Chain Link Fences: Gauging Your Needs

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Feb 25, 2016
commercial grade chain link fence

Chain link fence is one of the most popular types of fence requested and installed today.

This popularity stems in part from chain link’s relatively inexpensive price and ability to mold to many safety concerns. This particular fence material is very flexible and ease of installation is a definite asset to its’ versatility. On a project with different ground elevations, a chain link fence may be the ideal solution.

Chain link is also ideal for projects that will cross stretches of terrain where beautification is not the primary intention.

Rear perimeter of military bases or any large government installations usually include at least one chain link fence application. It typically takes a back seat to high security steel and automatic gate applications but offers inconspicuous support to the other application as well as the denoting the property line.

Chain link fences come in a range of heights that make it suitable for a variety of applications. The shorter heights are commonly used in residential settings to reduce view obstructions.

Taller fences are most often selected for commercial use because of the increased level of security that more height can offer. Taller chain link applications may also include barb wire.

Chain link fence fabrics are also available in different gauges. A gauge is the measure of the diameter of the actual woven fabric metal. These sizes can vary widely, but 9 and 11½ gauges are the markets most common. 

The higher the gauge number, the less thick than metal material.  Therefor the smaller 11½ gauge is a popular application for residential fences where the family children or pets are the priority.

A more durable 9-gauge material is used when a higher level of security is needed.  This is more often the case for commercial or business applications. 

The difference between galvanized and vinyl coated chain link is that a vinyl coating is a manufactured vinyl coating. The metal under the vinyl is actually already galvanized then the vinyl is placed around it.This is a highly relevant option when choosing between the two, because coated material is better equipped to handle weathering over time. 

Standard galvanized chain link will begin to rust over time. Galvanized and coated materials are similar in terms of their sturdiness and longevity. Galvanized chain link usually carries a 10 to 15 yr. warranty against rust and corrosion. This fence is maintenance free, doesn’t require painting, and meets

ASTM specification 392 and federal specification R.R.F.-191.Galvanized fence tends to leave a rougher or “industrial” appearance. While vinyl presents an overall cleaner appearance and may even blend into the surroundings depending on the coating color selected.  This is one of the main reasons that higher end projects lean toward the vinyl coated fence materials.This will, of course, affect the final cost of the fence. The vinyl-coated material can increase the fence cost $1.50 per foot on a b 6-foot high fence. We hope this post will assist in determining the best chain link for your residential, commercial or government property.

 Black vinyl chain link usually carries a 10 to 15 yr. manufacturer warranty against chipping peeling and fading and it is virtually maintenance free.One of the major advantages of any chain link fence is its somewhat transparent (able to be seen through) design. However, it does not completely disappear to the eye. Because of this, the consumer must think about how they want their final project to look.  

 

Topics: Perimeter Security, Homeowners Association, Residential Fence, Commercial Fence, Code, Fence, Fence Maintenance, Richmond Fence, Comparison

Options for Commercial Access Gates and Fence Solutions

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Jul 03, 2014

A Professional Fence Company should have a variety options for Commercial Gate applications. The gate systems are designed to restrict unwanted entry and ensure the protection of assets and employees. Gate systems are designed to work efficiently with repeated mechanical use in any setting. Hurricane Fence Company offers the latest in Commercial Gate System trends and technology in a plethora of scales and styles. These maneuverable fence barriers can be engineered to meet the needs of everything from small Residential Secured Access to the most complex structural demands.

The following are a few examples of routinely offered Commercial Gate Systems.  

Swing Arm Gates

swing arm gate

Swing Arms are motorized barriers that raise a steel or aluminum arm from a horizontal position to a vertical position. They give you the ability to control pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic on roadways up to 38'. These gates can have an assortment of automatic controls, such as card readers, vehicle detectors/counters, reversing logic, which causes the arm to re-open should it strike an object, and anti tailgating devices, which keep multiple vehicles from pulling through on a single cycle. A switch in a security office can also be set up to control these gates.

Many Fence Contractors also offer High Speed Swing Arm Gates that will open in less than two seconds, using either 8 or 12' arms. Heavy duty gates, with arms up to 24', are also available if gate specifications require them.

Slide Gates   

sliding gate 

Sliding Gates are often the best solution for commercial premises with busy access points. You must have room set aside for the gate in the open position. Installers can customize slide gates to accommodate a wide range of commercial applications. Many different styles of slide gates are available of which the most common is a two-rail slide gate.

There are three rail slide gates that will allow the use of almost any material you wish to face the gate. For this the commonly used materials are plastic, wood, or metal. A well set up fence supplier can also custom fabricate a slide gate to match a wide range of already existing gate styles. 

Cantilever Gates

cantaliever gate cantaliever gate

Automation of a cantilever slide gate involves the addition of a slide gate operator that can be pad or post mounted. This provides a means to open or close the gate and the addition of safety devices such as safety loops, gate edges or photo eyes. Gate operators can be added to existing gates as well as new ones and integrated into any existing access control system.

The gate itself does not touch the ground and is supported by rollers, which are attached to two large side posts.

The gate will have a tail that is used to support itself when it is in the open position. One thing to keep in mind when considering the installation of a cantilever gate is that you must have adequate overhead clearance to ensure that the gate can open fully.

Cantilever Gate Systems can be constructed with nearly any fencing material, but the distance of the opening will play an important role in determining which type of materials you can use when constructing your Commercial Gate. Lighter fabrication materials should be considered when spanning wide opening, which will make the overall weight of the gate lighter.   

See Commercial Gate Fabrication in action on Hurricane Fence Company's Youtube channel.Commercial Gates, Commercial Gates Richmond, Gate Fabrication Richmond, gates richmond, gates norfolk, gates williamsburg, gates va beach, gate making richmond

Topics: Military Fence Installations, Military Fence, Government Fence, Fence Design, Perimeter Security, Gates, Specifications, High Security Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Commercial Fence, Steel Slide Gates, Historical Fence, Fence Permit, Regulations, Maximum Security Fence, Fence Maintenance, Richmond Fence, fence regulations, Maintenance, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, codes, Military Fence Virginia

Va. Fence Law: Who's Actually Responsible for the Cost of My Fence?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, May 09, 2014

As the weather warms, Virginian's are beginning to make their outdoor wishlists. If you're thinking of installing an above or in-ground swimming pool or trying your hand at urban or rural farming, the majority of the information in this article will greatly help you in understanding the ordinances, cost and responsibilities surrounding your 2014 outdoor projects. And—you might have to spend less than you think.

The info in this article is coming straight from the Virginia Legislative Branch's website http://leg1.state.va.us/. Most of what is covered is state level laws but each locality has its own set of governing laws that tend to vary greatly—and lean specific to that geographic location and the prevailing uses for fence installation in that area.

Like most laws, fence regulations can be somewhat convoluted. That's why it's of the utmost importance to pick a fence contractor that understands Virginia's fence laws at the state level. Laws are set by each locality. Most statutes that accompany Virginia fence installation are in reference to livestock(1); fence and its use for pools(2) and railroads(3) are also mentioned in some codes.

Swimming Pool Laws

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For example, if you live in an area that has ordinances that excersizes the maximum punitive actions allowed by § 15.2-921 and you violate said ordinances by not having a fence around a pool, or the fence takes more than 24 days to complete, a person could face as much as $7200 in fines plus court costs or 2 years in jail. The last part of § 15.2-921 simply states "Any such ordinance may be made applicable to swimming pools constructed before, as well as those constructed after, the adoption thereof. No such ordinance shall take effect less than ninety days from the adoption thereof, nor shall any such ordinance apply to any swimming pool operated by or in conjunction with any hotel located on a government reservation." In short ordincances are not required to include a grandfather clause, take atleast 90 day before becoming active and do not apply to swimming pools operated by or in conjunction with any hotel on a government reservation.

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Since the Virginia legal guideline for pool fences is the most strait forward we can cover that first. 

Virginia code § 15.2-921 defines the word "fence" as a close type vertical barrier not less than four feet in height above ground surface.

woven steel wire, chain link, picket or solid board type fence, or a fence of similar construction which will prevent the smallest of children from getting through.(2) Keep in mind, that this definition is only in reference to residential property."Ordinances may require professional fence construction for new or existing swimming pools." This means that if a fence is less that 4 feet doesnt count for the perpose of fencing a pool.A pool or more specifically a swimming pool is defined as "any outdoor man-made structure constructed from material other than natural earth or soil designed or used to hold water for the purpose of providing a swimming or bathing place for any person or any such structure for the purpose of impounding water therein to a depth of more than two feet."(2) this definition is prefeced with the word "includes" in § 15.2-921 meaning that broader definitions may also apply.The code of virginia § 15.2-921 grants any locality the ability to "adopt ordinances making it unlawful for any person to construct, maintain, use, possess or control any pool on any property in such locality, without having a fence completely around such swimming pool. Such ordinances also may provide that every gate in such fence shall be capable of being securely fastened at a height of not less than four feet above ground level; that it shall be unlawful for any such pool gate to be allowed to remain unfastened while the pool is not in use; and that such fence shall be constructed so as to come within two inches of the ground at the bottom and shall be at least five feet from the edge of the pool at any point." the code the restricts the the punative actions of a loacality tofine of not more than $300 or confinement in jail for not more than thirty days, either or both. Each day's violation may be construed as a separate offense." but with each day being a seperate offince it can add up.


A
gricultural Fence

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Virginia law as it pertains to fence in agricultrial applications is somewhat contradictory. When it comes to fencing used for livestock, there are two main schools of thought.

"Fence In" where the live stock are to be contrained on a given property via  dating back to 17th century english common law.(1) The other common philosophy is referred to as "Fence Out" in which it is the responsibility of a land owner who whishes to keep livestock off their property had to build their own fence. The type of fence law that applies changes from county to county. Here are a list of Virginia Counties who participate.

“Fence In” Counties: Albemarle, Arlington, Augusta, Bedford, Botetourt, Buckingham, Campbell, Charles City, Chesterfield, Clarke, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dickenson, Fauquier, Floyd, Fluvanna, Gloucester, Goochland, Greene, Halifax, Hanover, Isle of Wight, King George, Loudoun, Louisa, Madison, New Kent, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Smyth, Sussex, Washington, Wise, Wythe, York.

“Fence Out” Counties are Accomack, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Bath, Bland, Brunswick, Buchanan, Caroline, Carroll, Charlotte, Chesapeake, Craig, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fairfax, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Greensville, Hampton, Henrico, Henry, Highland, James City, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Lee, Lunenburg, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Montgomery, Nelson, Newport News, Northumberland, Northampton, Nottoway, Orange, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Rockbridge, Shenandoah, Stafford, Suffolk, Surry, Tazewell, Virginia Beach, Warren, Westmoreland.

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The information above came frome https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/news/fbmu/2009/12/article_4.html

While wordy, provided below is the exact wording of "§ 55-299. Definition of lawful fence." taken from https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+55-299.

§ 55-299. Definition of lawful fence.

Every fence shall be deemed a lawful fence as to any livestock named in § 55-306, which could not creep through the same, if

(1) Five feet high, including, if the fence be on a mound, the mound to the bottom of the ditch,

(2) Of barbed wire, 42 inches high, consisting of at least four strands of barbed wire, firmly fixed to posts, trees, or other supports substantially set in the ground, spaced no farther than 12 feet apart unless a substantial stay or brace is installed halfway between such posts, trees or other supports to which such wires shall be also fixed,

(3) Of boards, planks, or rails, 42 inches high, consisting of at least three boards firmly attached to posts, trees, or other supports substantially set in the ground,

(4) Three feet high within the limits of any incorporated town whose charter does not prescribe, nor give to the council thereof power of prescribing, what shall constitute a lawful fence within such corporate limits, or

(5) Any fence of any kind whatsoever, except as described in this section, and except in the case of incorporated towns as set forth in subdivision (4), which shall be:

a. At least 42 inches high,

b. Constructed from materials sold for fencing or consisting of systems or devices based on technology generally accepted as appropriate for the confinement or restriction of livestock named in § 55-306, and

c. Installed pursuant to generally acceptable standards so that applicable livestock named in § 55-306 cannot creep through the same.

A cattle guard reasonably sufficient to turn all kinds of livestock shall also be deemed a lawful fence as to any livestock mentioned in § 55-306.

Nothing contained in this section shall affect the right of any such town to regulate or forbid the running at large of cattle and other domestic animals within its corporate limits.

The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services may adopt rules and regulations regarding lawful fencing consistent with this section to provide greater specificity as to the requirements of lawful fencing. The absence of any such rule or regulation shall not affect the validity or applicability of this section as it relates to what constitutes lawful fencing.

(Code 1950, § 8-869; 1977, c. 624; 2007, c. 574.)

There are other statues that allow for some bodies of water in certain circumstances to also be considered "Lawful Fences"  to include 55-300, 55-302, and 55-303. more information can be found at https://leg1.state.va.us/

Reguardless of whether a property is in a "Fence In" or Fence Out" county there are Virginia statutes that provide a means by which one land owner may compel a neighbor to aide in the construction or maintenance of a given boundry fence. The law also makes a dinstinction between existing and none existng boundry fence.

"Virginia fence law refers only to landowners.  The Code does not mention ‘tenants’ or ‘owners of livestock.’  This has very real implications for landowners who lease land to farmers with an understanding that the farmer-tenant maintains all fences. Landowners should be aware of their potential obligations and liability related to maintaining boundary fences."(1)

In summary the law surrounding fence is convoluted and often contradictory thus it is a good idea to get legal advice on these matters. Keep in mind that if the situation arises that a fence is to be mandated, there may be legal recourse for the construction and, or financing of a mandated fence when it lies between two properties.

Read Virginia Legislative Fence Ordinances in their etirity at the folllowing websites:

1.(https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/news/fbmu/2009/12/article_4.html)

2.(http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+15.2-921)

3.(http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+56-429)

4.(https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+55-299)

Topics: Fence Design, Perimeter Security, Specifications, High Security Fence, Pool Gate Hardware, Regulation, Fence Maintenance, Richmond Fence, fence law, fence regulations, swimming pool regulations, agricultural fence, virginia fence code

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

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:

fence workshop

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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