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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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.


Sources:, 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.

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

Is Pressure Treated Wood for Fencing Environmentally Friendly?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Oct 31, 2013

Treated Wood Environment   Environment Friendly Treated Wood

Yes! The use of pressure treated wood for Residential and Commercial fencing is in fact, environmentally friendly.

Hurricane Fence Company relies on Treated Lumber Outlet (TLO) for a healthy portion of our Residential Pressure Treated Wood-Fence products.

Wood Preservation allows for the use of renewable resources while preserving the amount of decay to the actual lumber. This effectively uses fewer trees because of the pressure-treatment.
CCA has been used to pressure treat lumber since the 1940s. Since the 1970s, the majority of the wood used in outdoor residential settings has been CCA-treated wood. Pressure treated wood containing CCA is no longer being produced for use in most residential settings, including decks and playsets.

The use of trees rather than plastics or metals is better for the environment due to the known costs of using petroleum based products or steel or aluminum fence production methods which have higher energy expenditures during their manufacturing processes. Additionally, these metals and fence materials create a higher dependency on foreign sources enabling a larger carbon footprint, thus increasing pollution.

What exactly is Pressure Treated Wood or Lumber?

Pressure-Treated Lumber is wood that has had a liquid preservative forced into it in order to protect against deterioration due to environmental factors such as weathering, rot or insect attack.

The most commonly used preservatives are chromated copper arsenate (CCA) and pentachlorophenol. In the treatment process, finished treated lumber is placed in large container, which is sealed and filled with the preservative solution. As the pressure in the container is increased, the preservatives are forced into the lumber; the excess preservative is drained from the container and recycled. The preservative makes pressure-treated wood suitable for long-term outdoor uses where ordinary wood would soon deteriorate. Wood for these uses is now treated with ACQ (alkaline copper quat, a copper oxide–quaternary ammonium compound mixture), copper azole, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT), or other green friendly chemicals.

Subsequently, building codes often mandate the use of responsibly pressure-treated-wood for outdoor purposes.  

What are some other Benefits of Preserved Wood Fence?

Longevity: The life of untreated outdoor wood products can be as short as one or two years. CCA preserved wood has been shown to last over 40 years.

Versatility: Some uses for Pressure Treated Wood Fence Solutions include bridges, guardrails, and docks, while utility poles, crossarms, and indoor pools are a few examples of things made from wood treated with oil-born preservatives.

A Proven Track Record: CCA preserved wood has been around for more than 70 years.  It is EPA approved and has a history of effectiveness.

Affordable & Natural & Beautiful: The raw look is very hot right now. New home buyers and experienced ones alike have really become eco-conscience. We all want more bang for our buck. Aluminum and steel and other man made materials come with a bigger price tag and production costs.

Made in the USA: Man-made fence materials contribute to our reliance for imported materials from other countires. Pressure treated wood and lumber materials offer consumers both efficiency and beauty at a lighter price tag. Most pressure treated wood fence materials are made right here in our own backyard. What a great way to support our local & national economy!


Pressure Treated Wood Fence

*SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER: If a sub-par local fence installation crew installs fences, these fences will obviously need to be replaced sooner than expected. This is why you MUST  ‘qualify’ your fence installation companyprior to purchasing a fence. Reducing the use of resources is the most effective way to protect our environment and your wallet.


What do the experts say about Pressure Treated Wood?

" We have to be careful to preserve forests by using our wood resources to their maximum potential. Using materials such as CCA extends the life of resources at least five years old.

Dr. Stanley Rhodes, President of Scientific Certification Systems


“Through the use of preservatives in pressure treated lumber for fences, porches, decks and homes, we have saved a forest of trees two times the size of New England.”

Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, former Governor of Washington State




Topics: Specialty Fence, Residential Fence, Maintenance, wooden fence, pressure treated fence, Green Fence Products

Is Treated Lumber Fence Environmentally Friendly?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Wed, Dec 08, 2010

The short answer is YES! The use of pressure-treated wood for fences is environmentally friendly. 

Wood Privacy fence virginia

Wood preservation allows for the use of renewable resources while preserving the amount of decay to the actual product. This effectively uses fewer trees because of the treatment. The use of trees, rather than plastics or metals is also better due to the known environmental costs of using petroleum based products.  Steel or aluminum fence production methods have higher energy expenditures during their manufacturing processes and this process can create large amounts of air and water pollution. The import of pre-production metals and actual fence material creates a higher dependency on foreign sources for imported material while increasing pollution as well. 

A note for consideration on this topic is, that if a sub-par installation crew installs fences, these fences will obviously need to be replaced sooner than may be otherwise called for. This is just one more reason to ‘qualify’ your fence installation company prior to purchasing a fence. Reducing the use of resources is the most effective way to protect our environment.

What is Pressure Treated Wood?

Wood for fence is often pressure-treated to lengthen its use-life and make it resistant to insects and decay.  Building codes often mandate the use of pressure treated wood for outdoor purposes.  Pressure treatment forces preservatives (such as Chromated Copper Arsenate – i.e. CCA; used in 98% of pressure treated wood for fence) deep into the cellular structure of the wood.  In a response to concerns about CCA, there are several arsenic free alternatives currently available. These include ACO, Borates, Copper Azole, Cyproconazole, and Propiconazole. More research on these products is widely available on the Internet for an in-depth appraisal.

What are the other Benefits of Preserved Wood?

Longer Life – The life of untreated outdoor wood products can be as short as one or two years.  CCA-preserved wood has been shown to last over 40 years.

Proven Track Record – CCA-preserved wood has been around for more than 70 years.  It is EPA approved and has a history of effectiveness.

Fits the Budget – The use of other materials like aluminum or steel costs more, due to the higher costs of production and the frequent reliance on imported materials.   

What the Experts Say

“We have to be careful to preserve forests by using wood resources to the maximum, and using materials such as CCA extends the life of resources at least five-fold.”

Dr. Stanley Rhodes, President of Scientific Certification Systems

“Through the use of preservatives in pressure treated lumber for fences, porches, decks and homes, we have saved a forest of trees two times the size of New England.”

The late Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, former Governor of Washington state

Article contributed by fence professional Spalding Showalter.

Topics: Residential Fence, Fence, pressure treated fence

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