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Which Fence Style Is Best for Your Home?

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Choosing a fence for your home can be both mind numbing and exciting. The important questions to answer are; what type of fence is best for your property and what look are you going for? Here are five types of fencing for you to consider:

Full Privacy Fences

Privacy fences are the most popular option for residential fences. They are the best way to keep your home and yard private, and can range from 6 feet tall on up, depending on your need. They are available in several materials including vinyl, pressure-treated and cedar. Privacy fences also come in a variety of decorative styles such as shadow-box, and can be used with wood or steel posts. If you wish to keep your backyard and home secluded, privacy fences may be your ticket.

Ornamental Fences

Ornamental fences provide more design function than privacy. The most widely used type of material for this fencing is wrought iron or its counter-part aluminum. While it provides little in the way of privacy, it allows you a visual for a beautiful backdrop such as a golf course view, or greenbelt. Wrought iron is extremely sturdy and does not wear with the seasons. If you are going for the ‘white picket fence’ look, vinyl is your best bet. While it’s lifespan is not as lengthy as wrought iron, it is durable and weather resistant. If you want to go rustic, split rail fences can give you that ‘country’ feel.

Security Fences

Security fences have many functions: to protect your home, keep in pets or prevent unintended dips in a swimming pool. Many jurisdictions require safety fences around swimming pools, especially if small children live in the home. These fences are more function than design, however, they can be ornamental and blend in with the outdoor environments for a pleasing aesthetic. Swimming pool fences come in iron, aluminum, vinyl and chain link. One of the most important components of a safety fence is the gate and its ability to self-close or self-latch.

Railings

Railings are mainly used for steep stairs, or to add a decorative touch to porches and decks. They are especially important for tall decks to prevent accidental falls. Most deck railings are built of wood while porch railings mainly use aluminum. Deck railings should get the same yearly maintenance as your deck, such as weatherproofing and stain.

Fencing is an important aspect of a homeowner’s property and serves a variety of functions. With so many available choices, you should have little trouble finding a functional fence that is pleasing to the eye. Fortunately, a properly installed fence should withstand most weather and require little maintenance. If you need a new or replacement fence, contact a reputable fencing professional to discuss your options.

 for more information please go to http://www.okcbackyard.com
 

Is Your Outdoor Deck Leaking? 6 Things to Look For

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

There is nothing like relaxing on your deck with a cup of coffee and a fabulous view. After all, outdoor decks are a great way to bring inside living outdoors. But what happens when your deck is absorbing water? You may have a leak. Deck leaks appear in several forms, so here is what to look for:

  • Water marks and staining – Unnatural staining or marks occur when deck protection doesn’t properly do its job. It’s probably time for a new coat of sealant.
  • Rotting wood – Decaying wood indicates failing sealant either from age or a cheap sealant product. The wood will need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Bowing or warped planks – If your planks are beginning to bend, then the deck sealant has become worn or thin and is allowing water to soak into the planks. Time for new planks.
  • Cracked flashing – Damaged or cracked sealant can allow water to seep into connection areas. Fortunately, flashing can easily be repaired.
  • Sinking – A slanted deck is an indication of collapsing ground beneath the framing of the deck. This is due to ground softening from water. This repair takes a professional’s touch.
  • Pooling water – Check the area around or under the deck. If you see pooling water or soaked earth, then water is seeping through your deck boards onto the ground below. This can cause your deck framing to sink, and cause rot and mildew to build beneath the deck. You may also have water runoff from your yard. A deck expert can work up a plan to level your yard, or the area beneath your deck and better seal the planks.

As with any home addition, decks require maintenance and occasional repair. If you suspect any of the above conditions are affecting the quality of your deck, be sure to call in an expert. Professional deck contractors will discuss your options and find the best solution for the health and longevity of your deck.


Should I Repair or Replace My Fence?

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Like their owners, fences weather and age over time. And while we don’t have to stay outside 24/7, our fences do. Therefore, they are subject to rain, snow, wind, sun and soil shifts. If you are trying to decide whether to repair or replace your fence take the following factors into consideration:

  • How old is your fence? If your fence is over five years old, you should do a quick inspection every six months or so. Tug on the panels and posts to see how well they hold up. Do they lean or shift?
  • Are any boards warping or splintering? If so, mark these boards with a red sharpie to note their need for repair.
  • Are the bottom of your fence panels beginning to rot from insects or moisture? A little deterioration is acceptable; a lot of deterioration is not.
  • Are your panels pulling away from the posts? As wood begins to deteriorate, the nails loosen within the board or post causing the panel to lean and eventually fall.
  • Are the posts beginning to rot or loosen within the ground? This is a good indication your posts may need to be replaced or reset. If the post is salvageable, then you can reset it, but it needs to be in excellent condition. If it shows any splintering, then just replace it. You might also consider a steel post option instead of traditional wood.

In evaluating your fence, take a good look at the structure as, a whole. If more than 25% of the fence needs to be repaired, then it’s a good idea to go for an entire replacement. Fences do have lifespans, and if your fence is quite old, it might be it’s time to go.

If the posts are healthy and still have solid footing, then you can just replace the panels. This is a less expensive option. But remember, the posts are the supports for your fence, so if they are deteriorating, you can bet the panels are too. Time to replace instead of repair. If you determine your fence only has a few weak spots, then call in a reputable fence company to make the repairs and further the life expectancy of your fence.

for more information please go to http://www.okcbackyard.com
 

The Advantages of Having an Outdoor Fireplace

justin brotton - Friday, March 10, 2017

by Margo Waldrop

Who doesn’t love to cozy up in front of a fireplace with a good book and hot cup of coffee? Why not create that atmosphere outside with an outdoor fireplace? Believe it or not, they are less expensive than you would think, and any additions that contribute to an outdoor living space can be used to add value to your home.

Outdoor entertaining has become an important part of homeownership with people outfitting their back patios with large screen televisions for game viewing, outdoor furniture, grilling stations, refrigerators, wine coolers, and the list goes on and on. Building an outdoor fireplace is a surefire way to increase the usefulness of your outdoor living space and become the focal point of your well planned entertainment area.

Many homeowners question if their outdoor fireplace should be gas or wood burning. Since most newer homes have gas indoor fireplaces, why not opt for the traditional wood burning for your back patio? With this type of fireplace there is no need to disrupt your patio slab to install a gas line, and there are less available hazards when no gas line is involved.

The joy of the outdoor fireplace is the nostalgia and coziness it gives to your home. Roasting marshmallows in the crisp fall air, making s’mores or just curling up in a comfy wicker chair with a good throw are all memories that an outdoor fireplace can provide for your family. And with the added monetary benefit, an outdoor fireplace is well worth the investment.

for more information please go to http://www.okcoutdoorkitchens.com
 





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