Thursday, November 30, 2006

Makela on Vinyl Fences vs Wood Fences

Here's a post from David Makela--
(He knows more about vinyl than I do).

Heres some info for the blog regarding vinyl fence products. As you know I prefer a nice custom built wood fence over a vinyl fence myself and I don't want to bite the hand that feeds me and try and compare wood against vinyl, but I do feel vinyl has its place in the fence industry just as ornamental aluminum and steel fence does!.

The out come of any fence is in the quality of the material used and the craftsmanship of the person or persons behind the installation. You can apply that rule to any style, type of fence that is to be installed. A vinyl or aluminum fence will magnify any flaw in the installation where a wood fence has a margin for error with the natural twisting sagging and bowing of the product. Vinyl is manufactured where all the material is true to form so if a post is set a quarter inch out of height or alignment it will show up where wood has a forgiveness.

Too me every style or type of fence has its place in certain applications. I like a ornamental around a swimming pool. A vinyl picket looks good on a vinyl sided colonial, A vinyl rail looks nice around a vinyl sided ranch house, And a vinyl privacy looks nice in the back of any vinyl sided home.

Like Lawrence said the vinyl fence business has come a long way since the pictures of the round coral fence shown in the previous pictures. It is not fair to judge vinyl by those pictures. I can't even buy that style of fence in today's market.

There are several companies today that manufacture their products to offer a transferable life time warrantee. The product is engineered so that they feel they can offer a product that will with stand the UV rays from the sun plus all weather conditions to prevent sagging. The product is also recyclable.

I assure you if a Quality vinyl fence is installed properly it will last and look great for many years too come!!

Some of the better products I have used are ultra guard, Buff tech, and Maximum. They are reinforced through out with a grid system of vinyl extruded on the inside of the rails Ultra Guard sells there fence in a 6 ft. on center increment. Some other manufactures have a I beam insert that is installed at the bottom rail.

Best Regards,

David Makela
Mak also Mentioned that this fence withstood a flood and looks much the way it did in these photos. If anyone has any other questions--Mak is happy to answer them in comments!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rookie Fence Building - eposode 2

How do you spot a rookie fence builder's work?

No names-addresses or embarassment. I drive alot, and I see some horriffic fences. Here's a couple with critiques. I'm clearing off my desktop, so lets use up these photos.

Possibly a beginner fence builder will see this post and learn what they need to know ahead of time.

For the rookies--we sell DIY Fence plans at the web site... just click on DIY.

#1 Beginner error- not enough support. Most carpenters get it-but amateur builders may not get the principal. You can't really blame them. I've seen this design in a few books.

To span 8' you will need the equivilent of about 7-10" of material supporting.
Which means, 2-3 2x4's stood on edge built into the structure. A 2x4
upright--nailed to a 2x4 on the flat equals 5".

I bet this (below) was a really nice looking fence when it was new. Now--a waste of wood.

The new section is actually built on the ground--and has no support either. Same mistake-10 years apart.
When you build in an area where frost is a factor--you need to leave a couple of inches below the fence. (helps prevent rot too)


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Here’s a shot of a that pergola (spy shots seen earlier during construction). It’s done for a banquet facility in Oakville. We think it turned out very well.

The purpose is for use in brochures and act as a lure for weddings. We designed it to drop a tent in behind—and stage it as an entrance to the outdoor function. Group shots can then be taken at the entrance—be it day or night functions and the backdrop will always be fabulous.
There’s a similar bar area at the back of the main facility, (smaller).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Insane Neighbors ! - A Reason for Building a Big Fence !

Here's the best reason I know for building a big fence!
I can't even imagine being in these poor people's place.
You buy a house and do all the renovations the right way--they even had the wood windows meticulously restored rather than sticking vinyl windows in.
The neighbours seem ok... until they change the furnace and stick the pipe towards your property. Not thinking much of it, you ask them to move the pipe, never realizing that the guy is about to go nuclear on you.

I've seen neighbors paint their fences hot pink on one side, I've seen stop work orders for fences on retaining walls down the street from this residence and the comittee of adjustment exist just for cases similar to this one--but mark my words, this one is different.
This one has gone way beyond reasonable and rational. One neighbor has passed through to manic behavior it's about to get interesting. (believe it or not-the one exhibiting irrational behavior is involved in the psychology field)

So, when I get the call a fence nearly 8' tall has been built, with a solid gate and a roof structure right up to the property line so that the owner can scurry around like he's in his own comfortable little nest free from the prying eyes of his neighbor.
And-he's installed 3 surveilance cameras so that he can view my client's home.
And a 2 million candle power motion sensor security light (to illiminate my client's bedroom at night)

The ladder is a permanent fixture....

And a security sign-- 8' in the air, directed at my client's dining room window.
Stay tuned...
Strategies are in place...
Lets see how it all plays out.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Decorative Woodwork in North Kawartha!

Meet Garry Douglas--draftsman, carpenter--all around nice guy.
And he builds gorgeous things!
This Trellis feature was designed and built for a very special client near Peterborough.
Garry specializes in complex trellises.
He also enjoys building decks and is quite capable of designing something inspired. He even designs additions for special clients.
Nice Work Garry!
You can reach Garry at 705 656 3757

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Vinyl Fencing Failures

PVC Fencing (Poly Vinyl Chloride)

PVC Fencing has been around a few years now. This is a two part entry. I’ve invited one of my associates to comment on vinyl fencing because he knows more about it than I do.

I drive by this nearly every day.

It doesn’t work well for eavestrough, not particularly well as decking. PVC reacts with UV to cause fissure cracks in the material. It actually becomes nearly translucent, then… all of a sudden catastrophic failure. (see illustration).

PVC is a hard plastic, quite strong when new and flexible, but over time it becomes brittle.

Grass will stain it, it will scratch from weed trimmers, mud will splash up and discolor, pollution will make it dirty and dingy. There are chemical cleaners available that you spray on and wash off with a power washer-but you may have to do that yearly.

If the structure is not sufficient, it will sag.

To be fair, this was one of the original products available about 10 years ago, (the approximate age). I believe this was installed by Nordegraff Enterprises in Springwater Township more than 7 years ago..

The companies selling vinyl fence material will all tell you that the new stuff is waaay better than it used to be.

Study the warranty. The last thing I want is my associates having to face people in 10 or 15 years when these products fail. We offer a 5 year warranty on Workmanship—not the materials that go into it.
If you are going to sell it don’t misrepresent the product ok guys. I’d say low maintainence for a while… but I wouldn’t expect it to last more than 20 years unless it has reinforced concrete inside.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another Class Action Suit for Home Depot

I've never liked Pressure Treated--If I worked with it too much I would get an eye twitch--a bit disconcerting, but I tended to shy from using it. I like the new version even less.

I've had mixed emotions about Home Depot--but I think this is a stupid frivilous law suit and quite unfair. Home Depot didn't develope the processes, they didn't take it to market. When Home Depot was founded it was an accepted product and quite mainstream. The only reason they are being sued is due to their success-- They shouldn't be sued unless all the other companies that have sold it in the past are included--and the manufacturers and chemists that dreamed it up and made the products.

I wouldn't sell my shares yet... could be years before this is settled.

One suit in Austin, one in Florida and another in Louisiana. The gist is that pressure treated materials (CCA) was known to be dangerous to humans and home depot breached the warranty by selling it as a safe product for decks and fences...

Read about it here... Home Depot Class Action--PT

If it kills bugs... it's bad for humans. I don't like pesticides for that reason either. My theory is they can help you get MS and a whole host of other nervous system disorders. Wear gloves... respirators if you can, or just stay away from it.

Using a joist flashing will prevent the chemicals from leaching into the soil, but you can't slow it down if you use it for decking.

Wouldn't it be ironic if that were the reason for cancer rates being higher near suburbia--that these carcinogens are in our drinking water?