fence problems? composite decks?
Hi, I'm working on a story for the Wall St. Journal about fencing and am looking to interview people who have had problems with their fencing-- namely, they (or someone they know) had their fences installed with the finished side facing in as opposed to out. Has anyone heard of anything along these lines?
I'm also looking for your thoughts on composite materials (like Trex). What are some problems with composites?
Thanks in advance for any leads you can offer. You can also email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For composites, the biggest problem I see is they need to be time tested. New products can and will fail. Trex with the extreme fading, back in the 90's. Geodeck's recall last year. E-on with the strange dicolorations before they added a sufficient u.v. inhibitor.
Probably many other smaller companys I never cared to look into.
Other problems would be shrinkage more than wood, too hot underfoot, ugly railings.
Inexperienced contractors, that don't research how to install to manufactorer specs.
Availability of variety of colors.
Most companys have a 25 year warranty and there product has not been on the market that long.
Different climates will give different reactions to composites, snow, heat, salt, shade, mold,
staining, grease from grill, plastics melting.
Another problem I see in the future is cheap composites carried by Menards, Lowes, HomeDepot. Try to undercut the market with a failing product, buyer beware.....
I built my deck (16x20)approx 3 years ago with Timber Tek from a local
home/garden/hardware store not any of the big box stores.
We have freezing winters with about two feet of snow and 110 degree
summers. My deck is in 90% shade. I used pressure treated joists with redwood posts and galvi 16's.I had to buy a 20# box of special screws (3"). I fastened in a zig-zag pattern ( 1 screw per joist).
I have three dogs, one seven year old Power Ranger with all his friends.Tons of parties that we will never forget.
I love this stuff. Sweep or hose it off once a week and it looks great.
And I can't forget to tell you it is seven and a half feet off the ground
Tyler, I use Timbertech on my own decks and have used it on jobs with very few issues. While it takes patience to install it, the results are great. Bob, they do sell it at the Home Depot.
fence problems? composite decks?
I reviewed printed material of several different manufactures of composite decking and inspected a couple of decks suggested by dealers who sold various composite materials. I finally settled on TREX. I had no experience in building decks and little in any construction but I build my own using the guidance provided on TREX website. I could not be happier with the outcome. The deck is over a year old and looks like I just put it up. It has gone through three digit summer heat and a winter with temperatures below 0. Cleaning it is easier than cleaning the cement deck. I have had no staining and so far I see no problems from bar-b-cueing on it. It does get hot but no hotter than the cement deck, and, the best thing, I spend more time enjoying it than I do cleaning it.
Hi Marisa, The customary way to install your fence is to have your screws facing in and your nice side facing out, Hogwash, my home is my castle and i'm going to have the nice side facing in, unless I have to abide by a H.O.A dictating what I can and can not do. okay, all joking aside, one of the main factors of a fence is a first line of defense into that home/castle I mentioned earlier; having the screws facing the outside of the yard is inviting someone to take your fence down (which has happend) in the middle of the night. Now, take those same screws and face it in towards the house, the person attempting to steal the fence would have a harder time trying to unscrew the fence in order to steal it. Another safety issure could be as follows: John and Marybeth have a fence up, their screws are facing the outside of their property, by happenstance, a kid cuts his hand,foot,face,neck, or other body part due to a screw sticking part way out, now John and Marybeth have a lawsuit on their hands. Why? Failure to do something that caused someone to get hurt, in today's sue happy, get rich quick society, John and Marybeth now lose thier house, all to a screw, talk about getting screwed. In breif, the reason that fences have their screws facing in not out are, Appearance, Safety, and security.
As for composite materials and warrranty's not holding up. I would recommend to buyers to buy products that you know will hold up... Like powder coasted aluminum fences from www.aluminumfencespecialists.com also, I would recommed getting that warranty in writing.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss these items in greater detail, please don't hesitate to e-mail me.
Fences are for privacy and protection. That's why I would always put the nice side facing outward because otherwise, if it was flipped, someone could easily scale the fence by climbing on the framing.
Composite is much better for decks, but the main drawback is heat. You can't walk barefoot on composite decking that's been under the sun because it's too hot. Since composite boards are so dense, each board is much heavier than a wood board. Therefore, much more manual labor is required during the build process. Also, composite boards are less rigid compared to wooden boards. Therefore, if you're building an exotic deck, you have to make sure joists are properly located to support each board.
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