A fence establishes boundaries, creates first impressions, provides security for children or pets and protects us from intruders. Because of its natural properties, cedar fencing is super durable. Cedar is a beautiful product to look at. It doesn’t easily warp or twist. If you build with quality cedar, it will continue to hold its own even after many years of service. With a little planning and design it will be a major attribute to your home.
Fence Building – Practical Concepts & Design Considerations
- Once you have defined an outline of the fence on your property, divide each segment into eight foot multiples. This will provide good structural values and utilizes standardized cost effective fence building techniques.
- To avoid creating weakened oversized sections or tiny end sections, consider reducing your average post spacing slightly and increase your total multiples by one section. The result is structurally sound, looks great and will hardly affect your material costs.
- Curbs aren`t essential; however, they make it easy to mow the grass up to your fence and contain flower beds, mulch, landscape materials or back-fill.
- Existing lot gradient will influence your design plans. Landscape designs follow the natural gradient of your lot whereas terraced designs emphasize changing elevations.
- An integrated post treatment will result in clean straight lines where the posts will blend into the design of the fence.
- A defined post design, accentuates the post, adding emphasis and definition.
- Spacing fence boards is effective as a wind break; ineffective for security purposes.
- Because of inherent properties cedar fencing offers great protection against warping and wood rot.
Fence building – Technical Details
- Screws are the ideal fastener to build a fence. Double hot-dipped galvanized screws can be used; however, Brown Ceramic coated screws look best and work well in our dry climate.
- Screws must be long enough to penetrate 1” (25mm) into support members. Penetration of minimum 1¼” (32mm) is required for structural components.
- Use metal posts whenever you are choosing to cast your posts in concrete. This will extend their service life. Reduce risk of frost heave by placing posts at a depth 0f 3′ or more and keeping the concrete a few inches below grade.
- Metal posts can be clad (encased) in wood for appearance.
- Solid wood posts are an effective alternative when there is no curb (concrete). Avoid casting wood posts in full concrete as this shortens their service life.
- 4X4 is the minimum required post size; however, 4X6 makes a much better post for the expected duration of your cedar fence service life.
- Capping your fence boards and posts will extend the life of your fence. It minimizes migration of moisture (exertion) into and out of your building materials (end-grain is more porous by 250%).
- Using a good grade and the right dimension of fencing materials has a substantial impact on the appearance and service life of your fence.
- Optimal gate size ranges between three and four feet in width.
- A large RV Gate is better split into two to reduce static and service load strain.
- A removable center support posts combined with double gates is an attractive alternative to single large unwieldy or sagging gates.
- Using a good construction adhesive between boards and rails during assembly helps eliminate sagging.
- Custom gate arbours can substantially enhance the strength and appearance of your gate.
- Most custom gate designs work well in a three ply approach. To minimize excessive weight gains, sandwich the body of the gate in between one inch frame boards.