Your Material of ChoiceAs you’ve chosen to install an aluminum fence, it’s clear you’ve done your research as to the most hardy, all-purpose option on the market. The anti-corrosive properties of aluminum mean it is ideal for securing your poolside, allowing you let the kids play worry free, as unlike iron or steel, it will not rust. Aluminum is also easy to clean, so it’s perfect for placing in areas exposed to the elements, as any grime or grit carried by strong winds or inclement weather is easily washed away. Finally, as it is metal, if you’re yard is host to a plethora of different fauna, it won’t become damaged or even infested by the local insect population, something you may risk with wood or stone walling. If you are reading this, and have chosen fencing other than aluminum, then taking the above considerations on board before installation will help you to avoid your material of choices’ unique pitfalls.
Mind those Wires and Pipes!As with any project that requires digging more than a foot into the ground, making sure you undertake research into what’s laying under your lawn can save you all kinds of stress further down the line. No one wants to suddenly discover a new fountain in their yard after hitting a water pipe, or becoming your neighbors’ public enemy no.1 by putting your shovel through electrical cabling, after all! If your home is a new build, or you even developed the property yourself, you should find the information you need regarding underground pipes and cabling on the properties plans. No need to worry if this isn’t the case however, as you can call a service like 811 to find out just what you might be digging into, and areas you may need to avoid when placing your fence posts. Once you’re sure there’s no danger below ground, make sure to dig your fence posts as deeply into the earth as possible, as this will help ensure your fences’ longevity.
Property Laws and your Homeowner’s AssociationFrustratingly for some, one of the largest factors that will impact on how you install your aluminum fencing will be bureaucratic. If you want your fence to stand for more than a few weeks, it’s best to be clued up on the property laws for your state and area. For example, in regards to the height allowance of your fence, most states stipulate that in front yards, artificial fencing may not exceed 4 ft in height, whereas in your backyard, this is extended to 6 ft. If your property is old, or situated in a preservation area, you may have extra requirements, such as fencing that is contemporary in appearance to the house, or fencing that is installed at a distance from certain trees or constructions, that may be protected, so as not to damage their roots or foundations when inserting fence posts. If your home is in a newer residential area then you may need to gain permission from the Homeowners Association (HOA). Your specific HOA may have their own guidelines for fence installation – particularly if the project is visible from the curb. You may need to select from a specific set of designs or styles that compliment either the property, or other fencing in the area.
“If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail!”As Benjamin Franklin so wisely said, without taking the time for proper planning, failure becomes increasingly more likely. When it comes to something as large as a fencing project, it’s best to take a deep breath and think things through. Taking time to consider your specific type of fencing, measuring your property correctly, and making sure you know what lies beneath your turf are some simple considerations you can make which can make all the difference in the outcome of your project. However, even the best laid plans can fall victim to regulation violation, and could face subsequent removal. No one wants to see their hard work dismantled, so it really is best to do your research, not only for the sake of your morale, but your wallet too.
What is a Housing Association?Referred to as an HOA, or sometimes POA (Property Owners’ Association), a Housing Association is typically created by an estate agency or developer to aid in the selling of, and the marketing and managing of homes or lots within a residential subdivision. Typically, the case with new or recent builds, if a HOA is in place, prospective homeowners must join the association. The homeowners then gain a variety of benefits (depending on the terms of the HOA), including potential recreational opportunities within the estate, like a park or pool, or even maintenance services. The main drawback to owning a property covered by a Homeowners’ Association, however, is that there may be limitations to the cosmetic changes you can make to your property – particularly external. After all, it is unlikely residents would agree, for example, to a lime green house amidst their cohesive and pleasant neighborhood! Therefore, as a good homeowner, any significant changes to your property should be proposed to the HOA first.
Doing your HomeworkThe most important step to beginning your proposition to your HOA is to understand your specific Homeowners’ Associations’ rules. Each HOA is ran slightly differently, and rules can also vary wildly from state to state. Look over your Homeowners’ Association documents, and if you can’t find them, contact the estate agency or property developer you purchased your home from, and they’ll be sure to help you out. Reading over these documents can be useful, and you may even find your respective HOA allows the installation of fencing of a certain height with no need to make a proposition.
How Best to Propose Aluminum Fencing to your HOA?Be as thorough and precise as possible when submitting your proposal to your HOA. If your fencing project is large scale, you may need to submit project drawings, and giving the size, materials and dimensions of your desired fencing is a must. It is advisable to make several copies of your submission before sending it to your HOA, in case they are requested in the future. Depending on your particular association’s efficiency it may take several weeks, if not over a month to hear back about your submitted plan. Therefore, if you’re planning on installing your aluminum fence as a summer project, it may be best to submit your proposal in spring to allow time for the processing of your application.
Think Aluminum FencingThere are a whole host of reasons why your HOA would be likely to accept your proposal for an aluminum fence on your property. Aluminum is lightweight and allows for quick and easy install, quite literally allowing you to transform your outdoor living space in as little as a weekend. This is a huge plus to you and your neighbors, as traditional fencing can be heavy and require hiring workmen to install. Secondly, unlike wrought iron or steel, aluminum is corrosion resistant. If not treated properly, other metal fences can deteriorate rapidly in just two years, leaving your yard looking unsightly and unkempt. This could even result in complaints to the HOA by your neighbors if the deterioration becomes severe enough. Aluminum is also a sustainable resource. It can be reused and recycled endlessly without compromising its quality or structural integrity, also it is the most abundant metal in the world. With the focus increasingly on greener, more environmentally conscious living, particularly within property development, an eco-savvy aluminum fence is bound to go down well with your HOA. You don’t even need to worry if you choose to landscape or alter your garden in the future, as not only is aluminum fencing light and easy to remove, it’s also incredibly simple to recycle too! Finally, aluminum is an incredibly malleable material. This flexibility allows aluminum to be molded into a variety of stylish designs that are virtually indistinguishable from more expensive wrought iron or steel. When you also consider the fact that aluminum fencing is also far cheaper than conventional materials, the choice becomes clear.
Final ThoughtsFencing can totally transform an outdoor space, delineating different areas of your garden, or adding a layer of safety to your poolside, protecting your children or pets from unwanted mishaps. Making a proposal to your HOA may seem daunting, but will definitely be worth it, when your freshly fenced yard is the talk of the neighborhood.
We all have dreams of DIY, but sometimes it’s just more practical to bring in help. If you decide to hire help to setup your aluminum fences, here are some tips to help you find the right people for the job.
No matter the type of fencing chosen for your project, finding the right person to install your fence or gate is an important decision. So, what is the best way to decide what type of installation is needed, and how do you go about avoiding potential rogue traders?
In this article we’ll be exploring some of the ways to find the best fence installer for you.
Know Your Fence
When selecting the right fence for your project, the first consideration you almost certainly made was the material of choice for your specific requirements. Whether you’re a wrought iron traditionalist, a secure steel supporter, or a conscientious aluminum fence fan, the pros and cons of the material selected was probably a driving force behind your informed purchase.
Understanding for example, that steel or wrought iron requires heavy lifting, where as aluminum is lightweight, or that many metals require treatment or maintenance, compared to aluminum’s rust resistance, are all key factors that will impact on the type of installation you’ll need for your project.
To DIY or not to DIY?
The decision for who should install your fence is a choice that goes hand-in-hand with knowing your fencing type, as well as your own practical skills and knowledge of the various techniques which may be required during the project.
Unless you have specialized skills, you may have selected aluminum fencing for its easy DIY installation. However, if you have a sudden crisis in confidence or your project scale is large, considering obtaining external help may be your best solution.
While it is also definitely possible to install a more traditional steel or wrought iron fence yourself, unless the panels are quite small, and you have a strong back, you may need more specialised equipment to get your project off the ground — quite literally, as iron and steel are 2.5x denser than aluminum!
Budget may also be a contributing factor as to whether you decide to roll up your sleeves or not. On tighter budgets, you may have to either complete the whole project yourself, or at the very least, do a large amount of the prep work to save on labor costs.
You may also have underestimated on costing; for example, a wrought iron fence is a lot more expensive per panel than aluminum and also far trickier and heavier to ship. If this is the case for you, not to worry, there are plenty of top tips and guides out there to have you fencing like a pro in no time.
Hiring a Professional
If you decide the best route is to hire a professional, there are also a whole host of tips and tricks to ensure you end up with a perfect outcome, right on budget.
The first tip would be to do your research. Understanding the price range that you might expect to pay per day or per project is a sure-fire way to dodge overpriced tradesmen or even help secure you a better fee.
Being able to confidently inform your proposed professional of the prices for installation in your area will often ensure you gain a competitive price for your project.
Once you have selected your chosen contractor, or created a shortlist of some contenders, the next savvy thing to do is research the professional in question.
Are they licensed, or do they have the correct certification for your state or area? Questions like these will help you weed out the scammers, and help guarantee a professional who cares just as much about your project as you do. Checking the tradesman’s scores on review websites will also give you a better insight as to the quality of work they produce. If a large proportion of customers were unhappy with their results, it may be best to move onto the next professional on your list.
Lastly, consider the person you’re hiring. After all, depending on the scale of your project, the workman may be spending some time in close proximity to you and your family. If you don’t have a good rapport with them when initially discussing installing your fencing, or don’t have complete trust in letting them be up close-and-personal with your property, then the contractor in question may not be the right fit for you.
Depending on the type of fencing you have chosen, you may be in for more of a project than you first considered. Hiring a professional can be taxing and expensive, so for many budgets the easy install, high quality, and low maintenance of aluminum fencing is the best option.
Naturally, the choice is up to you and your unique needs, but why pay more for more stress, more financial outlay, for an iron or steel fence, when the results are nearly indistinguishable from affordable, more environmentally friendly aluminum fencing?
Urban FencingIf you live in the sprawling city, fencing can be vital to your life. The first purpose that many city dwellers think about when purchasing fences is security. Crime rates, particularly theft, vandalism, and other personal and property crimes is always higher in cities, just because more people are living there who are potential perpetrators. Generally speaking, the higher the population density of an area, the higher you can expect the crime rate to be. Fencing can be an excellent deterrent for criminals, especially when paired with adequate lighting. The second principal purpose for fencing in urban areas is raising property values. This is especially helpful for rental properties and real estate agencies. The added security and the attractiveness of good fencing will fetch a higher price on the market, and in urban areas, the competition for housing is always higher than in remote rural areas. If you want to make more money on your rental property, install a fence around the perimeter. Aluminum fences can be ideal for both security and aesthetic purposes in urban areas. They are lightweight, easy to install and maintain, cost-effective, and have the appearance of being stronger than they actually are. Would steel fences be better for security? They would be stronger, but if someone wants to break into your property badly enough, they will find a way over any fence. The object of urban fencing for security is not entry prevention, it is deterrence, and aluminum can do that just as easily as steel, at a much lower cost. What kind of maintenance can you expect for aluminum fences in urban areas? If you live in a well-paved area in a warmer climate, you can just a little light cleaning, perhaps spraying down your fence with water a couple times a year. Extreme air pollution may affect the coloration of your fence slightly, but a small amount of Dawn dish soap in a bucket of water, wiping down your fence with a soft cloth should take care of most of that problem. The bigger issue in urban areas is collision damage. With more cars in the area, it is more likely that your fence may be hit by a vehicle, which will almost always require replacement panels and posts. You may want to look into an extended warranty or insurance policy for your fence, especially if it stands near the road.
Rural FencingRural areas use fences for slightly different purposes. One of the most common objects of fencing in rural areas is to mark property boundaries. This is not the same as security, because these fences often do not completely surround the property in question. Instead, they cut lines between neighboring properties on the same side of the road, lines you can easily walk around or over. However, these fences help delineate mowing responsibilities, farming or gardening opportunities, and legal or municipal code issues such as where to bury septic tanks. Another important purpose of rural fencing is to keep animals on the property. Rarely are rural homes built to keep others out. Instead, fences are used to keep dogs, cats, chickens, goats, and other animals on the property and out of the road. Rural residents are far more likely to have multiple animals (pets and livestock) than urban households. Fences help protect those animals by keeping them on the property. Wood fences are a traditional standard in rural areas, but they require regular maintenance, or they rot and fall apart. Aluminum fences are significantly more durable and easier to maintain. They will get dirtier than most urban fences. They will not erode away due to moisture and insects though, as wood fences will. Vinyl fences are another possibility, and they can be made to look like wood fences, and they are easier to maintain as well. However, they cost a bit more upfront. How do you maintain your rural fence? You will likely have to wash it more thoroughly than urban residents. The increased elements of soil, wind, and rain will conspire to keep your fence dirty, especially if it is painted a lighter color. If their fence is near the road, they too may have issues with vehicle collision causing damage and requiring replacement. If not, rural fences often have to deal with animal collision as well. Most dachshunds will not destroy fences unless you have one prone to chewing metal, but large dogs, like St. Bernards, can cause damage by colliding into it. You may have larger livestock as well, and some of these will require stronger fences to keep them penned in. Even if you do not have pets or livestock, you are more likely to contend with wild animals like deer, coyotes, and more. These will probably cause less damage than a car but may harm your fence in smaller pieces. Whether you are an urban dweller or a rural resident, fences have a place in your home or business. Making sure you keep up the proper maintenance on your fence can help ensure you get a long life out of your investment.
Businesses with Vital Cooling NeedsMost companies today operate better with adequate air conditioning. Several types thrive on them though. The first is restaurants. Ice cream shops might lose their entire inventory without cooling units for their freezers, ice cream machines, and whole shop, but they are not alone. Every restaurant has some kind of cooling unit to keep frozen food frozen and refrigerated food cool. Without these operating constantly, the food becomes very susceptible to contamination and must be either cooked immediately or thrown away. Without adequate cooling units, restaurants are put out of business. Much of the hospitality business thrives on access to air conditioning as well. While they do not have the same kind of legal standards for their rooms as restaurants do for their kitchens, most people simply will not stay at a hotel that does not have air conditioning or heat. A third important group is retail stores. While most people do not shop in stores because of their temperature, many people will refuse to shop in one because it is too hot. If you want to stay in business, you need to keep your air conditioner units operating.
How can aluminum fences help you keep your cooling units running?Criminal Activity One of the dangers of having outdoor cooling compressors is that they are vulnerable to criminals who can either vandalize, steal, or sabotage them. Vandalism is a risk for any unit near places where young people may gather. The vandalism you may suffer could go beyond spray paint. It might involve structural damage to the unit itself, and perhaps costing you thousands of dollars to repair. One of the more recent trends for the many areas the suffer from heavy drug use and trafficking has been people stealing parts from compressor units and selling them. It is no secret that these parts are not cheap to buy, and unfortunately, people who want to make quick cash have discovered how to get in and remove them, without even turning the unit off. Finally, you may have angry ex-employees or people working for your competition that could get in and sabotage your cooling units, just to hurt your business. Whatever their reasons, you are at risk if your cooling units are exposed and accessible to the public. What can you do about this problem? Fence those units in with an aluminum fence. Where to Install Fences If you have a small unit, probably nestled up against your building, it is a simple task to install a small fence around them. If you put 4-5 feet of space around the units and a gate that allows access inside the fence, your HVAC technicians should have adequate access to work on them. If you have any question about how much space to allow, contact your local HVAC technician and get their professional opinion. If you have an external unit that sits away from your building, you would be wise to box it in with a small fence. Again 4-5 feet around the unit should provide enough wiggle room for those who need to be there to get in and work. Again, the key is to have a locked gate that restricts access to your unit. This can be done quickly and without spending a lot of money. What about commercial buildings with A/C units located on their roofs. These can also be fenced in, just like external units or nestled units if they are near a wall. Many businesses use them, even when roof access is limited. If people get desperate enough for money, they will find ways onto your roof. There is one complication with installing fences on existing buildings. All of these fences require posts that are dug into the ground and have concrete poured around them. This prevents the fences from being lifted right up out of the ground or perhaps pulled out with a vehicle and towing chain. It is still possible with the concrete, but the process will be noticeable and take a while. For roof fences, there is no soil to dig into and set your posts. Roof fence posts must be bolted down. However, you do not want to drill into your roof because that will cause potential leaks. If you are putting a fence on an existing roof, you need to build a small deck under or around your units and drill and bolt the fence posts into that deck pad. You can attach that deck pad to whatever part of the building allows you roof access, or else you may need to be creative to avoid drilling holes into your roof to keep that deck in place. The end result will be a fence that cannot be lifted up without taking the whole deck with it. It is not as secure as soil-and-concrete-rooted posts, but it is better than roof bolts. If you are constructing a new building and know you will have compressor units on the roof, it would be an excellent idea to include fencing in the initial construction so you can plant it in concrete on the roof itself. Make sure your essential A/C units are protected for your business by fencing them in with aluminum fences.
Once you’ve decided to install a new fence on your property, the next step is to get a quote. What information do you need in order to make the quote process simple?
You’ve decided to invest in some new fencing for your property, or perhaps you are looking to replace some old fencing. You need it installed soon, and you need it to fit your budget. What information do you need to get before you begin making calls and sending out requests for quotes from fencing companies?
Type of Fence
The first thing you need to know is what type of fence you want on your property. There are three main types of fence, based on manufacturing materials.
The first type of fence is wood. This is a traditional fence material. It is medium weight, reasonably durable, and can be cut simply or carved elegantly. Most outdoor fences crafted n simpler fashions. The difference between them is whether you are looking for a picket fence, with set posts and horizontal pieces attached to the posts, or if you want wooden panels running vertically to keep everything out. Fences can be made of Redwood, Ceder, or Cypress if you can afford these more expensive hardwoods or Spruce as a softwood. If you are searching for the least costly wood type, you can get pressure-treated wood.
The second type of fence is metal. The most common types of metal are wrought iron, steel, and aluminum. Wrought iron and steel are very durable and also quite heavy. Aluminum is less durable, but it is lighter and less expensive. It is also easier to craft into a variety of shapes and sizes. Metal fences are the best for securing areas, keeping insiders inside and all others out.
The last type of fence is polymer fences. These include PVC pipe fences and vinyl fences. These vary in price but are easy to craft in a wide variety of styles — often created to look like wood or metal fences themselves. These are less secure than hardwood or metal fences, but they can be made to look more secure, especially from a distance, than they actually are, so they still act as a deterrent.
Fence Height and Length
The second major factor in determining your fencing estimate is the fence height and length. Most fencing companies have standard heights (often 8 feet and 6 feet) as well as standard lengths for fence panels. The number they will be using to give you an estimate is the number of posts and panels. If you opt for heights outside of their standard options, you can expect to pay significantly more.
Length is easier to calculate. The easiest way to gather length information is to run a string around your perimeter, or above your current fence if you have one. The measurement of that string should be the exact length measurement you need.
Type and Number of Gates
The last piece of information you need to get an accurate quote is the type and number of gates you want in your fence. Gates can be open, latching, or locking. They also offer multiple kinds of locking from simple padlocks to magnetic locks that are operated with a special type of key. You are welcome to purchase and install your own locks as well, but many gates can be fitted with one when your fence is manufactured.
Perhaps the most crucial piece of information you need when contacting your fencing company for a quote is the function or purpose you desire your fence to fulfill. Are you looking for a fence that will keep others from entering your property? Do you need a fence to keep pets on your property? Are you simply trying to raise the attractiveness and property value of your home or business? All of these are very legitimate reasons for purchasing a fence, and there are many more. Sharing this purpose with your fencing provider will help them make sure that you are asking about the type and dimensions of fence that will truly suit your needs.
One of the most significant benefits of having this information around before you contact your local fence supplier is that you may be able to figure out ballpark estimates just by looking at some prices on their websites. Provided you are going with standard height options, you can take their paneling price and divide your total fence length need by their panel length to get the number of panels you can expect to purchase. That will probably be your most significant cost. You can add in the cost of gates and any accessories you plan on purchasing. Add those up, and it should get you close to what the fence supplier will quote you.
Getting a new fence on a set budget is not an enormous chore, but it requires getting your information gathered together and organized ahead of time. If you can do your part in getting your info first, you will be wiser in making your fencing inquiries, and you may even find a way to get an additional discount in the process of negotiating prices.
SunlightThey allow safe outdoor recreation for adults in these long-term care facilities. Why would outdoor activities be important? Part of our daily vitamin needs include Vitamin D, which is activated by sunlight. Without sunlight, we can take all the vitamins we want, but they will not be beneficial to our bodies. Sunlight also plays an integral part in our mental and emotional health as well. Too much time away from it often leads to bouts of depression in adults, and some people are more susceptible to this sun-deprived depression than others. Outdoor fencing allows residents of adult care facilities to go outside without concern for their safety and well-being.
Other Forms of NatureFencing also allows for the enjoyment of other forms of nature as well. Flower gardens are very popular among adult residential care facilities. They help provide an aesthetically pleasing environment where their residents can enjoy the beauty of nature and find a sense of peace for themselves and calm in the midst of what is often a troubled life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Some facilities have fenced in areas where they keep animals as well, as a form of therapy for their residents. Dogs and cats are sometimes popular as inside/outside animals, but other animals, such as rabbits, goats, and other “petting zoo” type animals have been used as well. Aluminum fences help designate certain areas as recreational places and protects them from intruders as well as preventing the animals from running away.
Physical ActivitiesIn certain situations, if they are physically able, adult residents of long-term care facilities are invited not only to enjoy looking at or walking in these gardens and other recreational areas, they are invited to help maintain them as well. Some form of physical work is always helpful in older ages, to keep brain functions working well. Body and mind often follow one another in their health, and an idle body often leads to an idle mind as well. Giving residents the opportunity to water or even plant flower beds can go a long way in keeping their mental faculties sharp and healthy.
Gates and AlarmsOften, these kinds of activities need supervision. Aluminum fences with locked gates help keep residents out and away from these gardening areas when there is no supervision or when professional preparations are being done in them. They also can be fitted with electronic locks or alarms to prevent your residents from going in and out of the areas unsupervised. Residents with memory problems will feel more secure in a fenced in area in which they cannot easily get lost. They will still be able to experience and enjoy the gift of nature and the joy of getting out in the sun.
Safety and SecurityIn adult long-term care facilities, the idea of fences may seem uncomfortably close to prison walls. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Fences provide the opportunity of allowing anyone to come and go as they please, but only through monitored entryways, which gives you control not only over who can leave the grounds but also who can enter. With the rise of drug addictions, adult care facilities have often become prime targets for thieves who come in under the guise of visiting family members and steal whatever drugs, jewelry, or money they can from the residents of these facilities. By installing fences around the property, you help reduce the risk of theft from your facility or your resident’s property.
Attractive AppearanceThe last note about aluminum fences in adult long-term care facilities is that it usually makes the property more attractive. It will increase your property value, and there are several different styles you can choose from to match your building decor and the environment you wish to create for your residents. Some vinyl style fences even mimic wooden picket fences giving you all the benefits of their simple elegance without the hard maintenance of keeping wooden fences painted and repaired. If you currently own or plan to own an adult long-term care facility, be sure to check in with your local aluminum fencing supply to help you provide a safe and free environment for your residents and a beautiful addition to your property.
Step 1: Choose the SiteYour first step is to choose the site for your fence. Is your fence going to surround your entire property, or is it going to designate off a specific area within your property? Do you want it visible from the road? Adding a fence will change the look and “feel” of your property, so it is essential that you make those fencing decisions based on accurate information before you start digging holes in the ground. One of the first pieces of information you need to know is where your underground cables and pipes are. Your utility companies will give you this information. You need to ask them where any underground wires or pipes are located and how deep they are located, so you do not accidentally damage them while digging holes for your DIY fence installation. If you are on city water and sewer, they can let you know the whereabouts of those pipes, but if you are not, you may need to check for septic lines. If you did not install the septic system and are unsure about the pipes that belong to it, check with your local government officials. Many times, these systems need approval to be installed, and this may involve a blueprint or survey showing where it is buried.
Step 2: Gather SuppliesYou will need:
- Enough string to completely surround the area you want to be fenced.
- Clothespins, or something similar to mark the places you will put posts, as many clothespins as you intend to have fence posts.
- A post hole digger.
- A shovel
- A level.
- Gravel for the post holes (2-3 shovels full per post)
- Stakes to brace each post
- As many fence posts and crosspieces or panels as you need to cover your fence area. (These pieces can wait until after you complete Step 3.)
- Fencing accessories