Iron Fencing - Your Options and Care Tips

Five Great Reasons to Have Electric Gates Installed

You probably already know that electric gates add a significant measure of personal security to home and family as well as protect valuable items from being stolen, but there are plenty of other benefits to installing automated gate systems. Following are five great reasons to consider having electric gates installed on your residential property.

Lower Insurance Rates

You can lower your homeowners’ insurance premiums significantly by installing security measures on your property. Optimal security begins at your property line, and automated gates provide excellent ways to keep undesirable elements off your property. Keep in mind that many burglaries are not spontaneous actions on the part of the thieves — modern thieves may spend several days casing out various properties in the search for vulnerable targets. An electronic fence will impede easy access to your property, making it less likely to be cased out by prospective criminals in the first place, and it will also prevent spur-of-the moment crimes of opportunity that frequently occur on unprotected properties. Insurance companies know this, so speak with your agent about possible discounts involved in installing an electric gate.

Added Privacy

If you’re like most people, you dislike being interrupted by salespeople or political canvassers at the door while relaxing at home or when you’re in the middle of household chores. An electric gate will firmly keep this activity at bay and will also guard against interruptions from neighbors and other acquaintances with penchants for simply popping in without warning. Certain gate and fence designs also offer optimal privacy to those who live on streets with significant car, bike, and foot traffic — you’ll be able to enjoy spending time in your own front yard or on the porch without being subjected to the prying eyes of those passing by.

Higher Property Values

When it comes time to put your home on the market, properties with automated gates are likely to command higher asking prices. Many potential homeowners like the idea of purchasing property that isn’t readily accessible and are often initially attracted to a specific property simply because of the fact that it’s protected by an electric gate. Additionally, gates add a significant degree of aesthetic value that adds to a property’s curb appeal. They come in many different styles to complement any property. For instance, if you’re partial to a country estate look, a wrought iron gate will provide your property with that particular ambiance, while those who prefer a rustic look can opt for wooden gates. Virtually any home design can be enhanced by a complementary gate, no matter what the exterior design.

Custom Options

In the past, many people were deterred from having electric gates installed on their property because they either required someone already on the property to remotely open the gates or needed a remote control gadget, such as the type formerly used for garage door openers. Today’s custom options, however, include gates with passwords, eliminating the hassles arising from forgetting or losing remotes and eliminating the need to be allowed entrance from someone already onsite. Other customizable features include whether the gate swings open or lifts up, and, of course, the individual style, size, and design of the gate. For even more added security, you can have your gate customized with barbed wire or razor wire at the top to prevent ambitious intruders from climbing over the gate.

Wildlife Control

A good gate along with a sturdy fence also plays a significant role in keeping unwanted wildlife pets off your property, which may be important if you live in a suburban or rural area. Although it probably won’t be effective against invasions by small rodents, raccoons, and avian life, it will prevent large mammals, such as elk, deer, and moose, from destroying gardens and landscaping.

If you’re thinking of getting an electric gate installed, consider contacting a local specialist, such as F & W Fence Company, Inc., to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.

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Which Type Of Steel Welded Wire Fence Is Right For You?

If you’ve begun shopping for steel welded wire fencing, you’ve probably realized that you have several different materials to choose from. GAW, or galvanized after weld; GBW, or galvanized before weld; SS, or plain stainless steel; and VC, or vinyl coated, are the most common choices. Here’s a look at what each of those fencing types really is and the situations in which each is appropriate.

GBW (Galvanized Before Weld)

GBW fencing is made from simple steel wires that are coated with a zinc compound before being welded together. Of the three common types of welded wire fencing, this one is the least expensive, and also the least durable. The welding process may disturb the zinc coating at some of the joints, giving corrosion a place to set in. Thus, GBW fences are a good choice if you’re on a limited budget or looking for a fence to serve you for just a few short years. They will last slightly longer in warm, dry climates than in moist ones. Most of the welded wire fences you see in big box stores and the like are GBW.

GAW (Galvanized After Weld)

GAW fencing is made from steel wires. The wires are coated with zinc after they are welded together. GAW fences come with a higher price tag than GBW fences, and they are often only available through fencing companies – not at big box stores. Their higher price comes with the benefit of many more years of use. These fences are quite resistant to corrosion, and thus they are a common choice in coastal areas where the salty air would break down less resistant metals.  If you’re looking for a sturdy fence that will still look good in a decade, GAW is a great choice.

SS (Stainless Steel)

SS fencing is made from plain stainless steel. It does not need any extra coating because stainless steel is so much more resistant to corrosion than the lower-quality steel used to make other types of welded wire fences.

The downside to this type of fencing is that it tends to cost significantly more than either of the galvanized fencing options. However, it will last for many years before beginning to rust or corrode, making it a good investment in the long run. SS fencing often comes in several gauges. It’s important that you choose a low gauge (the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire) if your fence will be used in a situation in which force may be put against it. For instance, if you have a dog that may jump against the fence or a tress that you worry may grow into it, definitely buy a low gauge, like 12 or 14, if you opt for SS fencing. Higher gauges (thinner wires) are prone to bending.

VC (Vinyl Coated)

Vinyl coated welded wire fencing is typically made from a low grade of steel, since the vinyl offers protection from the elements. It can also look more “tidy” than other types of wire fencing, thanks to its sleek coating that will camouflage the beginnings of any rust or pitting. Vinyl coated fencing is a good choice if you do not like the typical wire look — you can choose from several colors of vinyl.

Vinyl coating resists corrosion, but only for as long as the vinyl is intact. The downside to this type of fencing is that if the vinyl is nicked or damaged, the steel underneath can begin to break down without you seeing the extent of the damage. You may think the fence is in good shape because it looks fine, but when you press on it, you may find that the metal underneath has broken down. Thus, vinyl coated welded wire fencing is a good choice when you need a fence that looks very neat and pristine, but does not need to provide any sort of strength for a long time.

Talk to a fence contractor to get a better idea of which of these types of welded wire fencing is the best choice for you.

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Create A Privacy Fence From Sustainable Materials

Creating a privacy fence around your yard is a great way to make it a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself, free from the prying eyes of neighbors and passersby. However, many fencing materials are made from finite resources that are difficult or impossible to replace. Instead, you can create your fence from materials that are produced sustainably, doing your part to ensure future generations have access to the materials they need to thrive just like you do.

Bamboo

There are two options when it comes to bamboo fencing. You can use the cut canes, either split or whole, to create a traditional fence. Or you can plant a stand of bamboo and allow it to grow in thick enough to create a fence of living poles.

Installing bamboo fencing is just like working with any other fencing material. Attach the canes to poles driven into the ground, but don’t allow the actual fence to come into contact with the dirt– it will cause the canes to rot prematurely. For easy installation, you can purchase rolls of canes that just need to be attached to the supports. If you want to create something truly unique, you can just purchase the cut and dried poles. Use twine or wire to weave them together in any pattern you wish.

A living bamboo fence requires little more effort than planting the bamboo a few feet apart all along your new fence line and waiting for them to grow in. The closer you plant your new bamboo shoots, the faster the fence will thicken but the more plants you will need up front. From there, it is just a matter of trimming the sides of the fence every so often so that your living fence doesn’t get too wide over time.

Composite

Composite fencing is made from waste and recycled materials from other manufacturing processes. Shop around with various manufacturers to find one that uses almost all recycled materials to minimize the environmental impact of your new fence. If you want the look of a wood privacy fence without taking down several trees to make it, this is the product you want to work with. Advances in manufacturing have allowed producers to simulate the look of wood quite well, so people won’t be able to tell the difference without a close inspection.

While composite fencing is often more expensive than wood, it does have some advantages over its environmental ones. It is easy enough for the average homeowner to work with, so you won’t need professional installation unless you want it, and the maintenance is almost non-existent. Just wash it down with your hose a couple times a year and you are done. In contrast, wood fencing needs to be carefully repainted and damaged boards replaced regularly in order to keep it in good condition.

Reclaimed Materials

Perhaps the ultimate in recycling is to find something that was used once and make it new again in your home. Reclaimed materials, and wood in particular, have found an enthusiastic home with people who want something truly special in their lives. In order to help reduce the cost of deconstruction or renovation, construction companies are often reselling building materials instead of taking them to the landfill. You can create a fence out of anything you can find that will hold up well in outdoor conditions, but old pallets and barn siding are two basics that you should be able to find and work with easily.

Making a fence from sustainable materials is not that difficult, and it can look just as amazing as one created from traditional products. The peace of mind you get from knowing that you made a good decision with your purchase only goes to make your fence an even more enjoyable part of your newly upgraded yard.

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Vinyl Fencing Allows You To Avoid The Three Rs – Repairing, Replacing, And Regular Maintenance

If you are like most people, when you choose your fencing material there are certain things you have in mind. You are probably looking for something that is within your budget, enhances your property, and will not work you to death to maintain. Luckily, you can find all of the characteristics you are looking for when you choose vinyl fencing. Not only will you be able to find the style of fencing that you are looking for, but you will also not have to worry about the three Rs, which are repairing, replacing, or regularly maintaining. 

Repairing

Vinyl fencing is a material that is very durable. It possesses five times the tensile strength of wood and is up to four times more flexible than wood. This means that vinyl fencing will resist:

  • Breaking
  • Splintering
  • Splitting
  • Warping
  • Chipping
  • Peeling

You will also never have to worry about vinyl fencing rotting or incurring any type of insect infestation. If your fencing does experience a minor crack, or a small hole, you can generally repair this with a vinyl body filler. Follow this with a little sanding, and touch up the color with a little paint. If you sustain major damage, it is usually pretty easy to replace only the piece that has sustained the break.

However, vinyl fencing has not always been a great choice for areas that experience weather extremes in the past. Extremely cold temperatures made the vinyl more fragile and less flexible, which put it at risk of damage. High temperatures could also cause it to expand, or bend in areas that experience extreme high temperatures. Fortunately, this has changed. Many manufacturers are now producing high quality vinyl fencing materials that will hold up under these conditions. Ask a professional fencing installer in your area for suggestions as to the best types of vinyl fencing products that will do the best in your weather conditions.

Replacing

Once you have installed your fencing material, the last thing you want to do is to have to replace it every couple of years. Because it is resistant to all of the things that were listed above, you will not have to worry about this with vinyl fencing.

Vinyl fencing is designed to last longer than any other material on the market. The better the vinyl fencing materials are, the better warranty they will usually offer. Many manufacturers are now offering fencing products that come with a limited lifetime transferable warranty. 

Regularly Maintaining

If you are like most homeowners, you do not have the time nor energy to perform regular maintenance on your fence each year. To keep your wood fencing looking good, you will be required to regularly paint or stain it. Unfortunately, to ensure the best application of your paint or stain, you may even need to scrape and sand your fence prior to applying it.

You do not have to worry about this with vinyl fencing products. If you choose to install a colored fencing, the vinyl is created with the color throughout the material. This eliminates the need to paint or stain.

The only thing that you will have to do to keep your vinyl fencing looking good is wash it with a mild soap and water from time to time. This will remove any mold, mildew, or scuff marks that may have accumulated on your fencing. If you have a tough stain such as berry infused bird droppings, you may need to use a diluted bleach solution to remove these. 

Do not spend your time repairing, replacing, or regularly maintaining traditional fencing materials. Go with vinyl and use the additional time you will save to do something you enjoy.

For more information and options, talk with fencing contractors such as those at Mr Fence.

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4 Backyard Fence Accessories Ideal For Garden Lovers

New fence installations not only add great curb appeal and visuals to your landscape, but they also have a lot of practical uses. If you have a backyard garden that you love tending to every year, then a new fence installation can enhance the visuals of this garden. Along with the standard fence, there are a number of accessories that can be installed. The following four accessories can improve the visuals, function, and daily care of your personal garden. By working with a contractor, you can have one or more of these accessories installed at the same time as a new fence.

Arbor Installations

Connect a backyard fence to the entrance of your garden with arbor installations. Arbors are large canopy openings, typically formed in a square or arching pattern. The various designs and materials allow you to select an arbor that matches your fence exactly. This helps create an even flow from the end of the fence and directly into the garden.

If the arbor is going to be positioned a little ways away from the fence, then you can add wings to the side of the arbor. These wings give the illusion of a fence and can be installed to replicate the exact fence that you are having installed. The designs and openings on both the arbor and the wings can be used to grow a variety of vine-based plants like climbing roses. After a few years the arbor can be fully covered in plants and flowers that you love.

Lamp Posts

Extend the design and style of your fence with lamp posts installed in your garden. The lamp post installation can stand on it’s own, but the post can be chosen to match the pickets and posts used on your fence. Once installed, various types of lights can be added to the top of the post. Solar lights require  no wiring or battery changes, giving you great dusk and night views of the garden.

Along with the lamp posts, you can help match the style of your fence with post caps. Lighted post caps give great visuals of the fence and make it easy to follow a specific walkway that leads to the garden or backyard area. When the same lights are used on the lamp post and fence post, it creates a uniform and cohesive design that helps make the landscaping stand out.

Trellis

If you’re looking to separate your garden from other sections of the yard, then you have alternate options instead of a full fence installation. A trellis is basically a freestanding fence. It’s like a section of fence that adds design elements along with organization for various types of plants. For example, if you have a small vegetable garden, a large trellis can be placed behind the garden bed to help separate it.

Just like other accessories, a trellis can be purchased to duplicate your fence design. Along with the design, you can select the length and height of the trellis to fit in your garden.

Animal Fences

One of the biggest problems for any garden is the invasion of animals. Deer, rabbits, and other woodland critters can chew up flowers, vegetables, and other plants. Along with a traditional fence, you can have special animal fences installed around the garden area. These fences provide extra strength and security to keep animals away from your garden. The fences typically include small holes so animals cannot slip through. The fences may be buried a little deeper in the ground to help prevent burrowing.

Animals fences can be installed on their own or layered with a fence design. For example, the animal fence can be installed flush to the back of the standard fence so the curb view of the fence still showcases the design and style.

Express your vision for your garden as clearly as possible to a contractor like Harrington & Company. This will help you get the fence and accessories installed exactly how you envisioned it.

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Getting A New Fence Installed? Here’s How To Improve Convenience And Maintain Optimal Aesthetics

Installing a wooden fence around the perimeter of your property offers a variety of benefits to take advantage of, including increased privacy, improved security, and a reduction of unwanted noise from exterior sources. Due to the added security, you may even be able to score lower home insurance costs while living there and a higher sales price if you decide to move on later. Here are a few things you can do after your new fence is installed to enhance its look, improve convenience, and maintain its value as time goes on:

Use Rocks along the Edges

One of the most inconvenient aspects of having a fence is keeping the grass and weeds from growing along its edges. A lawnmower doesn’t typically get close enough to the fence line to eliminate long blades of grass and weeds, which may leave behind a ragged edge that is unattractive and invasive to the rest of your landscaping.

An easy way to make sure that grass and weeds don’t grow too close to your fence line is to put gravel or small rocks along the edge of the fence. The rocks should be at least an inch thick to keep sun from feeding the growth underneath them, and at least three inches in width from the edge of the fence so your lawnmower can reach your entire lawn without the fence getting in the way.

Install Some Bird Houses

Birds tend to love wooden fences because they’re easy to perch on and they take well to being pecked – but all the pecking puts wear and tear on your fence that isn’t usually pleasing to the eye when all is said and done. A great way to keep birds from pecking at your wooden fence, and leaving behind droppings, is to install a few bird houses along the interior top edges of your fence.

The corners are an excellent spot because they offer a variety of stabilizing and attachment options, but anywhere along the fence line should be attractive to birds. Keep the bird houses full of food and you’ll not only keep the birds from ruining your fence, but you’ll always have new friends to listen to and watch when you go outside for some fresh air.

Make a Maintenance List

Maintenance should be a priority if you expect your fence to look and perform healthy for decades to come. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend hundreds of dollars on professional renovations or weeks of manpower to get the job done. Put together a small maintenance list to follow once every three or four months throughout the year and you should be good to go. Here’s what should be on your list:

  • An inspection of all corner posts as well as the wiring and staking along the entire fence line. The goal is to ensure stability and to repair or replace any bent, rotten, rusty, or otherwise worn pieces.
  • An application of weatherproofing clear coating – a personal paint sprayer should get the job done within the span of just one afternoon.
  • Tightening of any bird houses, street address signs, and other materials attached to the fence. If any rust is present on the attachment hardware, nails, or screws, there isn’t a better time to replace it.

Make sure that your maintenance list is completed sometime during the last couple of weeks before the winter season starts for optimal protection from rain and mold damage.

You’ll find that these methods and techniques require just a little bit of initial legwork and some maintenance throughout the year for long term results that you and your household can count on.

For more information and maintenance or repair options, talk with professional fencing companies, such as Phoenix Fence, Co..

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5 Ideal Iron Fence Features For Miniature Dachshunds

Miniature dachshunds may be one of the smallest dog breeds, but they are filled with a lot of energy and curiosity. This is why it’s common for miniature dachshund owners to keep a gated area in their yard for outdoor exploring. Instead of putting up a basic fence, you can showcase curb appeal and style choices with iron fencing. Traditional iron fencing is not the most ideal choice for the small dogs, but there are a number of custom features you can add to ensure the proper safety and comfort for your dog. The following five features are specifically ideal for miniature dachshund owners and are available through a number of fencing companies.

Picket Spacing

Dachshunds may have long backs, but their thin bodies can easily squeeze through small spaces. Instead of risking a puppy escape, you can shop for iron fences with tighter picket spacing. A standard iron fence usually features pickets that are spread 6 to 9 inches apart. For your miniature dachshund, you can request a fence with more pickets that do not exceed three inches. This will keep you dog safely behind the fence as they explore the exterior of your home.

Bottom Rails

The ornamental design of an iron fence can often leave huge gaps in the bottom area. This is no good for dachshunds who can quickly dig and climb between these gaps. The dogs are natural diggers and a proper fence installation can help prevent their escape. By choosing your custom fence design, you have the ability to get a bottom rail installed. This rail will block off any gaps and can add more durability to the fence.

Adding a few extra deep rails can also make the fence more secure and prevent extra gaps. The rails are buried deep in your ground so it’s nearly impossible for a dachshund to dig them out.

Powder Coating

The curious mind of a miniature dachshund will often leave them sniffing and looking outside the gates. All of this exploring could lead to accidental claw scratches or bite marks on the iron pickets. The best way to prevent your fence from this damage is with a powder coating. On its own, a powder coating is beneficial for the natural wear and tear on the fence. It can prevent damage from rusting, cold weather, and snow. When it comes to your dog, the durable coating will resist scratching and keep the fence looking like how you originally purchased it.

After a couple of years, fence professionals can return to your home to apply another layer of the powder coating. This will increase the protection and allow your dogs to do all the fence snooping that they please.

Swing Gates

Add access in and out of the gated area with the installation of swing gates. The gates are attached flush to the fence, so there are not any additional gaps that a miniature dachshund could squeeze into. The high lever position of the gates also ensures that a dachshund cannot simply reach up and hit the latch open. This will only allow humans to get in and out of the gate. The gates are also ideal for separating a miniature dachshund from a pool or other water area on your property.

Ornamental Decorations

Finish off your iron gate design with a little decorative fun. Ornamental iron fence decorations are fused directly to the pickets of the fence and come in a variety of styles. For example, small iron cut-outs in the shape of a dachshund can add a great patterned design through each section of the gate. Custom fence post covers are another way to add design elements. You can choose from dachshund shapes, bone shapes, or paw shapes to cap off the rails.

Explaining your dachshund situation with a fencing company is a great starting point. They have likely dealt with dog owners before and can help you find the ideal fence for your property.

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