Featured Product: Stained Cedar-tone Fir Pickets

Fir is a very sturdy, affordable wood that is perfect for fencing. America’s Fence Store has Stained Cedar-tone Fir pickets that will give you a consistent color and overall strength you’re looking for in your fence. Fir is resistant to bending and warping and also holds nails and screws well without splitting or cracking. The pre-staining gives these pickets a sealant that helps protect them from rot and insects.

Pre-stained vs. Unstained

Our 5/8″x 5-1/2″ x 6′ Stained Cedar-tone Fir pickets come from a great mill where they know the wood best. Mills use mechanical means to perfectly coat and stain these pickets in the ideal conditions. If you wanted to try and stain your pickets by yourself at home, you’d have to wait for a day with absolutely no wind, no chance of rain, plenty of sun and a consistent temperature that is warm enough, but not too warm. If your environement can not meet these conditions, your stain may not coat correctly, and could start to peel after a few years or even a few days.

Most pickets are rough, making it very difficult to roll or brush the stain on. A sprayer would be your best option for DIY staining, but also the messiest. With or without wind you could get spray all over the place. This could include your house, your grass, or even worse, your neighbor’s property.

Our Stained Cedar-toned Fir pickets also have the advantage of consistent and complete coverage. If you try to stain your fence once it’s installed, you’re not going to be able to reach everywhere. The next to impossible spots to reach, between or underneath boards will be tough. This will leave your fence with spots that are not consistant and will be displeasing to the eye, no matter how slight.

If you’re worried about having to make a cut to your picket and leave an obvious mark, don’t worry. We carry stain on hand for any touch-up spots you may need to cover.

Benefits of Stained Cedar-tone Fir Pickets

  • Avoid the headache and heartbreak of DIY staining post-installation
  • Holds nails aswell as screws with ease
  • Consistant and even stain on the entire picket
  • Price is affordable
  • Avoid the mess from staining it yourself
  • Hard, strong wood choice

Pre-stained fencing materials only add a slight price increase to your project, but make up for that difference tenfold in convenience and quality. Visit us at America’s Fence Store for a premium selection of fencing materials today.

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Overscallop Estate Gates: Safety and Style

Very few things add an air of prestige and class to a property like an estate gate. Estate gates- known as drive gates and driveway gates- tend to be situated on a driveway or street to block or grant vehicles entrance. These estate gates are usually made of sturdy ornamental iron, which add to the security and privacy of the property.

STYLE

The most popular style of estate gate is the overscallop gate. Overscallop gates (also referred to as an arch top gate) have upper rails that are bent up in the middle to make an elegant upsweeping arch.

 

AN OPTION FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON

Mansions as well as high-class properties are usually what come to mind when you think of an overscallop estate gate. Most people would be surprised to discover that these gates have become easily available to the average, middle-class homes as well. Homeowners now have an array of affordable gate and automatic opener options available from most home improvement stores and retailers.

SWING AND SLIDE GATES

Two of the most common types of estate gates are swing gates and slide gates. Swing gates are by far the most common of the two: as they are less expensive and relatively maintenance free. Slide gates can be tricky becasue their tracks need to be clear of debris at all times. Slide gates don’t need as much room to operate though, as they need only to move along side the fence. Properties with a sloped driveway are in a tighter spot and may have to go with a slide gate. Howerver, swing gates can still be installed if the ground slopes towards the house downward.

OVERSCALLOP ESTATE GATE BENEFITS

These driveway gates are a worthwhile addition to your home or property for three key reasons:

  1. Curb Appeal: Since these gates are associated with manors and other elite style residences, they automatically give off the impression of elegance and stature. Overscallop estate gates can be simple and polished, or they can have additional adorments and details.
  2. Security: These gates would add an extra layer of security to your home or property, as it limits access to vehicles and pedestrians. The gate also implies you have a higher-level security system, which can discourage a burglary before it even happens.
  3. Increased Property Value: A property with more security and a classy appearance automatically has an increased value among the housing market.

Safety Precautions

Since overscallop estate gates are motorized and move on their own, there are precautions that property owners should follow to avoid injury.

  • Install your gates so that the doors open toward your home, not the street. You don’t want the doors to hit your vehicle, or force you to back up toward the street where you could cause an accident.
  • Instruct children and other family members to always stay far away from the gate when it’s opening and closing.
  • Never allow children to stand near or play on the gate or open and close it just to watch it work.
  • If you have a digital keypad, keep it at a minimum of 10 feet away from any moving part of the gate. You don’t want the keypad anywhere near where a person could try and reach through the gate to use it.
  • Make sure all members of the family know not to touch or play with the gate hinges as these parts easily pinch fingers.

If you are looking to improve your home or property’s appearance and gain some peace of mind, an overscallop estate gate could be perfect for you. Visit America’s Gate Company to look into an option for you today.

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Featured Product: Western Red Cedar 5 inch Pickets

Western red cedar is regarded as one of the finest wooden fence materials you can buy. It is very rich and vibrant in its reddish color, this wood has many impressive qualitties such as resistance to decay and insects, high dimensional stability and an easy-to-stain surface.

Not your standard size picket

If you’re looking to install a wooden fence, western red cedar is a wonderful choice. However, it can only work if you can find it in the correct size picket for your preference and property. Most retailers sell a standard size 4 inch and a 5-1/2 inch picket option. However, there is a big difference between these two pickets, leaving some longing for more.

At America’s Fence Store, we understand the customer’s desire for alternatives and are one of the very few retailers who offer a 5 inch picket option. These 5 inch pickets give customers more choices and customization options for their fence.

Our western red cedar takes in and releases water regularly, which will help it avoid warping and shrinking. Fences made with this red cedar are long-lasting and will remain looking good as new for years to come.

This red cedar is known for its beauty, its warm red wood drawing in many. Western red cedar fences bring curbside appeal along with its many great benefits. This red cedar is also very receptive to stains if you want to freshen it up as it ages.

For a great selection of premium wood fence materials, including western red cedar, visit America’s Fence Store today.

 

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Featured Product: Prefabricated Ornamental Iron

Fencing is not only a tool to ensure security and privacy, but it also adds to the appeal and the personality of your business or home. It’s also an aspect of landscaping, which grooms your propertys overall image.

Prefabricated ornamental iron is an elegant and aestetically-appealing approach when adding fencing. This style of fencing is made of metal and is welded and designed  with beautiful shapes and adornments, which draws in many due to its durability, secureity, and beauty.

Ornamental iron fences can vary from 4 feet or less up to 8 feet tall. They are typically built with vertical posts and can include horizontal bars depending on the design.

Flat Top Three Rail Fence Panels

Flat Top Ornamental Iron fence designs are rising in popularity in the fencing market due to their safe, spear-free top rail and strong, clean lines.

Coming in 6-foot, 5-foot, and 4-foot size options, our Flat Top Ornamental Three Rail Fence Panels are 8 feet in length and utilize three rails for extra support. These panels are spear-free, making them friendly for children and pets. These panels’ powder coating give them durable, long lasting color that resists fading, scratching and chipping.

Benefits of Ornamental Iron

Ornamental iron is a time-honored fencing material with many admirable benefits included

  • Works well with most property types.
  • Very decorative
  • Durable against all types of weather
  • Increases the value of your business or home
  • Has a strong construction
  • Rust and corrosion resistant
  • Keeps small children and pets contained
  • Very low maintenance

Even just by implication, a home or business with ornamental iron fencing leave the impression on potential burglars that they have higher security systems in place, further deterring robberies.

Built to Last

Prefabricated ornamental iron fences are durable, strong and are difficult to break through or tear down. They are also treated to protect them from rust or corrosion damage. Ornamental iron fences last for many years to come.

Unlike other fencing, ornamental iron doesn’t need to be replaced every few years. Their longer utility life makes the higher price of iron work as an investment in the future.

To see a great selection of premium fencing supplies, visit America’s Fence Store today.

 

 

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Child-Proof Pool Latches: What You Should Know

Above cooling off and having fun, safety is the most important factor when it comes to swimming pools. Children of all ages adore swimming, but unfortunately the second leading cause of death for kids under the age of 5 is drowning.

Most of the child drownings occur in a family’s, friends’s or realative’s swimming pool. These pools are more accessible and less supervised, making drownings all too common. One of the most effective ways to prevent these child drownings is a fence around the pool with a secure, childproof latch.

Requirements of a Childproof Pool Latch

According to the National Building Officials and Code Administrators Standards and Regulations (commonly known as BOCA), all pool fence latches must be at a minimum of 54 inches from the ground, keeping them well out of the reach of curious children. These latches should also be self-locking and corresponding pool gates should have self-closing hinges that will open away from the pool.

The fence itself should be difficult to climb over. Any horizontal cross members should be on the pool side of the fence, and all vertical pieces should not be spaced more that 1.75 inches apart. Pool fences with chain link fabric should not have diamonds that exceed 1.25 inches.

Check into your local pool fence code for any variations in your area.

Top Pull Rods

The safest and most child-proof pool gate latch is a top pull rod. The top pull rod’s design consists of a pull rod and a latch. The latch is placed near the top of the door and frame gate. The pull rod arm extends usually at a minimum of a foot above the top of the gate, out of a child’s reach. In order to unlock it, you would have to pull up on the knob on the pull rod, relieiving the latch.

Key Latch Features

Some features of a childproof pool latch may also include:

  • Secure key locking feature
  • Flashing lights and a sounding alarm
  • Red light that will indicate if not latched
  • Magnetic security closure
  • Easy to install
  • Compatibility with many fence types and materials

Placement

Since most child drownings happen at unsupervised or residential pools, those are the pools we most highly recommend customers install these type of pool latches. Other locations that could benefit from a pool fence with a childproof latch are places such as spas, daycares, hot tubs and schools.

 

 

 

You can order your gate latches from America’s Fence Store today.

 

 

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How To Select The Best Wood Posts For My New Fence

Whether you are going to hire a contractor, or install a new wood fence yourself, you will have to decide on the type of wood you want to use. Let’s first start with the post.

  1. Research what is available in your area for species. Today, there are many new species of wood fence posts available from your fence contractor to the box stores. Instead of settling, check out these available options.
  2. What do you think about treated southern yellow pine? This is the least expensive option and the most readily available. These pine posts are ACQ2 treated, an environmentally safe chemical that will assure these posts will last for several years. These posts are highly prone to warping and twisting. Once you have pulled the posts from a bundle; you should set these as quick as possible and start to build your fence. This will assist in curbing some of the twisting and bowing. These posts are also prone to developing long verticle cracks also known as “checks” which is the post way of relieving the pressure of the pressure treated applied chemical. These pine posts are not a good option if you are going to use a stain finish on your fence as the stain does not absorb well over the treatment. If you do not like the green color of the post; over time it will not fade.
  3. What about a treated white pine? These posts are typically available through the more reputable fence contractors. More expensive than a southern yellow pine, the white pine is treated with the same ACQ2 treatment. These posts however are less likely to twist and bow. The white pine reacts differently to the pressure treatment and typically develops some slight twisting. The white pine will develop long vertical cracks, also known as “checks”. White pine treated posts are not a good option for staining and also will have a slight green tint.
  4. What about a western red cedar? These posts are difficult to find. As old growth western red cedar is restricted from harvesting, only new growth is available to harvest. This makes the supply limited and pushes the price point up. Wood mills are electing to mill western red cedar for other more high end uses like decorative beams and siding. What is available in western red cedar fence post is almost entirely sap wood. This is the outer rings of the tree that are still alive and do not carry those natural preservatives found in the heartwood. These post will not last long. Western red cedar is desired for its unlikely nature to bend, twist, or bow.
  5. What about an incense cedar? These posts are available through select box stores and your fence contractors. This is an excellent choice if you want the look of a cedar and plan on doing a stain finish on your fence. Incense cedar is grown in the southern coast of the United States of America. Blonde in color, incense cedar is much lighter than your western red cedar. As there is an abundance of incense cedar, fence posts will come from a mix of heartwood and sap. These posts have many of the same characteristics of western red cedar in that the posts are unlikely to significantly bend, twist, or bow.
  6. What about a lodge pole pine? Growing in popularity, this species is very comparable to a white pine. Lodge pole pine must be pressure treated if it is for in ground use. Light in color, lodge pole pine will also have a green tint after treatment.

For more information on these choices of wood fence posts, you can find more on our website at www.theamericanfencecompany.com.

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Incense Cedar: The fencing material that can take it all and still stand tall

Incense Cedar is becoming one of the most used woods in the fencing industry, taking over its close relative the Western Red Cedar. WIth a lower cost and many great qualities, it’s not hard to see why. It is native to forests in southern Oregon, wstern Nevada, and California, Incense Cedar is a blond wood with straight, clean grains and is non-resinous. Due to its non-resinous property, Incense Cedar holds varnishes, lacquer and other stains far better than resinous woods.

Perhaps Incense Cedar’s main characteristic that makes it so popular in fencing is its notable decay resistance and ability to stand up against weather conditions, even without a protectant. It is durable under every weather condition and climate, is less combustible than other cedars and least likely of the cedars to shrink.

Not only is Incense Cedar great under varying conditions, but it’s wonderful to work with. It machines very easily, finishes with a smooth, satiny surface with splinter-free versatility. It is also able to outperform Western Red Cedar in machining, resistance in nailing and its ability to hold screws and nails.

Incense Cedars impressive properties make for a beautiful fence with high dimensional stability and trememdous weather endurance, all while remaining highly economical with an affordable price point.

For a great selection of premium Incense Cedar, visit America’s Fence Store today.

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Pool Fence Safety

This past weekend, I read a news report about a young child that suffered drowning related injuries. This is always a very sad event. What makes this report unusual is that the pool was closed for the summer. The child was still able to get under the pool cover. Once the child was in the pool, he was not able to get out due to the low water level and stiff cover. How would you have known that you have to worry about a pool closed and covered?

Anyone who has ever cared for a toddler or small child knows how quick and inquisitive they may be. At this age children lack a realistic sense of danger. They are intrigued by pools and water and often have fond memories swimming with their parents and loved ones. When alone, they see no reason to find a way in the deep blue.

The leading cause of accidental drownings for the nearly 300 children age 5 and under is due to the fact that the homeowners did not completely fence in their pools and failed to use self-closing and self-latching devices per code on gates. The Consumer Protection Safey Commission reports that child drownings are the second leading cause of accidental death for childern at home under 5 years in age. This is not only pools. This also includes hot tubs and spas. The CPSC has made a determination that the greatest means to reduce these child drownings is for pool owners to construct and maintain full barriers around the pools, spas, and hot tubs. Most spas and hot tubs are covered with a snap on hasp. These are the same types of hasp that small children play with on their cribs and car seats. They will often know how to quickly snap the hasp.

CPSC publishes an annual report covering child drownings. Based on this report, we have identified some of the key facts that you should know about pool safety.

  • 300 children under the age of 5 drown in spas and swimming pools every year.
  • Children between the age of 1 and 3 years represented 67 percent of the reported fatalities and 66 percent of the reported injuries in pools and spas.
  • Well over 4,100 children under the age of 5 suffer drowning injuries that require emergency room care. Over 50 percent are seriously injured and are admitted to the hospital.
  • The vast majoritiy of drownings occur in pools owned by the family, friends, or relatives.
  • Portable pools including all types accounted for 10 percent of the total fatalities.

To help prevent these pool drownings and injuries, all spas, hot tubs, and pools should have a barrier that meet the following:

  1. The barrier should be 48″ tall at a minimum. Be sure to check local codes as many communities require 72″ tall barriers. This measurement is from the top of the barrier to the top of the adjoining area. If there is furniture or a planter near the fence or barrier that may reduce this distance, then move this item.
  2. The maximum vertical distance from the underside of the fence or barrier to the top of the grade should not exceed 4″. If you have loose soil or rocks, reduce this distance.
  3. Openings in the fence or barrier should not allow a 4 inch diameter sphere to pass through. The general rule of thumb is that you may apply some reasonable force to the sphere so you may need to reduce the distance to account for flexible materials.
  4. Make sure that the fence or barrier are not easily climbable. The spacing between vertical members should not exceed 1 3/4″ wide. The maximum mesh size for chain link fencing should not exceed 1 1/4″. This means that the standard chain link residential fencing may not be an ideal choice for pool safety.
  5. Gates for the pool should be equipped with some form of a self-locking device. Gates should always open outward away from the pool with self-closing hinges. This will prevent children from simply pushing inward on the gate gate until it pops a weak latch.
  6. All gate latches should be located no less than 54″ from the bottom side of the gate. Often overlooked is the release mechanism that should be located on the pool side of the gate at a minimum of 3″ below the top of the gate.

Though not required, we would highly recommend the use of alarms on all gates. These are very inexpensive and easy to install devices that sell for less than 20 dollars. These simple alarms work on a battery and perform much like your smoke detector when the battery gets weak it begins to beep. These devices are also available to tie into a home security system or link with a WIFI devise.

 

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Not Just Any Louvered Screen

PalmSHIELD is not just any manufacturer of louvered screens. They are an engineered louvered system manufacturer. What does this mean for our valued customers? PalmSHIELD inspects and reviews every project for the following conditions.

  • Where are your louvered screens going to be located? If it is a rooftop unit, the system could be exposed to sheer winds or wind tunnels.
  • How tall is the overall height of the system? This will greatly impact post, plate, and gusset solutions. This will also determine panel widths and panel ribbing.
  • What will the system be attached to? A flat concrete slab will pose a significantly different situation than a concrete knee wall or parapet wall.
  • What are the gate types? Sometimes, swing gate will not work as well as a slide gate. PalmSHIELD is very unique in that we will provide a wide array of gate and door solutions.
  • What are the gate sizes? PalmSHIELD has been a gate solution provider for over fifty years. We understand the structural considerations of slide gates and large swing gates.

There are several louvered screen manufacturers who build and inventory stock size louvered screens. PalmSHIELD is unique in that we don’t simply manufacture louvered screens but we will manufacture systems that work. So, if you have the need for a 20′ tall louvered screen system with customized gate hardware, transom panels and a one-of-a-kind door like this customer; you have come to the right place.

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Playground Fencing Safety Tips

Following up on the blog about fencing at schools, A devote reader commented about her childhood on the playground. The four foot chain link that separated the children from teh asphalt was as much part of the playground equipment as was the slide, swing sets, and teeter-totter. The chain link fence was used as home base for red light green light and duck, duck goose. It was also a great hiding spot during Marco Polo and a great back drop for dodge ball. While reading her response it brought back a flood of memories from both my childhood and my career in the fencing industry.

 

Fencing can be a safe place for our children and young ones if properly designed and installed. I have listed a few examples below from my tenure within the industry of bad designs and inadequate installations that resulted in injuries on today’s playgrounds and youth ball fields.

 

  1. Middle rails installed on outfield fencing. A middle rail was installed on a high school baseball field fence. The fence was then covered with windscreen and promotional signage, which in turn hid the middle rail. A young ball player ran right at the fence to catch a fly ball. At the last minute, he twisted his body to allow his thigh and hip to take the impact from the fence while he reached to teh sky to catch the ball. Never seeing the middle rail, he thought the net like nature of the chain link fabric would cushion the blow. Unfortunately, when his femur met the middle rail, it snapped. Middle rail should never be installed on ballfield or school fencing.
  2. Rolling gates on fencing. A teacher was helping others in opening a four foot tall cantilever gate on a playground. She had placed her hand on top of the gate to pull it open while others pushed the gate open. Her hand and fingers quickly went back to the roller as the momentum of the gate built. Because there was no roller cover installed over the roller, the teacher’s hand went in-between the fixed roller and top track of the gate, crushing her ring finger. Roller guards should always be placed on all rollers to remove pinch points.
  3. Outfield fence fabrics extending above the top rail. The industry standard for chain link fencing is to make sure the fabric is placed 1/2″ above the top rail. A high school baseball player went to catch a fly ball. He ran to the outfield fence, then jumped to make a catch that was set to just clear the outfield fence. He raised his ball glove which eclipsed the top of the top rail and got caught on the chain link fabric. With his body still in the air and now under the effects of gravity, the ball player came down to the ground with his hand and glove still caught. He left the game with a dislocated shoulder from twisting during the fall. Ball field fencing should always use a plastic cap to cover the top of the chain link fabric.
  4. Spear top ornamental iron fence. A spear top ornamental iron fence was used to fence in a trash enclosure. At the end of the day, a student was trying to cut a corner and save a few minutes by exiting from the back of the building through the kitchen and out between the trash dumpsters. He had reached the locked ornamental iron fence swing gates and began to climb. He was halfway over when he caught the inseam of his jeans on the top of the fence. This caused him to fall head first onto the ground. Spear top ornamental iron fence should not be used in and around schools.

Unfortunately there are many more of these situations; all of which are preventable. The lesson is that fencing can still be a safe place for our children and young kids if properly designed and installed. Installers and designers must think of the “what ifs” and remove all possible injury situations. These fences should be scrutinized to the same level we would scrutinize the playground slide. Speaking of the playground slides, What ever happened to those towering galvanized steel slides with nothing to keep you from falling off at the top?

 

 

 

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