Wooden Fencing: A Few Tips

Installing a wood fence as a DIY project is for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) pros. Newbie DIY enthusiasts will want to consult with experienced help. Before purchasing your fence material, consider your fence design options and consult with your local code enforcement office and your HOA (Homeowners Association). Be sure to purchase the correct height and type of wood fence. In addition, check the property lot lines to ensure that the fence is correctly installed on your property. If you are a skilled carpenter, you might choose a post and plank style wood fence to construct yourself. Another option is to choose pre-made fence panels that attach to wood posts.

Whatever style of wood fence chosen, make sure that you accurately measure your property to determine the fence placement and to determine the amount of fence material needed for the project. Be sure to purchase the correct fence hardware, supplies, and tools. Before starting the project, check the weather forecast to ensure good weather to complete the entire project. To install your DIY wood fence, you will need to know how to construct the fence, dig post holes, mix and pour cement, and to install the fence hardware. You may want to learn how to use a level, a post hole digger, and other necessary tools and equipment. As well, you will want to know how to apply the proper wood sealer or paint on the fence to protect it from harsh weather and to increase the lifespan of the fence. If you are not skilled at DIY wood fence installation, consider hiring skilled help or hire a reliable fence installation contractor.  

Before choosing a fence contractor, obtain several references and written estimates. Make sure that the fence installation company is reliable, certified, licensed, and insured.  Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and check their references to ensure they have successfully completed several fence installation projects. You will still need to have the correct property lines and property measurements to tell the fence installation company. They should be able to provide guidance and to help you decide which style of wood fence to install on your property.  Don’t do business with a disreputable fence installation contractor. Obtain a written contract and check the quality of the completed job.

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Proper maintenance of your new wood fence is important to protect it from extreme weather conditions and to prolong the lifespan of the fence. Make sure that your fence is properly stained and that it receives a finish sealer to protect it from harsh weather. Or if you choose to paint the fence, select a paint that is suitable for a wood fence that endures extreme weather conditions. Fences need regular maintenance to ensure that the fence remains in good condition. Every year check the entire fence for warped or loose boards or rails. Check for loose posts and loose hardware. From time to time, painted fences may need repainting. Stained fences may need to be refinished and resealed to ensure that the fence remains in good condition for several years.

Pest Control: Bug Free Zone at Home

Across the USA, common household pests are invading homes. The top ten common pests are flies, ants, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes, spiders, wasps, mice, and rats. Household pests can pose a risk to your health and to your household. Each type of pest brings hazards that can damage your health and your property. For example, household flies and fruit flies carry germs and contaminate food with bacteria. Bed bugs are found within cracks and crevices as well as beds. They quickly spread and feed on human blood. Ants are everywhere and difficult to eradicate from a home. They can be found in warm dry soil. They seek food. Ant mounds or nests can be found in your lawn as well as under pavement and cement. They like food, sugar, oil, and fats. Red ants bite and they can leave your skin itching for days.

Cockroaches are found in walls, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and warm places. They come out when it’s dark but can be seen during the day. They carry disease and seek any type of food. Seal cracks and crevices and add a door sweep to each entrance door. Use baited bug traps to attract and kill them. Termites are destructive and cause thousands of dollars in damage. They invade a structure and eat away at the wood. Insurance companies do not like to pay for termite damage. Pesky mosquitoes carry disease and viruses. Within the USA, there are over 150 species. They are prevalent during the warm weather.

Wasps and hornets can be found indoors and outside of a dwelling. They can survive underground and build large nests that can contain more than 25,000 wasps. Nests can be found in windows, walls, door frames, eaves, attics, bushes, trees, and underground.

Spiders are not considered to be an insect. They are called an Arachnid. Across the USA are more than 3,700 species of spiders. Within some regions of the country, spiders can be poisonous and cause serious physical harm. They like warm dark places such as cracks, crevices, corners, air vents, and eaves.

Mice and black rats can survive in any season of the year. They can enter into small openings through walls, doors, windows, and be found anywhere inside or outside of a home. They leave droppings, spread disease, seek food, and chew on wiring, material, and paper. They can be a fire hazard. They like warm quiet places to build nests. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists dozens of diseases spread by rats and mice. They damage insulation and chew through walls and joists. Rats and their burrowing activity can damage hillsides, retaining walls, and other structures causing severe damage to a home or business.To rid their homes of pests, some people choose to use organic or natural pest control methods. However, most people choose to use chemicals and baited traps to eradicate harmful pests. Most people call licensed exterminators or pest control service companies to kill the insects or pests plaguing their home.

Hiring the Right Concrete Driveway Contractor

If you want to make a dramatic improvement to your home, consider installing a new concrete driveway and sidewalk system. Or, maybe you are thinking about a new patio or installing a pool. All remain as popular residential concrete projects. But to do the job right, hire a professional concrete contractor or concrete company. Today, concrete has many options like texture, pattern, color,staining, and much more. There are a lot of options to consider when installing concrete. To hire a concrete contractor, ask detailed questions. To make an informed choice, talk with several concrete companies and obtain a few written estimates. Before making a final choice, perform thorough research. The prospective candidates should provide a written estimate that includes a reasonable timeframe to complete the entire job. To allow the newly installed concrete driveway to reach maximum strength, wait a few weeks before parking on a new concrete driveway. Most professionals will recommend a waiting period of two to four weeks.

The prospective concrete contractor should have thorough knowledge about installing concrete. They should know what causes concrete to crack and how to prevent it. The contractor should know about water and also about weather and how both affect concrete. The correct ratio of water in the concrete mix should be used to prevent the concrete from shrinking and cracking. They should be aware that joints also aid in preventing cracking of the concrete. Depending upon the depth of the poured concrete, i.e., five inches, the joints should be placed every 10 to 15 feet. The joints allow the concrete material to be flexible without cracking and breaking. Without proper installation and proper placement of joints, a long unbroken stretch of concrete will crack during the first winter, if not before, after a concrete driveway is installed. The contractor should know about the importance of site preparation and the use of the proper materials and tools to install the concrete. As well, they should know that weather plays an important part of installing concrete. Choose a dry day, an acceptable temperature, and it should not be raining nor extremely cold. Nor should the ground be frozen. They should be aware of the weight of the vehicles that will be driven upon or parked on the concrete driveway. Vehicles weighing over one ton or more will likely cause a concrete driveway to crack.

Ask for written estimates, references, check for licenses and certifications. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Read the fine print in the contract, ask about warantees or guarantees, product quality, and get all of the contract details in writing. Installing concrete takes knowledge and skill. Ensure that the cost or price is fixed. Never pay the full price upfront. Use a credit card which can help with a guarantee and that you will not be stuck with a poor job. You want the best return on investment and hiring a skilled concrete company is crucial to receiving the best product. If you want a properly installed concrete driveway, patio, or sidewalk system, hiring a skilled professional is the best way to go.