Tips for Tearing Down an Old Fence

If you have an old fence that has been on your property for some time chances are good that portions of it are in bad shape or are falling down.  You will most likely want to tear down the fence for replacement at some point. Before you get your hammer and gloves, there are a few things you should do to make sure the project goes off safely and properly. There are several steps a good homeowner takes before making any changes to his property. Some are legal steps and others are just common sense. When you get started with your tear-down project, you want to take the proper safety procedures to make sure you and no one else gets hurt.

Before any tear-down is performed it is extremely important to make sure the fence is yours to remove. If you are unfamiliar with the history of your property and you moved in after your neighbors were already there, then that fence you are thinking about removing may not be yours. The other problem you face is that some installation projects are done without city approval and could be on your neighbor’s property line. If you do not own the fence, then you should probably give some thought to installing a fence that is on your property. Your other option is to discuss the situation with your neighbor and see if he would be willing to tear down the fence so that you can install yours.

Regardless of where you live, you should always contact the local utility companies before you start digging. Your fence posts are installed several feet into the ground and may have been there for a very long time. If the utility companies have done any installation of lines near your fence, then you will need to know that before you start digging up fence posts. The last thing you want to do is get fined because you knocked out phone service to half the neighborhood when you took up one of your old fence posts.

It is important to have a plan when removing fence posts. If you are unfamiliar with how to do it, then it may be best to hire a professional contractor. Properly installed fences use concrete and gravel to anchor the fence posts. If you are unsure as to how to remove them, then you could get hurt and cause significant property damage. If you are confident in your ability to remove the fence yourself, then make sure that you have all of the right equipment to get the job done.  For assistance tearing down and old fence contact Fence Specialists at (253) 531-5452 or online at http://www.fencespecialists.com

Fencing Rules and Regulations

It is no secret that residents of the Northwest take great pride in where they live and try to make the Northwest one of the best places to live in the country.  One of the ways that the people who live in the northwest improve their properties is by putting up decorative but functional fences. Regardless of the community you live in, there are laws and rules that you have to follow when installing a new fence. The rules are created to make the community safer and prevent homeowners from creating dangerous situations. Prior to building your fence, you should become familiar with the basic rules regulations of the city you live in.

Depending on where you live, the height of your fence affects whether or not you need prior approval. When a city inspector measures a fence, they do so from the base of the fence posts to the top of the fence. If your project requires any kind of fence that is less than six feet tall, then you typically do not need to get a building permit nor do you need to get zoning approval. However, if your fence is taller than six feet, then you must submit your plans to the zoning board and then get a building permit before you begin construction. Failure to get the proper certification for your project will result in the stoppage of work and possible fines.

The setback requirement of a fence installation means how many feet the fence is set back from your actual property boundary. To establish whether or not your project meets the setback rules of your region, you need to get a professional survey done of your property and establish where the fence will go. Different parts of the cities usually have different setback laws so be sure to fully understand which rules are applicable to you. The best course of action is to get your survey done and then go to the zoning department to find out where you can put your fence. You may not need a permit for fences under six feet, but almost all fences built must follow the setback regulations.

Always be aware of the other regulations that affect your project. For example, if your fence is over eight feet tall, then it needs to be able to resist winds of certain speeds. It is best to review your plans with the city zoning board to make sure your fence meets all of the laws put in place.

Privacy Screen Ideas

Washington gets its fair share of summer sunshine that can make sitting on a deck or patio uncomfortable. There are also some people who want privacy in their backyard from time to time but do not necessarily want to spend the money on a privacy fence. That is why an effective solution many choose are privacy screens. You can use privacy screens to block out the sun’s powerful rays on one side of your patio and give yourself some shade, or you can put up privacy screens when you have a gathering on your patio and you want to allow your guests to feel comfortable. There are a few ideas people can use to get privacy without using a fence.

One of the more beautiful privacy screen ideas often found in the Northwest is to put up a flower trellis and then allow plants to grow on them. The more popular trellis flower is the rose bush, but any flower that either grows on a vine or grows tall will look nice on a wooden trellis. The best part about using this idea is that you enhance the look of your backyard, giving yourself the privacy you need without investing in a full fence installation. There are many different trellis designs for you to choose from that will enhance your backyard landscaping.

A more direct way to get the privacy you want in your backyard without installing a fence is to use wicker outdoor privacy screens. Anyone that has ever owned outdoor wicker furniture knows how well wicker stands up to the elements. You can get wicker privacy screens in a variety of colors and some very interesting designs. When you do not need these screens, you can just store them in your garage. They can be in colors to match your home’s exterior, or you can get colors that are complimentary to your current external color scheme.

If you are feeling adventurous, then you can get a privacy screen that uses hanging plants as the screen. These are screen frames that have areas to hang plants which become the cover for your privacy. If you enjoy hanging plants and want a place to keep plants that will serve a functional purpose, then this would be the perfect idea.

Preventing Pests and Bugs in your Backyard

If you like having a garden in your backyard or you just like to relax on your back patio, then keeping bugs and pests out of your yard is important to you. A privacy fence of at least six feet in height is important in helping you keep the critters out of your yard. There is not a lot you can do about birds and other pests with wings. But there are things that you can do with your backyard to help ensure that the bugs and pests common to the Pacific Northwest area do not intrude on your privacy and ruin your summer fun.

The northwest is known for its wet weather, which means that there tends to be spots with a lot of standing water. When it comes to attracting mosquitoes and other bugs, nothing does the job quite like puddles of standing water. The best way to prevent standing water in your yard is to have your yard rolled when it is wet to work out all of the depressions and bumps. When you do your fence installation, make sure that the area under your fence does not become a small moat that holds on to the water that runs off after a storm. Bugs will collect in that water and make your summer miserable. The more you can do to eliminate standing water, the more you will reduce your bug population.

Bugs and pests also love to make their homes in thicketed brush and tall grass. Always keep your lawn mowed to prevent bugs and pests from setting up shop in your yard. If you have space between your fence and the ground, then you either need to use a weed trimmer to get rid of the high grass under your fence or use weed and grass killer every spring. Keep the bushes and shrubs in your yard trimmed and clean to prevent pests. If you have neighbors that do not keep their yards very well, then ask them to maintain their property and explain how it can reduce the population of bugs in the area.

Pests that tunnel under fences can be the most frustrating kinds of animals to keep out of your yard. The solution to this is to make sure that your fencing goes at least 12 inches below ground level. Some people buy fencing that is a foot taller than they want to allow for the sub-terrain installation while others attach mesh fencing to the bottom of their wood privacy fence and then install the mesh 12 inches below the surface.

Tips on Removing an Old Fence

If you have fence that has been sitting on your property for years or if you just bought a new home and have one you would like to remove, then you will want to do a demolition project on the existing fence. Before you get your hardhat and hammer, there are a few things you should do to make sure the project goes off safely and properly. There are several steps a good homeowner takes before making any changes to his property. Some are legal steps and others are just common sense. When you get started with your demolition project, you want to be certain you and no one else will get hurt.

The first thing you need to do is make sure the fence is yours to remove. If you are unfamiliar with the history of your property and you moved in after your neighbors were already there, then that fence you are thinking about removing may not be yours. The other problem you face is that some installation projects are done without city approval and could be on your neighbor’s property line. If you do not own the fence, then you should probably give some thought to installing a fence that is on your property. Your other option is to discuss the situation with your neighbor and see if he would be willing to tear down the fence so that you can install yours.

Regardless of where you live, you should always contact the local utility companies before you start digging. Your fence posts are installed several feet into the ground and may have been there for a very long time. If the utility companies have done any installation of lines near your fence, then you will need to know that before you start digging up fence posts. The last thing you want to do is get fined because you knocked out phone service to half the neighborhood when you took up one of your old fence posts.

It is important to have a plan when removing fence posts. If you are unfamiliar with how to do it, then it may be best to hire a professional contractor. Properly installed fences use concrete and gravel to anchor the fence posts. If you are unsure as to how to remove them, then you could get hurt and cause significant property damage. If you are confident in your ability to remove the fence yourself, then make sure that you have all of the right equipment to get the job done.

Fence Installation Mistakes

Homeowners in Washington install fences for many reasons. It can be a need for backyard privacy in a busy neighborhood or it could be because a pool was just installed in the backyard and a fence is required by code. When homeowners decide to install fences on their own, there are some common mistakes that are made that can affect how the final project looks. To avoid making mistakes on your installation project, you should become familiar with some of the common errors that happen when putting up a fence so that you can avoid them in your next project. It could save you a lot of money down the road.

One of the biggest installation problems that amateur installers run into is not having the correct property lines marked off. If you install your fence on your neighbor’s property by mistake, or if you install your fence too close to your home, then you will need to remove it. If you decide to install your fence on your own, then you should at least hire a professional survey company to give you the proper lines for your installation project. When you use professional surveyors, you will get a company that will use the information directly from your property deed to create your fence lines. It will save you time and prevent you from making a costly error.

The fence posts are the most important part of any fence and they need to be put in just right for the installation to be a success. Posts that are not deep enough in the ground or not anchored by the proper material could collapse at some point down the road. Your posts should be at least two feet in the ground and anchored by a layer of gravel and concrete that is flush with the ground. You can choose to go deeper and use more gravel and concrete, but if you do not do the minimum then you will find yourself reinstalling your fence after the first significant rainstorm.

You need to plan your fence project in advance to make sure you have the proper panels to make your installation a success. For example, the section of your fence that would be on an incline requires a special type of fence panel that differs from the standard straight panel. Always make sure you plan the project out to insure you have the proper materials when you get started.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

The winter months have come and gone and now the on and off wet days of May are upon us. Now is the time to get out in your backyard and start getting it ready for spring and summer entertaining. During the winter, things get broken while ice expands in all of the cracks and spaces of your backyard fixtures causing more damage. A spring cleaning job is something that you do on the inside and outside of your home. As you get ready to air out your house and enjoy the spring and summer weather, you need to get into the backyard and make sure that everything is ready for summer barbeques and friendly gatherings.

Winds and blowing rain can cause all kinds of damage, bring down tree branches and even move debris from one yard to another. To get your spring cleaning started, take a garbage bin out to the backyard and pick up the debris that winter has left behind. Be sure to wear gloves and be careful when you walk and reach for things. Glass, sticks and other sharp objects can get embedded in the soft ground and are difficult to see as you are picking up trash.

Your fence and deck need some inspecting as well. The fence installation consisted of concrete anchoring the posts and the deck posts were installed the same way. Before you allow anyone to walk on your deck and before the first big winds of spring arrive, you want to be certain that the posts are still structurally sound. Check around the base of the posts to see if there is any deterioration. If your fence posts are deteriorating, then the strong winds of spring will blow your fence over. If you see deterioration in your fence or deck posts, then call a contractor to come take care of the issue.

If you have a garden in the backyard, then now is the time to remove the dead plants and make room for new ones. If you have a decorative trellis in your yard that has old flowers on it, then remove the flowers and give your trellis a new coat of paint. Once spring arrives, then you can fertilize your lawn and start planting new flowers. Your spring cleaning is a time to prepare the backyard to be dazzling when the summer arrives.

Rebuild Your Fence before Selling your Home

The housing market is finally on the mend, and it’s evident in the Pacific Northwest as well as elsewhere around the nation.  Over three million people live in the Seattle metro area, and it’s known as one of the most environmentally conscious places nation.  If you live in the area and are thinking of selling a home, you’ll want to do everything that you can to ensure you find a buyer and that you get the best possible price for your property.  Rebuilding a fence is one thing that you shouldn’t overlook when you’re getting ready to list your home on the market.

There are a couple of reasons that rebuilding a fence before you even start the process of selling a home is important.  The first is simply attractiveness.  People move to the northwest for many reasons, but the natural beauty is one of them.  If your property has an old fence that isn’t quite what it used to be, it will detract from the attractiveness of your entire property.  Think about it – would you rather buy a home with a nice, stylish fence that complemented it well or a rotting, failing fence that needs major work?

Rebuilding a fence will also help you get a better price when it comes time to sell your home.  There are plenty of great properties in the Tacoma area, and there are many things that impact the property value of each tract.  A quality fence will help improve the property value of your home, while one in disrepair will greatly diminish its worth.  In other words, getting the most for your home means making sure that it looks its best.  And fixing up that fence is one often overlooked way that you can get your home looking better than it has in years.

When you’re selling a home in or around Tacoma, Washington, you need to do everything that you can to ensure you get a buyer who will pay good money for your property.  You don’t need to completely tear down your fencing, and rebuilding a fence is a much better option.  It can be completed quickly and will leave your property looking great.  For style, privacy, and functionality like blocking those northwestern winds, homes with fences just make more sense for those in the market for a new home.  Be sure you give yourself all the advantages you can when selling your home, and get that fence looking great.

Exploring the Unique Properties of Cedar Fences

As you drive through the great state of Washington, nothing catches the eye more than the beautiful fences which neatly skirt the streets securing the properties behind them. The majority of fences range in styles from picket fences and post and rail fences to the shadow box type all of which are constructed from materials which include vinyl, wood,  wrought iron or chain link. However fences made of cedar seem to be the popular choice among the residents of the Northwest.

Keeping in mind that Washington is known for heavy rains, choosing a fencing material for your property can be a tough decision. However in order to make this decision easier you need to ask yourself three important questions. 1. What fencing material will last the longest? 2. What material will require the least amount of maintenance? 3. What material will blend in well with your home and landscaping? Cedar fences, which are known to withstand the wettest of conditions, are the obvious choice for residents of the Northwest.  The four most common types of cedar are Alaska, Port Orford, Incence and Western Red. Of these the Western Red Cedar is the one which is most often used as a fencing material.

Cedar fences regulate the temperature of the property by keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. This is due to the fact that the wood has air pockets which give it insulation properties. This property of cedar makes it a better temperature regulator than most other fencing materials like concrete, brick and other types of wood. Besides blocking cool winds from entering the yard in the winter and regulating temperature, cedar is an effective sound blocker and blocks as much as 70% of sound ( almost as good as concrete). So if you decide to throw a barbeque or a party in your yard you can be sure that you will not be causing any disturbance to your neighbors as most of the noise will be trapped in your yard.

Cedar also secretes a distinct rich odor of cedar oil which is a natural insect repellent. So you can worry less about moths, mosquitoes or termites. Cedar is also one of the most durable conifers and it owes its long life to the fact that it does not decay very easily. This is because it contains naturally occurring fungicidal compounds called thujaplicins.

Cedar is known to be extremely light and flexible while exhibiting amazing strength at the same time. Its fine, straight grain and uniform texture makes it ideal for sawing and nailing and also because of the absence of pitch or resin it provides a nice base for any kind of paint or stain.

It is no wonder that for centuries humans have used cedar for building their canoes, houses and other objects. Cedar was commonly called the “tree of life” by the natives for good reason. It was also the chief material used in the construction of King Solomons Temple and the Ships of Alexander the great. So if not for the reasons stated above at least history makes it clear that the “tree of life” is the obvious choice for a fence.

Tips for Constructing and Garden Fence

What is a picture without a frame? In the same way a garden will appear incomplete without a fence. A garden fence not only adds to the overall beauty of the garden but also gives the entire landscape a more complete look. A fence can be erected around the front yard, backyard or around the entirety of the property. Adequate fencing adds to the security of your house and property as well.

The different styles of fence that you can choose from include post-and-rail fences, picket fences and shadow box fencing. You should also take into consideration the average cost of popular fence types which include wood, vinyl, wrought iron and chain link. A drive through the Pacific Northwest makes it clear that the cedar wood fence is the fence of choice for most of the residents.

The western red cedar is the most popular type of material used throughout the Northwest. This type of fencing offers natural insulation for the property by blocking the cold winds. It also acts as a sound blocker and is great for keeping down the noise from loud neighbors.

Cedar also acts as a natural insect repellent. The cedar oil acts as a deterrent to mosquitoes, termites and other bugs, which in turn protects itself as well as the surrounding property. As the wood contains natural thujaplicin, it makes it one of the most durable woods. This prevents the wood from rotting away due to decay causing fungi and damage. Therfore, this type of fence will have a long lifespan if it is properly cared for. It is also ideal for sawing and nailing, thus making it the perfect choice for fencing material. However, if you want to give your property an elegant look, wrought iron or aluminum fencing is your best bet.

After you have made up your mind of the style and type of fence you want to build around your garden you can go about designing it. Depending on your needs choose a proper height for the fence. However make sure that it adheres to the local regulations for residential fence heights. The state of Washington requires you to acquire a building permit if you decide to build a fence taller than six feet. It is always a good idea to research your local laws and regulations before breaking ground on a new fence.

Begin your assignment by determining the location of the posts. Make markings for each location with spray paint. Depending on the fence the depth of the holes will vary. To build a strong and stable fence do not keep the spaces between the holes more than six feet apart. Before you start digging the holes make sure that the depth is within the regulations and check with authorities so as to not damage underground pipes or wiring.

After the digging is done place the posts in the hole and pour the concrete. Use a shovel to mix it. You can use some soil at the top to hide the concrete giving it a neater look. Use a spirit level to level the post and once the post has been leveled leave it overnight.

On the next day choose a desired height for your posts and saw it to that height using a circular saw. The next step is to draw a line with chalk from two outside posts so as to keep the fence at the right level. Next make cuts on the post with a circular saw. The cuts should be made such that they resemble shutters. Use a chisel and a hammer to chip away the scored wooden pieces.

The next step is to attach the rails. Make sure that the rails are leveled to render them straight. For a double sided fence, attach the rails to both the front and the back. Once the rails have been attached add the fence boards. Make sure that the bottom board is at least two or three inches off the ground to avoid rotting through contact with the soil and moisture from it. Once the rail and boards have been placed and attached, add the cap. The cap needs to be nailed down to both the posts and the top rail.

It would be an advantage if you have some experience with carpentry or if you have a neighbor to help you out. However you also have the choice of calling your local landscape professional to help you do it.