase a metal fence system unless it has been:

1. E-coated. This is the exact same coating that is used on your automobile. It involves dipping the product and is generally applied with pre-manufactured fence systems.  Used by Ameristar Fence Products, E-coating is truly the superior coating system.

2. Powder Coating. This coating provides a plastic like candy apple coating to metal products. It is powder that is applied to the fence and then melted in an oven, creating a baked-on tough coating.

3. Galvanizing. Leaving your fence with a shiny silver coating, galvanizing seals the fence from rust and corrosion with a zinc rich finish. Though this is a great application to prevent rust; unfortunately, most paint applications do not adhere to the shiny galvanized finish unless first brush blasted.

With over ten years of steel fabrication, D&K Fencing stands firm on only providing products with these forms of coatings. Don’t settle for anything less.

Get in touch with us today to discuss our customization options to bring your particular ideas to life.

Contact us today to discuss any gate needs you may have.

580-583-3340

Can you customize my fence?

We have fabricated literally thousands of different fence and railing designs with the following process.  Regardless if you purchase Ameristar’s Montage fence system or a custom fence; we can add a unique appeal to your fence and gates.

If using Ameristar’s Montage fence; think about adding quad flares and triads to your picket tops or rings between your rails.  Keep it simple by customizing your gates with arched tops and some flare such as rings, scrolls, cast iron designs or plasma cut letters, numbers and shapes.

1. With computer aided design (CAD) programmers, we can provide you with a CAD drawing of your dream fence or railing.

2. Once you have selected a design, we will personally field review your application.

3. Upon field verification, we will provide you with actual drawings of your dream as it will appear.

4. With a team of certified welders, we will build your product to the highest standards.

5. With hundreds of color samples and paint applications, we will work with you to select your colors.

6. With over forty years of experience, you can count on us to install your ornamental fence, gates and railings on time and to your satisfaction.

 

Are the posts set in concrete?

All posts are set in a wet mix concrete. Dry mix with water added later is not acceptable.

 

Do you provide a warranty?

If selecting D&K Fencing and the Ameristar Montage product, you can count on a 10 -20 year warranty against cracking, chipping and undue fading.

 

Is field welding acceptable?

Only when absolutely necessary. Never let anyone field weld or “stick build” your ornamental fence in the field.  The welds are immediately exposed to the elements where high humidity levels or dew can immediately start the materials to rust.  All panels should be completely shop fabricated with bolt-on connections to the posts. Field welds do violate the powder coated finish and can only be touched up with manufacturer’s touch-up system.

Sports Fencing FAQs

What types of fence are used for recreational purposes?

This really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Chain link fence has been the standard for years for ball fields and continues to be so today; it is highly durable, functional, and cost effective solution for most applications. Its use on ball fields is unparalleled because of its durable nature. Chain link continues to be the mainstay for tennis courts. The size of the mesh between the wires is typically less than that used on ball fields to prevent tennis balls from passing through the mesh.  We recommend the use of a GBW chain link fabric for its smooth texture, making it less for athletes to cut themselves when they come in contact with the material.

The chain link framework will support the windscreen that is frequently installed around tennis courts and outfield fencing. The Chain Link Fence Manufactures Institute, CLFMI, provides an excellent tool in selecting the appropriate post diameter and wall thickness for your application.  This tool takes into consideration site obstructions, soil conditions, typical wind loads, density of material, height and weight of chain link fabric.  Through a user friendly formula, you can easily determine the appropriate post and post spacing. The use of this selection tool is critical in designing backstops.  By nature, backstops are very tall and formed in a cupping pattern, capturing the wind.

A more attractive alternative to the traditional galvanized is the vinyl-coated version. The vinyl coated chain link places a colored vinyl coating over the galvanized chain link giving the chain link the “color”. There are a number of choices: black, brown, dark green, and light green.

 

What other types of fence are appropriate for recreational use?

There are types of fencing other than chain link that have recreational applications. The most common example is around swimming pools. PVC vinyl fence and ornamental fencing are used around swimming pools to provide security and as well as creating an aesthetic appearance. BOCA code requires a minimum of a 4” gap located anywhere along the fence with a minimum height of 6’ tall for public swimming pools.

Another popular choice is woven and welded wire mesh systems.  No longer just for agriculture, welded wire mesh systems use a heavy gauge horizontal and vertical wire, creating small rectangular shapes.  The systems are generally panelized to be set between square posts with the use of boulevard brackets.  They are then powder coated a variety of colors. This application is more aesthetic over chain link.  Popular with swimming pools and aquatic centers; welded wire mesh systems provide very small opening that do not allow people to easily climb over or pass through debris.

There are many styles to choose from allowing the customer to customize their fence to their particular personal style. Care should be taken to ensure that the style that you choose will meet swimming pool code requirements in your area. A quality fence contractor will help you select a style that conforms to city code.

Chain Link FAQs

Are all chain-link fences the same?

Chain-link has four elements: fabric, framework, fittings and gates. How you combine them makes all the difference. Each of these components are available in a range of weights (gauges) and types of protective coatings. Providers can mix and match components in an effort to shave costs or differentiate their product. Our minimum recommendations will typically follow the minimum practices defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The most common coating is zinc (galvanized), but you’ll also find chain-link components with vinyl or polyester color coatings in addition to zinc. These color treatments enhance landscaping and blend naturally with trees, shrubs and bushes. They’ll also give you even more protection against corrosion or rust.

 

What do I look for in residential chain link fabric?

Select your chain-link fence fabric based on these three criteria: gauge of wire, size of mesh and type of protective coating.

1. Gauge (ga.) or diameter of wire is one of the most important factors- it helps tell you how much steel is actually in the fabric. The smaller the gauge number, the more steel, the higher the quality and the stronger the wire. We recommend using nothing less than 11 ½ gauge (.1121 inches in diameter) wire for residential and 9 gauge (.1494 inches in diameter) for commercial fencing. When referring to vinyl coated wire, you always refer to the core gauge of the wire and then reference the coating.  Residential vinyl coated wire using an 11 ½ gauge core wire may have a 9 gauge finish depending on the type of vinyl coating.  Commercial vinyl coated wire using an 9 gauge core wire may have a 6 gauge to 8 gauge finish depending on the type of vinyl coating.

2. Mesh size tells you how far apart the parallel wires are in the mesh. In other words, how large the diamond is from side to side.  This is another indication of how much steel is in the product. The smaller the diamond, the more steel is in the fabric. We recommend nothing less than 2 3/8” mesh for residential and 2” mesh for commercial. There are a variety of mesh sizes available, ranging from 3/8”, 5/8”, ¾”, 1” 1 ¾”, 2”, 2 ¼”, 2 3/8” to 3 ½”.   The smaller mesh sizes are typically used in high security applications that prevent personnel from climbing or cutting.  The larger meshes are used in residential.

3. Core wire coating is critical. There are three types of core wire coatings. a. Hot dipped galvanized – Galvanized After Weaving.  GAW wire is first woven and then dipped into a kettle of hot melted zinc.  The speed at which it is dipped and removed will dictate the weight of the coating.  GAW coating is available in 1.2 oz of coating per square foot or 2 oz of coating per square foot.  This coating process tends to leave icicles and nubs from the zinc dripping-off.

b. Galvanized Before Weaving. GBW wire galvanizes the wire before weaving.  This coating process has improved over the years, providing a smooth, consistent and dependable coating.  It is also available in 1.2 and 2 oz.  GBW is popular in backyards and athletic applications for its smooth finish.

c. Aluminized coating is applied before weaving, providing a dull aluminum finish to the core wire.  Its soft metal properties provide an excellent coating suited for highly acetic environments.

4. Vinyl coating over finished core wire.  According to ASTM  668, vinyl coated chain link is specified and ordered by the metallic core wire with the specified coating to follow. a. Class 1 Extruded. Your residential chain link is typically “non-spec class 1 extruded” wire, meaning the vinyl coating is simply pulled over the wire like a sock over your foot.  This wire generally is miss represented because it is thicker than the higher grade materials.  Of course the reason it is thicker is because it is not bonded to the chain link and can easily tear or peal.

b. Class 2A Extruded and Bonded. The second grade of wire is the “class 2A extruded and bonded” wire.  This wire may appear in some specifications and is generally used in commercial applications.  The vinyl coating is thinner than the “class 1 extruded” wire.  However, the extruded and bonded wire is bonded to the wire by means of an intense glue, thus less likely to peal or tear from the core wire.

c. Class 2B Fused and Bonded.  The third grade of wire is “class 2b thermally fused and bonded.  This class of wire is most predominately specified with architects, engineers, city, state and federal.  It has the thinnest coating yet has the greatest strength in resisting cracking, pealing and tearing.  The vinyl coating is literally fused and bonded to the steel like welding two pieces of steel together.  This is the superior product.

 

How do I select my residential fence framework?

Start with the gauge and the outside diameter. Below is a helpful table that you may use in selecting your fence framework. “Terminal Posts” is a generic term for end, corner and gate posts. Gate posts will vary based on the size of the gate.

 

Application   Light Duty Medium Duty Heavy Duty

3’-4’ high Toprail 1-3/8” 17 ga. 1-3/8” 16 ga. 1-3/8” 15 ga.

Line Posts 1-5/8” 17 ga. 1-5/8” 16 ga. 1-5/8” 15 ga.

Terminal Posts 1-7/8” 17 ga. 1-7/8” 16 ga. 1-7/8” 15 ga.

5’-6’ high Toprail 1-3/8” 17 ga. 1-3/8” 16 ga. 1-5/8” 15 ga.

Line Posts 1-7/8” 17 ga. 1-7/8” 16 ga. 1-7/8” 15 ga.

Terminal Posts 2-3/8” 17 ga 2-3/8” 16 ga. 2-3/8” 15 ga.

 

How do I select my commercial fence framework?

Fortunately, the American Society of Testing and Materials, ASTM, has effectively dealt with this issue in helping customers choose from light commercial to industrial grade materials.  Under ASTM 1043; you can simple choose your table or grade of materials.  Each grade, spells out the diameter and wall thickness of tubing and pipe for the application and height.

Vinyl Fencing FAQs

What is the life expectancy of a vinyl fence?

Vinyl components are developed to last a lifetime. All of MVP’s extruded components are guaranteed by a fully transferable lifetime warranty. Our warranty does not prorate our products with time either. For more information about our warranty, please contact us.

 

What is the cost difference between vinyl and wood?

The upfront cost for vinyl is slightly higher than wood. The long-term cost for vinyl is significantly lower over the life of the fence. Vinyl’s long-term; maintenance free durability will save you money in just a few short years.

 

Should vinyl posts be cemented in?

Absolutely, we recommend that you cement your post for maximum stability. While cement has debilitating effects on wood it will not harm your vinyl fence posts. Remember to dig your post holes to twice the diameter of your fencepost. Then fill your hole with cement to with-in 2 from the top of the hole.

 

What maintenance is suggested for vinyl fences?

It is recommended that you clean your vinyl fence on a yearly basis with a mild detergent and water. This will keep your fence looking new throughout its lifetime.

 

Does Vinyl fencing yellow with time?

Vinyl components are made with a high content of titanium dioxide and ultraviolet inhibitors. These inhibitors keep the vinyl from yellowing and that is why we back our products with a lifetime warranty against yellowing.

 

Will Vinyl fencing break?

Impact inhibitors are used in the development of vinyl components to increase their durability and strength. Properly installed vinyl fencing will withstand normal wear and tear without breaking. However, higher impacts such as being hit by a moving vehicle will probably lead to damage. Replacing damaged fence parts is easy with replacement vinyl components.

 

How does cold weather affect vinyl fencing?

Plastic Materials are known to become more rigid in cold temperatures. The impact inhibitors that are used in vinyl help our fencing withstand cold temperatures.

 

Does vinyl fencing contract and expand?

Vinyl fencing contracts and expands with the temperature. For this reason it is important to factor that in when building a fence. Contraction and expansion are factored in during fabrication.

 

Will vinyl fencing chip, peel, and/or decay?

Our products are developed to withstand against chipping, peeling, and/or decay during the life of our products.

 

Can lawn maintenance equipment hurt vinyl fencing?

Weed eaters, lawnmowers, edgers, brush hogs, and such can damage your vinyl fence on contact. Please use caution when using such equipment around vinyl fencing.

 

Will paint harm vinyl fencing?

Using any ordinary detergent and water can easily remove paint from a vinyl fence. If the paint does not come off you may need to use a pressure washer or in extreme cases you made need to use 400 grit sandpaper. If you are unsure what to do please contact the manufacturer or your local dealer first.

 

Can mold or mildew develop on a vinyl fence?

Yes, especially in climates of damp weather, but it is easily cleaned with ordinary detergent and water.

 

Are vinyl fence designs limited?

With vinyl fencing the possibilities are limitless. If you can imagine it, we can probably create it.

 

Do vinyl fences come with gates?

Yes. Gates can be made from the same vinyl as your fence to give it the same appearance.

 

How high can a vinyl fence be?

A vinyl fence can be made as tall as you want. But before you make all of your neighbors mad check your local ordinances, building codes, or covenants.

 

Can you use vinyl for railings and such?

Yes vinyl railings for porches or balconies are rigid enough to be effective and safe. We caution you to have them properly installed because as with anything else if it is not done correctly there may be dangerous side-effects.

 

Will vinyl fencing turn yellow?

WESTECH Fence products are warranted a lifetime against yellowing and have been field proven to maintain their color.

 

Can it break?

Vinyl Fencing can break if subjected to a direct impact (e.g., an automobile running into a fence line). Under normal use, the fence will not break when installed properly. Planks, pickets and rails are easily replaced if damaged.

 

How does it stand up in the wind?

Vinyl fences are designed to withstand normal wind load. The amount of load is dependent on the installation of the posts and horizontal rails. If installed according to Westech’s specifications, the fences are designed to stand up to normal wind load.

 

Does the product become brittle in winter?

As with most PVC products, vinyl will become less flexible in colder weather conditions. However, unless subjected to unusual impact, it will not break or crack. Our products have been engineered to accommodate normal temperature swings.

 

Does it expand?

It is normal for vinyl materials to expand and contract during temperature changes. Your contractor will allow for expansion and contraction during the installation process.

 

How do you clean the fence?

As with all exterior products, our fence will become dirty when exposed to the elements. A mild detergent and water should be sufficient to keep your fence or deck rail looking new. For tough stains, Soft Scrub or baking soda works well. Simple Green and 0000 steel wool also works to clean stubborn stains.

 

How does it hold up to weed eaters?

As with all PVC and wood products, direct contact with lawn and garden equipment can cause damage to the posts. Use caution when operating any type of equipment near fence posts, especially commercial trimmers, which are more aggressive.

 

Do you cement the posts?

We recommend that you treat vinyl posts the same as you would wood posts. If it is common and normal to cement fence posts in your area then you should cement the vinyl posts.

 

How big should the hole be to cement the posts?

A good rule of thumb is dig the hold twice the diameter of the post and put cement to within two inches of the top of the hole.

 

What is the warranty?

All of our products carry a transferable, lifetime warranty (Except our Gold Series Ranch rails which carries a 20 year warranty.)

 

Will it crack, chip, peel or rot?

During the life of the product you should not expect to find surface cracking, peeling, chipping or rot.

 

Will it mildew or collect mold?

Vinyl products will, when subjected to extended damp weather, collect mold and mildew. They are, however, easily cleaned with a solution of mild household detergent and water.

 

What is the cost of vinyl compared to wood?

The cost of product, if compared to a similar wood product (e.g., #1 grade clear cedar or redwood with #1 grade, free of heart fence posts, then add paint preparation including sanding and priming and painting) the price is amazingly similar.

 

Can you use it as a porch or guard railing?

When properly designed, our vinyl products make a very stable porch and deck rail system designed to use at ground level and on balcony applications.

 

Can you make gates from the product?

Gates can be made from the same material you use in the fence or railing. See your local professional for gate fabrication.

 

Can I get custom styles made?

Virtually any style that can be made out of wood or ornamental iron can be made out of vinyl. The styles are only limited by your imagination. Your local dealer/contractor has a wide variety of styles available to you.

 

How high can I make the fence?

This question is better left to your local dealer. It is, however, recommended that any fence over 6' tall have the posts reinforced. Always check with local building codes.

 

How long will it last?

Vinyl fences from Westech Building Products are designed to last a lifetime. They are backed by a transferable, lifetime warranty.

 

Is it maintenance free?

Vinyl Fencing does require a limited amount of maintenance. Under normal conditions this maintenance is in the form of annual washing of the fence to keep it looking new.

 

Is the fence graffiti proof?

Although not classified as graffiti proof, vinyl fencing is easy to clean and most paint comes off with just a little effort. It may require the use of a pressure washer or in extreme cases the use of paint thinner. 400 grit sandpaper can be used when some spots will not come off using the above methods.

 

Will vinyl break?

Vinyl fence materials can break if subjected to a direct impact, i.e. an automobile, horse or a rock thrown from a mower.  Under normal use, the fence will not break when properly installed.  If your fence does break, call us.  In most cases the rails and pickets can easily be replaced.

There are dozens of PVC products available, varying from virgin vinyl to recycled pop bottles. Be sure to select a top notch product from an established fence contractor with at least a decade of experience. You can be sure that these contractors have selected only quality products for your yard.

 

Should my vinyl fence be unique to my yard?

It is absolutely essential that you select a fence contractor who is also a custom fabricator. At D&K Fencing, we use a five step process to build your vinyl fence.

1. We personally meet with you to review your design and layout.

2. We stake your yard for your review and approval.

3. We provide you with a post layout map, showing you where each post will be installed.

4. After the posts are set we make a fabrication drawing, illustrating the dimensions and slope of each bay.

5. Our computerized custom fabrication shop fabricates each individual panel according to this drawing.

 

Pre-boxed and pre-cut vinyl fencing just won’t do for your home.

 

Does vinyl fence become brittle in the winter?

As with most PVC products, vinyl will become less flexible in the colder weather. However, unless subjected to unusual impact, quality vinyl materials will not break or crack. Our PVC is manufactured right here in Nebraska, thus engineered to accommodate normal temperature swings in the Midwest.

 

What is the warranty on our vinyl fence?

All of our PVC products carry a lifetime warranty. During the life of the vinyl fence, you should not expect to find surface cracking, peeling, chipping or rot. Almost all vinyl products carry a lifetime warranty. Be sure to select a reputable fence contractor with years of experience who will be around to service your warranty.

 

What is the cost of vinyl compared to wood?

Comparable. As a matter of fact, if you compare a typical #1 grade cedar fence and add the price of staining; vinyl fencing is more price competitive.  Vinyl is less than steel ornamental.

 

Can I get custom vinyl fence styles?

Yes. By selecting a custom vinyl fabricator like D&K Fencing, you can create almost any design. With the Midwest’s largest computerized fabrication shop, we can build your dream.

 

Will Vinyl Burn?

PVC has a flash point of approximately 900 degrees and does not easily ignite. Vinyl is classified “Self-Extinguishing”.

 

How Strong is Vinyl?

Unlike wood or metal fencing, vinyl fencing has a certain amount of flexibility. However, the materials are engineered to be impact resistant with a chemical formulation that will withstand a wide range of normal use. From your ten-year old’s wild fast ball to a jumping pet’s attempt to escape the yard, your vinyl fence will hold-up to the challenge.

 

How long will vinyl fence last?

On this note, this is where vinyl fencing stands apart from wood and ornamental. PVC fencing will last a lifetime. You may see the fence lose a little sheen over time.

Wood Fencing FAQs

Do I have to pull a permit?

When required, this is a service D&K Fencing provides. Most cities require a permit for a fence. Unincorporated areas generally do not.

 

Is D&K Fencing licensed and insured?

Yes, D&K Fencing is licensed in most cities across the Denver metro area. If we are currently not licensed in your city, we will obtain necessary licensing before your jobs starts. We are fully insured based on industry standards.

 

What types of fencing does D&K Fencing offer?

D&K Fencing installs most fence types with the general exception of electrical pet fencing.

 

What type of wood does D&K Fencing use for their standard wood fence?

The majority of our wood fencing is built with Western Red Cedar brought in from the Pacific Northwest. The benefit of this wood versus other types is strictly economical. While other woods offer the same or better quality, longevity and cosmetic appeal, they tend to be more expensive as well. If you are looking for other options, please contact the office to discuss what is available.

 

What is the difference between a No. 1 grade and a No. 2 grade cedar fence?

Besides price, the main difference between the grades of cedar is the cosmetic appeal of the boards. The No. 1 grade allows for only tight knots on both faces of the picket. This allows for a good appearance from either side. No. 2 fencing is a no-hole grade with tight knots. There are additional characteristics allowed on this grade providing a No. 1 appearance on only one face of the picket. Knots up to the width of the picket face are allowed. When installing No. 2, D&K Fencing always takes care to face the "good" side of the picket towards the "good" side of the fence. A No. 3 or better is available, but not recommended given the savings for this grade are minimal.

 

I live in a high wind area. Is there a privacy option that can withstand the wind?

Yes, there are several options to ensure your fence endures the strong wind. The best option is a "WESTECH" vinyl fence because of the product design. The 5"x5" hollow posts have been tested up to 110 mph winds and passed. If your home's appearance calls for a more natural look, steel posts are available for cedar privacy fence. There are a couple of different options. The most common and cost effective steel posts are round, galvanized, SCH-20 (similar to a chain link post). This style is not the most appealing, but it can tolerate winds up to 68 mph. The other steel post option is a "Postmaster." This style is set into the fence and was designed to be easily concealed by a larger picket. This style allows the wood to be attached directly to the post versus the round SCH-20 which requires brackets and fittings in order to attach to the wood. A third option for a stronger fence is to use a larger cedar post. The standard fence calls for a 4"x4" post while a stronger post would be either a 4"x6" or a 6"x6". The final option to strengthen your fence is to place the posts closer together. A common placement of posts is 8' o.c.(On Center, or the distance from the center of one post to the center of the next post) 5' o.c. would be sufficient to withstand the winds in Colorado. All options are more expensive than a standard 6' cedar privacy.

 

Do you set your posts in concrete?

Yes, most fence posts are set in concrete. Exceptions are generally metal tee posts used on barb wire fencing, livestock fencing that surrounds multiple acres of land and temporary fencing.

 

Does D&K Fencing use screws or nails on the wood fences?

We use a ring shanked galvanized nail. This nail is designed to grip the wood and allow for only minimal bleed. Because a nail is metal and bleeding is inevitable even with a galvanized coating, D&K Fencing counter sinks the nail into the picket in an attempt to direct the bleed into the center of the picket versus down the face. If you would prefer screws, D&K Fencing is willing to use them on your fence however it is not recommended. Using screws will drive the cost of the fence up because there is more man hours required during installation. Screws are more likely to bleed than nails even if they are galvanized. The reason there is more bleed is because as the screw is screwed into the wood, the galvanized coating is stripped off of the screw either from the wood itself and/or the drill tip.

 

I am having landscape work done as well as the fence, which should I have done first?

We recommend having the fence installed before landscaping. This would eliminate having to dig around the landscaping. Additionally, this order could save you money since extra time would not be necessary to avoid disturbing the landscape. D&K Fencing can also make accommodations for your landscaper to have easier access to your yard. Examples would be a removable fence panel or installation of just the gate section after landscape is complete. If you have had landscaping done and are now considering a fence, don't worry, D&K Fencing is used to working around existing landscape. If we think it may be an issue, we will address that at the time of the estimate and may even include precautions in our bid.

 

Where should the fence go in relation to the property lines?

We usually install the fence just inside the property lines if it is a new installation. If the fence being installed is replacing an old fence we usually place the new fence in the same location as the old one. If you are concerned about where the property line is, you can always hire a private surveying company for a minimal fee.

 

What approvals or from whom do I need to get approvals in order to build my fence?

D&K Fencing will contact your local government for their approval when necessary. You should contact your Homeowners Association (if applicable) to be sure your project complies with their ordinances. You do not need approval from your neighbor; however it is always courteous to inform them. It wouldn't hurt to ask if they are willing to split the cost of the fence; it can only save you money!

 

Commercial Fencing (FAQ)

Do I have to pull a permit?

When required, this is a service D&K Fencing provides. Most cities require a permit for a fence. Unincorporated areas generally do not.

 

Is D&K Fencing licensed and insured?

Yes, D&K Fencing is licensed in most cities across Southwest Oklahoma. If we are currently not licensed in your city, we will obtain necessary licensing before your jobs starts. We are fully insured based on industry standards.

 

What types of fencing does D&K Fencing offer?

D&K Fencing installs most fence types with the general exception of electrical pet fencing.

 

What type of wood does D&K Fencing use for their standard wood fence?

The majority of our wood fencing is built with Western Red Cedar brought in from the Pacific Northwest. The benefit of this wood versus other types is strictly economical. While other woods offer the same or better quality, longevity and cosmetic appeal, they tend to be more expensive as well. If you are looking for other options, please contact the office to discuss what is available.

 

What is the difference between a No. 1 grade and a No. 2 grade cedar fence?

Besides price, the main difference between the grades of cedar is the cosmetic appeal of the boards. The No. 1 grade allows for only tight knots on both faces of the picket. This allows for a good appearance from either side. No. 2 fencing is a no-hole grade with tight knots. There are additional characteristics allowed on this grade providing a No. 1 appearance on only one face of the picket. Knots up to the width of the picket face are allowed. When installing No. 2, D&K Fencing always takes care to face the "good" side of the picket towards the "good" side of the fence. A No. 3 or better is available, but not recommended given the savings for this grade are minimal.

 

I live in a high wind area. Is there a privacy option that can withstand the wind?

Yes, there are several options to ensure your fence endures the strong wind. The best option is a "WESTECH" vinyl fence because of the product design. The 5"x5" hollow posts have been tested up to 110 mph winds and passed. If your home's appearance calls for a more natural look, steel posts are available for cedar privacy fence. There are a couple of different options. The most common and cost effective steel posts are round, galvanized, SCH-20 (similar to a chain link post). This style is not the most appealing, but it can tolerate winds up to 68 mph. The other steel post option is a "Postmaster." This style is set into the fence and was designed to be easily concealed by a larger picket. This style allows the wood to be attached directly to the post versus the round SCH-20 which requires brackets and fittings in order to attach to the wood. A third option for a stronger fence is to use a larger cedar post. The standard fence calls for a 4"x4" post while a stronger post would be either a 4"x6" or a 6"x6". The final option to strengthen your fence is to place the posts closer together. A common placement of posts is 8' o.c.(On Center, or the distance from the center of one post to the center of the next post) 5' o.c. would be sufficient to withstand the winds in Colorado. All options are more expensive then a standard 6' cedar privacy.

 

Do you set your posts in concrete?

Yes, most fence posts are set in concrete. Exceptions are generally metal tee posts used on barb wire fencing, livestock fencing that surrounds multiple acres of land and temporary fencing.

 

Does D&K Fencing use screws or nails on the wood fences?

We use a ring shanked galvanized nail. This nail is designed to grip the wood and allow for only minimal bleed. Because a nail is metal and bleeding is inevitable even with a galvanized coating, D&K Fencing counter sinks the nail into the picket in an attempt to direct the bleed into the center of the picket versus down the face. If you would prefer screws, D&K Fencing is willing to use them on your fence however it is not recommended. Using screws will drive the cost of the fence up because there is more man hours required during installation. Screws are more likely to bleed than nails even if they are galvanized. The reason there is more bleed is because as the screw is screwed into the wood, the galvanized coating is stripped off of the screw either from the wood itself and/or the drill tip.

 

I am having landscape work done as well as the fence, which should I have done first?

We recommend having the fence installed before landscaping. This would eliminate having to dig around the landscaping. Additionally, this order could save you money since extra time would not be necessary to avoid disturbing the landscape. D&K Fencing can also make accommodations for your landscaper to have easier access to your yard. Examples would be a removable fence panel or installation of just the gate section after landscape is complete. If you have had landscaping done and are now considering a fence, don't worry, D&K Fencing is used to working around existing landscape. If we think it may be an issue, we will address that at the time of the estimate and may even include precautions in our bid.

 

Where should the fence go in relation to the property lines?

We usually install the fence just inside the property lines if it is a new installation. If the fence being installed is replacing an old fence we usually place the new fence in the same location as the old one. If you are concerned about where the property line is, you can always hire a private surveying company for a minimal fee.

 

What approvals or from whom do I need to get approvals in order to build my fence?

D&K Fencing will contact your local government for their approval when necessary. You should contact your Homeowners Association (if applicable) to be sure your project complies with their ordinances. You do not need approval from your neighbor; however it is always courteous to inform them. It wouldn't hurt to ask if they are willing to split the cost of the fence; it can only save you money!

Product Information

 

Do you have spaced picket panels with closer picket spacing?

Custom fence panels are not available, but we do offer loose pickets and rails in most markets. These can be used to create your own spaced picket panel with your desired spacing. We have a variety of picket styles to choose from.

 

Are gates available?

Yes. Most gates are available in 36", 42" or 44" widths. Make custom gates by using loose components or by trimming a fence panel to the proper width.

 

Do you offer finials or post caps to decorate my post tops?

Yes. We offer fence accessories, including post caps, post points, finials and finial bases.

 

At what depth should I bury fence posts?

A rule of thumb is to place a third of the length of the post in the ground. Use a diameter of 10"-12" for all postholes. We also suggest burying all gate posts, end posts, and corner posts 6" deeper than the other posts, especially in areas with high wind or extreme weather.

 

Should all posts be set in concrete?

We recommend that all posts be set in concrete in accordance with local conditions and standard building practices. Posts that are not set in concrete will eventually lean due to wind and weather.

 

What type of nails/screws should I use when installing my fence?

Use hot-dip galvanized fasteners or other fasteners as required by building codes; otherwise, your treated wood will last longer than the unprotected fasteners you've used to put it together. Fastener manufacturers may also recommend products that work well with ProWood Fencing.

 

How do I install a fence panel on a sloped landscape?

Pre-assembled fence panels can be installed on a slope using the stair-step method. With this method, the fence panels gradually step up the landscape with all rails level, rather than parallel to the slope. Using loose pickets and rails, a fence can be assembled and installed parallel to the slope of the landscape.

 

What kind of care and maintenance will my wood fence require?

We recommend applying paint or stain every two years or as needed. Consult our installation instructions for more detailed care and maintenance information.

 

Should I paint or stain my fence?

We recommend applying a protective finish to the fence once it is installed. This will minimize the effects of weathering and to maximize the lifespan of your fence.

 

Why is cedar fencing so popular?

Forty years ago, cedar fence boards were rich with dark red, brown and orange hues.  The boards had a strong cedar smell that was so pungent that you might have thought you were locked in your grandmother’s cedar closet.  Back then, cedar fencing came from old growth cedar trees.  When the trees were harvested; the trunks were as big around as Volkswagens, mostly comprised of heart wood with a few outer sapwood rings.

 

What is the difference between sap wood and heartwood?

These outer, lighter colored rings, sapwood, is the “working” part of the tree, as water and sap will flow through the sapwood much like blood through your arteries, veins and capillaries. While this part of the trunk is vital to the tree when it is living, it doesn’t make for very good stock for fencing and exterior applications. Sapwood contains a lot of moisture, will shrink considerably when dried, and is much more susceptible to fungus.

 

The inner, darker section of the trunk is the heartwood. Heartwood is formed from old, “retired” sapwood, and becomes the strong spine of the tree. Heartwood is preferred for fencing, as it is far less susceptible to fungus and doesn’t contain nearly as much moisture as sapwood, which means it will shrink less when dried. Many mills that specialize in cedar decorative exterior cedar posts and beams will actually remove the sapwood and use only heartwood.

 

Once the tree has “promoted” some of its sapwood to heartwood status, the sap will stop flowing through that part of the wood and the converting material essentially dies. As part of the conversion process, the pores will begin to plug up with organic matter which causes the cell walls to change color due to the presence of chemicals called extractives. The extractives are responsible for the rich character, odor and colors found in heartwoods.

Is cedar still my best choice for wood fencing?

 

Due to the limited amount of old growth cedar trees and tight restrictions on forestry throughout the United States and Canada, most of today’s cedar is new growth.  This new growth is from a species of cedar that grows quickly and establishes very little heartwood.  Furthermore, the trees are much smaller when harvested only compounding the lack of the dark inner rings.  Today’s cedar fencing is almost entirely harvested from sapwood.

Today’s Cedar fencing from sapwood cannot hold-up to its reputation as the preferred choice for longevity in exterior applications as its lifespan is considerably shorter compared to yesterday’s heartwood cedar fencing.

 

What are my options over cedar?

There are options.  With the restrictions and limitations on harvesting old growth cedar, the wood industry has moved on to less popular but abundant species such as Douglas Fir, White Fir and Incense Cedar.

 

These species are in great abundance in older growth trees, providing more options for fencing boards.  Because these species like Douglas Fir are being harvested from heartwood; these are proving to outperform the cedar in exterior above ground applications such as fencing.  Though you may not enjoy that rich cedar smell; you will get several years of longevity from these species.  Besides, after a while, the smell of cedar is just too much to handle.

 

Is treated better than Western Red, Incense Cedar or Douglas Fir?

Treated materials just can’t compare to the natural beauty of cedar and Douglas Fir. However, treated and stained white and red pine posts have proven to be an excellent choice for fence posts.  Pine is a very dense wood that provides considerable strength.  When treated with a ACQ or ACQ2 pressure treatment; the wood proves to be almost impenetrable.  Treated materials may be easily stained providing a darker color compared to your Cedar and Douglas Fir rails and pickets.  The contrast in colors does provide a nice combination.

 

However, red and white pine posts will form “checks” as the posts begin to dry after treatment. These checks are long thin cracks that form along the grain of the post.  This is a natural process to be expected that does not compromise the strength or longevity of the post.  You should only be concerned if these cracks dig deep through the post where you can see daylight.

 

Also, red and white pine posts are prone to slightly twist.  Again, this is part of the natural maturation process of the material.  This twisting is a result of uneven drying of the post.  It does not compromise the quality or longevity of the post.

 

Should we use treated pine or cedar posts?

If the concrete footing is placed to shed water from the posts, cedar or treated is fine. We will use a premium cedar post or ACQ2  treated and stained posts.  Though the treated pine posts are subject to forming checks and a slight twist; these posts have proven to outlast cedar.  Cedar is less prone to form any cracking or twisting but it will occasionally warp.  If not stained, cedar posts will eventually “grey out”.

 

Are treated materials safe for my family and pets?

Only use industry approved ACQ treated posts. Stay clear of using CCA (Cooper Chromate Arsenic) materials.  If unsure how the materials are coated; look for a tag at either end of the post or inquire with your fence contractor.

 

What about wood gates?

Only use a heavy duty 4” x 6” posts on the hinge side of your 6’ tall gate. We recommend using three hinges per gate. Make sure all hardware is powder coated to avoid rusting.

 

Will I have maintenance issues with my wood gates?

Every day, we go through dozens of doors without giving it a second thought.  We just don’t realize the precision that goes into a door and jamb.

 

The cold reality is that your gates are not doors.  Gates get out of adjustment and will not properly close.  Why?  A door is set into a jamb that completely surrounds the door.  When the jamb moves the door moves in unison.  Gates are set with two independent gate posts on opposite sides of your gate opening.  Gate posts are subject to settling of unsettled soil, frost, extreme change in temperatures and exposure to the sun.  All of these conditions will cause the gate posts to change or move.  Even the slightest change in vertical or horizontal position of the hinge post will result in an exponential movement of the latch hasp on the gate.  Bottom line, your gate won’t latch because the latch hasp does not align with the latch receiver on the gate post.

 

What can you do to fix your gates?

A standard drop fork latch will not be impacted by movement in your gate posts.  These are the latches that look like two prong pitch forks that move up and down.  These are common on chain link and ornamental fencing.  If you have this type of latch; you should be fine.  Latches that use a horizontal rod that strikes or falls into a receiver when the gate is closed; these latches will require adjustment.  Latches that look like a standard door lock assembly; these will require adjustment.  If you have either of these type of latching /locking mechanisms; you should request four way adjustable hinges.  These are hinges that adjust up and down and in and out.  With these hinges, you will be able to adjust your gate to changing conditions.

 

If that sounds like too much to figure-out; you should ask your salesman “What do I do if my gate does not shut?”  This should prompt your fence salesman to provide you with some guarantees and options.

 

Do I need to stain my Douglas Fir or Cedar fence?

If you want to maintain that reddish and blonde cedar color, then consider staining your fence within six weeks of installation. Be sure that the wood is dry prior to applying stain. In other words, it has not rained for at least a week.  This continued dry weather will make the wood thirsty to receive the stain.

Hire only insured professional staining contractors.  Staining is a messy, messy business that can easily result in overspray onto your house, your neighbors’ houses, automobiles, etc.  Only stain on calm dry days.  You will want to tape off adjoining structures such as homes, sheds, and your neighbor’s fence.  Lay a drop cloth to avoid overspray onto your lawn.

 

Brushing stain onto your wood fence is difficult with the coarse surface.  Rolling-on stain is easier but results in more runs and drips.  Spraying is optimal if you have a good eye for when enough is enough. For best results, first spray your fence and quickly follow-up with a brush to even-out the application.

Stain should be applied evenly with large continuous strokes.  Unlike paint, if applying more than one coat of stain; you must apply the second coat while the first coat is still wet.  Otherwise, the second coat will not stick and will eventually peal.

 

You should anticipate re-staining your fence every 2 to 3 years. Be sure sprinklers are not constantly spraying your fence. This will cause uneven discoloration. Though the Douglas Fir holds its natural color longer than the Cedar; both species will gray in six to twelve months.

 

Where does Western Red Cedar come from?

It's unique to the West Coast of North America. In British Columbia it makes up almost 21% of the coastal forests. In the rest of the growing range, it comprises three to twelve percent of the total growth, along with Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock. Inland Red Cedar is a sub-species of Western Red Cedar that grows in an area that follows the Rocky Mountains, goes south from mid-British Columbia to the Salmon River and extends westward from Helena, Montana to Spokane, Washington.

 

What's the difference between nominal and actual thickness?

Nominal is a size designation most lumber uses for convenience. In lumber, the nominal size is usually greater than the actual size.

Thickness:

1" = nominal Producers have determined that the

3/4" = actual thinner sizes still have acceptable

21/32" = actual performance. Also, due to rising cost,

5/8" = actual raw-material producers receive a better return with thinner products.

 

How does full width differ from scant width?

All lumber is produced with a stated width, which is the target size. As milling has become more accurate, target sizes have moved closer to surfaced or planed sizes, i.e. 5 1/2". As the width diminishes, the actual width is scant-or less than-the nominal width. See examples below:

Full Width Scant Width

6" 5-1/2"

4" 3-1/2"

3" 2-1/2"

 

Why do knots fall out of boards, creating holes?

Knots and the surrounding wood have different densities. Since knots are denser, they expand and contract less than the surrounding wood, loosening the bond. To protect against this, use a Premium or #1 board with both faces graded. The knots will be smaller and intergrown. The cost is slightly more, but your fence will have a longer serviceable life.

 

What causes Cedar boards to develop black stains at the nails?

The stain is caused by natural wood extracts interacting with metal in the fastener. Moist wood increases the likelihood of this interaction. For Cedar, Redwood and Cypress, you should use double-dipped galvanized, stainless steel or aluminum fasteners.

 

Can the stained Cedar be cleaned off?

Yes. If the stain is has a brown tint to it, use a solution with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), which is available at local retail hardware stores.

If the stain is black, use a solution with Oxalic Acid to clean the boards. This material is also available at retail hardware stores.

 

Commercial cleaners are available as well. Identify the cause of the stain to ensure you choose the correct product. Certain concrete cleaners are specifically formulated to clean wood extracts from patios, sidewalks, or other concrete structures.

 

What about using bleach and water?

Chlorine-based or Oxygen-type bleach is effective against mildew and fungi. Oxygen-type bleach contains sodium percarbonate, which when added to water forms hydrogen peroxide, an effective agent in removing mildew stains, dirt and weathered gray residue from wood that has ultraviolet (sunlight) degradation. Unlike chlorine-based bleach, once the wood is treated with the oxygen-type bleach, it will return to its original natural appearance.

 

Some species of wood contain tannins, a natural resin. Water can extract these resins from wood leaving brown or black discolorations on the surface. Blue-black stains can result from a reaction of tannins to the iron in nails or fasteners. Neither chlorine nor oxygen bleaches are effective against tannin or iron stains, but the use of an oxalic acid-based product mentioned previously will render the stains colorless.

 

Why do boards split when fastened with nails?

Correct nails and nailing practices are essential for successful installation. Choosing a needle point nail is a common mistake. While the most commonly used nail is a diamond point, a blunt point will reduce splitting also. Overdriving nails is another problem that distorts wood and causes excessive splitting. Predrilling will help reduce any splitting that can occur.

 

The boards at the top of my fence are warping. Why?

The backrails should be no more than 8" from the fence board tops and bottoms. Fence boards 6' long should have three back rails. Spacing your rails this way will help control the wood's natural tendency to warp, due to expansion and contraction.

 

What can be done to eliminate the effects of weathering and keep that "new fence" look?

While there's no way to eliminate the weathering of wood, it's relatively easy to minimize the effects:

##Use three back rails (6' fence), two backrails (4', 5' fence), or 4 backrails (8' fence) for more hold-down points.

##Use only hot-dipped galvanized, or stainless steel fasteners with a ring or spiral shank to minimize warp and rust stains.

##Treat the surfaces of fence boards with a water-repellant solution to reduce the rate that moisture is absorbed and released. This solution should also have a good UV inhibitor if you don't want the fence to gray.

 

##Follow a regular maintenance program of cleaning and refinishing every few years with a "clear" or "toner" water repellant containing UV inhibitors. This will revitalize a dingy appearance caused by dirt, mildew or graying. It's like washing and waxing your car. Opinions differ on how necessary it is to perform regular maintenance, but most agree your fence will look much better for the effort.

 

Treated Wood

What's pressure-treated wood?

It's wood that has been pressure-impregnated with an effective preservative. This treatment helps wood resist attacks by termites and decay-causing fungi.

 

What are some of the advantages of pressure-treated wood?

It's economical; works easily with common tools; is naturally attractive; durable; strong for its weight; and is readily available in a wide variety of sizes and styles.

 

What kind of treated wood is available?

You can choose from different grades of treated wood to match your goals for strength and appearance. Treatment does not affect the lumber grade; it simply makes the wood last longer. For this reason, domestic and import Pine is a popular choice. With pine we can specify the proper grade and it readily accepts treatment. We can provide all the post, rails, and fence boards needed to "stick-build" an entire fence.

 

What guarantee does treated wood have?

No guarantee is offered. However, we provide a warranty against damage caused by termites and fungal decay.

 

What about any cracking, warping, and graying that may show up over time?

Even though pressure-treated wood is protected from termites and fungal decay, it is still a porous, natural material. Wood swells when it absorbs moisture and shrinks when it dries out. The drying process creates stresses in the wood, which contributes to cracking and warping. The sun's ultra-violet (UV) rays cause the wood to turn gray. Pressure-treated wood is subject to these effects, just like other lumber.

 

What can be done to eliminate the effects of weathering and keep that "new fence" look? 

While there's no way to eliminate the weathering of wood, it's relatively easy to minimize the effects:

##Use three back rails (6' fence), two backrails (4', 5' fence), or 4 backrails (8' fence) for more hold-down points.

##Use only hot-dipped galvanized, or stainless steel fasteners with a ring or spiral shank to minimize warp and rust stains.

##Treat the surfaces of fence boards with a water-repellant solution to reduce the rate that moisture is absorbed and released. This solution should also have a good UV inhibitor if you don't want the fence to gray.

 

##Follow a regular maintenance program of cleaning and refinishing every few years with a "clear" or "toner" water repellant containing UV inhibitors. This will revitalize a dingy appearance caused by dirt, mildew or graying. It's like washing and waxing your car. Opinions differ on how necessary it is to perform regular maintenance, but most agree your fence will look much better for the effort.

Gates FAQs

What types of gates are there?

There are a variety of gates that are used for different applications:

Single swing: Commonly referred to as a “walk” gate, these gates can be constructed in widths typically from three foot to twenty foot depending on the material used and purpose of the gate. With the proper design and materials, these gates can reach over one hundred feet in length. Swing gates can incorporate self-closing and latching hardware for use around swimming pools or automated electric access at the base of your driveway.

Double Swing: The double swing gate incorporates two leafs to create a larger opening. Double swing gates can be constructed for chain link, PVC vinyl, wood and ornamental steel fences. Ornamental gates at a driveway entrance, frequently referred to as Estate Gates, can be used in conjunction with a motorized gate operator to control access to a property, preventing unwanted intrusion. The motorized gates can be opened and closed by a number of means including keypads, card readers and garage door style transmitters. The gate can be configured to close automatically after a car enters the property and to open automatically when a car is leaving the property.

Cantilever Gates: This gate is commonly thought of as a “sliding” gate and is most common when a slide gate is requested. The gate itself does not touch the ground and is supported by rollers attached to large gate posts set to one side of the opening. The gate will have a tail that is used to support the gate when it is in the closed position.  The tail section is approximately half of the length of the opening. It is important to ensure that adequate storage space equal to the sum of the gate opening and tail section is available so that the gate can fully open. Cantilever gates can be constructed with all types of fencing, but will require a steel or aluminum frame.  These gates may be built to look like Estate swing gates or covered with vinyl, wood, etc.

Rolling Gates: A less common type of “sliding” gate is the rolling gate. Rolling gates require a wheel on the front of the gate and a pipe track to support wheels located on the rear of the gate. These gates do not require a “tail” like the cantilever gate so that they can be used in situations where storage space is limited. Rolling gates with a V-Groove track and wheel assembly may also incorporate automated access control.

Overhead Track Gates:  Typically used in high security or industrial applications, overhead track gates will utilize an I-beam or bar truss system that extends over the opening and runs the length of the opening on either side.  The I-beam or bar truss will typically be placed close to fourteen feet above the opening to allow semi-truck traffic to clear.  Attached to and above the gate are trollies that run along the I-beam or track.   The number of trollies will depend on the length and weight of the gate.  As these gates are fully supported from above, automated access control may be used to safely open and close these gates.  Fully supported as it travels through the opening from the track above, overhead track gates are extremely reliable.

Vertical Lift Gates:  When there is no storage space on either side of the opening and a swing gate is not practical, you may need a vertical lift gate.  Typically used in industrial applications, vertical lift gates incorporate columns on each end of the gate that are tall enough to lift the gate straight-up to clear semi-truck traffic below.  Attached to the end of the gate are rollers or trucks that run vertically in tracks attached to the columns.  Utilizing counterbalance weights or garage door like springs, these gates will easily lift up and down with the use of an electric gate operator.

 

Vertical Pivot Gates:  Popular for sites that do not have the storage space for a slide gate but want affordable automated access control.  These gates are also popular for use where there is considerable snow fall.  These gates use a single gate panel to fill the opening.  On one end at the base of the panel, the gate panel has a pivot point with an axle assembly that is mounted to the gate operator.  On this same end at the top of the panel is attached a very large set of springs that runs from the gate panel into the rear of the gate operator.  These springs provide the counterbalance necessary to lift and pivot the gate.  Adjoining where the springs attach to the gate panel is the gate operator mechanical arm that when activated will pull the top of the gate back and down, pivoting on the axle assembly.  This causes the nose of the panel to rise and pivot back.  When in the full open position the panel is now rotated a full ninety degrees and standing upright out of the opening.

All of the swing gates are available with a wide variety of hinges that open one hundred and eighty degrees, self-closing, or even causing the gate to rise up as it opens.  Latches are endless from padalockable, self-latching, self-locking, keyed, push button, magnetic, etc.

1. Adjoining elevations.  Does the ground rise or fall under the travel of the gate and will this interfere with its travel?

2. Obstructions.  Are there any obstructions in the travel of the gate? Or, when opening the gate; will it interfere with on-coming or parked vehicles.

3. Proximity to roadways.  Will this gate or the gate travel cause a traffic jam or accident?  Is it too close to traffic?

4. Local codes.  Will the local building inspector allow me to install this gate?  Does it interfere with public travel?

5. Wind load.  Is this gate subject to high winds and is it engineered to remain structurally sound?

6. Overhead obstructions.  Will my gate allow for semi-truck traffic to travel under the track above?