1- How do I know if it’s safe to dig for my fence? Is there a telephone number I can call?
If you plan to install fence materials yourself, you must first contact your state’s utility locating office. In North Carolina, the number is “811” while in South Carolina, the number is “800-922-0983.” The process of utility locating and verification takes several days and must be completed prior to digging.
If you plan for Gaston Fence Co. to install your fence materials, we will assume the responsibility of contacting the appropriate offices for utility locating. As previously mentioned, this must be completed prior to digging. Due to an issue of liability, we are required under state law to make this point of contact for the work in which we are contracted.
2- Will vinyl fence materials break, fade, burn, or become brittle with exposure?
As with any product, vinyl isn’t indestructible. Any material left to the elements faces some risk of damage. It is recommended that you review the manufacturer’s warranty for any questions you may have regarding your fence product.
3- Are your fence posts always set in concrete? Which is better for my fence: mechanically driving posts or concrete footings?
Ideally, a mechanically driven post is more stable. Per ASTM standards, using mechanical devices for the setting of fence posts is acceptable, provided the mechanical strength in the ground is equal or superior to the strength developed by the concrete footing.
i. Chain-Link: With optimal soil conditions, these posts are mechanically driven using specialized equipment. This equipment often eliminates the need for concrete footings to create a secure and firm post setting while using longer posts.
ii. Vinyl: To protect this material during the installation process, these posts are set in concrete footings.
iii. Ornamental Steel or Aluminum: Depending on the material used and on the project requirements, these posts may be driven where applicable or set in concrete footings.
iv. Wood: Depending on the type and style of fence, these posts are either mechanically driven or set in concrete footings.
4- How should I clean my fence? What is the recommended maintenance for my fence type?
a. Vinyl: In many cases, mild soap and water are recommended to remove any build-up of dirt or mold on your fence products. Check with your manufacturer for recommendations to ensure the safest possible solution.
b. Wood: Our lumber is all pressure treated. Staining your fence is not required and is a matter of personal preference however using a product to repel water from your fence will add to the overall life of your fence.
c. To increase the life expectancy of your fence product, removing or restricting plant and tree growth surrounding the fence is recommended. Treating your property for pests and insects may be beneficial to the longevity of your fence.
5- What information should the customer have readily available prior to purchasing a fence?
a. It is important to know the exact placement of your fence. While a property survey is not required (or provided), it is imperative that the customer knows the boundaries of his or her property. Because of this, a survey is recommended.
b. If your property is subject to the rules and regulations of a Homeowners Association, neighborhood restrictions, or code compliance, you should be aware of these stipulations prior to the purchase and installation of your fence.
c. Any easements, right of ways, and private utility lines should be marked prior to the installation date.
6- How long should I expect the actual installation process to take?
This depends on the fence product you’ve purchased, the layout of your fence and property, as well as any weather conditions which may exist. If you have any concerns with the length of the project and scheduling, it’s recommended that you have this discussion with your sales associate prior to the beginning of your installation.
7- Is there a standard “per foot price” for each fence type?
a. While our prices are determined by the required material for each job as well as the desired layout and design, our sales staff may be able to provide you with a general figure for budgeting purposes.
b. In addition to the fence style you’ve selected, the number and type of posts, height of fence, inclusion of gates and required hardware all play a role in determining the price of your fence project.
8- What does “stick built construction” really mean?
Our wooden fences are all stick-built onsite. We use treated lumber and do not use a paneled wooden fence. Each fence that we construct is built to suit and/or customized according to the needs of our customers. This means that your fence will arrive as individual boards and be assembled according to the design and layout specified.
9- How can I make sure that my fence is pool code compliant?
Your fence professional will be able to answer these questions however, reviewing your state or local government’s compliance codes may offer you a better understanding of the requirements. For more information on pool codes and fences, ASTM standard 15A NCAC 18A.2528 provides general knowledge.
10- Is a property survey required in order to know where my fence should be set?
a. A survey is not required or provided but is recommended if you have any questions concerning where your property lines fall. Ultimately, the placement of your fence is the responsibility of the property owner.
b. We advise all of our clients to place their fence a minimum of six (6) inches inside property boundaries. It is important to note that any fence placed directly on the property line belongs in part to the adjoining property.
11- What happens if a fence is set incorrectly along the property line?
As mentioned in the question addressing the need for a survey, the placement of a fence is the direct responsibility of the property owner. Our installation crews work under the direction of our customers, setting the product where indicated. Any costs for relocation and/or removal of the fence are a liability of the customer.
12- How do I know if my contractor is reputable?
As with any major purchase, an educated consumer is a prepared consumer. There are several trade associations in which a contractor is held to a certain level of education or training, customer service, and certifications. Additionally, listings within the Better Business Bureau should be taken into consideration. Check with your service provider to find out what steps are taken to ensure that the new industry standards are being met and adhered to. Always make sure your contractor carries a valid certificate of insurance coverage including Workman's Compensation and General Liability. A licensed General Contractor with a certificate in good standing and a solid reputation based on the number of years in business as well as customer reviews is always helpful!
Should you have additional questions or concerns not addressed here, please contact our office to speak with one of our trained AFA Certified Fence Professionals on staff.