I am in the market to have a cedar privacy fence installed at my home
in Salt Lake, and would like to solicit some recommendations for a
Here's my story:
I've thought about doing it myself, in fact, I've thought about it A
LOT. However, I really do not have the time, really, I don't have the
time. Seriously, I've read plenty of posts where members of this group
are like, "come on, any job worth doing blah blah blah". I know, I
really like the thought of doing it myself, but I like the thought of
having it completed even more.
I've even resorted to calling Home Depot for a quote. I know, I've
heard all the horror stories about HD subcontractors too. But, I
wanted to get a quote, and if HD will stand behind the fence, then
whatever. I had an appointment for a bid scheduled, and the day before
someone from HD called to say they were canceling the appointment
because they fired their last contractor because they sucked so bad,
and if I find a good contractor let them know.<--Yeah, I know!
Anyhow, thanks in advance for your recommendations. I've read the hell
out of the old post regarding wood fences, so I'm pretty sure I know
what I'm looking for in the construction of the fence, I just can't
find somebody to do it.
Oh yeah, if anyone has any recommendations for a contractor to refinish
my hardwood floors I'd be eternally grateful too.
I submit you need to rethink the wood concept. Wood requires regular
maintenance in some regions EVERY YEAR. Block walls require painting about
as often as the house, 5-10 years. Where I live block fences 6 feet high
are about $30 a foot. Just installed 50 feet long one.
I have build big (20 feet wide gates) with cedar pickets. Even primed, and
3 coats of paint before assembly they needed attention in a couple of years.
( pickets not the structure)
I personally feel any contractor worth his salt would never need HD for
referrals. Use the phone book or better contact someone who has a fence that
you like. Get that installer.
Yeah, I know that wood fences require maintenance, but:
1. I like the weathered look of a cedar fence.
2. This is kind of messed up (not really), I'm not going to be in the
house long enough to need to worry about that. I'm partly doing this
to increase marketability when I decide to re-sell.
Home Depot is/was my last choice. Mostly I just wanted to get a
contractor out to give me a bid, and to increase my knowledge base a
little. Unfortunately, I'm at an age where not very many of my friends
own homes yet, and I don't really have anybody to ask. I've tried
contacting other fence (chain link, vinyl, etc.) to see who they would
recommend, but noone will commit.
What is wrong with a cedar fence? I just want something a little more
I live just south of you in Phoenix my concept of a fence is do it once and
forget it. If you like wood then by all means install it. You might call
a couple of realtors and see what they say about wood.
Can't help, but I live in Baltimore. Periods of high humidity in the
summer and snow in the winter, and frequent rain throughout the year
when it isn't cold enough to snow.
Also I live in a small valley, right next to a stream, if that
My pine 42 inch, picket fence went in 25 years ago, and large parts of
it are still original and still fine.
The parts that aren't fine include the parts that get very little sun,
where moss has grown. I got to that a couple years after I should
have. The recommended mixture of water and chlorine bleaach didn't
work, so I used bleach straight out of the bottle. It killed all the
moss, and although I had lost some of the wood, it doesn't seem to be
The 4 inch posts are treated, I'm sure, and about 10 of the 40 posts
that don't get much sun, have some rot in them, no more than 2 inches
deep and 2 inches across. They sell caps for square posts, but I
haven't found caps for 4" round posts. The book says to cut the top
of the posts at an angle so the rain will run off, but these are
horizontally cut, as are those of my next door neighbor.
I had to rebuild the gate after 15 years.
I've replaced quite a few pickets, 50? out of 300?, because of termite
damage, but that could have been prevented if I had kept the grass
short enough that it didn't reach the pickets, or if I had shortened
the pickets an inch or so at the bottom. (I did shorten a bunch of
the pickets with a sabre saw, and those pickets have been fine.) And
5 or 6 pickets replaced because of moss damage. Again, I should have
used the bleach earlier, but these pickets only cost about a dollar
I do nothing which would be called maintenance.
And that's pine.
My neighbor in the next town house has cedar about the same age as my
fence, and at least 23 years old. His fence is short, covering only
the rear and one side of his townhouse back yard. (My fence runs
along the other side.)
Cedar is good because it is naturally termite resistant and doesn't
need to be treated, iiuc. And isn't treated.
When you break off part of the cedar, it smells like.....cedar!
It's also 42 inches high, and also picket, which is the same as
privacy except every second picket is missing.
None of the owners of the house next door have ever done any
Most of his fence is fine All of it was original until 2 summers ago.
I repaired some of it for him then, and one section out of 12 needed
two rails (top and bottom) and 2 other sections needed one rail each.
Despite what I said, one of these 4 rails had termite or insect
damage, but the other three had physical damage. Someone fell against
them or something.
About 7 of the 100 or so pickets needed replacing.
Of the 14 posts, 3 or 4 had some rot at the top center, and they got
very little sunlight. Sunlight would have dried them out and killed
whatever ate part of them. I repaired them by putting in a a bunch of
cedar chips (sold as mulch) with a bunch of outdoor glue. I finished
it off with cedar sawdust mixed with some glue. I'm hoping the surface
will fade to the same color as the rest of the fence. I don't know if
that will happen. The sawdust and glue didn't go in until last
summer, and I don't go back there in the winter.
And one post has rot below ground. I didn't notice this when
hammering into it, but shortly after, his little kid fell against it
and the fence gave, that is, bent over. Maybe she broke it, but there
is undoubtedly some rot, because when I hammered more wood in next to
it, the wood that was there got compressed until I hammered in a lot.
To repair the fence I bought regular cedar lumber, at a local yard. I
think it was not avvailable at yards very close to me, so I sarched on
the web and this one, also in Baltimore, may have been the only one
that had cedar. (Although later I got the feeling that others did, but
weren't on the web) And they ordered it from some other place in
Baltimore that is wholesale I think. I had to cut the pickets and
rails myself. I used a small, cheapskate home-owner bandsaw.
So there have been some repairs recently but this is 24 years old.
I thought Salt Lake was sunnier and drier than Baltimore, so I would
think maintenance would be less, if that is possible.
But the way to find out is to call a fence company and ask them to
tell you the addresses of some of the cedar fences, especially old
ones, they have installed, and when, then go out and see the fences,
and verify the date from whoever lives there, and ask how much
maintenance they had to do. No one will refuse to talk to you. After
all, they've all been taught to be good neighbors. (No one would
refuse here either.)
Or you can start with fences, which usually have a small metal plate
somewhere giving the name of the installer. If you can recognize
cedar when you see it, that will be even better. I don't know if I
I've also gotten a lot of damage, vandalism, over 23 years from 5 or 6
of the many highschool kids who walk by. So over the years I've
replaced a hundred or more pickets and 8 rails, but all in the same
parts of the fence. It's not as satisfying as putting in the whole
fence, but it's similar I think. And it avoids the hardest part
which I think would be putting in the posts. AFAICT, my posts have
another 24 years in them, and all the cedar posts next door seem good,
but the one that has rotted below ground makes me wonder.
P&M reply by post.
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