How to get HOA approval for the fence you want.

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Feb 12, 2015

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The rise of Homeowner Associations in recent years has seen exponential growth. Before you rush out to install the fence of your dreams, here are some tips of the trade from a Residential fence expert on the possible pitfalls of building that beautiful new fence installation.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when installing a fence is not checking to see what the by-laws of their Homeowners Association (HOA) require.

You can't assume that what your neighbors have previously done with their fence and yard complies with your particular HOA regulations.

Even though a neighbor might have an admirable fence enclosure or gate doesn't mean doesn't mean that your HOA approved that particular fence installation.

We can recall a particular job where a customer scheduled an install for a chain link fence, and as it was in progress, the customer panicked as the HOA just informed her that absolutely no chain link was allowed in their community. Several adjacent yards that had previously used chain link enclosures prior to her request were ordered to remove them and seek other fence options. It turns out that residents were only approved to have vinyl and ornamental aluminum installed in that neighborhood. 

In another instance, a customer submitted her information to the HOA weeks in advance. Due to the fact that she had not heard from the HOA, she assumed that the fence was approved. So, she went forward with the installation. The HOA later stated that they never received her request. The customer then was ordered to redo her fence structure according to her neighborhood's HOA standards, and have the style she selected approved by them.

Typically, a HOA can take anywhere from one week to six weeks to approve your fence project. Generally speaking, you have to to get the HOA's approval whenever you do anything to the exterior of your residence. This can even include painting and landscaping.

HOW TO AVOID COSTLY HOA FENCE INSTALL MISTAKES

Many HOA ordinances and rules prevent you from constructing chain link, split rail, or wire containment fences because they are not aesthetically appealing. If you install a fence without HOA approval, you can almost be sure you will have to tear it down or face serious fines, as well as aggravation and time consumption.

 

THE FOLLOWING ARE SUGGESTIONS TO ENSURE HOA APPROVAL ON YOUR FENCE PROJECT


1.
     Read the regulations provided by the HOA thoroughly. Make sure that you have the most updated version. Call the HOA president or another board member with all questions you have regarding the specific regulations. Document the date and time of call, the name of the person with whom you spoke with, as well as what was said during the conversation.

2.     Make notes on what you want to communicate in your letter to the HOA. In your correspondence try to anticipate any questions the HOA board may have about your project. Always include possible solutions to any problem you think the board may have with your planned project.

3.     Enclose blueprints, pictures and project drawings. Also, be sure to include the specific dimensions of your project and any other pertinent details in your letter. Include images or colors of the materials you will be using. Be clear and precise so your letter will be easily understood.

4.     Make copies of your letter to keep for your records. Mail your request to the homeowners association. Be sure you have included the best ways for members to contact you, such as giving them both a home and work telephone number.

5.     Follow up on your letter if you are not contacted within a week after mailing. Confirm your letter has been received and ask for a date by which the board will render a decision on the plans for your property.

6.     Appeal for a variance if your request is denied and you still want to pursue your plans. An appeal hearing may then be scheduled during which you can present your case to the entire board. You can enlist the support of your neighbors to help bolster your argument.

Be sure to get the approval of the HOA first. It is not up to the fence contractor to find out the rules and regulations or to get approval of the HOA for your project. That being said, a longstanding and professional fence company will gladly help advise you in this process and should go out of their way to help you with your installation concerns.  

They can also supply you with fence samples and pictures of existing installations to help you get the approval of the HOA before starting construction so you won't be on the fence with your Home Owners Association.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE AMERICAN HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION FOR RESOURCES ON REGIONAL AND LOCAL REGULATIONS FOR YOUR UPCOMING FENCE PROJECT

CLICK FOR AN AWESOME INFOGRAPHIC ABOUT THE RISE OF THE HOA IN THE UA!S

 

Topics: Specifications, Residential Fence Choices, Homeowners Association, HOA, Residential Fence, backyard Fence, Fence Permit, Regulations, Insurance, Richmond Fence, fence law, fence regulations, virginia fence code, Maintenance, fences richmond, first time home buyers, codes, hoa fence, fence insurance

How to choose the fence option that suits your personal needs

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, Jun 20, 2014
Perhaps the best reason for putting up a fence isn't practical, it's emotional. A fence encloses your territory. Fences and walls really help make home feel special, separate and your own, like a haven and a sanctuary.

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AN OVERVIEW:

A fence is more than just a barrier. Used in imaginative ways, it can become an architectural feature that blends well with the style of your house, a landscape element that enhances the appearance of your property, or an accent piece that helps define a part of your yard or garden.In The Fence Bible hands-on home improvement expert Jeff Beneke provides an in-depth, comprehensive how-to encyclopedia that enables homeowners to choose and build the fences and gates that are best for their landscape—both for appearance and function.Beneke suggests the appropriate types of fence to keep the swimming pool secure, confine the livestock, keep deer away from the garden, or create outdoor living spaces. He then discusses the essentials of proper fence design and provides step-by-step illustrated instructions for planning, building, maintaining, and repairing any style of fence.

Here's what goes into planning, designing and buying a fence and the materials to build one.

Privacy, security, curb appeal, noise reduction: The benefits of residential fences are numerous.There also are plenty of practical reasons for a fence. "The place I always suggest starting with (is) function," says Jeff Beneke, author of "The Fence Bible." 
Here's a look at what fences can do and how you can build or select the right one for your budget. 
 AVAILABLE on AmazonEbayBarnes & Noble, and Google Books


The first step is determining what you want your fence to do. Fences serve many purposes, including:
  • Security Fence: Even a fence only 3 feet tall can help deter prowlers, says Chris McGoey, a security expert in Los Angeles. "It is psychological," he says. "A fence denotes a property.
    It says, 'This is my house, my property.' People are going to be reluctant to step over that fence. Even a small boundary fence will discourage people from cutting across your yard.

  • Privacy Fencing: Living your life shielded from the prying eyes of others is a luxury of private property. A high privacy fence, tastefully built, can give you room to let down your hair, no matter how small your deck or yard.

  • Decoration: A well-designed, professionally installed fence will frame your home and add tremendous curb appeal. It may also enhance your property value, depending on your neighborhood and the fence's design and quality.

  • Boundary: It's a good idea to define your boundaries, especially if you own a small lot. A fence prevents neighbors from encroaching on your property.

  • Safety: A fence offers peace of mind. They keep small children and pets safe from strangers, traffic and hazards such as swimming pools, high bluffs and ravines.

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    Garden protection: Just as a fence holds in your pets, it keeps stray animals and other pests from digging and defecating in your yard. Properly constructed, fencing around a vegetable or ornamental garden also can protect precious plants from foraging deer and rabbits.

     

  • Weather protection: Snow fences keep drifts from growing too large. A protective fence lets you enjoy a garden or deck in a windy area; Beneke says he likes a louvered fence for taming a windy patio.

  • Noise: A privacy fence can buffer some noise. Wood blocks noise better than most fence materials. Planting a hedge or other tall vegetation in front of the fence helps buffer noise even further. For serious noise protection, professional fence specialists offer noise-buffering blankets that can be pulled tightly over any fence. Costs for these products start at about $12 per linear foot for a 6-foot-tall fence.

    The most effective fence for dulling sound is a tall, custom-built fence of foam-filled aluminum or composite, says Chris Policastro, vice president of operations at Production Fenceworks in Atlanta. This kind of fence costs $60 to $300 per linear foot for a 6-foot fence. 

  • Cosmetics: Trash cans? Propane gas tanks? The neighbor's trampoline? A large or small fence may hide it. It's like putting makeup on a pimple, Beneke says. Planting a vine or shrub in front of it makes it even prettier.

Cost and Planning

Once you have a list of your fencing needs, take your specs to a professional fence contracting company and talk it over with experts. Even if you build your fence yourself, it helps to bounce ideas around and ensure you have the right expectations for your fence materials, design law and specifications in your individual rural, suburban or urban location.

Here's a scenario: Farmers who've built 6' high enclosures soon learn that deer can jump 8 feet. To remedy that issue take into account that an overhanging extension or one of the deer-fence ideas from Leonard Perry, extension professor at the University of Vermont, may be a viable solution.

In another scenario, Homeowners have installed chain-link and vinyl fences only to finding out that their homeowners association (HOA) bans them. So make sure you arm yourself with knowledge going into your fence project.

Fence costs can sometimes be steep. A lot of material and labor is involved. But costs always vary depending on your preffered materials and style. You can cut fence costs by and by choosing local species of wood. Get a couple estimates, look at thheir websites and credential when selecting a contractor.

Beneke, a proponent of doing it yourself, nevertheless says he warns against getting into a job that's too big for your skills or your time. Building a fence is a big job, and you deserve to have a fence that fits you and your needs.

(TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK'S FENCE POST: PART 2: A FENCE THAT FITS: BUILDING THE RIGHT FENCE FOR YOU AND YOUR BUDGET.


Sources: MSN.com, The Fence BibleMore on residential fences

Topics: Specifications, Specialty Fence, Residential Fence Choices, Homeowners Association, Vinyl Fence, Property Value, backyard Fence, Fence Permit, Pool Fence, Richmond Fence, fence regulations, chain link fence, fences richmond, Aluminum Fence, Pool Gates, Comparison, pickett fence, wood privacy fence, pressure treated fence

Cedar or Pressure Treated Wood. Which will work best for my fence project?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Mon, Apr 28, 2014

Wood fences are beautiful, no doubt, and (PVC) vinyl fences even come with simulated options making man-made materials look and feel nature based. 

But in Virginia, cedar wood and pressure-treated pine are two of our top-selling residential fence types.

Eighty percent of all wood fencing is composed of either pine or cedar wood.

Below are various residential fence solutions available throughout the United States.

6' Privacy Cedar with Clear Posts

6' Shadowbox Convex cedar

Two Cedar privacy fence options - Left: 6 ft. cedar privacy fence with clear posts / Right: 6 ft. cedar Shadowbox privacy fence

 

Red cedar trees are indigenous to the American Northwest and Canada. The red cedar wood's straight, tight grain and lack of knots make for optimal fence material. It is naturally highly resistant to decomposition, displays a beautiful red hue, and is well-known for its' aromatic woodsy smell.

Cedar does not warp or shrink and is a naturally stable material perfect for picket and privacy fences. Cedar wood fences stand the test of time, and look great decades after installation.

For fence posts, cedar can go several years without rotting; however, they tend to be less durable against soil erosion than pressure treated pine posts.

For this reason, it may be a good idea to use pressure treated pine for the posts and cedar for the rest of the fence. 

Or, the cedar fence posts can be set in concrete to prevent soil-related rotting.

Pressure treated wood (PTP) is the most popular residential fence choice in outdoor structures (decks, porches, and all types of residential fences, for example).

PTP can warp, shrink, and crack. The sun makes any outdoor damage worse especially if you don't stain it.

To avoid this, pressure treated pine (PTP) is chemically-treated in order to prevent against decay, termites, weathering, and other pine-related troubles. All PTP fences come with a warranty to protect against termites and rotting.

PTP fences need to be consistently and regularly maintained. It is recommended that all pressure treated pine fencing should be stained and sealed about 6 weeks after installation to improve and maintain a handsome appearance and prevent rot. 

https://www.hurricanefenceinc.com/wood-fences

Pressure treated: 6 ft. concave board picket fence

 

Keeping your pressure treated fence wet when it is hot or exposed to the sun can also be done to maintain your pine fence and keep the fence from cracking. Staining, sealing, moistening, stripping, and cleaning are all maintenance techniques that are commonly used and recommended for pressure treated pine fences.

Cedar is increasingly rare and thus more expensive than pine. However, cedar stands up to the test of time and it's aroma and handsome appearance coupled with the comparatively low required maintenance make it a smart investment. These incentives outweigh the cons for most people who are strongly considering cedar as a fence material. 

Knowing the pros and cons of each type of wood type will help to make an informed decision when choosing the fence and fence company that fits your needs. 


 

Topics: Fence Design, Specifications, Specialty Fence, Homeowners Association, backyard Fence, Fence Maintenance, cedar fence, codes, wooden fence, wood privacy fence, pressure treated fence, wood fence, cedar privacy fence, cedar wood fence, Pressure Treated Wood Fence, Reasons for Privacy Fence

COLORED VINYL CHAIN LINK FENCE AND IT'S VISUAL APPEAL

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Wed, Mar 26, 2014

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Chain link fence popularity stems partially from chain link's moderately inexpensive cost. This specific fence material is exceptionally adaptable and the simplicity of establishment is a solid choice in a multitude of applications. Common color options for vinyl coated chain link fence are green, white, black and brown chain link fence.

Because of their variety, these solutions offer flexibility when aethetics are important.

Black Chain Link Fence

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Black chain link fence has a softer appeal and easily blends into residential and commercial environments. Different mesh sizes and wire gauges are available. When installed among shrubs or along the border of wooded areas, it’s possible for a chain-link fence to be nearly invisible, especially if outfitted with fabrics or lattice panels.

Green Chain Link Fence

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Green color PVC chain link fence is most often used at playgrounds, sports parks and other recreational facilities that require less formal security. Aethetically, the color green is reminicient of the spring season. Green shades evokes thoughts of nature and symbolizes growth.

Chain link fencing is considered “green,” since any scrap metal dealer will be happy to take the one you're disguareceive one you’re discarding. 

White Chain Link Fence

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White chain link vinyl is viewed as clinical, clean and sterile. It also evokes the feeling of organization and efficiency. White has also become representative of purity, fairness and impartiality. White is a color of protection and encouragement. Although not the most popular type of vinyl chain link, it does stand out from the crowd and it's uniqueness is very pleasing. 

Brown Chain Link Fence

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Brown represents the earth and compliments accompanying colors look richer and brighter. It conveys the feeling of warmth and needs less maintinance that other colors of vinyl chain link fence. Brown is considered to be a dressed down cousin to black vinyl chain link, and suits a more humble aethetic. It is also popular in the practice of Feng Shui.

Vinyl chain link fence normally conveys a 10 to 15 year guarantee against rust and consumption. The fence is upkeep free, does not oblige painting, and meets SATM detail 392 and elected particular R.r.f.-191. Dark vinyl chain link generally conveys a ten to fifteeen year producer guarantee against chipping ringing and blurring. Furthermore, its essentially upkeep free. 

Topics: Fence Design, Residential Fence Choices, Homeowners Association, Residential Fence, Vinyl Fence, Commercial Fence, backyard Fence, Fence, Richmond Fence, chain link fence, Green Fence Products

Choosing between Vinyl (PVC) and Aluminum Fence: How do they compare?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Wed, Mar 05, 2014

Vinyl Fence vs. Aluminum Fence

Deciding between vinyl (PVC) and Ornamental Aluminum Fence can be a bit daunting for the consumer. There are a couple factors you many want to take into consideration before making a well informed decision about how you choose to enclose your outdoor space. These fencing aspects are: privacy, security, maintenance, gate configuration, fence cost, and color selection.

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Privacy:

When it comes to privacy, vinyl pulls ahead. With fence heights reaching up to 6’ or 8’ and its solid state, vinyl is perfect for back yards, pool enclosures, perimeter fencing, and dumpster or mechanical enclosures. Aluminum can only offer similar privacy if fill-in panels are added. However, these panels take away from the traditional ornamental look of the fence.

Security:

Ornamental aluminum definitely takes the lead when it comes to security. Due to its limitations, vinyl fence cannot meet the material conditions for large gate uses. It simply cannot be made as security conscious as it aluminum counterpart. When looking to improve security of an office building, and apartment complexes, commercial and industrial grade aluminum fence is always the best choice. Heavy duty and decorative gates can easily be equipped with automated electric operators and access controls for additional security measures and ease of operation.  Residential grade aluminum fences are somewhat less secure, but are still an ideal solution for keeping children and pets in or out of the back yard.

Maintenance:

Requiring little to no maintenance vinyl has a slight edge over aluminum. Though ornamental fence is also low maintenance, a simple occasional wash with soap and water is all it takes to keep this vinyl as beautiful as the day it was installed.

Gate configuration:

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For many buyers larger gates are a must have. With ornamental aluminum, these demanding sizes can be met. Aluminum gate sizes vary from 3’ wide walk gates to 30’ wide slide gates. Features such as self-closing hinges, pool latches, magnetic latches, and gate operators and access controls for larger fences all work wonderfully with aluminum fence. Aluminum gates also work to meet standardized pool codes. Vinyl Gates are only manufactured in sizes from 3’ wide single panel swing gates to 12’ or 16’ wide double panel swing gates.  Large gates are usually constructed with pipe posts and frames, to which the vinyl fence panels are then attached. Vinyl products are rarely used in automated systems.

Cost:

The cost of installation for either material is about the same, relative to size. Naturally, the price goes up as the size of the fence increases. Large ornamental aluminum gates will cost more than smaller sized vinyl ones. 

Color Selection:

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Above: Check out a super cool fence solution app. from Ideal Aluminum, or download the app from our homepage or in iTunes.

Ornamental Aluminum fences are available in a variety of styles, sizes and grades for almost any fence requirement.  The standard powder coating colors - green, brown, white, and black give years of attractive protection. Ornamental color variations are currently being increased but specific suppliers do produce custom colors. Although most vinyl fences are white, many manufacturers now offer several color selections as well as wood grain and textured surfaces.

Once these aspects have been taken into consideration, an experienced professional fence specialist should be able to provide customer service and expertise in getting a fence that fits your unique specifications, whether it be vinyl or aluminum. 

Topics: Fence Design, Specifications, Homeowners Association, Residential Fence, Vinyl Fence, backyard Fence, Fence, Fence Maintenance, fence regulations, Privacy Fence, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, wooden fence

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