Prolong the Life Span of Your Fence With Quality Materials

by James Florence


When it comes to building a fence, small details can make a big difference in terms of quality and longevity. Photo: C & J Fencing, a Division of Mt. Diablo Lumber Inc. (2014)

While it may not be immediately evident, the life span of a fence can vary significantly depending on a number of crucial details. One of the most important is the quality of materials used, from the actual lumber to anchoring and fastening materials. Here are some areas where quality is crucial:

Wood is the most essential constitutive element of a fence, which is why it’s important to regard quality when choosing board, post and railing materials. While it’s certainly cheaper to find these by picking through leftovers at a lumber yard, solid, thick-cut wood that comes directly from a mill will last much longer due to its superior integrity and resistance to outdoor elements.

Pressure-treated wood
When it comes to posts, kickboards and any other fence component that comes into contact with the ground, pressure-treated wood is an ideal option. However, as with regular lumber, quality matters. Rather than settling for low-grade hem fir, insist on a high-quality Douglas fir product to ensure maximum durability.

In order to maintain its vertical alignment over an extended period of time, a fence needs to be adequately anchored. There are minimum standards for aspects like post depth, but it never hurts to go a little further. For example, while the typical depth of a fence post is 2 feet, going 6 inches to 1 foot deeper will add further reinforcement. Additionally, to warrant optimum stability, be sure to use high-quality concrete rather than post mix for setting.

Staples are often used to assemble fences, but they lack the strength to maintain long-term adhesion. A better option is to use high-quality galvanized nails, which will ensure a lasting bond.

The quality of these various components can mean the difference of a decade or more in the life span of your fence. Before hiring a fence contractor, make sure you ask questions about the types of materials to be used, and check up on things like licensing, experience, and local reputation. Choosing a contractor that puts quality first will ensure your new fence will be standing for many years.

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