A properly built fence serves a variety needs for your home and its encompassing property. It can both characterize and beautify your property.
Regardless of the construction material, a properly built fence will provide your home and yard with security, protection, and landscape improvement for many years to come.
While a fence’s primary purpose is typically that of a property barrier; when executed correctly it also serves as an attractive feature and highlight of the property.
A fence can provide privacy to the homeowner while also serving to keep children and pets securely enclosed within the yard.
Fencing comes in various sizes, hues, and materials to fit a vast range of property and budget needs.
Some of the most popular fencing materials include wood (typically treated lumber or cedar), vinyl (comes in a variety of colors and styles), and metal (chain-link or wrought iron.)
Each material comes in a variety of costs with each having its own unique benefits and drawbacks.
Before you select the material with which to build your fence, you should first consider your personal preference for look and quality, as well as the desired lifespan and purpose for the fence.
You should also consult with your city and local building officials regarding any possible regulations for fencing in your community to ensure that your fence will not be in violation of any ordinances or building regulations for the area.
In some communities, fence height, material type, color, and proximity to neighboring property lines is highly regulated.
If the fence will be added or replacing an existing property line fence between properties, it is also recommended that you speak with your bordering neighbor before moving forward with your project.
If you meet with them ahead of time, and consult them with your design ideas, and purpose for the fence they may even be willing to split the cost with you.
Which Material is Right for My Project?
As mentioned above, all types of fencing materials have unique qualities and benefits. Let’s go over the
Wood fencing offers a natural, timeless look and feel. When cared for correctly, wood ages beautifully, and is generally quite easy to install as well as fix and repair when necessary. It also offers a wide range of versatility giving the option to paint it a variety of colors or stains if desired.
Vinyl fencing is very durable and is made in a wide variety of styles, colors, and designs. It is fade-resistant and requires zero maintenance after the initial install.
Metal fencing such as chain link or wrought iron fences are also extremely durable and require little to no maintenance throughout the lifetime of the fence.
Chain-link is typically relatively inexpensive and easy to install while wrought iron tends to be on the more expensive side, but tends to be sturdier and requires zero maintenance throughout the fence’s lifetime.
Due to high winds in some geographical areas, chain link, and wrought iron fences are recommended as they allow the wind to pass through without taking down the fence with it.
Wood fences are often built with a small gap between each slat to allow the wind to pass through, which helps with wind resistance as well.
Vinyl is the least wind resistant, and often times complete panels can come detached or even collapse in the instance of high wind.
For those on a budget, chain link fencing is an excellent option due to its relatively low cost and ease of installation.
One possible drawback for chain link is that many find it to be lacking in overall aesthetics. However, proper landscaping can serve to spruce up the look of a chain link fence, while also serving to aid in privacy as well.
Wooden fences typically fall within the mid range cost wise. Wood is extremely popular and is a great option if you want a variety of style choices without blowing your budget.
Wood fences are also very durable and blend in seamlessly with the natural surroundings.
Recently, wooden fences constructed of reclaimed wood have also gained popularity as well. With a bit of creativity, you can often times find reclaimed wood which will work for your project for very cheap; or even free.
Vinyl fencing and wrought iron fencing are typically more expensive than other options.
Although, they are both more expensive, they are extremely durable and will stand the test of time.
Both vinyl and wrought iron are virtually maintenance free throughout the lifetime of the fence and neither material requires yearly upkeep.
Although you will pay more up front for vinyl and wrought iron fencing, both options make up for it in the long term both in lifespan and worry-free durability.
The installation of any fence is only as secure as the fence post footings.
Each fence post should be dug down between 24 and 36 inches. The posts will typically be 6 feet apart and should be set in either compacted earth or (preferably) concrete.
In areas that receive a lot of precipitation, it is recommended to place gravel at the base of the footing to help with drainage away from the post. This is especially important for wood fence posts to prevent rotting.
In areas with cold winter weather, be sure to set the posts deep enough to be below the ground frost level. Freezing ground will cause the posts to shift, moving and changing position during the thaw of Spring.
With the exception of chain link fencing, most fencing systems have top and bottom rails. These rails must be securely fastened to the fence posts.
The use of metal brackets helps provides additional strength. It is a standard practice in vinyl fencing; and is also recommended when constructing a wood fence.
Wood and vinyl fencing are the easiest for those looking for a DIY option. For wrought iron and chain link fencing, it is recommended that you hire a professional company such as the Backyard Builders of Utah for your fencing needs.
As with any project, the more planning you do ahead of time the easier your project will be. Installing a fence is a relatively easy project which can typically be completed in just a few days and makes a dramatic difference for most any property. As long as you know your budget, required material costs, and a clearly defined purpose for the fence beforehand your next fencing project should go smoothly without a hitch.
What will a Patio do for you?
By definition a patio is a paved outside area, adjoining a house, which is used for dining or recreation. So in short that is what a patio can do for you and your family. Bring on family and friends to make memories that will last more than your lifetime, your family’s lifetime too. And if pictures are take, well the memories could go on forever!
With traditional Spanish houses a patio was an inner courtyard. Since the chances of many people having walls up around their houses is slim, a patio is more likely to be surrounded by what could be called a courtyard. An area of green bushes, grass and trees. An inviting space with sitting areas, maybe a bar-b-que and possibly, if you have a mind to have an outside kitchenette, a sink plumbed with water and a counter top for food preparation and serving. Now that would be a nice addition to any patio.
Purpose of a Patio
But for the most part a patio is a place to escape the house on summer evenings to capture a sunset. Or early mornings for coffee and just time to breath before the day starts.
Paint your home-give it a face lift
When you drive to the store or to and from work do you notice the houses you pass? Are some just a bit more noticeable than others? Those that you do take notice of have what is called “curb appeal.” There are things that will make your house have that curb appeal that you can do yourself. Most notably would be the color and exterior design of your home.
Many paint companies spend paint can loads of money trying to get you to buy their paint. So much so that they will offer years of life expectancy for the pain you buy from them. Truth be told, paint on the exterior of your home is good for around ten years give or take a year or two. This will depend on, 1) what the paint is applied to and, 2) how the paint is applied. For example:
1) Paint is basically paint.
But what that paint is applied to is the most important thing to remember when painting—anything. Exterior, interior, even your fingernails and toes. A woman wouldn’t think of having her nails painted until they were clean, dry and in good shape. That same set of instructions goes for painted a wall, inside or outside. Preparation of the surface will pay for itself in the years to come after the painting task is but a memory.
a. Clean the outside of your home with a pressure washer if possible. Even a strong spraying off with a hose with a good nozzle is better than nothing! This will remove dirt of course but will also loosen chipped paint, and even remove cob/spider webs that will muck up your paint as you try to just paint them into the job.
b. Scrape any rough areas after you finish the washing to get a smooth finish for the paint to adhere to. Yes this is a hard part of the painting, but it is a vital thing to do. By scraping old flaking paint you not only expose a good clean area but if you don’t scrape off the old paint you could paint over flaking paint that will flake after you apply the new paint and therefore have areas that will not have old or new paint and leave your siding exposed to the elements. You might want to rewash or at least respray the areas you scrape to wash off the scrapings.
c. Fix rotted siding or trim areas. Replace those places that need it or use a paint-able caulking to fill in holes or indentations to leave a smooth surface.
Greenhouse: Improving the Outside of your Home
Ah the greenhouse. In theory a wonderful space to produce vegetables in which you have the say over which sprays and nutrients go into your food.
A space where you envision huge dahlias and four foot tall gladiolus will be raised and adorn your home in the middle of February.
Deciding on having a greenhouse is a big step to take. What size, where to put it, what type of greenhouse. Where do you buy a greenhouse anyway?
Well before you get all frazzled by these questions and more here are a few more things to think over before you pull out your gardening gloves and seeds and pots and potting soil.
Yes, when all things go right a greenhouse is a very desirable and fun space to spend your time—and money.
Yes, you can take pleasure and pride in growing your own vegetables and flowers. But there will be bugs.
Yes it is warm in a greenhouse even when it is freezing outside—if you regulate the doors and windows correctly.
Not all aspects of a greenhouse should be negative. The positive side will have the fats that a greenhouse can become a wonderful hobby. The produce you grow can only enhance your well-being. If you have never before eaten a tomato fresh from the vine, really fresh, as in pick it, wash it, and then eat it fresh, you have no true idea of what a tomato can taste like.
After doing some homework you should know what types and sizes of greenhouses are available. Like in any other hobby your resources will dictate what you will buy. A good rule of thumb may be to remember that you will not need as much space as you think you will. You are not putting in a garden in the sense that you will need space for rows and rows of crops. You will be dealing with plants in trays on shelves so that in itself will cut down the measurable square footage that you will need.
If you are a newbie to this growing attraction you may consider just a small version. This way you will get all the benefits and rewards of a greenhouse and you will also get all the work and see the down side too. Then by the second year you will truly know if this is something you want to do. Some people will only grow their vegetables in their own greenhouse.
Some gardeners use their greenhouse to “start” their plants very early in the spring and sometimes in the late part of winter to get a jump on their growing season. Some master gardeners will start their seeds in their greenhouse, move them to the outdoors after all threat of freezing has passed. They might also start a second grow of some vegetables to keep them in the goodness of fresh, homegrown goodies all year long.
Then there are the pumpkin growers. There are in some communities those who grow marvelous and huge pumpkins. This may be the one BIG thing that you might try in your greenhouse. By starting a pumpkin plant inside a greenhouse in late winter you can get a jump on the growing season which might produce a pumpkin that even The Great Pumpkin that Charlie Brown speaks so highly of, even he would be impressed! But be sure to move it outside before the pumpkin gets too big to carry out the door!
No matter what size, type or reason you have. A greenhouse can be very rewarding and sometimes frustrating. But that is the nature of any hobby. That frustration will be well out paced by the rewards. The real beauty of a hobby is when you make money doing it.
So consider this. If you get a greenhouse and you find you like your greenhouse and you are producing much more produce than you will ever be able to eat? Why not take some of your over abundance to a local farmer’s market, set up a able and sell your extra. Now that is a hobby we all strive to have…
In a family where there are more than two children and two adults and only one bathroom, the rule of thumb might be, get in, get it done, and get out. Those words, if followed, can save many an anxious moment. Luckily in today’s world most homes have at least one and one half bathrooms. That half bathroom is just a sink and commode–a very desirable commode at oft times.
A big home may have more than one and one half bathrooms. Maybe two full and one half. But the largest, most luxurious bathroom is usually built around the master bedroom. In some cases the master bathroom is larger and more opulent than one might expect. How does one get that opulence? Here’s how…
First decide if you want to put a great deal of money in a space that in some homes is considered the; get in, get it done, and get out room. If the answer is yes then your first step should be a trip to a wholesaler’s showcase of a bathroom showroom. You can locate one by letting your fingers do the walking. Either in the yellow pages of our local phone book, or that all empowering internet.
If your home isn’t appealing at first sight, it might take more time to sell it, and you’d probably have to sell it for a smaller price. Taking care of your home’s aesthetics may increase the value and even cut the time it takes to sell.Here are some tips on how to improve the look of your home to make it more appealing.
Tip #1: Wash Your House’s Face
It might not seem like a big deal, or even necessary, but before doing any painting or planting more plants, get the dirt, mildew and general filth off of the house.
To remove dust and dirt from wooden, vinyl, metal, brick, and cement surfaces use a long-handled brush with soft bristles and a bucket of warm soapy water. Using a power washer will bring back the true color of your pavement. They can be rented for $75 a day.
Next, wash your windows and remove cobwebs from visible and less visible places such as eaves, and hose down gutters. Garage doors should be also washed or scrubbed, depending on the level of dirt. If you can’t spray the dirt off, use a TSP (trisodium phosphate) solution bought in a grocery store. Mix ½ cup with 1 gallon of water.
You might consider hiring a professional crew to do the job for you, but it might be costly, depending on the size of the house and the amount of work necessary, but it would be over in a couple of days. But if you ask a friend for help, it will take more time, but it won’t cost nearly as much.
Tip #2: Freshen the Paint Job
After you’ve finished cleaning, you should paint the exterior of your home. It is an expensive and time-consuming, but it will be worth it, since it will be noticeable and will increase the value.
Go for the color that the house is already painted, try not to stand out too much by coloring it some unusual and wild color.
Tip #3: Regard the Roof
The state of the roof is one of the first thing appraisers will assess, so you need to make sure there are no missing or damaged shingles. Maintain your roof and replace any missing or damaged shingles, especially if your neighbors have taken care of theirs.
If the roof is complete, call a professional crew to clean it of dirt, moss, and the like. Not only is it dangerous for you to clean it by yourself, but the crew will also know how to clean it without damaging it.
Tip #4: Neaten the Yard
Refurbish the lawn by replacing overgrown, unsightly, shrubs and bushes with some more appealing and colorful plants. Remove weeds and vines, and put some potted flowers to add to the appeal. Take care of the grass, and mow it regularly.
Tip #5: Maintenance is a Must
Replace and fix anything that is visibly broken – hanging gutters, missing bricks, damaged paint and the like will turn off any buyer and appraiser. They decrease the value of the house, and might even damage your home on the long run. So be sure to fasten all gutters, replace cracked windows, straighten the shutters, and anything else you notice out of place.