FENCES & GATES

A fence establishes boundaries, creates first impressions, and provides security for children, pets and property.  Because of its natural properties, cedar fencing is super durable.  Cedar is a beautiful product to look at. It doesn’t easily warp or twist. After the first couple of year the difference will become obvious. After 10 or 12 years, the difference will be pronounced. In terms of value per dollar spent, it is hard to beat the enduring performance of real cedar. With a little planning and design it can be a major attribute to your home.

FIND MATERIALS

Concepts & Design

  • Standard fence designs are geared to reliably span 8 feet. Whenever possible, avoid oversized or tiny end sections. For best performance and overall appearance, it is better to add a section / slightly reduce your average post spacing.
  • Existing lot shape and direction of surface runoff affect design plans. Landscape designs follow the existing flow of the land and look best on larger properties. Terrace designs work well when you have to deal with large changes in elevation over short distances. They are often used in conjunction with a curb or retaining wall to mitigate the gaps created underneath.
  • Spacing fence boards is great for a wind diffusion; however, too large a gap will reduce both security and privacy.
  • Curbs make it easy to mow the grass up to your fence and contain flower beds, mulch, landscape materials or back-fill.

Construction tips

  • Screws are the ideal fastener. Brown Ceramic coated screws look good and won’t stain the wood.
  • Picket screws must be long enough to penetrate 1” into supports. For dimensional components (2×4), 1 ¼” depth is required.
  • If you’re choosing to cast posts in concrete, use metal posts to extend service life of the fence. Place posts at a depth of 3 feet (or more) to reduce risk of frost heave, and keep the concrete a few inches below grade. Wood posts perform best if set in post grit at a minimum depth of 3′.
  • 4×4 posts can be a weak link in your fence as they have a tendency to break during severe wind storms. 4×6 not only looks better, but will overcome this problem.
  • Capping your fence boards and posts tops will minimize water migration into the end grain thus extending the appearance and service life of your fence.
  • After you start construction, keep you primary wood pile covered with a lumber tarp at all times, especially on hot days. This, more than anything else will help your building materials stay straight!

Requirements for an accurate take-off

  • # of posts
  • # of sections (panels)
  • opening size of each panel
  • # of gates & size
  • total lineal feet of fence
  • change in elevation from start to end (if significant)
  • post style preferences (defined or integrated)
  • overall style preference (concept picture).

Gates

  • Oversized gates tend to sag. Ideal width ranges between 3-4 feet.
  • Using a good weatherproof construction adhesive between the boards and rails will help prevent sagging down the road.
  • For custom gates, a 3 ply approach using 1″ frame boards front and back to sandwich the body of the gate, will help reduce weight and increase structural values. Use screws and a good weatherproof construction adhesive between all overlapping joints to eliminate the risk of a sagging frame.
  • Custom arbours can substantially increase post support and enhance the appearance.
  • For large RV gates, split them in two to avoid overloading the hinges. By adding a removable centre post, you can provide great support for both gates when not in use.