By Nick Marshall, Dave Harkins, Rick Stanley
Owners who're making plans a brand new deck or fence face a litany of agonizing judgements, starting with the main severe: Which fencing or decking fabric do you must use? the cloth you decide will impact every thing from how lengthy your fence or deck will final to what form of long term upkeep it is going to require. And with extra offerings on hand than ever — from vinyl to aluminum fencing, from cedar to composite decking — shoppers can simply turn into misplaced in debating the professionals and cons of every product.
A User’s consultant to Fencing & Decking fabrics makes the choice basic for you through boiling down each one fencing and decking choice to its fundamentals: What do you, as a home-owner, want to know?
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Additional info for A User’s Guide to Fencing and Decking Materials
One downside to metal fences is their initial cost, which is especially high for authentic wrought-iron fences. These are becoming so rare that many historic districts are putting laws into place to protect their aging specimens. Aluminum and chain-link fences are much more affordable, although chain-link fences can be eyesores without the proper landscaping or design elements. If you want an environmentally friendly fence, metal has both pros and cons. On the plus side, metal fences usually last for at least one lifetime.
What kind of fasteners do you use? As with all fences, the long-term strength of your metal fence will depend largely on the quality of the fasteners. ◊ What are the security features of this fence? In general, metal fences will offer high security if there is little space between the infill (the vertical elements). There shouldn’t be enough space at the bottom for someone to squeeze underneath the fence. Finally, pointy or other specially designed toppers will increase the security of a metal fence.
Supporting Weight It’s necessary to use real wood for the supports of your deck—synthetic materials just aren’t strong enough to hold up so much weight. Pressure-treated wood is a good choice because it’s stronger than the softwoods typically used in decking. Remember, your deck needs to hold its own weight (“dead weight”) as well as the weight of whatever is placed on top if it (“live weight”). Most city codes require decks to be able to support 50 pounds per square foot of deck. Hot tubs are especially heavy; one way to support them is to sink them into concrete moorings.