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Why so some Iron Fences look dated and others always seen New?

The centered iron gate give this yard a balanced feel

Iron Eagle Iron Pool Fencing

Well the obvious answer to this fencing question would be because of the quality of the product and the materials used to develop the product.

The more specific answer is how the metal is finished……is it painted or powder coated?  The method in which the fence is painted makes a huge difference in how long it will look new.  Some manufacturers use paint to finish which is less durable and doesn’t hold up as well in a harsh Ottawa climate.  Most manufacturers who use paint to finish their fences normally only offer a 10 year warranty at best.

Powder Coat…….What’s That?  Powder coat is a painting process in which the fence is sprayed with a tinted powder and then baked in the oven to result in a long lasting durable coating.  Quite often fence manufacturers will use multiple layers, like Ameristar’s fences for example have a galvanized coating, an epoxy coating and then a powder coating on top of that.  With all these coats you can be assured that this fence will hold up to its 25 year warranty.

 

Please contact us for more information on iron fencing solutions.

PVC Fencing!……What’s all the Hype About?

 

This PVC fence will keep this pool safe for many years to come

PVC is an excellent choice for a Pool Enclosure

PVC fencing is one of the best fence products on the market. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is the same material as the vinyl siding used in finishing the exterior of homes.

History of PVC Fences

Synthetic fences were first introduced in the farming industry about 30 years ago as a long lasting and cost effective solution to your standard cedar farm fence.  When first engineering the vinyl products there were many flaws that needed fixing and over the course of time PVC fences have evolved into the quality products of today.  Technology has allowed manufacturers to not only use vinyl for fencing materials but plastics as well.  A well known plastic fencing product is SimTek, the stone looking fence.

They key innovation of PVC fences was the addition of UV inhibitors such as Titanium Oxide.  UV (Ultra Violet) inhibitors are the chemicals in the fence product that protect the material from the rays of the sun.  While protecting your fence from the sun it in turn increases the durability and longevity.

Another feature in the PVC fence industry was the induction of a steel insert inside the fence posts, while this is not required it does make the fence stronger without a doubt.  Before this method there were installation companies that were filling the hollow void in the post with concrete.  This method did make the posts stronger but didn’t allow any flex in the post therefore creating it’s own problems.

Will your PVC Fence Fade in Color?

The honest answer to that is yes.  You new PVC fence will fade no matter what product it is or what other fencing companies will tell you.  However, the good news is that the fading will me minimal meaning that you won’t notice it and the fence should fade evening.  Not to worry any reputable PVC manufacturing company will offer a 25 year warranty on their products.

 

What PVC Product to Choose?

When choosing materials whether it be for a fence or for the kitchen inside your house it’s always best to do your own research.  Ask the fence company who the manufacturer is, Visit their website and even give them a call to get your answers straight from the source.

When considering a PVC fence product always choose a reputable manufactured product.  Stay away from the products that people have created their own brand name for.

Look online at the reviews of the products, talk to some friends or drive around and see what’s out there.

 

 

Composite Decking vs. Wood Decking……What is the best Choice?

When it comes to choosing the best deck building materials most people are unsure of the proper choice mostly because they are not aware of the properties of each product.  In this article we will discuss all the pros and cons of each different as well as the cost associated with each.  A good rule of thumb when choosing a brand of products is to stay away from new or unheard of brands as they are just developing their technology and testing their products.

Composite Decking

This composite deck trim is a nice compliment to the natural colors of the western red cedar

Composite materials have become increasingly popular especially with great product improvements over the first generation of to hit the markets.  The first generation was peppered with problems from mold issues to warping boards.  The newer generations are the capped composite products that look amazing and out perform any standard uncapped composite.  A capped composite is always your best choice provided that it’s a reputable manufacturer.  Your reputable manufacturers would be:  TREX, TimberTech & Fiberon

One of the pros of composite decking is that it’s virtually maintenance free.  You don’t have to stain, seal or re-finish your deck every couple years which will save you money or time (it you like to do things yourself) in the long run.  While composite decking is a maintenance free product you still do have to take care of the product.  You should wash it 2-3 times a year with a mild soap to clean forming mold from becoming visible.   It is suggested that uncapped composites should be cleaned more frequently due to the fact that the organic fibers are exposed to the elements.

While composites are mold resistant it doesn’t mean that mold can’t form on them.  Mold can form on any surface if the correct living conditions are met which are a combination of temperature, moisture and food for the spores.  If you wash your deck and remove organic debris from your deck you should have any problems.  Anyone that suggests that composite products are mold free are misleading you and that information is definitely false.

One of the disadvantages that composites have over wood products is that you can’t refinish them.  Take for example you moved your man sized BBQ across the deck gouging the surface.  If it were a wood product you could repair it by sanding out the damaged area and re-staining.  With a composite product you are not able to do that and you would have to replace the damaged area.  Our suggestion is to be cautious when working on your new composite deck.

Another disadvantage to composite decking is the price,  you should expect to pay double the price of a cedar deck in the same style.  However, Angie’s List has reviewed this subject and has determined that on a 14′ x 20′ deck that you would pay $4600 in additional maintenance costs if you used pressure treated wood over the original costs if you had build your deck with a composite product.

 

Wood Decks (Cedar & Pressure Treated)

This cedar fence & deck combo provides an excellent BBQ atmosphere

Wood decks are still a strong competitor in today’s market even though composite is a better product.  Why is that you ask?  Well first of all some people just like the natural look of a wood deck, secondly it’s less expensive (which is usually the deciding factor).

Wood decks do have their advantages as we mentioned above that a wood deck’s surface can be repaired.  Another advantage to using wood (mainly cedar) is that you can stain it to the color that you desire instead of choosing a color that is manufactured into the product.  You could also change the stain color (not very easily mind you) of your deck.

A wood deck is far from maintenance free with repairs, staining & splinters.  Wood when exposed to the elements will twist, cup, warp, crack, splinter and rot…..all of which you would be to tend to every year.  Along with all the regular repairs you will have to re-stain your deck every couple years to try to keep it looking its best.

 

Hopefully this article will help you in you decking material decisions, however you can still contact us to discuss your options or request a quote.

 

What is the Best Way to install a Fence Post?

Installing a Fence Post in Ottawa

 

As the installation of the posts is the most important part of building a fence our customers are very inquisitive on the subject.   In this article we will answer the most common questions we get about fence post installation.

How deep do you dig the holes for the posts?

To set our posts properly we dig down 48 inches which is well below the frost line here in Ottawa.

The frost line in Barrhaven is said to be about 34″, how they have  determined this is not certain.

The display of rocks shows just how difficult digging a post hole can be in Kanata

This was some hard digging conditions in Kanata

 

Do you use sono tubes when setting the posts?

Generally speaking we don’t use sono tubes when installing a fence post. Sono tubes are designed as a removable cylindrical  concrete form.

When end you dig a hole for a fence post the walls of that hole will act as you concrete form holding the concrete. You could use a sono tube however you wouldn’t be gaining anything in doing so. In order to get a sono tube in the hole you would have to make the hole slightly lager. When the tube is inserted there would then be a cavity in between the hole and the tube. If you were to fill that cavity with dirt that dirt would settle which may cause the sono tube to shift. So for it to not settle you would use concrete which then makes the sono tube of no useful value.

On occasion we do use them when it’s appropriate. One example would be if we were also landscaping the yard and were excavating we would use sono tubes to raise the concrete up which would require a form (sono tube). So this way when we do the landscaping later and raise the grade the fence post won’t be so far into the soil.

Hopefully this answers your questions. If you do have any questions on this topic or and other questions related to fencing feel free to comment or give us a call

White cedar fence posts will be ready to install the panels once the concrete sets

Fence posts we installed in 1 day which is usually the case

DIY Deck Building in Ottawa…..Should I do it Myself?

What do you need to know?

Building a deck is one of the most common DIY projects in Ottawa as we do have such a long and beautiful summer.  So why not build a deck for our families to enjoy.  In order to build a deck to the required Ontario Building Code it takes quite a bit of know how and is not just as simple as buying a few deck boards and creating something.  An improperly built deck can not only result in major structural failure but also cause damage to your home.  We are writing this article because as deck builders in Ottawa we do see major structural mistakes that were made by deck builders or by do it yourself homeowners.

How your deck could structurally fail?

A deck is very much so a structural component usually attached to the house, the most important part of your deck will be the foundation, framing and ledger board.  If either of these elements of your deck were to fail then your deck needs to be totally rebuilt, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!  If a deck fails prematurely due to improper installation of one of the elements you should just rebuild it properly.

The old step. We have the sod removed and the post saddles installed

So what could go wrong with the foundation of the deck you ask?  Well first of all the footings may not be deep enough, your deck footings have to be well below the frost line to avoid vertical shifting.  Next would be the diameter of the concrete piers (or size of the pier base), deck footings are designed so that they can hold the weight of the deck.  The load bearing capacity of the soil is a determining factor as well as the size of the deck.

The deck framing is complete, now just to install the boards

What could go wrong with the frame, it’s just a bit of framing?………..right?  The framing is another key element which the structural integrity of your deck depends on.  Using quality materials and proper fasteners will make a huge difference in the strength of your deck but most important is the way the deck is framed.  The framing is what holds all the important elements of your deck together so it’s important to build your deck strong.  Generally speaking all deck framing is built with pressure treated lumber to to long lasting and on the same note all fasteners are galvanized to pressure treated approved.

The deck posts, beams and ledger. This is the lifeline of the deck

What could go wrong with the ledger board?  Here’s where a lot of people make a wrong turn.  Attaching a deck (or anything for that matter)  has to be done in a way that you aren’t doing more damage than good.  When attaching a deck to your house it’s important that it be attached in a way that is strong an will never move, and that does NOT mean just use a few more nails.  In fact, you should use nails at all……your deck should be bolted to the house.

How could a deck damage my home?

There are a couple ways that a deck could damage your home without you ever really knowing until it’s too late.  The first reason would be because of movement.  If your deck footings weren’t properly done than your deck could be moving vertically which would be damaging your house and possibly loosening the ledger board from the house.  We have seen this happen in the past (it usually takes years to notice it) where a customer wanted their deck replaced and when we went underneath to look the deck was barely attached to the house.  Needless to say we advised them to stay off the deck until it was replaced.  The damage to your house could be severe especially if it’s attached to the foundation, extreme movement of the deck could cause the mounting bolts to shift and crack your foundation.

The second reason why your deck could damage your house could be because of water penetrating into your house.  If your ledger board is not properly installed with flashing, membrane & caulking then if will lead to water getting into your house at some level.  We have noticed when removing old decks that the flashing is not adequate (or in most cases, non-existant) and that the sheathing/studs were rotted and needed some extra work.  We have never seen improper deck flashing cause any major damage however it does happen.

Hope this helps you in your decision!  Please stay tuned as we have many Fence, Deck & Landscaping topics coming to help all Ottawa homeowners.

A view from the upper deck showing the railing and post lights

Fencing with Ottawa Neighbors!

 

Ottawa fencing season is just around the corner, so we thought we would try to help you with a little bit of info on building a fence with neighbors.  This can be a very touchy subject and cause extreme arguments if you don’t play your cards right.  So our first bit of advise would be not to cause a feud with your neighbor and try to be nice (we know it’s not always pleasant with some neighbors).

Types of fencing

There are a wide variety of fences for different applications.  Some are for security, some are for privacy, some look better than others.  You just have to look at all your options and decide what works best for you.  If you look at our previous post on fence products that will give you a breakdown on what you need to know to get you started.  But if you would like to discuss it with us feel free to give us a call.  Before approaching your neighbor do your research on all the products and have some info for them about the products so they don’t get too overwhelmed

The post ball caps are a nice accent on an iron fenceWhite Cedar lattice panels with iron inserts in the fence panels on the leftA maintenance free PVC fence is a wise choice for homeowners with precious time

 

Who pays for what part of the fence?

This can get a bit confusing when dealing with multiple neighbors and that’s why you should call us to sort things out.  So, basically how it works is whatever part of the fence you share with that neighbor is divided into 2 equal parts (assuming that they agree).  Fence gates to the entrance of each persons yard are not a shared part of the fence (usually).  If you do get quotes prior to approaching you neighbor be prepared and have all the costs of each neighbor all worked out so that everyone knows how much they will have to pay to get their fence.

How you should approach your neighbor?

When approaching your neighbor regarding building a fence you should do so in a polite and casual manner.  You are not approaching your neighbor to start an argument or make demands but to discuss a landscaping plan that will accommodate both properties.  Here are a few tips to prepare yourself:

  • Before approaching your neighbor hopefully you have an idea of their personality and what they may consider, this may help you to be better prepared.
  • Have a plan of attack (No, this is not an attack….just a figure of speech).  Just have a plan on how you’re going to approach with the question in a nice manner.
  • Do you’re research on fencing products……contact a fence company.  You may even want to get quotes on the costs associated with the installation of your new fence.
  • Do you know what type of fence you want?  Or are you willing to compromise?  If you are set on a certain fence type or product be sure to have something to show……even just a few pictures will help.
  • Also note that some people would feel offended that you were putting up fence and may think that you are doing it because of them.  Be sure to let them know that this is not the case (unless it is) and that you just want some added security.

 

Now that the hard part is over everyone has to make their decision……fence to no fence?  Some people may also want to get other quotes to see if what you have presented is a reasonable price compared to other companies in the Ottawa area.   So, what’s next?

My neighbor says they don’t want the fence.  What to do?

Your neighbor has notified you that they don’t want the fence.  Well just because they don’t want a fence doesn’t mean that you still can’t have your fence, the unfortunate part of this is that you will have to pay for all of the fence on your own.  This also means that you will have to put the fence ENTIRELY on your property which means everything above and below the ground HAS to be on your own property.  You want to make sure that the fence goes on your property because if there’s ever a dispute on the location of the fence you will loose that battle and will be forced to move or remove the fence.

My Neighbor says they don’t want to pay for the fence.

Some people seem to think that they can force their neighbor to pay for half of their fence.  This is definitely not the case, you cannot force your neighbor to pay for half of your fence.  The only possible reason someone could be forced into installing a fence is for safety reasons….hence the City of Ottawa Pool Enclosure By-Law.  So unfortunately in this case again you would have no choice but to pay for the fence in full by yourself and put the fence on your property.

 

Everyone has agreed to share the cost of the fence.

Finally some good news, everyone has agreed to the same style of fence and share the cost.  When sharing a fence the fence is installed on the property line as the fence is equally owned by both sides.  In terms of figuring out who pays who….the easiest way to go about it is that everyone signs separate contracts with the fencing company for the amounts that they owe for their part of the fence.

 

Well that wasn’t so bad was it?  The main thing when dealing with neighbors if to remain calm and don’t get angry at your neighbor.   You have to remember that not everyone has the same priorities.  Not everyone wants a fence, some people just see a fence as being senseless and limiting their freedom which you have to respect.  Also not everyone wants to spend money on a fence, everyone has their own budget.

REMEMBER:  Be nice to your neighbors……..and they’ll be nice to you!

 

 

 

 

Fencing in Ottawa – Different Fence Products

What Fencing Product to Choose?

As a fence building contractor based in Ottawa we can tell you what your options are here in the city.  There is a wide variety of fencing products to choose from here in the Ottawa Valley and we install them all.  In this post we will go through all the different products explain the pros and cons as well as the associated price (these are not quoted prices). Hopefully this info will help you in your decision.  First of all would be the least expensive and least attractive………

Chain Link Fencing

  • This type of fencing in our eyes is the least attractive, however it does serve it’s own purpose.
  • Generally used only as security and provides absolutely no privacy
  • It’s commonly used where long fence lines are required and privacy is not a concern
  • Pricing would start at $18/linear foot
  • It also comes in a variety of colors:  galvanized, black, green, brown or white

Pressure Treated – Wood Fence

Image

  • There are many different styles to choose from when building a wood fence.  Most common would be a privacy fence (as pictured above) or good neighbor/shadow box style, quite often lattice is added to the top of the fence for visual purposes only.
  • Pressure treated wood is a preserved wood made to last approximately 20 years, with a wooden fence some regular maintenance will be required.
  • This type of wood can be stained or sealed if you wish to do so but it is not required as the wood is already treated
  • It’s one of the most popular types of residential fence because of the lower cost and that it is a privacy fence.
  • Pricing would start at $26/linear foot

Western Red Cedar Fencing – Wood Fencing

Image

  • This is our favorite type of fence and the picture above should tell you why……It’s absolutely beautiful
  • As it is a wood product it’s available in all the same styles as the pressure treated product.
  • Not only do we offer Western Red Cedar but Eastern White Cedar as well
  • Cedar is a product that should last at least 20 years, it is recommended that you stain or seal this product to maintain the beautiful appearance.  With that said you can also let it grey if that’s the look you want to achieve.
  • This is also a popular type of fence which is acquired by it’s beauty.
  • Some regular maintenance will be required.
  • Pricing starts at $33/linear foot

Iron Fences

Image

  • The most elegant of the fencing family.  Perfectly suited for any climate.  Although it doesn’t provide any privacy it’s looks will charm you into relaxation.
  • All iron fences we install are quality long lasting products with minimum 20 year warranty on the paint.  A quality iron fence is powder coated and not painted.
  • There are various styles to choose from that will definitely suit your taste.  Many colors are available: black, white, copper vein, silver vein……
  • This is a maintenance free product with the exception of adjust the gate hings every few years.
  • Pricing starts at $45/linear foot

PVC/Vinyl Fences

Image

Becoming more popular for it’s maintenance free properties is a definite consideration for every homeowner.

  • All of our PVC Fence products have a 25 year manufacturers warranty.  We only install quality long lasting products, no cheap imports!
  • PVC Fence comes in a variety of styles however the style in the picture above is most common.
  • Pricing for this product starts at $40/linear foot4

Sim Tek Fences

Fencing Ottawa

  • This is a plastic product and not to be mistaken as a PVC product
  • Most likable for it’s natural stone looking appearance
  • This is one of the best fencing products on the market
  • This product starts at $70 per linear foot

 

*  Not to reader, we apologize for the cut and dry blog post the next post will be interesting & exciting.

Welcome to the NewFound – Land, Fence & Decks blog

Welcome to NewFound – Land, Fence & Decks blog.  Based in Ottawa, ON

We are creating this blog as an informative portal for consumers as well as the “do it yourself” homeowners.  As you read through our topics and browse through our pictures you will get a good feel as the type of company we are.

We will also be posting links to interesting articles related to landscaping, fences & decks in the Ottawa Valley.

If you have any questions, concerns or information relevant to our discussion topics please feel free to comment or contact us