Fence Questions, Please ?

Hi Folks, Great Group.
Thinking of a fence for our backyard. Know nothing about fences.
Want an "open look," so I guess that means a chain link type of. Other suggestions ?
What material should I consider for a chain link type ? What is popular ? What are the options, and pros and cons ?
e.g., does the Vinyl coated steel (I imagine it's steel underneath) make any sense ? Pros and cons of ? Is the steel underneath Galvanized, or do they skip this step if Vinyl coated ?
What about just Galvanized Steel ? Does the Galv. hold up, or needs painting (often) ?
BTW: For a typical home backyard kinda thing, are the Posts put in Concrete for a "good" job ? How deep should they be ?
Any and all thoughts and suggestions would be most appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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On 4/15/2015 4:43 PM, Bob wrote:

there was starting to be some rust, this was the non vinyl chain link, not sure, but I believe it was galvanized. All posts really should be in concrete, but especially corner and end posts. You will not get that life from a wood fence, no matter how much maintenance you give it, at least here in Canada.
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On 4/15/2015 5:02 PM, FrozenNorth wrote:

Plastic (PVC?) is the rage around here, and I think it is absolutely ugly. They should outlaw plastic landscape features :o) I like more natural, flowing landscaping, rather than sculptured-straight-row stuff that looks like it came from a hobby kit.
We have a pre-fab pine fence across rear of our yard to block view both directions; cheap, no finish, weathering to gray, which I like. Will have to replace it someday, but it may last longer than I do. Rest of our yard has chain link (4'?) which is very functional, no maintenance, and really fades into the landscape. I have no idea what it is made of. It is strong, keeps neighbor's dogs out of yard and keeps mine in. CL is also a good support for plants if you want flower beds or want to grow a few tomatoes or cukes.
Coated CL should be reserved for junk yards. I can't imagine installing such a permanent fence without concrete anchors for the post; always install below frost line IFIRC. If there is a chance you will have a large dog, you might want a higher fence...my neighbor's German shepherd really wants out of his yard, and I think he will make it with a little more practice. ;o)
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Bob wrote:

Assuming you don't need to fence hogs in:
http://www.fencesupplyonline.com/wood%20roundrail.jpg
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On Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:33:14 PM UTC-4, Dean Hoffman wrote:

I'd start with finding out the local ordinances that cover fences. Visiting a local fence supplier you can see the various styles, they should also have info on the local ordinances. I think chain link is totally ugly. Something like this is much better:
http://jeuaccess.com/fences-decorating-inspiration-60-best-decorating-ideas.html
And if it's going at or close to the property line, make sure you know for sure where that line is. Better to pay for a survey now and put the fence in the right place, before a neighbor complains and it turns out it's in the wrong place.
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Chain link may be ugly to some, but it keeps my dog inside its yard and your dog and kids outside of my yard.
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Chain link is ugly. Why do you need a fence at all?

Ice.
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If your neighbors use a lawn care service I suggest you go for the non vinyl coated chain link material. The lawn care guys run the mowers around their yards at such high speeds they are constantly bending and scraping the vinyl off the lower part of the chain link, resulting in rust and damage. The all metal chain link uses thicker gauge metal, less prone to damage. I ended up securing top rail along the bottom edge of my fence to act as a bumper and protect the fence. Too many people in too much of a damn rush these days. Boy do I sound like an old geezer.
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Chain link fences are prohibited by the HOA agreement and I'm glad for that. I don't want my neighbors having ugly fences either.

What woudl the purpose of this alleged fence be?
To keep a pet in? What kind of pet? How big?
To keep people out?
The first owner of my lot built a fence around the property, because I have an end townhouse, and people, probably mostly people living in the 3 adjoining houses to the right of mine, or even maybe the 3 to the right of them, were walking on his lot to get to their back yard. (I can walk from my front yard to my back yard via the side yard. They can't. If they want to move the lawnmower, or use the bigger back door to put furniture in the house, they have to walk around the whole building. All of the houses at the "end of group" have fences around their lots and only one or two other houses out of 109 have fences.
He put in a picket fence. Pretty, but it woudl be easier to mow the lawn and require much less weed-wacking if it were a rail fence only. OTOH, a rail fence woudln't keep a dog in.
As to longevity. It's been 36 years, and all my fence posts are in good condition, except one which somehow got broken at ground level last spring. I haven't figured out how.
The fence was put in by Long Fence, a major fence company in the Balt. Wash area, in business for 70 years. There is no cement apparent around any fence post, and the one I removed definitely had no cement. OTOH, the soil has a lot of clay so maybe that's why cement has not been needed or useful.
90% of the rails were still perfect after 25 years, but a few that don't get much sunlight (because of trees outside my property) were gradually losing thickness, to some living thing. Once in a while I woudl kill some of it with 100% bleach, but I also bought spare rails. They used to sell rails just like I use (half round) right at Lowes and HD, but now that I need more, they've stopped selling them. So I woudl recomomend getting other than half round. I don't want to change all my rails so I'm going to buy 8' posts and take them to a lumber yard which will split them in half for me. I talked to them, but not to the guy who knows how much he charges for that. But I only need about 10 posts split, giving 20 rails, for the next 10 years so the cost can't be significant.
After 25 years, the fence company aslso stopped making the pickets I had, peeled pickets they were called, the shape of a parenthesis on once side and stright on the other, pointed at the top. I bought their last 40 and then I found a guy who was replacing his fence, and I bought his used pickets for 10 cents a piece. I only paid for the ones in good condition. If they get enough sun, they can be in like new condition 30 years after installation.
Termites are only an issue for pickets that touch the ground or the grass. Fence posts are always treated to be termite resistant.
If wood pickets touch the ground, or the grass, termites can go from the ground into the pickets and then eat them from the inside, they can eat the rails too. I only lost a couple pickets and one rail before I notcied this. I went to an exterminator well respected in Baltimore, and he and his grown kids were at work, but the wife told me I should not use termite poison for a fence. Instead, I should just cut the pickets off at least an inch above the grass (when the grass is at the highest) and the termites if any are in the soil, won't get into the wood. So I used a saber saw to cut off an inch or two from a row of pickets, and she was, of course, right. No more termites in pickets.
Most wood posts sold today are square and post caps that fit are available at a low price.
I have 4" round posts. I've only needed one replacement, and don't expect to replace anymore in the next 20 years (when the fence will be 54 years old) . But they are easy to find at farm stores, already treated. But because they are round, their diameter varies a little bit (since they come from trees) and no one sells post caps for round posts, except maybe at a high price. No fence caps were needed for the first 25 years, but those posts that don't get enough sunlight do have deterioration in the top, inside, goign down as much as 4 inches, maybe 6 in a couple cases. I poured some bleach into them to kill whatever is eating them. I got a sheet of light brown plastic and I'm going to cut out some circles and glue them to the top of the posts that are having trouble,
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On Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 9:37:08 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

And chain link are prohibited by some municipalities too, which is why I said to start with finding out the local ordinances. Not unusual for there to be regulations covering fence height, type, location, etc.
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<stuff snipped>

Just had my roof done by Long (they're obviously branching out) and was impressed by their professionalism. Learned something important by accident. I didn't invite the rep into the house because my wife was sick in bed but instead kept him on the porch. We started out at $10K and ended up at $5K because every time we talked price and he was in the $trato$phere, I would say "Thanks, but that's way too much and then I got up to go into the house. Did that three times and each time he knocked down a significant amount of money. (-" We had to play the "let me call my supervisor" game for the last round of cuts, but it was worth it. They were very careful to write down exactly what supplies they would use and what work they would perform (had to make sure they'd do the porch roofs over each door).
I pretty much knew what it *should* cost based on all the roof threads we've had in AHR, along with lots of other information about rubber membranes to block ice dams (a big problem with a north-facing roof), the various grades of shingles, etc. One big "if" in the final price was the condition of the roof boards. The house was built during the first years of WWII and the roofing boards (I kid you not) were recycled wood packing crates because of the shortage of raw materials during the war. They replaced over 90' of boards, showed me pictures of what they replaced on the smartphone to prove they actually replaced the boards and charged me only half of what they quoted per foot for the replacement.
About two weeks after the salesmen (with a huge sample case of shingles, membranes and proposals from competitors) left, a crane truck shows up, and drops all the supplies on my (peaked!) roof. The whole crew came by on Saturday and finished most of the operation in a day.
The oddest part was that the guy (solo operator) who gave me a $4000 quote the week before I called Long ended up being the crew chief for Long that did the job. I guess he was destined to do my roof, one way or another.
While I suspect the $4K guy could have done an adequate job, Long's rep said "We offer more than a tail-light warranty" and they've been around long enough (70 years) to make me consider their very comprehensive warranty worth the extra $1K. Also, the size of the crew that came out meant it would get done much faster than a lone cowboy could do and the less disruption, the better.
They policed the grounds so well afterwards that I've only found a single roofing nail on the lawn. On my block all the front roofs are north-pointing and are subject to mildewing and staining. We'll see if Long's warranty against those kinds of discoloration is worthwhile. They installed mildew resistant shingles, a new ridge vent and then used some sort of sealing spray.
--
Bobby G.



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