Shoulda, Wooda, Coulda: Don't let your fence continue to weather the winter.

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Wed, Jan 18, 2017

You already know it is critical that you prepare your fence for the winter months since it can cause a wide variety of damage to your fence. Severe weather can do enormous damage. Before, you write it off, you can still apply protective maintenance tips to your fence before the next batch of winter weather.

The Big Freeze

With temperatures at a record zero degree average, Richmond Metro, and Norfolk areas this week, your fence is continually alternating between cold wet and warmer wet moisture.  While our wood fences are installed with high-quality wood products, the organic structure of wood can still give pesky mold and mildew opportunity to flourish. 

If you have not already this year, you can still help protect the life of your wood fence by applying a high-quality fence stain and sealant in between storms. 


String Theory

Inspect your wood fence following significant storms. Check for damage and ensure the posts are still level by running a piece of string along the tops.

Look for dips or rises in the string, and examine those posts to see if repairs are needed. Making structural repairs now will prevent the damage from worsening throughout the winter.

Read more about measuring with string here

Snowed In

Whether you live on the main street or a winding country road, snow plows will push dirt, snow ice and chemicals from the road all over your fence.

When you gear up to go outside to clear the driveway, you should at least try and knock most if not all of the lingering snow from your fence. The longer moisture sits, the more damage it may do.

Remove any branches that look prone to breaking off especially if they are large in size. Routinely clean your fence of leaves or other organic matter that has settled on the rails or become lodged between boards.

Overhanging tree limbs can break under the weight of snow and ice, causing damage to your fence on their way to the ground. Monitor any trees within falling distance of your fence, and trim back any branches.


Topics: wood fence, residential fences, chain link, fence cost, winter fence, snow fence

4 (or so) Things You Should Know Classical and Alternative Fence Installations Before you Install

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, Jul 24, 2015


Fencing Needs and Restrictions

Before you set out in search of the perfect fence for you, decide what your goals are. Do you just want to keep your pets and loved ones inside your perimeter? Or, are you also looking for some privacy? With so many options out there, it is important to establish some objectives. Otherwise, the task of selecting a fence can be a tough one.

Before installing the fence, check to make sure your neighborhood doesn’t have any provisions against a particular type of fence. It's also important to consider how the fence you choose will contribute to or hinder the resale value of your home.

Each type of fence has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost, maintenance, and functionality. Although a wood fence may be beautiful now, without proper maintenance it will look worn in a few years. Consider all of your options. And, there are many...

Popularity: Tried & True & New
  • Ornamental AluminumAluminum is growing in popularity as an economical alternative to wrought iron. It can stand up to harsh weather and requires very little maintenance.
  • Wood: Wood fences can be expensive but are great for privacy. If your children play outside, you may want to consider this fence to keep them safe, but be careful if you have small pets, as they may be able to escape under the fence where it meets the ground. Wood requires routine maintenance but can endure harsh weather and last for many years.
  • Vinyl (PVC): Initially more expensive than wood, vinyl fences require very little maintenance and are not susceptible to termites and other pests. However, the color choices are somewhat limited and you'll need to inspect for mold over time.
  • Chain Link: Chain Link is an economical option, but some neighborhoods may have regulations against chain link fencing, so be sure to do your research before you make an expensive mistake. Once you choose chain link fencing, there are a myriad of options to consider, such as height, color, finish coating and the size of the holes.
  • Welded Wire: For a fraction of the money, you can achieve a cost effective and affordable enclosure for a range of applications. The wire can be attached to existing fencing (such as post and rail) or can be installed independently with knock in posts. Great to use for farms both rural and suburban.
  • Ornamental Welded Wire: Unique fence designs with ornamental panels and square open in post shapes that rival traditional ironm work and creare a unique, secure and beatutiful alternative for both Residential and Ciommercial use.
  • Simulated Stone: PVC and vinyl fencing have really branched out over the past couple of years. What once was a labor intensive and costly project can now emote the appeal of a stone wall or brick enclosure  in a light weight but weather resistant alternative application.
A custom alternating wood picket fence designed by the owner in Richmond, Virginia Designmaster Ornamental Steel Welded Wire fence applications Active Yards line of Aluminum fencing installed by Hurricane Fence Company yin Norfolk, VA Ecostone Simulated Wood Fence Installaion in Norfolk VA adds a brick feel to a vinyl fence.

Above are examples of unique fence designs and solutions installed by Hurricance Fence in Virginia

Know Your Boundaries

Good communication between neighbors is a must for fence etiquette. While it's not legally required, you should always alert or discuss any fence building plans with your neighbors before beginning to build. This is especially trure If your property lines are close together or if you want to use a custom design as a result of you and your fence contractor's collaboration. You may find that they will be insported to replicate your fence enclosure or go in on cost with you.

Busy Season

Fence installations can be completed year-round. In fact, fall and winter is a great time to schedule your fence installation because companies may not be as busy. Ask the company about their timeline. Depending on the time of year, it could take weeks before they get to you.

Maintain Your Frame

Ask the fence company if they provide painting services before your fence installation. Or, if you're doing the finish work, ask them if you can have the materials to do so before the job starts. The paint job will last a long time if you paint each piece of wood after they are cut to length but before they are installed. Painted fences may need to be touched up every year or two.Your fence will lose its appeal if you don’t maintain it.

Check your fence every few months for splintering, peeling, mold, breakage or insects. Be careful with the weed whacker near the fence. Over time, that causes splintering and scratches which breaks the seal and encourages damage.

When it comes to understanding the ins and outs of your desired fence enclsoure, remember that communication with your city or county, neighbors, HOA and professional fence contractor is key to a seemeless installation.

Think of your fence like a custom picture frame for the piece of art that is your home. Getting these elements in alignment the first time will save you cost, and time and ensure that your home or property maintains its value and lives up tp your expectations for years to come.

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Topics: Residential Fence Choices, Fence, virginia fence code, residential fences, aluminum fence cost

Ornamental Aluminum Fence is Wrought with New Options

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Mon, Jun 08, 2015

Since its inception, Ornamental Aluminum fence have made a nice name for itself among homeowners and small business owners. Aluminum's versatile and pleasing profile has helped it to  become the chameleon of modern fencing.  For consumers who prefer a good blend of modernity and classical aesthetics, Ornamenal Aluminum fencing and gates come in a wide variety of options and several colors.

That's great for fences in Virginia as it has the ability to work extensively on both small and large landscapes.

pool-fences.jpg SlateHaven-Southington

Until recently, there have been no options for these who really want that wrought iron look but haven't beenable to justify the labor, time or cost--consider the problem solved.PC Aluminum is an alternative fence application that uses a spray eco-friendly composite spray instead of wet aluminum paint. It's a dry powder is sprayed onto the fence, and static electricity keeps the powder on the enclosure long enough to get it to an oven. While in the heat it melts the plastic to cover the materials, and when the part cools the coating covers the aluminum as if it had been wet painted.The elements of the melted aluminum compote also delivers a unique solution that's twice the thickness and hardness of a typical baked enamel finish. 

Even the best quality (Class 1 Architectural) anodizing is only required to be .0007" thick; whereas paint or powder is generally 3x as thick.The result is an aluminum fence that is just as strong as a traditional steel enclosure. It looks and feels like cast or wrought iron. Best of all the cost of installation will be lower to install and substantially lighter on your wallet.

What about pool fences? Is it waterproof?
Yes, the new coating is not a paint in the traditional sense. While paint can flake, the poder coating will create a multiple textures and layyers that make watter hard to damage. So, splash away!. It also looks fantastic on a range of pool fence installations. The below links will give you a visual for  new aluminum fence options.

It's Not Just What's on The Outside That Counts. 
Think of the interior of your new aluminum fence as a small army of reinforced ribs acting as a retaining wall that supports your fence coating. Then, take a look at some of the many products that use this technolgy. Don't worry, links are here to help.
ArchitectureCategoryB photo-1024x682

What is the difference in terms of durability, scratch resistance, fade resistance, etc.?

Select local fence contractors may offer fence that has the new powder coat finish while others use the standard with a baked enamel finish. The durability and corrosion resistance of an organic finish (paint, powder coating, enamel, etc.) depends as much or more on the pre treatment (zinc plating, iron phosphate, zinc phosphate, sandblast, solvent wipe) than on the finish coat. Furthermore, there are many different resins (polyester, epoxy, etc.) The result of this is that, a consumer really can't predict the durability of a finish; all you can go by is the reputation of the supplier.

If this breakthrough alternative application is exclusive and new, how can I be sure I'm getting what I expect?

Have no fear, the AMMA is here to protect you against fraudulent or poorly made materials on fencing of any kind. AAMA standards are developed and in place in response to the needs of contracting companies to solve critical issues in the industry.They serve are companies of all sizes. AAMA is recognized around the world for the development of standards that provide third-party validation of product performance and quality.You can read more about the AAMA here

If you need to find an exclusive local fence contractor that has access to this new fence option for your home or business, this link to Sonco Fence Worldwide or this Residential Brochure can fill you in on what you, your local fencing company and pocket book need to know.  

 Other Helpful resources for Ornamental Aluminum Fence Coatings and Materials

fence bible, fences diy, fences richmond advice, fences, gates, diy Ultra FINAL_BROCHURE_LAYOUT-1


Topics: Fence Design, Cast Iron Fencing, Comparison, aluminum hand rails, residential fences, aluminum fence options, fence coatings, Aluminum Fencing, powder coated fences, aluminum fence cost

Permits & Regulations for New Fence Installations: Avoiding the Danger Zone

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, May 15, 2015

Setback requirements of a fence installation represent how many feet the fence is "set back" from your actual property boundary.

To establish whether or not your project meets the setback rules of your region, you need to get an estimate from a professional fence contractor. A local fence contractor will help you navigate the survey process, pointing you in the right direction.

Working with your city or county’s zoning and local Miss Utility office you and your fence specialist can decide exactly where your fence will go on your property.

Different locations usually have different laws. Be sure that you fully understand which rules are applicable to you.

The best course of action is to get your official survey performed, go to the zoning department, find out where you can put your fence and select from the variety of fence options that meet your needs and your area's acceptable forms of fence structures.

You may not need a permit for fences under six feet, but almost all fences built must follow the setback regulations. When searching, use this example: Fairfax County, Virginia


Depending on where you live, the height of your fence affects whether or not you need prior approval. When a city inspector measures a fence, they do so from the base of the fence posts to the top of the fence. If your project requires any kind of fence that is less than six feet tall, then you typically do not need to get a building permit nor do you need to get residential zoning approval

As a hypothetical, let's say some citizens in your community want to build a school, a ballpark, open a car repair shop in his garage, or a company may want to convert the gas station into a McDonald's in your quiet neighborhood.  An official determination is measured by the weight given to the need within the area. Required promotion of the public health and safety of the community, best use of said land or property, and whether the land overall  ls structurally sound enough to install a framed fence enclosure  Knowing that the zoning is tailored to the community's needs and vision should give you, the existing property owner, peace of mind.    

s all of this actually necessary?

While It might seem like a bit of an ordeal, a professionally installed and properly prepared fence project is worth its weight in property value,curb appeal and cost of repairs. Select a fence contractor that specializes in the kind of installs, accreditations even website site design. Pay attention to their reviews across Angie's list and other referrals both on and offline.
A major use of zoning laws is to preserve the character of your neighborhood. Regulations are enacted to protect your particular locality and maintain the value of your property. As a result, changes are either not permitted or allowed only with significant restrictions.

Why do we need these fence and property regulations?

In the interest of protecting the general welfare of your community, the zoning ordinance furthers the public good through regulations, assuring residents of the stability of the area. Zoning applicants are therefore required to demonstrate their proposed future location will not be incompatible with the best use of the locale and have a detrimental affect on the public welfare.

Always be aware of the other regulations that affect your fence project. For example, if your fence is over eight feet tall, then it needs to be able to resist winds of certain speeds. Use your judgement, get your ducks in a row and take some time to think about what fence solution will not only give you the look and security you desire in consideration of your surroundings and your neighborhood.

An experienced and qualified fence contractor will do the heavy lifting both literally and metaphorically. Your fence project deserves the utmost attention and you should be 100% happy about your investment.

More on zoning: law/zoning/zoning_hurt.htm#ixzz3aEi2ETF7

Topics: zoning for fences,, local zoning,, rnment resstrictions,, outdoor landscape zoning,, zoning,, residential fences

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