Fences serve many purposes for homeowners and businesses. They can be built to keep things in, such as pets or livestock, or to keep people out, such as fencing around a pool. Some fences provide privacy while others offer architectural detailing and beauty. Fences can also be used to demarcate a particular area for a specific purpose as for a garden or parking. When all is said and done, many fences do double duty by ensuring security and at the same time, for example, contributing visual interest to landscaping.
A fence contractor is a helpful, professional guide when trying to select the type of fence and fence material best suited to the fence’s intended end use. Wading through the numerous fence styles – picket, dog ear, split rail, New England style, gothic, crossbuck, lattice, shadowbox and so on – can be a daunting process. Add to that the multiple materials from which fences are constructed, including everything from traditional wood and iron to low-maintenance vinyl and aluminum to punitive barbed wire and electric strands, and the average consumer can quickly become overwhelmed.
Not only is the purpose of the fence a critical piece of the puzzle when choosing the style and materials, the contours of the land and the total length of fencing required will also dictate what will work best. Consulting a fence contractor early in the game is a good idea. He’ll visit the site, analyze the lay of the land, measure the area to be fenced and discuss the client’s goals for the project. Then the fence contractor will develop a plan, make solid recommendations and calculate an estimate for materials and installation, as well as give the client a timeline for completion.
On first glance, installing a fence may seem like a simple DIY, weekend project, but it requires some knowledge of tools (and access to them), as well as a bit of construction know-how. Setting the fence posts alone is a tricky task that varies in approach depending on whether building the fence from components or panels. For example, if using pre-assembled panels from the hardware store, it’s best to dig each post hole as the fence is assembled, because the panels can range somewhat in exact measurement. On the other hand, if assembling the fence from individual pickets, rails and posts, all of the post-holes can be dug an equal distance apart at the same go.
Setting the fence posts, which are the foundation for the fence, also requires attention to detail that a fence contractor practices routinely. He is familiar with soil composition in the region and knows the ins and outs of the building codes of the city and county, both of which affect issues like how deep to set fence posts and what types of fencing are disallowed. What might appear to be a learn-as-you-go weekender’s project is actually a complicated process. And it can be very costly too, if a professional fence contractor is called in later rather than sooner.