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Entertaining at home is often done outdoors, on the patio, deck, verandah or in the garden. Lush greenery, floral scents, stone paving and well thought out garden beds all inspire serene feelings of calmness and joy.

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Even you are an avid gardener, you have spent many happy hours outside either tending to your garden or just relaxing in the sun or breeze. If you enjoy being outdoors, perhaps now is the time to transform your piece of green heaven and introduce some new and exciting features to use outside. Think pergola.

Perfect Pergolas

The quickest and easiest way to transform your outdoor space is by placing a pergola outside. There are so many ways to use these structures, you will never be stuck for pergola ideas.

Pergolas come in a variety of makes. You can opt for the traditional timber pergolas, composite, steel frames or a combination. Add vinyl, cloth or shutters on the top and your pergola can take on many functions.

Pergolas give the sense of incorporating an extra room to an area because of the pillars and roof which mimic a room. This makes a pergola the perfect outdoor addition which will not only delight homeowners but adds value to the property.

Function And Form

Whether you want a practical outside dining area, seating area or relaxing area, you can achieve any look and feel with a pergola.

Warm winter evenings outside with a fireplace and blanket might be your taste or a functional dining area in spring where everyone can sit outside comfortably. Add a bar for that instant poolside feeling.

Perhaps you desire privacy and would like your outdoor spa to be covered, or a quiet place to lie outside and read in the hazy summer days. All these functions can be achieved by using a pergola.

Adding color and accessories to your pergola area is easy when you have decided on what the look and feel of your space should entail. Keeping it classy and chic is just as easy if you plan the accessories properly. Look for weather-resistant or outdoor pieces that will be easy to maintain and move around.

The great thing about having a pergola is that when you decide to update or refresh the look and design of your outdoor space, you simply bring in new elements to make the change. Remember less is more, a cluttered outdoor space is not a haven of peace and tranquillity.

Simply Add Furniture Or Plants

Attaining chic looks under your pergola can be done in so many ways. The best way to add flair and functionality to your pergola is to add furniture.

Do you want a seated area? Add weather-resistant outdoor furniture and pillows. Include small side tables and an ottoman or two to entice relaxing family gatherings outside. If your pergola is poolside, add sun loungers and potted plants with a side table or two.

If you prefer your pergola be a simple extension of your garden added creepers or plants in pots to grow against the pillars and over the roof. Perhaps you can grow a grapevine and add two chairs and a table for intimate Italy like dinners by candlelight.

 

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For better or for worse, your fencing will have a huge influence on how your place feels and looks. While for some, utility will be the most important factor, for others, they might prefer something that complements their house first. Factors such as climate and cost also have to be considered as well. This is why the question of which material should be used can be a tricky one. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular options, vinyl and wood, and the pros and cons of each to see which option would be the best for your needs.

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Wood: The Pros

One of the best things about wood fences is the way they look. Some people just love the whole white picket fence aesthetic, and stained wood can give a rustic feel to any backyard. So, if your first goal is for it to look good, then wood is a sure bet. Wood is also one of these materials you can work with even if you’re not a professional, so it’s a good pick for those DIYers out there. Wood also gives you a wide array of colors and finishes based on the staining and the wood you pick.

Wood: The Cons

Wood fences demand a lot of maintenance. And they’re not the best suited for every climate. You have to work on them every year so they can keep their appearance, whether its repainting or treating them. They’re also vulnerable to things like insects, especially termites. And they have a tendency to warp as well, especially when they haven’t been properly treated.

Vinyl: The Pros

Vinyl is one of the most low maintenance materials you can use as far as fencing goes. And it comes in a wide variety of styles, textures, and shades as well. While you can install it yourself, it’s always better to work with professional fitters. Teams like Northland Fence will be able to set up your vinyl fence in as little as a day and all their vinyl fences come with a lifetime warranty on the material. Good luck finding that with wood.

Vinyl: The Cons

One of the issues with vinyl fencing is that it’s slightly more expensive upfront than wood. But you end up recuperating these costs with lower maintenance and higher durability. Another issue with vinyl is that repairs are a bit more complicated, but since it’s so durable, it doesn’t require repairs as much as wood.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, it’s all about your priorities and what you need in a fence. If you want something that will last a long time and require little to no maintenance, go for vinyl. If your main priority is the look and you don’t mind having to maintain it every year and replace it at the end of its lifespan, then wood might be the choice for you.

Conclusion

Whatever choice you pick, make sure that you consider how much time and money you can afford to spend on your fence. Also, consider if your climate or even the general look in your area would make either option more suitable.

 

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Installing a new fence can be a demanding DIY project if the area to be surrounded is large enough, but it isn’t the most difficult project that you can undertake either. That being said, mistakes are quite common and, therefore, in case you have any plans to set up a few fences on your own anytime soon, it’s worth it to glance over these three tips that even experienced DIY enthusiasts can find useful at times.

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Asking the All-Important Questions

Before you even start planning your fence installation project, it is of the utmost importance to ask yourself and your family a few questions first, and they should be along the lines of the following.

  • What is the primary objective behind the installation of the fence?
  • Is privacy more important to you or does security take precedence?
  • How much are you really willing to or can afford to spend on your fencing project?
  • What are the choices in material that you have?
  • How much maintenance will your new fencing require and how much will that cost you?

To illustrate why all these questions are so important, let’s get to the next tip.

Understand What Your New Fencing Will Bring With It

Steel fences last for decades. In fact, the steel fencing from Northland Fence comes with a warranty of two decades! It will remain unhindered by the weather conditions as neither the sun nor the frost will be able to even scratch your steel fencing for years. While the durability of steel also makes it an excellent material of choice when security is your priority, it will not provide you with any privacy at all. When privacy is more important, then go for vinyl fencing instead of steel. Northland Fence has consciously switched over from cedar wood to vinyl because the material lasts longer than wood and provides better security than wood as well. As far as the looks are concerned, vinyl fencing can be made to look exactly like cedar, so you won’t have to sacrifice on décor. Besides, to make wooden fences last, it does require a lot of maintenance.

Checking with the Local Zoning Laws

There are limitations, rules, and regulations, alongside must-have safety precautions that every household in a US state must adhere to while putting up any kind of fencing. For example, in order to put up any fences in Minnesota that are more than 30-inches in height, you will require a building permit that will only be granted on producing a satisfactory site plan. These laws change with the state in question, so do make sure you are thorough with your understanding of what you can and can’t do in your area.

Given the time, effort, and knowledge of fine details it requires, it is recommended that you leave any big fencing project to the professionals, as they deal with them regularly and are well aware of them. Nevertheless, if you want to do it all on your own, at least now you are a bit wiser than before!

 

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Most homeowners add a fence to their property for security reasons. However, the landscaping feature can also enhance a home’s exterior appearance. If you are a pet owner or a parent, then a fence will help you keep your loved ones safe and restricted to an area where they’ll be easy to find.

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About New Wood Fences

Wood fences are popular because of their aesthetic appeal. In some areas, a wood fence can even increase a home’s value. The cost of installing a wood fence will depend on the type of wood that you select, the size of your property and your residence’s terrain. You can hire a professional contractor to supply the fencing materials and installation crew, or you can buy the materials and complete a do-it-yourself installation. If you purchase the wood personally, then check the lumber for Forest Stewardship Council certification to make sure that the material originates from a properly managed forest site. Responsibly managed forests supply different types of wood including:

• Pine
• Cypress
• Redwood
• Cedar

Pine

Pine is a popular fence material as its composition makes it easy to use. Pine is less likely to swell, warp or shrink. You can expect to pay about $8 to $10 for each linear foot of a pine fence.

Redwood

Due to its natural makeup, redwood will resist rot and termites. The wood option is durable, and it accepts finishing substances easily. Keep in mind that redwood is pricier than other fence lumber types as it costs about $10 to $12 per linear foot.

Cypress

If you choose cypress, then you’ll be installing a visually appealing fence. The wood type is sturdy and aromatic. Cypress wood does feature knots, but they are usually small and compact. In addition, the fencing material features a natural preservation oil that increases its resistance to bugs and deterioration. Your cost for cypress will be around $7 to $10 a square foot.

Cedar

With cedar, you’ll receive a sweet smelling wood that is an appealing reddish color. It is also an easy material to use. The wood type resists decay, and most people find that their cedar fence lasts for many years. The cost of cedar is about $10 to $12 per linear foot.

About Labor Costs

Labor costs for the installation of a privacy wood fence will vary. However, you can expect to pay from $125 to $140 for about 4 hours of labor. When you receive a labor quote, it should include the cost of transporting the equipment and materials to and from your home as well as property preparation before the fence company begins the installation. The estimate will likely include cleanup and debris elimination costs along with setup and minimum hourly fees.

Possible Additional Fees

If you intend to hire a general contractor to organize and oversee the installation of your fence, then you will likely pay about 12 to 19 percent more for the extra service. You’ll also have sales tax on your fencing supplies and materials along with inspection and permit fees. Be sure to check with your area’s local building department regarding certification and construction regulations.

Wood Fence Cost Variations

The cost of adding a fence to your property will depend upon the type of property containment system that you decide to install. For instance, privacy fences are more dense and taller than traditional picket fences. Therefore, you’ll need more wood to complete the installation. Fence enhancements like caps, lattice and decorative gates also increase the cost of new wood fences.

Follow Up Care

Once your fence is installed, be sure to coat it with a weather sealer. Also, consider adding a protective treatment to prevent decay and repel bugs. Keep in mind that your fence will need regular maintenance that involves the reapplication of the substances that protect it. After your fence is installed, you may consider hiring a landscaping professional to finish the look of your home’s exterior spaces. An expert landscaper can also integrate your new fence into your yard’s current design.

Concluding Thoughts

Fencing companies make property containment systems in different types of wood. Therefore, you can select a material that will appeal to your budget, style and patience for maintenance tasks.

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A chain link fence features a frame built from rails and posts. With time and patience along with the proper tools and materials, you can build a chain link fence around your home and yard.

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Tools and Equipment
The caps are the sections that hold the fence’s structure together. Furthermore, after you install the frame, the installation process will require you to stretch the fence’s mesh across it. Before purchasing the fence materials, assess your current tool supply as you may need more items. The full tool list includes:

• Socket wrenches
• Post hole digger
• Pipe cutter or a hacksaw
• Pliers
• Rubber mallet
• Level
• Shovel
• Trowel
• Mason’s line
• Fence puller or a pull bar
• Plumb bob
• Line level

When you work on installation or assembly jobs that require you to use tools and equipment, be sure to wear safety glasses and work gloves for protection.

Material Details
Before visiting the home improvement store for your fence materials shopping spree, make a list of the products that you’ll need. Be sure to include:

• Pre-mixed concrete
• Gravel
• Chain link mesh
• Rails
• Posts
• Hinges
• Caps
• Brace bands
• Latches
• Tension bars and bands
• Tension wires or hog rings
• Tie wires

Fence Parts
Most home improvement stores sell mesh in rolls that are 4, 5 or 6 feet tall. Steel is the strongest material that you can buy, but manufacturers also make the mesh out of aluminum, which is lighter. The regular posts come in a 2-diameter size while the posts for your corner and end sections are available in a 2 3/8-inch size.

Installation Directions for the Posts and Rails
The first step is to dig holes for the posts. Make the holes three times wider than the diameter of the posts. Then, fill the holes with about 4 inches of gravel and compress it. Next, add 6 inches of concrete to the corner, gate and end posts. Check the alignment of the posts after every few shovelfuls of concrete. Once the holes are filled, set the posts into the wet concrete. With a level, make sure that they are straight.

To allow water to drain away from your posts, slope the concrete’s top sections. Permit the concrete to cure for several days before continuing your fence installation. Keep in mind that the holes for the line posts should not be filled with concrete. Also, do not set the line posts.

The next step is to connect the fence’s tension bands and gate hardware. You should slide the tension bands onto every corner, gate and end post. After you’ve added the tension bands, install the hinges and latch hardware. You’ll need the rubber mallet to set the end post caps. Also, slide a brace band over each post.

You’ll then be ready to install your fence’s looped, rail and end post caps. With your mallet, pound the looped caps into the line posts. Then, set the posts in the holes, but don’t fill them in yet. You’ll need to bolt a rail cap to the fence’s brace bands, and slide the rails through the looped caps. With your hacksaw, cut your fence’s rails to the proper size. After you’ve sized the rails, place them into the rail caps, and be sure to tighten the brace bands. Fill the line postholes with dirt. Once you have them full, pack them in until they are secure.

Chain Link Installation
For your fence’s chain link installation, you’ll need to unwind the mesh. The chain link will also require a tension bar. Be sure to slide the tension bar through the mesh’s links, which are at the end of the material. This step makes the end section of the fence inflexible. It will also create an attachment unit for the posts. Use your socket wrench to secure the tension bar into the tension bands. Then, pull the chain link mesh tight to prevent sagging. With a fence puller, stretch the mesh. The next step is to crank the fence puller until the fence’s mesh loops will not shift more than ¼-inch when you attempt to squeeze them together.

Be sure to insert the tension bar close enough to the tension bands for fastening. With your socket wrench, tighten the bolts on the bands. Then, repeat the hanging and stretching process along the rest of your fence. You’ll need your pliers to connect the mesh sections to the rails. Furthermore, you can complete the action by forming a hook out of one end of an aluminum tie wire. Loop the wire around the top section of the rail, and tie the wire to the mesh.

To finish your fence, run a wire through the mesh’s bottom loops. Be sure to tighten it around the end posts. Also, wrap it around itself a few times to complete the connection.

The Benefits of a Chain Link Fence
When you fence in your home and property, you’ll add a layer of protection. Furthermore, the enclosure will keep your children and pets inside your property and dissuade uninvited guests from entering.

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You very well may be one of the millions of people around the country that have decided that you want to experience the benefits that are available with installing a fence around your property. However, what fence will provide you with the various amenities that you are seeking from its presence? Are you looking for heightened security and safety for your property? Is it an increase in property value you are looking for? Or are you interested in the look and feel a new fence will provide for your home or business facilities? Whatever your reasons for wanting to install fencing you should first know your options and the pros and cons that the different types of fences have to offer.

While there is a plethora of fencing options available all types fall within three major categories. This includes Natural Material fencing which consists of mainly stone or wood style fencing; Man-Made Material fencing which includes composite and vinyl fencing; and Metal Material fencing such as chain link and wrought iron styles. Throughout the United States people have found the most popular styles of fencing to be wood, vinyl, and chain link. But other than their popularity, what do these fencing options have to offer and what drawbacks do they carry with them?

Wood Fencing
Wood fencing is available in a wide range of styles giving people the ability to find an option that will produce the look and feel they are seeking around their property. This is the type of fencing that was first introduced in the United States as a way of setting up property divisions and securing livestock for early settlers. From split rail fencing to 8 foot stockade fencing, you will find these products available in most any home improvement store in your area.

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For individuals that choose to install wood fencing around their property they gain the ability to paint or stain their fencing to compliment their property. However, it should also be noted that wood fencing does require a great deal of maintenance as it will have to be painted often and protected from the outside elements frequently to prevent it from deterioration. Wood fencing styles can also be damaged due to insect infestations, discoloration due to the sun, and swelling during high levels of rain or snow seasons.

Vinyl Fencing
Vinyl fencing is one of the newest options for fencing that has recently become available. You will find that when choosing to create a fence with this type of material you are provided with the ability to purchase from a wide range of colors, sizes, and styles to match your residential or business building facilities. Made from some of the toughest materials available, vinyl fencing is virtually maintenance free, requiring simple washing with a garden hose or power washing machine to keep it looking new throughout the year. This type of fencing is believed to last for many decades when properly cared for.

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The cost is one of the biggest drawbacks of vinyl fencing as it can be quite costly to purchase. Due to the fact that precision drilling or fitting is required it can be time consuming as well to install a vinyl fence around your property. There are vinyl fencing styles that can be purchased pre-drilled so that you simply bolt the various sections together, but again this can be an added expense that people do not always want to invest in.

Chain Link Fencing
Chain link fencing was created to provide a more economical option to wrought iron fencing. Created from galvanized steel, people could eliminate the fear of having their fencing rust or breakdown due to exposure to outside elements such as moisture, heat, snow, and ice. People found that chain link fencing was easy to install even if they had to do the work themselves. The design of a chain link fence requires that long steel posts be inserted into the ground. The mesh chain link fencing is then wired to these posts allowing for a barrier around the property. This type of fencing is ideal when your purpose for the fence is to keep unwanted foot traffic through your property or to prevent children and pets from getting out of the yard.

While there are many pros to installing a chain link fence around your property, there are some negative factors that should be considered before you head out to your local home improvement store to purchase this type of fencing. The chain link fencing can be pushed out on the bottom if some type of edging is not installed around the bottom of the fence. There is very little privacy that is obtained by the installation of a chain link fence. There are however special mesh strips that can be woven through the links of the fence to allow for limited privacy from the outside world but this is an added expense that many people do not always want to take on. It should also be noted that chain link fencing does allow for children and other people to climb the fence to get in or out so special precautions should be taken if this is one of your main purposes for installing a fencing system.

Regardless of the specific type of fence you choose to install around your property you will find it to be a worthwhile investment should you obtain the specific benefits you are seeking. There are positive and negative attributes of every style of fencing that you will find, but knowing what they are is the key to receiving the satisfaction you are seeking.

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As the old adage goes, good fencing makes good neighbors.Now, there are other ways to deal with problematic neighbors – as this guide will tell you, but for those who are looking for a new fence for more organic, or aesthetic reasons, this post will help you sort out the costs that are associated with that.

Having an excellent fence installed can go a long way towards keeping your property secure and preventing issues with trespassing, misconduct and vandalism. Getting a new fence, however, can be a significant expense, one that includes the cost of the fence itself and the installation. That cost varies widely depending on the length and style of your fence, the materials you intend to use and your choice of installation professional.

One of the most popular materials used to construct fences is wood. Depending on the type and grade of wood used, wood fencing can range from very inexpensive to very expensive. All wood fences share some degree of vulnerability to the elements, certain pests and fire, although pressure treating and certain coatings can mitigate that vulnerability somewhat. Wood also requires some degree of maintenance to stay attractive and functional. Nevertheless, many homeowners opt for wooden fencing because of its classic appearance.

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Common grades of wood used in fencing include clear wood, which has almost no flaws or imperfections; premium or #1 grade, which contains only small imperfections such as knots; standard or #2 grade and utility grade. Higher-grade wood is more expensive, of course, but the lack of imperfections can be aesthetically pleasing. It is worth noting, however, that many homeowners actually prefer the rustic appearance of lower-grade wood. Furthermore, if the fence is going to be painted, the presence or absence of surface imperfections is somewhat moot.

Vinyl fencing is growing in popularity because it is durable and requires almost no maintenance. Because it is the same color all the way through, it requires no painting or staining, and it maintains its new appearance for quite some time. Vinyl is available in a wide range of heights and styles and has few finish imperfections. However, it can also be more expensive than wood or metal.

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Several metal fencing options are available, ranging from aluminum to wrought iron. Aluminum is a fairly inexpensive, lightweight and versatile material available in many colors, heights and styles. It can be attached to many different types of posts, including rock, and is excellent for decorative or boundary fencing. Perhaps the biggest advantage of aluminum fencing is that it is impervious to rust and tarnishing, which means maintenance is almost completely non-existant.

For those who can afford it, classic wrought iron fencing is an excellent option. Although it is a metal, wrought iron has an almost wood-like grain because of its low carbon content. The most common types of wrought iron fencing are the Essex fence, which has an ornate, noble appearance, and the somewhat simpler Concord fence. Either type of wrought iron fencing is fairly expensive to purchase and install, but fortunately it requires little maintenance once it is in place.

The cost of fencing also depends on the style of fencing to be used. Privacy fences, which are essentially solid barriers, tend to be relatively expensive because they require a great deal of material. Three-rail fencing is often somewhat cheaper, though it does not provide as much privacy. The classic picket fence tends to be even more expensive than privacy fencing.

Average Fence Costs and Variables
With all of these options available, the cost of fencing varies widely depending on the material, style and length of the fence. On average, having a fence constructed and installed out of basic materials costs about $13 per linear foot, of which about $8 is for the fencing itself and about $5 is for installation. Mid-range fencing averages around $16 per linear foot, including about $10 for materials and $6 for installation. High-end fencing can be $19 or more per linear foot, with about $12 per foot for materials and another $7 for the installation. The actual cost of fencing varies widely around those numbers, of course: Market forces govern the cost of materials, and installation costs tend to be higher in affluent and heavily populated areas.

Since installation represents a huge portion of the cost of new fencing, up to 50 percent in some areas, it is always good to look for ways to reduce that cost. For wood fencing, consider hiring a carpenter to do the installation instead of paying extra for a specialized fencing contractor. Just make sure that the carpenter has prior experience working with wooding fencing. Consider taking care of some of the extra costs by removing existing fencing yourself. If you have the time and hands-on aptitude to do it well, you can save thousands by installing your own wood fencing.

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