Hurricane Fence Company will happily contact Miss Utility on the behalf of homeowners and general contractors when excavation work is needed in Virginia. Miss Utility can be reached directly by dialing 811 or calling 1-800-552-7001.
We will need to gather the following information from the customer prior to calling:
- Contact information (name, phone number, email address)
- The address of where the work will take place, along with any cross streets
- The city or county where the work will take place
- The name of the subdivision and lot number (*required for new subdivisions)
- A detailed description of where the work will be conducted on the property
- Whether or not the work area has been marked with white paint (*required when a specific location of an excavation cannot be given)
- Any special instructions about gaining access to the property (such as locked gates or unrestrained animals)
- Driving directs when needed (especially to rural locations)
Once the call has been placed and all of the customer’s information has been given, Hurricane Fence will be issued a ticket number and a list of utility companies that are notified by Miss Utility of Virginia. Not every company is a member of Miss Utility, and not every member has underground lines on your property. The markings made by Miss Utility are valid for 15 working days. If the project is not completed by the end of the 15th
day, Hurricane Fence will request an updated ticket.
WHAT DOES MISS UTILITY DO?
From the website: www.missutilityofvirginia.com
“Miss Utility is the “one call” Virginia communications center for excavators, contractors, property owners, and those planning any kind of excavation or digging. The Miss Utility center notifies participating utilities of the upcoming excavation work so they can locate and mark their underground facilities in advance to prevent possible damage to underground utility lines, injury, property damage and service outages.
The Virginia Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act requires that Miss Utility be called at least 3 working days in advance of the planned work to allow time for marking, that the marks be respected and protected, and that excavation is completed carefully. Utility locators have 48 hours beginning at 7 am on the next working day (after our call) to locate the lines and place their response on the Positive Response System.”
Article contributed by Michael Fugere.
Fence codes vary depending on the city and state where one a fence is to be erected. It is important to understand the specific fence building requirements for a localized area. The local building ordinances can range from very strict to rather loose depending on the area authority. They can cover specific aspects of fence plan including height, style, color and location. Again, these codes can vary from city to city as well as neighborhood to neighborhood. Therefore, before proceeding with any plans for a new fence it is very important to check with the areas Homeowners Association (HOA), as well as the city and state governments. The city or county building code office is where you would actually begin. YES, erecting a fence does require a building permit.
Taking a good look at fence building codes topic requires breaking it into individual categories.
POOL FENCE CODE
This is the first area that needs to be discussed is pool fence codes. This is because it has the most stringent code restrictions. The typical pool fence code requires that a fence be at least 48 inches tall with no more than a two-inch gap beneath the fence. This prohibits children and small pets crawling underneath the fence. The gates MUST be self-closing and self-latching to prevent the gate from being left open or easily pushed open by a small child. There are also varying restrictions based upon the particular style that one chooses, for example: chain link, wood, vinyl PVC, and ornamental.
RESIDENTIAL FENCE CODE
Residential fence regulations can vary greatly depending on the specific city and HOA Guidelines for fence codes. These restrictions usually speak to the fence style, color, height and location. Sometimes you are restricted to one particular style of fence. An example of this would be an entire housing development that requires 6 ft high white vinyl privacy fence. It could also be a situation where you are not so limited to style, but the code may not allow for a chain link fence to be installed. The location restriction is seen in areas that do not allow you to put a fence up in your front yard, or could just restrict the type of fence to be used in the front yard.
DUMPSTER ENCLOSURES CODE
This particular situation affects mainly businesses that require a large dumpster to hide their disposed trash until pickup. In many areas it is required by codes that an enclosure be built around the dumpster. This is mainly due to the eyesore that most dumpsters create. The style and height of the enclosure will generally vary based on the height of the dumpster itself, and the buyer's particular wants, needs and budget. Dumpster enclosures should generally be designed in a way that limits visibility of the dumpster. Examples of this would be a wood shadow box type enclosure or a chain link enclosure with privacy slats.
The categories previously discussed are not the only areas that are affected by fence codes, but they are a certainly few of the important ones. It is always important to check with your local city and Homeowners Association for their specific code before constructing any type of fence. You do not want to have to tear down and replace a brand new fence. The frustration would only be outweighed by the unwarranted cost. A professional fence company that is operating in your locality will be familiar with the system and process of the locality. You may want to consult them for information.
Article contributed by fence professional Luke Drylie
Installing a pool fence can be tricky due to the fact that there are many types of fencing choices. Adding value to your house while keeping unwanted swimmers out, a pool fence is not just a barrier, it can also be a yard enhancement. Moreover, pool fence codes actually make it a necessity.
For most people the goal of installing a pool fence is protecting their privacy and to create a safety barrier around their backyard oasis. More than a savvy idea, having a fence around a pool is required by pool fence codes in most places. The liability of an unsupervised child accidently gaining access to your pool, could spell personal and financial disaster. Adequately securing your swimming area is vital for everyone’s safety and is your responsibility as a pool owner. Having an obvious barrier to the open water of a pool is imperative to the safety and security of all involved. Be SMART; do not let your pool become a hazard.
Most pool fencing is at code 4-feet high and must have specific type of gates and locks on them. Not only do you want to keep children out of your pool, but certain fencing can keep rodents and snakes from getting into your filters as well. This prevents for a startling surprise when you go to clean your skimmers! A wood fence that is flush with the ground can prohibit critters from getting under your fence and into your pool. Just because you put up a fence does not mean this should be just a barrier.
A fence can seem like a hassle or a view obscuring an eyesore, but it should be just the opposite. Putting up a pool fence for a homeowner should be like planting a plant in their yard. The fence should add to the vibrancy of your yard. The fence should fit your yard and as your needs. Choosing the right fence around your pool will add value to your home. A pool fence can go directly up against your concrete pad of your pool. You may want fence in an additional grassy area for your children or pets to play on while at the pool. There are many ways and options to customize a fence that suits your yard, house, and code or perimeter needs. Certain wood fences allow for more privacy if that is your taste. Ornamental fencing will allow your pool area to breath in the fresh breezes of your yard. Glass panel pool fences offer security without the view obstructions associated with a fence. A pool fence is a chance for a homeowner to really make an improvement on the looks of their yard and add personality to their watery retreat.
The choice of a pool fence that meets the required pools codes does not need to be a burden. It is an opportunity to add to the essence and safety of your yard. Do some research about all the aesthetic and codes related choices you have in the current marketplace. Choose something that will look great and last for long time. Be sure to look into your areas codes and seek professional help from a qualified fence professional if you find it confusing. Most importantly have some creative and cost conscious fun with your pool fence project. You really can make your pool area a backyard a vacation retreat.
Article contributed by fence professional Nate Poehlman
Automated gate operators require safety devices, known as Entrapment Protection, to prevent moving gates from striking individuals or vehicles. The standard set for Automated Gate Operation is the UL325 standard as set by The Underwriter’s Laboratory and it consists of four classes of gates. Class 1 is a gate operation that most likely to come in contact with the public such as a personal residence. Class 2 is intended for commercial locations or multi-family housing units, hotels or garages. Class 3 is intended for an industrial location, factory or an area not intended to serve the general public. Finally, Class 4 is placed in a location such as an airport, restricted areas or any area that is restricted to public access.
The lower the class of gate, such as Class 1, the more safety devices will be required. These devices can consist of vehicle detection safety loops, photo eye sensors, gates edges, adjustable clutches, continuous pressure opening or closing devices, strobe lights and audio alarms are probably the most used safety devices for gate systems. These devices are explained in more detail below. Class 1 and 2 gates will require a combination of several safety devices to meet a UL325 rating. Class 3 requires two devices and Class 4 only requires one.
Safety loops are wire sensors that are buried in the existing surface area of a gate. They are designed to sense the presence of metal (maybe a vehicle or lawn mower) and they will hold the gate open or actually reverse the gate when a metal presence is noted. Photo safety eyes project a photosensitive beam that, if broken, indicates an obstruction and reverses the gate away from that object. Gate Edges actually reverse a moving gate when pressure is applied to the edge itself. The gate edge strip is attached the leading edges of a gate and if pressure is applied to that edge an obstruction is noted and the gate will automatically reverse. Continuous pressure open or close buttons will stop a gate as soon as pressure is released from the button in use. Audible and visual alarms provide protection for those distracted by other events or who may be handicapped in some manner.
Automated gate installations are best served by a combination of photo both safety cells and safety loops. Vehicle and pedestrian safety are best addressed when this combination is used, and the UL325 standard can be maintained.
Barrier arms require the same devices as gates. The number of loops required will vary with each type of gate access control system. As a rule slide gates require two loops, barrier gates require two loops and swing gates require three. All other safety devices can be used as designed in any of these installations.
Gate automation must be a secure yet safe to operate. The previously mentioned steps should be taken to protect people and property from unintended injury or damage during the opening or closing of any automated gate. If you have a question as to what class of gate you have or what safety devices you need to reach a certain certification just ask you operator or access control provider to help design a system to meet your desired safety requirement.
If you are a homeowner in the city of Norfolk, Virginia and you are considering purchasing a new fence for your home; you may be wondering if the city of Norfolk, Virginia requires a permit for erecting a fence. The answer is yes! They require a permit on all fencing projects. Whether the homeowner is replacing an existing fence or having a new fence installed a permit is required by the City of Norfolk, Virginia.
The first step you, the homeowner, need to take is to insure that you have a legal copy of the survey of your property. This survey should have an actual drawing of your property that indicates the location of your exact property lines. If you are not sure if you have this document first check in the paperwork you received when you purchased your home. If you cannot locate this document it will not help to contact the City of Norfolk, as they do not keep a copy of residential surveys on file. You will need to contact a certified land surveying company to perform a survey of your property. This document will be required by the City of Norfolk in order to obtain a building permit to erect your new fence. As far as the cost of obtaining a fence permit, the city of Norfolk, Virginia does not charge for a fence permit.
As stated earlier, all fencing projects whether installing a new or replacing an existing fence, will require a building permit. Before starting the procedure of obtaining a permit for you fence project it is beneficial to know what the city of Norfolk will allow you to do as far as height and or style of fencing.
As long as your home is not on a corner lot the rules are fairly simple. The maximum height allowed is 6-feet for any style of fencing that will not to extend past the front corner of your home. For homeowners wanting to fence in their front yard, the maximum height allowed is 4-feet. In both of these situations the fence may be installed up to but not actually on or over your property line. If your home is on a corner lot there are additional requirements you will need to know. If you are installing a 4-foot high fence on a corner, again you may install the fence up to, but not on or over your property line. If you are considering a 6-foot high fence, you have two options to consider. The first option would be to install a 6-foot tall solid privacy fence. For this, you will need to install the fence 10-feet inside your property line. The second option would be to install the fence up to but not over the property line and the fence will must be a semi-private style. This code restriction is in place is to insure that motorists can see oncoming traffic when approaching a corner. As you can see this requirement gives you a few things to consider. You must decide whether you maintain privacy and give up space in the fenced portion of your yard, or do you forfeit privacy in order to maintain as much space in your yard as possible.
The need for a permit to install or renew a fence can be intimidating or even frustrating. A experienced fence company can certainly help you to design a permit friendly fence and they will have knowledge of how to actually get the permit for you. If you choose to install your own fence you will definitely needs to do your research and adhere to they local guidelines for building permits.
Article contributed by fence professional Jamie Patterson.
Warranty on vinyl fence and aluminum ornamental fence are usually limited warranties that are stated in the manufactures warranty information provided by each individual company. Manufacture warranties may vary from company to company but mostly include the following:
Lifetime Limited Warranty on Vinyl Fence Products
Lifetime limited warranties are provided by most manufactures of PVC vinyl fence products. The warranties are to the original consumer purchaser. Most warranties state that its vinyl fence and railing products are free of defects in workmanship and materials in the course of normal and proper use of the warranted fence product. Most warranties will cover chipping, peeling, blistering, flaking and damage by pests or abnormal weathering discoloration. Gate workmanship, including welds, is typically warranted for a period of two years depending on the fence material manufacturer. Custom made gates do not carry a warranty. Most warranties extend only to the original consumer purchaser and are not transferable.
In order to claim a defect the owner must contact the dealer who sold or installed the vinyl fence or railing. Proof of purchase is required when requesting warranty service. The product must be purchased from the distributor or dealer and installed according to installation guidelines and in accordance with codes and regulations.
Aluminum Ornamental Decorative Fence and Gates
Warranty on most aluminum ornamental decorative fence and aluminum gates are good for a period of twenty years. The warranty usually covers defects in workmanship and states that the paint will not crack, chip, or peel for a period of twenty years. Most ornamental fence warranties extend only to the original consumer purchaser and are not transferrable. The warranty does not extend to damage caused by use other than that which the fence material has been designed for, to include, negligence, alteration, accident, improper installation, abuse, misuse, vandalism, acts of war or acts of god.
In order to claim a defect the owner must contact the fence dealer who sold or installed the ornamental fence and gates. Proof of purchase is required when requesting warranty service. The product must be purchased from the distributer or dealer and installed according to installation guidelines and in accordance with codes and regulations.
Warranty on vinyl products or aluminum ornamental decorative fence and gates are usually void if any of the following occurs to the product:
1. Improper installation
2. Lack of proper maintenance
3. Impact of foreign objects
4. Misuse, abuse, neglect, vandalism, accident, or alterations
5. Contact with solvents, epoxies, glues, paints, chemical or other substances
6. Damage from fires, violent storms, earthquakes, ground movement, tornado, hurricane, or other acts of god are not covered in the warranty.
Article contributed by fence professional Dennis Sulser.
Information Provided By: Atlantic Fence Manufactures Mid Atlantic Vinyl Products
SUMMER IS FUN!
And so is your very own a backyard pool. It can be a great source of exercise and relaxation. Kids and adults can join in on the fun, but pools must be made safe for all!
Yes, there are very specific safety regulations on pool fence gates. The BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators) is a code that governs pool barriers and gates, among many other building codes. It calls for all pool gates to be self-closing and latching. The latches and hinges can and will differ depending on style of fence.
Ornamental fence pool gates use a self-closing hinge in which the spring is actually located inside the hinge. This latch must be mounted at least 54” high from ground in order to be out of the reach of curious children. These latches also have a spring-loaded knob that can be easily height adjusted to meet code requirements.
Wood fence pool gates employ a strap hinge that is in no way spring loaded. A sturdy spring can be added to the post in order to force gate closed. It is also possible to use the ornamental spring latches for wood pool gates seeking to meet BOCA code.
PVC fence pool gates use a self-closing hinge that also has a spring located within the hinge and the latch that is used for wood and ornamental can also be used for PVC.
Chain-link fence pool gate hinges are not self-closing. Again, a sturdy spring must be added to the post, thereby forcing the gate closed. The latches used for wood, ornamental, and PVC can also be used for chain link fence.
The most commonly used latches and hinges for pool fence are manufactured by Tru-close. There are other manufacturing companies that make the same style latches and hinges.
Safety and Liability are always of issue to homeowners. Nobody wants a child’s drowning on his or her conscience. Furthermore, death by accidental drowning is absolutely the homeowner’s legal responsibility if the unwanted swimmer enters a pool that does not have the proper code meeting safety equipment. You will want to protect yourself and your wealth from a potentially disastrous lawsuit. Insurance companies will also require that your pool meet safety regulations to insure you. Local laws may apply, so look closely at the local code or ask your local fence or pool installation company. The regulations set forth in BOCA code are standard for most states and are set to maintain the safety and security of all of the United States. When choosing your installation people it is imperative that they are knowledgeable and professional. Your safety and security are at stake in the pool code arena.
There are several factors influencing whether or not a permit is needed for building a fence.
- Is the project in a Commercial or Residential zone?
- How tall is the proposed fence?
- What material is the fence to be made out of?
Once you have determined the answers to these questions, check your county or city’s website where the fence is being built. You should be able to easily access zoning regulations and building permit guidelines on your specific local governmental site.
Commercial fence permits do not typically allow building a fence more than 6 or 7 feet high. If you are installing security fencing you can certainly apply for the permit and it will be decided by your locality. Another option for higher fences is to apply for a variance for the specific height allowance. I have found this process to be time consuming and it can require plenty of paperwork. Cities and counties will definitely take into account whether or not the fence will be transparent; for example a chain link fence versus a solid wood fence.
Commercial building permit applications can be printed off most county or cities websites and then emailed. Typically your submission will need to include the permit application, a site plan, fence specification sheets, and a method of payment for the application fee. The fees for projects taking place in commercial zones are sometimes waived.
Residential fence permits can be trickier and are often made difficult in housing subdivisions. Not only do you have to obtain city or county approval, but you may also need the consent of your Homeowners Association (HOA) if you live in a managed housing development. Typically, a residential fence can be no more than 6’ in height and a lot of HOA’s require a ‘natural looking’ fence. These are typified as wood or a neutral painted aluminum. I find it to be most expedient to check with your city or county first and then check your HOA guidelines second. This process may be somewhat painless or excruciatingly complex, depending on how stringent your Homeowners Association guidelines read. These rules can seem sticky, however they are in place to protect the resident homeowner’s from some extreme stylistic decisions that could affect property values. In a residential setting, I have found it easier to obtain permits by matching existing fence styles in the neighborhood. This can forestall any arguments concerning what fence is, and is not allowed within the community.
It is often surprising to homeowners that a building permit is needed for a fence. They may even think the need for a permit is unjust, or some sort of hidden method of taxation. This is a shortsighted understanding of the benefits of building permits. Building permits can offer reassurance to the homeowner and neighboring parties to know that the project is done safely and in a way that was planned and completed to local specs. This can help to maintain local property values as well. So the problem of obtaining a permit is outweighed by the long-term benefit within the local community.
Article contributed by fence professional Meagan Kenny
When deciding on a fence for your pool, the height of the fence is a very important component of your decision. Most manufacturers have fences that are designed to be pool code compliant. As always you should first consult with your city or county’s pool regulations before making any decision This will also give you a good starting point for your decision process. Most municipalities have a minimum height of 4 feet on pool fences but again check with your city or county regulations.
As you begin your search you will notice there are many different styles to consider. Not all of these styles will meet pool codes at 4 feet high. The first rule to consider is that the distance between the bottom rail and the next rail (if you are looking at a 3 or 4 rail fence) or top rail needs to be a minimum of 45 inches. Naturally if you are looking at a 3 or 4 rail style of fence you will need to choose a fence taller than 4 feet tall. There are several styles of 3 rail fences that will meet pool code regulations at 54 inches tall. Again, at this height make sure of the distance between the bottom rail and the next rail at the top. Naturally speaking, if you have your mind set on a fence that is as short as possible, your choices of styles are going to be a little limited.
For the customer who is somewhat concerned with the height of the fence, I typically suggest that they have an open mind and initially choose a style that they like and then see what height the fence will need to be to meet pool regulations. Since most people choose to use an aluminum fence for there pool fence, the height of the fence usually does not affect or obstruct their view. Therefore by being more open to the height, you will open up more options as far as styles of fencing. By looking at a slightly taller fence than you originally were thinking of you may find a style of fence you will enjoy more.
In summary, typically the minimum height allowed for a pool fence is 4 feet tall. The style of the fence can affect what height the fence will need to be to meet pool regulations. Always check with your city or county as to what their pool fence regulations are. The process can become a little more involved than you originally thought so make sure you choose a highly professional fence company that can and is willing to walk you through the entire process.
Article contributed by fence professional Jamie Patterson
More and more families are installing pools in their own backyards. Because of this, the subject of pool code operational gate latches comes up quite frequently for homeowners and pool fence installers. It can be a confusing topic for those who are not familiar with pool code requirements.
Every city, county, or municipality has some form of pool code or regulations regarding the gate latches for pool fences. Choosing a gate latch that is compliant with those particular regulatory codes is very important for safety and liability concerns. Even in the very rare situation that your city, county or municipality does not have a code regulating the use of pool safety latches it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Your pool or fence professional will be familiar with pool fence code.
Pool safety latches are designed to make it difficult, if not impossible, for small children to open the gate. These latches typically open by pulling up on a knob that releases the latch. This is an unusual opening action and kids are not inclined to understand how to unlock the gate. The latches are installed at the top of the gate to ensure that the latch is ‘out of reach’. Pool Code requires that the latch mechanism be at 54” above ground or higher. These latches also have a key lock on them as well. Pool gates must also be equipped with automatically self-closing hinges that open away from the pool area. Once the gate swings back to the closed position the latch will automatically engage: it is then necessary for the pool-owner to actually turn the lock on the gate for additional security.
By using an approved pool safety latch you will be providing security for your family as well as any wondering neighborhood children who maybe curious toward your inviting pool. The piece of mind provided by knowing no unwanted visitor will be enjoying your pool can be priceless.
We use D&D Technologies Magna Latch and Versa Latch. Both are key locked for extra safety.
Magna Latch: only works on shorter fences for because the owner must be able to reach over the latch to operate it.
Versa Latch: can be used for both taller fences, which are typically used for larger pools or commercial pool fence installations.
Article contributed by fence professional John Patterson.