Think Inside The Box: Commercial Dumpster Enclosures with Outdoor Aesthetic Appeal

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, Nov 18, 2016

Dumpster enclosures range tremendously in size. The 3 or 4 sided enclosure will range from 10 ft. wide  by  8' ft. deep  by  6 ft.  tall  or  8 ft.  wide  to 30’ w  by 12’ deep x  6’ and include one double swing gate.

Municipalities typically dictate the need for a dumpster enclosure. Extensive coverage and property line limitations must also be considered and approved per local code requirements.

Enclosure materials will vary from wood privacy style dumpsters, to vinyl/PVC and sometimes composite materials.

This doesn't mean that all dumpster enclosures have to the eye sore you are used to seeing at places like your neighborhood convenience store.

This customcommercial wood design by Hurricane Fence's Drew Locher is a great solution for Hardywood Brewery 

What is Composite Fence Material?

Dumpster enclosure gates will demand steel gate posts sized to appropriately support the gate leaf needed for the opening.  

Additionally, the gate frame should also be steel with pickets or panels attached.

This provides the gate with much greater structural, ensures much longer life compared to less sturdy construction applications.

A brown wood grain Composite Dumpster Gate  has one latch down the center for easy and frequent access.

Vinyl and Chain Link Slats

Although initially more expensive, vinyl dumpster enclosures do not require the maintenance that  come with the natural aging process of organic materials.

This white commercial Vinyl dumpster enclosure  fits around a local trash company's blue oversized dumpster.

Wood Dumpster Enclosures 

These are quite popular due to low cost and ease of service replacement.

Wood is pliable and easier to customize to match your building or ground aesthetic but it does come with some wear and tear due to weathering and consistent usage.

A beautiful wood stained, brick and steel gate dumpster enclosure  outside of starbucks in Richmond Virginia

The location and use pattern of the dumpster could very well dictate what would be the better value and best fit for the long term.

Enclosures housed on a concrete dumpster pads that require gates and gate posts should be core drilled for the installation of the gate posts. This helps to eliminate sagging.

Adequate planning will preserve the life of the enclosure, decrease damage claims and increase customer satisfaction for quality construction.


Make sure that the dumpster enclosure can return to to its original position after each collection. This is paramount. 

Since the gates will be used thousands of times over many years, the installation must accommodate the dumpster size, the contents and be easily accessible for local refuse collection service.

Hurricane Fence has installed over a thousand dumpster enclosures of every type since 1994. Contact us for a timely quote on your dumpster enclosure project.


Topics: Residential Fence, Vinyl Fence, Commercial Fence, Dumpster Enclosure, fences richmond, residential dumpsters, home improvement

On the Fence: Differences Between Aluminum and Vinyl Fence Enclsoures

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Tue, May 03, 2016

Deciding between a vinyl (PVC) and an ornamental aluminum fence enclosure can be difficult.  Like people, every fence solution is unique. Requirements and needs vary in privacy, security, maintenance level, configurations, cost, and aesthetic style. Here are some helpful tips that play a big role in arriving at a well-informed decision. 


When it comes to privacy, vinyl fencing pulls ahead. With heights reaching up to 6’ or 8’ and its solid state, vinyl is perfect for backyards. Pool enclosures, basic perimeter fencing, and dumpster enclosures are also common vinyl applications.

An aluminum fence offers a classic and minimal look but can only achieve comparable privacy function with the addition of fill-in panels. And often, these panels take away from the traditional ornamental look of the enclosure.


fence-louver-installation slats.jpg

Gate configuration

For many buyers, larger gates are a must have. With ornamental or decorative aluminum fencing, these in specifications and designs 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 locks, and gate operators and access controls for larger fences all work wonderfully with an aluminum fenceAluminum gates also work to meet standardized pool codes.

The majority of Vinyl gates are 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. PVC products are an atypical material application for automated systems.

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.




Ornamental Aluminum take the lead when it comes to security fencing. Due to its limitations, a 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 the safety of an office building, and apartment complexes, commercial and industrial grade aluminum fence is always the best choice.

Heavy duty and decorative gates come with automated electric operators and access controls for additional security measures and ease of operation. Residential grade aluminum fences are somewhat less secure, but still an ideal solution for keeping children and pets in or out of the back yard.


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

Color selection

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 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 taken into consideration, these differences will help you make an informed decision whether vinyl or aluminum application for your fence enclosure.


Topics: Vinyl Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, Fence Cost, Fence Construction, fence options, residential fence choices, backyard fencing richmond, fences norfolk

Topics: Vinyl Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Aluminum Fence, Comparison

Vinyl Fencing 101: A Record of Resillience

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Sat, Aug 22, 2015
Vinyl fences are some of the most durable, long lasting, and best looking fences available to homeowners today.
It's easy to see why vinyl fences are quickly becoming a favorite fencing material for homeowners across the country.


Set it and Forget it

Perhaps the biggest perk of vinyl/pvc fencing materials is that vinyl maintenance free fencing. Except for the first installation, you'll rarely ever have to pay service call charges for fencing expenses.  Vinyl fencing never needs touching up, treating, painting, or even regular cleaning. And since most vinyl fencing sold today comes with a lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that it's the last fence you're ever going to have to buy.

Tough As Nails

Besides being maintenance free, vinyl fences are also one of the most weather resistant fencing solutions to date. They are up to five times stronger than wood, and four times as flexible. That means they're virtually indestructible, whether they're taking a beating from unruly livestock or a pack of middle school kids. Since they are made of a solid vinyl material that is the same color through and through, scratches, nicks, and other blemishes won't show, or need to be touched up, like some other fencing applications.

Refined by Design

As the vinyl fence industry has grown, so have the uses for this durable fence material. What started out as an alternative to split rail agricultural fencing has now become a viable alternative for farmers, ranchers, and homeowners alike. Vinyl fencing is available in picketwrought iron styleprivacy, and pool fencing, just to name a few of the more popular styles. In fact, if you're interested in purchasing vinyl fencing for your home, you're virtually guaranteed to find a fence design out there that fits the bill.

A Buy to Rely On.

Not all vinyl fences are created equal, so it's important that you know what to shop for before you make any major purchases. The rule of thumb is the thicker the vinyl, the stronger the vinyl. A quality, thick vinyl is nearly indestructible, while thin vinyl may be more succeptable to external factors. Make absolutely sure the fence you're purchasing contains titanium dioxide to prevent UV deterioration. The two biggest enemies of vinyl fencing are sun and cold temperatures. Both cease to be an issue, however, if the fence is manufactured with titanium dioxide.  And if it has been treated with impact modifiers to increase the vinyl's strength.

If you're interested in having a vinyl fence installed on your property, talk to a professional accredited local fencing contractor or fence material supplier experienced in working with vinyl/pvc to ensure that your vinyl fence project doesn't skip a beat!


4-tall-Essex-style-fencing-with-Pyramid-post-caps MOCHA5


Topics: Vinyl Fence, Pool Fence, Fence, Maintenance, Privacy Fence, Comparison, picket fencing, #fences

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.

    fences, fences richmond, hurricane fence, richmond fencing contractors, norfolk fences, residential fences, ornamental fences richmond, aluminum fences richmond

    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


Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, Apr 25, 2014

Form Follows Function: Do Snow Fences still Serve a Purpose?

Wonder whether these decidedly low-tech, structures are as valuable in the age of technology, as they were in the past? Absolutely.

Snow fences are actually an ancient unsophisticated technology. Archaeologists have discovered what they believe is a 20-foot section of “snow fencing” near Stonehenge (circa 3000 B.C.) on England’s Salisbury Plain, an indication of what the English climate might have been like at that time.

snow fence header copy

 snow covered fence 1233

Geologist/Geophysicist Dr. Garry Denke believes the fence was used to channel drift snow in predictable ways, possibly for water storage. If you want to see the impact that a channel drift can have, take a look at this snow storm incident from the Discovery Channel.


During the colonial era, deep snows often crippled mail service and overall commerce for days— even weeks—at a time. Although snow-clearing ordinances weren’t yet in widespread use, cities and towns generally took matters into their own hands, clearing drifts so sleighs could get through.

Ranchers learned that by erecting “snow fences” near the windward side of roadways and other areas they wanted to shield, significant savings in time and money could be achieved by minimizing snow-clearing operations.

Later, despite technological advances such as the Barber-Green Snowloader (introduced in Chicago in 1920), which plowed, scooped and dumped the snow into haulers, snow fences still maintained their popularity.

An example of this is small airports. Runway clearing costs could be greatly reduced by minimizing snow depth in rural areas. Overall, the sheer simplicity of the snow fence struck a chord with farmers, ranchers and highway workers.

Today, in conjunction with many new and ingenious snow-clearing devices, such as the Next Generation Snow Plow and the Single-Lane-Obstructing Rotary Snow Plow, snow fences have retained their popularity. In fact, they’ve even been improved upon, as the Japanese have developed a blower snow fence, which “increases air flow in the area of the fence, resulting in even less blowing snow on the roadway.”

Although there are many kinds (living, natural wood, plastic, vinyl etc.) the device is basically a porous barrier situated on the windward side of an area needing maximum snow protection, such as a highway. Upon meeting the barrier, snow-laden winds pass through with greatly diminished velocity, releasing most of the snow on the leeward side. For the fencing to be effective, the design build  plan must take into account the prevailing wind speed and direction as well as average snowfall rates during storms.

For every foot in length of a 4-foot tall snow fence, 4.2 tons of snow are held at bay.

Possibly the most striking property of snow fences is revealed in a 2005 article in “Government Engineering,” a State of Wyoming publication. The article calculated that mechanical snow removal costs about $3.00 for every 2.2 tons of snow. By comparison, for every foot in length of a 4-foot tall snow fence, 4.2 tons of snow, on average, are held back.

Thus, for a 20-foot section of snow fence, almost 85 tons of snow are stored, saving about $116.00, less installation and maintenance costs of the fencing. This article concluded that the reduced number of highway injuries, deaths, and property damage claims were considered, the cost-benefit ratio of the fences was even more favorable.

Here's a video explaining how a snow fence works:

Screen shot 2014 01 28 at 11.58.40 PM

The coolest thing about these snow fences is that they’re not designed to “catch” blowing snow—in fact, they aren’t a boundary at all in the traditional sense. Instead, the slats of the fence slow down the wind as it passes through. And the wind then drops some of the snow it’s carrying.

dune fence

Snow fencing doesn’t just serve as a snow barrier, it’s also been found useful in, water conservation, debris collection and beach erosion control, where warm blowing sand sometimes behaves as cold winter snow. This means that most of the fence-conjured   elements accumulate downwind of the snow fence—i.e. after the wind and and it's passengers have passed through.

Today, snow fences continue to be celebrated in art for their simplistic efficiency through their minimal design. They've managed to converge a fascinating blend of natural and man-made materials and basic physics.

Snow Fence Art




Topics: Fence Design, Specifications, Vinyl Fence, Historical Fence, Regulation, Maintenance, wood fence

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