Questions For You Fence Guys

 
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
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Questions For You Fence Guys


Being a remodel I won't set a fence. I want one installed at our home. I've only lived in Florida for 4 years and don't know the "good" names in fencing. So question 1.
How do I tell if a fence company is good?
--
I have read a little of the postings here and see at least 2 of you do not like vinyl. #2.
Why? We kinda like it. Stays white. Minimal maintenance. I love wood but it needs work.
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I've also heard that PT wood is not very good for fencing. I know posts will probably be decent but the fence itself. Will it last? What thickness is required to be a good product?
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I don't want someone who will be buying product from the big box stores so I am looking for a real fence company. Not that I have tons of $$ but I don't like low end product or workmanship.

Thanks for any input you may have.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


The vinyl fencing sold at Home Depot and Lowes is made from Barette Outdoor Living. They just sell it under different names. Barette has another product like that is called Active Yards which is a bit more high end and better than what is sold at the box stores. You can get it that from a local authorized dealer.

I can't stand vinyl fencing. Personally, I think it looks tacky and it is a far inferior product than chain-link, steel, wood, or iron when you take security and functionality into account.

One of the reasons I also can't stand vinyl fencing is because I have met quite a few of the reps from some of the companies are they are just weasels. They are worst than used-car salesmen.

-----------------------------------------------------

customer calls me and says he is having problems with his gate. I arrive and the latch and upright rail are busted up. company rep went out and tried to blame me that I did not install the gate properly. Said the latching system was too high. I told the rep he was full of **** and showed him code that it had to be at that height.







-----------------------------

I begged the HO not to go with a vinyl drive gate. I told him that the vinyl fencing manufacturers have not made a suitable drive gate system.



I reinforced their crappy crappy gate brackets with wood inserts. I KNEW it wasn't going to last. It lasted about 4 months longer. To make a long story short, the manufacturer wanted me to take the hit because I did not install their product as per their instruction manual. I laughed in his face and said that installing their fencing as per their manuals, their gates were breaking a lot faster.



-------------------------------------

This gate is from Illusions.. different company.... this is their high end gate.... their gates are made at the factory are the seams are fused..... it still cracked...


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Old 03-20-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


I would honestly tell you to keep away from vinyl fencing all together. I have installed fencing from Active Yards, Certain Teed, Illusions... which are the higher end fencing.... it is still the same crap... if you hear otherwise, they are probably an authorize dealer wanting to sell you on their product.

I get my fencing at wholesale from Master Halco.... occasionally I install the stuff from the big box stores because HO is dead set on it.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


In my opinion a quality wood fence will outlast the best vinyl fence. If you do buy vinyl, go ahead and pay for the higher end product.

I use Active Yards vinyl. It is a good product as far as vinyl is concerned.

Avoid any fence company that offers the vinyl panels from home depot. If they are willing to offer an inferior product then I would not trust them. My suggestion is to get addresses from previous jobs, do ride-by's to help narrow the fence company choices.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by curapa View Post
In my opinion a quality wood fence will outlast the best vinyl fence. If you do buy vinyl, go ahead and pay for the higher end product.

I use Active Yards vinyl. It is a good product as far as vinyl is concerned.
i agree 100%. I have removed cedar and red wood fencing that are 20-40 years old... and they are still in near pristine condition...the times I have removed it is because its a new homeowner and they are sold on the idea of maintenance-free. Such a shame.

There have been jobs where I have removed the cedar panels intact... and have sold them used on craigslist... the price for redwood and cedar is a bit high... so

I have even seen pine fencing hold up pretty good for 15-20 years.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


Guys, I have to disagree with you on this wood to Vinyl thing completely.I have been in the fence business for 25 years and have installed several hundred thousand feet of wood fence.The maintenance is horrible.PROPER INSTALLATION IS THE KEY TO VINYL.I didnt consider my company one of the best vinyl installation companies until my guys had 25000 ft installed.Vinyl is a special installation and its tough going from wood on tuesday to vinyl on wednesday.No question.If your a wood guy then thats what your comfortable building.If your a vinyl guy like me I wouldnt put a piece of wood in my yard for free.Ive had my vinyl fence installed for 5 yrs.not one problem with the gate or the fence ever and the best part is it still looks as good today as it did the day of installation and no staining.
Activeyards is a good product.I love the locking pickets by far over illusions standard T&G.Every broken picture i seen above was inferior products to begin with thats why they look bad.I mean no disrespect but we install 4 million dollars a year worth of vinyl fence and very happy customers.You have to install it everyday to be great at it.just my opinion!
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinyloutlet View Post
Guys, I have to disagree with you on this wood to Vinyl thing completely.I have been in the fence business for 25 years and have installed several hundred thousand feet of wood fence.The maintenance is horrible.PROPER INSTALLATION IS THE KEY TO VINYL.I didnt consider my company one of the best vinyl installation companies until my guys had 25000 ft installed.Vinyl is a special installation and its tough going from wood on tuesday to vinyl on wednesday.No question.If your a wood guy then thats what your comfortable building.If your a vinyl guy like me I wouldnt put a piece of wood in my yard for free.Ive had my vinyl fence installed for 5 yrs.not one problem with the gate or the fence ever and the best part is it still looks as good today as it did the day of installation and no staining.
Activeyards is a good product.I love the locking pickets by far over illusions standard T&G.Every broken picture i seen above was inferior products to begin with thats why they look bad.I mean no disrespect but we install 4 million dollars a year worth of vinyl fence and very happy customers.You have to install it everyday to be great at it.just my opinion!
proper installation is the key for any job, not just vinyl.

I understand that it is a matter of taste and I know the selling point for vinyl fencing is low maintenance.

I also don't mean to be disrespectful, if you are a dealer or supplier to vinyl products, I would expect you to be more inclined to their product, especially with that sort of volume. More power to you.

But i have done enough fencing to know that it is an inferior product. My first retail contract was with one of the big box stores and one of the products my company installed was fencing. We use to install 175-250 fences a year for them. I have installed just about every vinyl fence product that is in the market. NEVER had any call backs for wood, chain link, aluminum, steel, post and rail.... ONLY vinyl.

I agree that Active Yards has a better product when compared to other vinyl fences. The vinyl fencing that comes with vinyl brackets is garbage. When customers see those cheap fencing panels for 35-40 bucks, you can only say so much , because ultimately their minds are already made up.

I don't install as many fences as I use to. I probably install now 75 to 100 and I pick and choose which jobs I take. The vinyl jobs I take, I make sure that they are either from Active Yards or Illusions (I prefer Illusions) I try to keep away from the fencing panels that require brackets . If it is a referral from an ex customer, I will install the cheap stuff.

I just feel that vinyl does not offer the proper security factor, especially in an urban setting.

I also feel that the vinyl manufacturers have not designed a quality drive gate system. They break too easily. Even in commercial applications, they fail. When you go to a fast food restaurant or gas station, many have their dumpters enclosed by vinyl fence and drive gate... they even use adjust-a-gates and or custom gate frame and slap the fence panel on the frame... and within 3-12 months, the fence panel/gate is down.

Another beef that I have is that they tend to get busted up frequently by the landscape guys. They use their weed wackers and tear the bottom rails. I make sure to point that out to the customers because I do not accept any responsibility and I do specify that I have to come back to fix a broken panel, either the HO or the landscaper is going to pay for it and for my time and I am not cheap.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:26 PM   #8
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


Last year on separate occasions I replaced 5 or 6 vinyl posts, 8 or so bottom rails and about 30 T&G pickets because of lawn mowers, weed eaters and kid not watching where he was going when going deep in a game of catch.

I replaced only 16' of wood fence and that is because a car ran through it.

I just do not trust a product to live up to its 25+ warranty when it can be damaged so easily. Don't get me wrong, in many cases vinyl is the way to go but in most instances,....wood all the way.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:38 PM   #9
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


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Last year on separate occasions I replaced 5 or 6 vinyl posts, 8 or so bottom rails and about 30 T&G pickets because of lawn mowers, weed eaters and kid not watching where he was going when going deep in a game of catch.

I replaced only 16' of wood fence and that is because a car ran through it.

I just do not trust a product to live up to its 25+ warranty when it can be damaged so easily. Don't get me wrong, in many cased vinyl is the way to go but in most instances,....wood all the way.
Towards the end of last year, I had a customer wanting me to replace a couple panels. When I gave her the price, she was LIVID! She started to get real fussy. I just said to go get that money from her lawn guy. Never heard back from her again.

I make it a point to bring this to the customer's attention before any contract is signed. I explicitly tell that that I am not responsible for anything a neighbor or other worker does to the fence.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:54 PM   #10
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


I am no professional fence installer but I have installed many. You have to buy the quality products. They actully make a thicker, more heavy duty post for corners and gates which prevents hardware failure. Yes they are more expensive but you will never get a call back to fix gates
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


As a distributor of all types of fencing in New England for decades I can tell you from experience that Vinyl and Wood fences have both good and bad qualities to them. We have distributed Plastival, Bufftech, Maximum, Homeland, Royal, Illusions, Active Yards, Longevity, yada yada yada and what I can say is what is important is education. See most all of these "brand names" and "manufacturers" listed above have a wide range of styles and qualities. So just because its "Brand X" does not make it good. A Post can come in thicknesses of (115/.135/.145/.150/.160/.170/.250/.270) and more so the company you are buying it from should be able to show you what they are giving you. Also , the mix ( uv protection/cap stock/ etc etc) IS VERY important as well. That is where a lot of the vinyl salesman lie, and tell you what you want to hear because how will you ever know, unless you are a chemist?? You will know in a few yrs when that $ 200 savings on a privacy with lattice fence in white now looks grayish or tannish ( is that a word? lol). At least with wood, its easier to differentiate the good from the bad. A good cedar fence will last decades, and yes it will age over time ( as most natural things in life do) but it will blend in with most landscapes so its not the "horrifically looking, high maintenance, ugly" fence that the vinyl guys will make you believe. Of course I am speaking for New England , and I know other parts of the country use pine, pt , etc etc
which may not hold up as well so again, know what you are buying. A very good cedar fence and a very good vinyl fence should be around the same cost, and should last for many years to come. Lastly, no matter what you buy, the installer can make or break the fence. A good installer will make your fence look wonderful and a bad installer will cut enough corners to make even the best fences look horrible over time. Do not skimp on the labor, please!!!!

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #12
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Re: Questions For You Fence Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinyloutlet View Post
Guys, I have to disagree with you on this wood to Vinyl thing completely.I have been in the fence business for 25 years and have installed several hundred thousand feet of wood fence.The maintenance is horrible.PROPER INSTALLATION IS THE KEY TO VINYL.I didnt consider my company one of the best vinyl installation companies until my guys had 25000 ft installed.Vinyl is a special installation and its tough going from wood on tuesday to vinyl on wednesday.No question.If your a wood guy then thats what your comfortable building.If your a vinyl guy like me I wouldnt put a piece of wood in my yard for free.Ive had my vinyl fence installed for 5 yrs.not one problem with the gate or the fence ever and the best part is it still looks as good today as it did the day of installation and no staining.
Activeyards is a good product.I love the locking pickets by far over illusions standard T&G.Every broken picture i seen above was inferior products to begin with thats why they look bad.I mean no disrespect but we install 4 million dollars a year worth of vinyl fence and very happy customers.You have to install it everyday to be great at it.just my opinion!
Not trying to be the punctuation police, but PLEASE put two spaces between a period and the start of the next sentence! Makes it a bit more reader friendly.

Other than that, i think I agree with you. I have never installed a vinyl fence myself, but I have a neighbor that has one, and it looks great almost 10 years later. I don't like the look of them, but that's more to do with the shine. They just look too perfect and manufactured.

There is another house around the corner from me that has a long fence around they large, park-like front yard. It's probably as old as my neighbors, and still looks to be in good shape, but I hate the way my headlight reflect off of them when I round the bend at night. Just looks cheap. Flip side is that they don't have to paint them anymore. Just a good wash once a year.

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