Installing a fence is one of the best ways to secure your property. Besides enhancing the overall safety level by limiting access to people and animals, fence installations create a better-looking property. How well you choose a fencing company will determine your project’s cost and the durability of your fence.
However, poorly constructed fence installations will greatly reduce the functionality, durability, and lifespan. Failure to set the fence post holes deep enough and can lead to premature fence damage. Following are some of the frequently asked questions about fence construction:
1. Do I Need a Fence?
Installing a fence around your property provides protection and privacy from passersby and neighbors. When properly built, fence installations have aesthetic appeal as they can help to train climbing plants that decorate your home. Consider installing a fence for the following reasons:
- It’s a great deterrent for intruders, trespassers, and wild animals
- It protects your children from the busy roads
- It can improve your home’s value
- It becomes easy to install electrical fencing
- It clearly defines your property’s boundaries
Once you secure your property with fence installations, you can convert your home to a peaceful haven that provides a safe play environment for your kids. Such containment is critical since you can keep an eye on them while preventing entry from strangers.
2. How Much Will Fencing Cost?
The type and design of your fence installations will have a significant impact on the overall cost. A split rail wood fence is relatively easy and cheap to construct. You can even save more money if you choose two rails instead of three.
The cost of your fence will depend on:
- The overall length and height, as the pricing is done per linear foot
- The type of fencing material
- The slope (steep properties require grading)
- The style and design (simple fences are cheaper to install)
The distance between the posts will also have an impact. Most posts are 8 to 12 feet apart although you can increase the spacing to 15 feet to reduce the cost.
3. Which Is the Cheapest Fencing Material?
Chain link fencing is significantly cheaper than other fencing options that provide the same benefits in terms of visibility and strength. The precast concrete poles that support the chain link fencing are maintenance-free, sturdy, and aesthetically pleasing. Whatever the height, these weather-resistant poles are available in various options to suit your specifications.
If you are using timber poles, you need to invest in the right anti-termite treatment solution. Soak the posts in a copper naphthenate solution to prevent termites and apply engine oil to avoid dampness.
The ideal way to improve the longevity of your fence installations is to fix the posts at the proper depth. A typical 200mm-wide post needs to sit in a 600mm deep hole if you are building a 2000mm high fence. Most homeowners prefer chain link fencing for the following reasons:
- Quick installation
- Ease of repair and maintenance
You need to install tension wire to reinforce the bottom of your fence line. The tension wire significantly improves durability by preventing the fence installations from sagging or loosening over time. If you plan to install an electric fence, you need a ground wire to protect the occupants from electrical shocks.
4. Which Is the Most Durable Fencing Material?
Masonry wall fencing can last over 100 years without any structural issues. Whether you use stone, brick, or stucco, you’ll only need a simple facelift to restore its original appeal. For the best outcomes, you must fortify your masonry wall with columns.
If you are building in an earthquake-prone region, you need a structural engineer to provide the necessary seismic resistance as per the codes. If you are not planning to paint your wall, ensure that your chosen materials are aesthetically pleasing.
Take the following steps when constructing a stone fence:
- Set the course of the wall and dig a 6″ deep trench
- Fill it 4″ of gravel and tamp it down to 2″
- Construct footings and columns
- Install stones and backfill as you go
Masonry stone walls pose some challenges that include cracking or displacement of the over-stressed units. Installing expansion joints is the ideal way to prevent this problem.
These joints separate the fence installations into segments and prevent cracks that result from moisture expansion, temperature change, settlement, or elastic deformation. Space your expansion joints approximately 10 ft. from each other. Alternatively, install the joints at the center point between two posts.
5. How Long Will the Project Take?
The time required to complete your fencing project depends on the materials, fence design, and the underlying site conditions. If you encounter stones while digging the trenches, you will spend more time and money. But if you are looking for stability and longevity, you cannot afford to skimp on the excavation process.
You need to secure the posts into the ground for maximum stability. You’d rather take more time than end up with a poorly reinforced fence. However, if time is the issue, you can fast track the fencing process by:
- Installing precast concrete blocks
- Mechanizing the grading process
- Choosing a vinyl fence that takes three days or so
- Using an auger to dig the posts
Precast concrete blocks guarantee a quick way of installing a boundary wall. You can use them to significantly fast-track the building process. By molding and curing the blocks in a controlled environment, it’s possible to ensure rapid construction on site since they’re non-load bearing.
The fencing company will use bolted connections to join several blocks per the drawings. Welded connections are equally effective in providing the structural stability that you require.
After digging the trench, you need to incorporate the steel bolts in your poured concrete foundation. Allow your poured concrete to cure for at least 22 days, and install the concrete blocks to the dowels that protrude from the foundation.
6. Do You Provide a Written Contract?
A written contract creates a working relationship that protects both you and the fencing company. While you add the cost of labor and the standard charges that might be necessary to undertake the job, it’s easy to develop a cost estimate. The fencing company should offer an estimate that outlines the number of materials used and their respective costs.
Also, you’ll need a program of work that outlines how long every activity will take. The program is essential because:
- It helps to estimate the duration of your project
- It helps you to avail the necessary materials beforehand
A professional fencing company will complete the project as per the schedule unless unavoidable delays occur. Avoid digging the holes during the rainy season as you’ll struggle to secure the poles firmly on the ground.
7. What Permits Do I Need for This Project?
Since the 1.8m-high fences are regarded as minor building works, they might not require architectural plans. However, you might need some permits before installing the fence.
If your fence is offensive or illegal, your neighbor has the right to complain. The best way to avoid such complaints is to ensure that you build in your property. Even if you have clear property boundaries, the footings and columns could be wider than the wall.
So, insist on a 200mm setback to avoid boundary disputes down the road. Before you excavate your property, check whether your neighbor has any buildings close to the boundary. The law protects such buildings from structural damage, so find out whether you need to construct a retaining wall.
The permits you might need include:
- Road reserves
- Riparian reserves
- Copy of deed plan
- Consent from neighbors (give one month’s notice)
- Ask the council about setbacks to the boundary line
- Contact the utility companies
It’s vital for the utility companies to mark the buried utility lines before you can start digging the posts. You might also need some permits before you install the electric fencing above the wall. Some features pose health risks to your neighbors, and it’s vital to identify the devices that your local council recommends.
8. Will You Contact the Utility Companies?
A stitch in time saves nine as more than 55 fatalities occur every year in the United States due to hitting the underground power cables during excavations. A reputable fencing company should always communicate with the local utility companies to safeguard underground utilities such as gas, water, telecommunications, cable television, Internet, and power lines.
The fencing company will then request a copy of your title deed or survey records to confirm exactly where your boundary lines are. If you don’t have these documents, the fencing company should obtain them from the local titling office. Besides avoiding problems with the municipality, getting such information will prevent you from encroaching into your neighbor’s property.
Identifying the position of the buried utilities is critical before you commence the excavations. Find out whether these utilities are encased in concrete to avoid accidents. If the information is unavailable, your fencing company should use a cable detector to locate the utilities.
However, sometimes you’ll encounter underground water pipes that can quickly get damaged. Steering clear of the utilities is the best way to stay safe. Look out for utility hole covers, changes in the hardscape, water taps, fire hydrants, and street lights.
Use chalk to mark the ground and ask the utility company to provide specific details in terms of depth and width of these services. Use that information to excavate small trial pits at least 1000mm away from the utilities and apply for a permit to dig.
9. Which Warranties Do You Provide?
Building stone walls as per the codes is vital as an average of seven people die every day due to the collapse of walls and buildings in the United States. Improper drainage (lack of weep holes), inadequate wall reinforcement, and foundation footing problems are the leading causes of boundary wall failure. The soil’s settlement, overloading of the wall, and typical design or construction errors can also cause the wall to collapse.
For these reasons, the fencing company must provide a one-year warranty. After construction, a reputable St Louis fence company should provide a defect liability period to correct any flaws that might arise due to construction flaws. By withholding some payments until the end of the defect liability period, you encourage the contractor to take the necessary steps to mitigate the losses.
You don’t want to hire another fencing company to address the original contractor’s flaws. The fencing company is not liable for any imperfections that appear after the defect liability period and has no right to return to the site to fix the defects. The defects liability clause also benefits the St Louis fence company since we cannot be forced to reimburse the client for the losses.
10. Which Are the Best Finishes?
Boundary walls not only provide safety and security, but they also add visual aesthetics and style to your property. Instead of using basic concrete, you ought to be creative with the materials and wall design. Regardless of the material used in the structural frame, you can clad your wall with thin stone slabs or tiles.
Stones also come in endless rustic and tactile options that can give a bland wall a facelift.
Be sure to experiment with geometrical shapes or mosaic patterns that complement your home design. If the cost of stone is beyond your budget, you can opt for the hard-wearing faux tiles whose texture resembles the real stone. A good St Louis fence company should provide an elevation drawing that shows the design, textures, and colors for approval.
Climbing plants such as Ficus Pumila can add a new dimension to your fence. These climbers protect the stone from rain and wind. You can also use plants to mask an ugly wall. While most ivy varieties will naturally cling to your wall, you might need to provide the necessary support. Space the horizontal and vertical wires (40-50 cm) along the wall and fix them firmly with fasteners.
Why You Need a Properly-Built Fence
Besides separating two parcels of land, the fence installations guarantee privacy and security to your property. When constructed properly, it provides the opportunity to install electrical fencing or train climbing plants for aesthetics. However, your fencing company needs to reinforce it properly as it can crumble like a house of cards if you err during the design and construction processes.
As a leading St Louis fence company, we have the expertise and equipment you need to build a boundary wall that will last for decades. Whatever your budget or favorite construction material, we guarantee the highest standards of safety, stability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal.