Archive for ‘Home Improvement’

April 25th, 2016

The Many Advantages Of A Cedar Fence

cedar-fence-boise-medCedar has long been a popular choice as a fencing material. Cedar wood is extremely durable, and holds up well to outdoor weather conditions. As such, a cedar fence will generally outlast fences made from softer, less durable wood, such as pine. In addition to its inherent durability, the natural oils present within the wood will help to deter insect damage and rotting.

A cedar fence is quite beautiful, adding to the overall visual appeal of a home’s landscape. Natural cedar has an attractive, rustic look, making it an excellent choice for backyard fences. Cedar does not need to be chemically treated, making it a good choice for families who prefer to use natural products. Sealants are also not required in order for cedar to remain durable outdoors. In fact, applying a sealant to cedar is generally not recommended, due to the natural oils in the wood.

A properly installed cedar fence will look great for a long time. Not only will the wood resist the ravages of the weather, but it will also maintain its straight and aligned appearance. Although many types of wood are prone to warping or shrinking over time, cedar tends to retain its shape and size beautifully.

If a cedar fence is not stained, it will gradually weather and fade to a gray color. Although many people truly love the look of weathered cedar, in some cases this natural fading is not desired. In order to avoid this natural fading, the wood can be stained.

It is true that a cedar fence costs more than most other wood fences, but still one of the most affordable fence materials. However, considering how durable and long-lasting cedar can be, it is still a good buy. A cedar fence is a good choice for the homeowner who wants to save money, and doesn’t mind a little maintenance in order to keep it in good condition. Sometimes homeowners consider using pressure treated wood for outdoor fences, in order to save on costs. The chemicals applied to pressure treated wood do increase the wood’s durability. However, pressure treated wood must be stained and sealed, thus adding to the maintenance required to keep it looking good. Cedar, on the other hand, is a remarkably low maintenance wood.

February 23rd, 2016

Fence Styles For Security And Beauty

vinyl-fence-boise-med2A fence keeps people or pets where they belong and also keeps strangers and wild or curious animals off of a property. Fencing might follow the entire property line, hem in a backyard, or just secure the area around a pool or vegetable garden. Fences are decorative and/or practical, often a bit of both. Here are some fence styles to consider as you prepare to have your own fence installed.

Chain Link

This is the least stylish and most commonly-seen type of fencing in the US. Chain link fences are secure and clearly state the boundary of a commercial or residential property. Chain link is mostly used for practical applications, not to achieve something attractive.

Wood Options

Wood is a relatively cheap fencing material but requires some maintenance and is more prone to damage and weathering than vinyl or metal. Depending on the grade of wood, it could crack or warp after successive heavy rainfalls or many days in the hot sun. Wood, however, is versatile and beautiful. The Dog Eared style is very popular: straight boards lined up without a cap and no gaps. A capped style with a parallel bottom feature is the Picture Frame style and a semi-private Shadow Box offers a small gap.

Metal

Aluminum and steel are very strong, almost maintenance-free. Tubes of metal form straight, uniform lines, scallops, or pyramids with pointed or ball tops. Posts are set at various distances from one another so they don’t provide complete privacy, but they are sturdy and simple. Metal won’t wear out during extreme weather and metal is favored for security purposes. An epoxy coating gives customers a wide range of color choices.

Wrought Iron

Numerous elegant, ornamental fence styles are created from wrought iron including Gothic. It has the antique look of something you might see on a late 19th or early 20th Century home in eastern America or on a modern English street. Because there’s little privacy offered by the gaps, wrought iron and other metal fences often stand at the end of a long drive with a gate of the same material featuring ornate iron work. Wrought iron will last decades without maintenance and comes in various powder-coated shades.

August 25th, 2015

Cleaning Black Spots From A Cedar Fence

cedar fenceDoes your beautiful cedar fence have discoloration? Never fear. This post will walk you through when and how to clean your fence.

As cedar ages, the wood slowly changes color. Your fence will progress into a grayish (or even silver) shade over time. You cannot simply clean this natural discoloration away.

Black spots or stains, on the other hand, are not the natural progression. Cleaning can remove ugly black marks from your fence.

What causes these black marks?

The most common culprits are tannins, mildew, and mold. Tannins ordinarily leach from cedar wood, and do not normally cause any problems. However, when tannins mix with metal and iron, a chemical reaction occurs and a black stain can form.

Cedar, along with any other wood, is a natural habitat for mildew and mold. The spores can thrive on your fence. Thankfully, cleaning usually removes mildew and mold stains.

First, spot-check the stain. This simple test checks to see if the stain is from mildew and mold, or from tannins. Simply rub a small drop of bleach onto the stain, and wait a few minutes. If the stain lightens, mold is the likely culprit. You can proceed with the cleaning. If it doesn’t lighten, you are likely dealing with tannins. You can

Fill a bucket with a gallon of warm water. Add a little bleach (not too much—it can ruin the wood!).
Using a soft rag, gently wipe the stain. Scrubbing hard can permanently scratch the wood, causing damage. Once you have cleaned all of the black stains, allow the wood to dry in the sun. The stains should be noticeably lighter. You can proceed again until the stains are gone, if necessary.

What happens if your stains did not lighten in your spot test? It means you likely have tannin stains and will need something a little more powerful than bleach to clean your fence.
To clean the tannin stains, you will need a mixture of warm water and a small amount of oxalic acid. Wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully wipe the tannin stains with a soft cloth dipped into the cleaning mixture. Wipe over the area with a dry cloth, and allow to air dry.

If you are in the Boise area, and unable to clean your fence, or would prefer to stain it to rejuvenate the whole thing at once, consider contacting a fencing contractor in Boise like Boulder Creek Fence. Cedar fencing professionals can help you restore your cedar fence to near new beauty.

July 28th, 2015

How To Choose The Right Fencing Contractor

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A fence is a big investment, but well worth it.    Whether you have children, pets or want more privacy, a fence can make a real difference to the layout of your premises. Here’s how to choose the right fencing contractor at the first time of asking.

A fencing contractor’s reputation is of paramount importance. Always consult trade associations and consumer protection groups in your area, to see whether a potential contractor has received any complaints. Databases and forums related to consumer complaints are available online too. Try to make a habit of asking all potential contractors for some local references.

A reputable fencing contractor will visit your home initially, then give you a written proposal free of charge. Refrain from hiring any contractor who gives a telephone estimate, without first visiting your property. By meeting the contractor in person, you will gain a good insight into the likely quality of his or her work. The contractor ought to be prompt, polite and knowledgeable.

Many contractors will offer addresses of previous projects. This gives you confidence in their ability, and is especially useful if you are finding it hard to picture how a certain kind of fence will look, after it is fitted. Inquire whether the contractor has a portfolio of projects you can look at, to assess their level of expertise initially.

The project proposal you are given should cover every detail. This includes the kind of materials, gates, fence and footage requirements. Proceed with caution, if one contractor offers a considerably lower price than the other professionals you have contacted.

Always insist on seeing the insurance statement and business license of any prospective contractor. Trustworthy contractors will be properly licensed to conduct business in your locale. Also, they will have the insurance to cover any damage or injuries that might arise during the project. Furthermore, some contractors might specialize in certain kinds of fencing materials or fences. It could be sensible to avoid hiring any contractor, who normally installs a different kind of fence to the one you want to install. If possible, you should try to find a contractor who specializes in your specific type of installation.