Galvanized Vs Aluminum Fasteners
Fasteners (nails and screws) are a key component in any fence. When I started building fences in 1975, we hand nailed everything. We used hot dip galvanized, smooth nails, which were the industry standard at the time. They last virtually forever with very minimal rust. Using 2", 7 penny nails for pickets and 3 1/2", 16 penny framing nails, there was ample penetration into the posts and rails. Being smooth, the nails held well until the lumber sufficiently dried, but would eventually work loose and need re-setting. Driving the smooth nails at a slight angle into the grain helped, but wasn't consistent or sometimes practical.
One of the large Denver fence contractors I worked for back then (who still hand nails all their boards) had a nail/fastener vendor who wanted to outfit them with all new nail guns and of course supply them with the needed millions of more expensive nails the new guns would require. A demonstration was arranged on a job site where installers would be nailing up boards, to allow the vendor to show how much time could be saved using his guns. When the vendor arrived, he brought with him the requisite guns and nails needed for his demo, along with a severely undersized air compressor to power them - probably because it fit easily into his trunk. With nearly the entire workforce of the fence company, including management and at least one owner of the company eagerly and intently waiting and watching, the nail salesman fired several nails into a long line of fence boards in a very impressive, rapid succession. Unfortunately, his undersized compressor could not keep up with the gun, and after a short burst, he was forced to wait for the compressor to catch up, or build more pressure. The last few nails driven were only part way embedded, and needed hammer driven the rest of the way in. After several rounds of this, the owner of the fence company pronounced the demo over, and nail guns a waist of time and money. Apparently, this decision stood for many years, and still does today.
Nearly every fence contractor in Colorado today still uses galvanized fasteners. Some are high quality, many are not. Generic nails have just enough galvanizing to be called "galvanized", and rust almost immediately. I have seen these nails rust while still in the original box in the nail shed. Many large companies, who use truckloads of nails, buy these to save costs. You can see them all over town, rusting and bleeding down the face of most fences that are over a couple years old. Some in just a few months!
We at Kayne's Fence discovered many years ago the benefits of ALUMINUM screw shank nails. They twist into the lumber as they enter(unlike a RING SHANK nail, which drives straight in), and NEVER rust. They are considerably more expensive than galvanized nails, and can add $1.00/ft to the installed cost of a privacy fence. We think the fact that they will never work loose and never rust makes them worth the cost. Take a look at our fences that have been installed for several years. If they were installed since 2010, when we switched to all aluminum, you won't see our nails rusting down the face of the fence.
Posted on: Saturday, April 30, 2016
On Line Reviews
As one of the very first fence contractors to go on line with a multi-page website (circa 1998), we took advantage of internet marketing to showcase our work with lots of pictures, references, and bios of our staff. Since then, things have changed dramatically, to say the least.
With the introduction of social media, customer review sites and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), keeping up with our on line presence has become a nearly a full time job. Being a hands on, do it myself type person, I tend to get behind in this and most other tasks. Notice that my last blog post here was in 2013.
Recently, we have noticed that for several reasons, our online reviews have suffered in quality; almost entirely due to the fact that we get such a huge volume of requests for estimates on all types of fences and gates, since we offer Cedar, vinyl, ornamental iron, chain link and gate operators. Nearly all (I can think of one exception) of our negative reviews have come from folks who have been frustrated by our slow response time to their initial attempt to contact us regarding their fence or railing installation. While we are working hard to respond to ALL inquiries, the sheer volume can be overwhelming at certain times of the year, week and even day. We are one of the few local fence companies that have someone experienced and knowledgeable in all types of fence and railing installation answering the phone whenever it is possible. If we are unable to take your call or answer your email immediately, it is most helpful to give us some basic information about your fencing needs, and especially the jobsite location. As we see more and more congestion on the streets and highways of Denver, we have begun to focus our efforts on Lakewood, Golden and Wheat Ridge, as they are nearby. We are also more efficient and cost effective when not traveling across town to provide "free" estimates and hauling large, heavy amounts of material to the site.
Lately, our reviews posted on Angie's List have been exceedingly frustrating, since they have been telling us that they are rebuilding their site for that purpose since February of last year. Since that time, we have not had consistent access to read our reviews, and in turn respond to them. Many customers have told me they have tried to post positive, sometimes raving reviews of our great service and workmanship, only to not have their review seen on line. Their reason for taking a year to build a new site is "lots of data". OK.............
Angie's List went public awhile back, and we should all know what that means by now.
We have also had slow or nonexistent posting of reviews by other sites that we actually pay to be listed on. Unfortunately, there also seem to be more folks in general who will take the time to post a negative review about anything - hotels, restaurants, service providers, you name it - since they are obviously miffed about wasting their time or money. We understand.
We ask that when reading ANY review, you take the time to read between the lines, possibly get a feel for the type of person writing the review, and read several from different sites. As long as you are doing homework, do a good job of it.
Posted on: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
In four words, we don't do 'em. Glued together sawdust. Definitely not worth what they cost.
And don't even get me started on the structural integrity. Junk. High priced junk. Please dont ask us
to quote junk. We can't. Its not in our DNA. We're not about "selling" you a fence. We are fence builders who have learned, through experience,
how to build the best fences possible, for the very best prices possible. The sales take care of themselves.
Posted on: Friday, April 26, 2013
Pre - Fab Ornamental Iron
Years ago, working as a full time, "professional" fence installer, I worked almost exclusivley with narrow picket Cedar privacy fences and chain link fence. I put the quotes around professional because I thought I was doing the work of a professional for the first several years I worked as a full time installer. Truth was, it was at least five years before I even had a clue about the finer points of the trade. Ten years later, with fifteen years of experience, I finally had a decent grasp on material selection and installation techniques. Today, after another twenty years, the choices for consumers are exponentially wider. PVC/Vinyl, Ornamental Iron, welded wire mesh, White, Yellow and several Red Cedars, plus an almost unending choice of Composite materials make life considerably more complicated, if not interesting. While every day presents new challenges and learning opportunities, we at Kayne's Fence have more than enough experience to "figure things out". This translates to a far superior job of installation, as well as selection of materials for our customers.
One frequently used example is ornamental iron fence that has been pre-fabbed. Just ten years ago, we fabricated and finished (painted) nearly every ornamental iron fence that we installed. Today, the product of choice that provides the very best value is a pre - fabbed product called Montage, manufactured by Ameristar in the USA. They make three standard designs that are all stocked locally by our wholesaler. The steel is galvanized and finished with a very durable and attractive, baked on "paint". We have jobs to see that were installed ten plus years ago using Ameristars products that still look new. Pretty amazing given our harsh Colorado climate. Another huge advantage to using the Montage line of fence is its "rackability", which allows each individual section to be "racked" on site, which allows the installed fence to match the terrain. Level ground is almost nonexistent in our area. The welded design, meaning each vertical picket is welded to each horizontal rail, makes it an excellent choice as well.
To sum up, though there are lots and lots of choices for todays consumer, our customers, we have the knowledge and experience to choose the one(s) that will give the best overall value. A fence that will literally last a lifetime. Call or email us for free advice and not only estimates, but exact quotes on your fencing project.
Posted on: Friday, May 20, 2011
Many people contact us looking for "cheap" Cedar. The easy answer would be: "You get what you pay for". With over thirty five years experience not just building Cedar fences but actually paying attention to their condition as they age, I feel qualified to make a few observations.
When we build or repair any wooden fence, the first thing we concentrate on is the posts - the foundation, as it were. Any good, long lasting fence has the proper posts installed in the proper way. The depth and diameter of the post hole, the type and amount of concrete used, the spacing and type/size post, are all critical to a sound fence that will withstand wind, snow drifts, heavy rains and runoff, neighbors, children, pets, sprinkler systems, erosion and all the other things fences are exposed to.
When buying our Cedar posts, cheap is not a consideration. A post that costs $14 vs. a $10 post, only adds about 50 cents per lineal foot to the overall initial cost of a 6 foot Cedar fence. On an average 200 foot back yard that costs $5000 or more to replace, we're talking about an extra 100 bucks. If the extra $100 means another 10 to 15 years life, we think its a no-brainer.
Rails and pickets are also important in the life of a fence, though not as important as posts. Ill comment on those in a future post. Til then....
Posted on: Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wind is Hard on Fences
The recent strong winds in the Denver metro area have taken a large toll on privacy and other fences. Some areas were hit much harder than others, and we have been inundated with requests for repair and replacement estimates. If you own or are considering installing a privacy fence, here are a few wind related considerations:
Am I in a "high wind area"? - If you live in or near the front range, you are. This means winds can be expected in the sustained 40 MPH range, with gusts of up to 90 MPH. A 6' high privacy fence with 4 x 4 posts spaced 8' apart (the industry standard) is engineered to withstand SUSTAINED winds of approximately 50 MPH. This is when the fence is new. As the fence ages, the posts will begin to deteriorate, and a 15 year old fence may have posts that have lost half or more of their strength.
Does/will my fence be facing into the prevailing winds? - Generally, the prevailing winds are out of the West and North West. Your fence may be sheltered by a structure, such as your or your neighbors house.
Does my fence include long runs with little or no lateral support? - Corners and "T's" in the fence help to strengthen and support adjoining fence lines.
Do I have any loose or broken existing posts? - When the wind kicks up, one bad post can cause the fence to be whipped by gusts, causing extra strain on adjoining posts. This can lead to further damage.
Do I really need a double drive gate in the line of fence that catches a lot of wind? - Many times, a removable panel can be installed in lieu of a large gate that gets minimal use, saving future repair and maintenance as well as initial cost.
Should I plan for future strong winds? - Absolutely! We at Kayne's Fence can help with new or existing fences. Oversized posts, posts spaced closer than the normal eight feet, and galvanized steel posts are all good options for strengthening your fence. If your fence is more than ten years old, you may want to consider adding new posts to the center of the existing panels to give added support. Often, when a fence has reached twenty or more years of age, we can install "double posts", which can then be used in the future to build new panels on. When set to the proper height and spacing, using these "new" posts in the future helps to break up the cost of fence replacement, as well as extend the life of an old, but still serviceable privacy fence.
Whether you are in Lakewood, Golden, Wheat Ridge, Arvada or any front range area, we are here to help with your fencing needs.
With thirty five years of fencing experience, we at Kayne's Fence are highly qualified and knowledgeable to assist you in designing a fence or gate system to meet your needs and requirements that will withstand the elements of Colorado for many years to come. Estimates are always free.
Posted on: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Spring Time is Busy Time
Spring is here, and we are busy writing estimates and securing the highest quality fencing materials for the upcoming season. I am always amazed when searching for a specific product in a metro area of over 2 million people I cant find what Im looking for. Lumber, and more specifically, Red Cedar, is no exception. Fortunately, we have been able to purchase an excellent supply of Idaho Inland Red Cedar that is some of the finest material available.
If you are in Lakewood, Golden, Wheat Ridge or the surrounding area, we have several fences to look at that we built using the very same material, going back several years. This dark red Cedar is more like the material we used thirty years ago, with few knots, little bark, and nice thick, dense boards. The stuff that lasts 30 plus years.Give us a call to see some samples.
Posted on: Tuesday, March 29, 2011