As professional deck installers in Northern Colorado, we highly recommend making sure you’re taking necessary steps to protect your decks in the winter. Snow and temperatures below freezing can damage your deck and make using it again in the summer difficult. Fortunately, there are several simple actions you can take to protect your deck during the colder months.
Before we get to our deck protection guide, it’s important to remember that different decks made of different materials need slightly different care. If you have a wooden deck, your primary concern is moisture getting into the boards and causing them to warp or become misaligned, for example. These tips work with all decks, but keep your deck material in mind when you’re preparing for winter.
Avoiding the Need for Springtime Deck Repair
Professional deck installers often repair decks in the spring that have been so warped or had their surfaces so damaged that the work is extensive. Before you get to this expensive point, take these steps to protect your deck:
Clean Your Deck Well
The first step in winterizing your deck and protecting it in the winter is to make sure it is clean. Not only will it leave your deck looking fresh and new, but it will also eliminate many of the contaminants on the surface that can cause more serious problems.
The worst culprits of deck damage can be dirt ground into the surface, sun exposure, and moisture exposure. The sun even during a Northern Colorado winter can cause deck surfaces to fade, while moisture can facilitate mold growth. If you have a wooden deck, use a bleach-free cleaning solution to remove dirt and debris.
Re-Stain or Surface as Necessary
Some decks don’t need to be stained, but wooden decks can lose their protective layer quicker than you think. If you see faded areas or parts of the deck where the stain is flaking or peeling off, strip the finish and re-surface the entire deck. This way, you’ll be sure that no moisture or grit will hurt the wood. Even if you have a deck made from a different material, covering it with the appropriate protection is a good idea.
Clear the Deck
If you did not do so before the start of winter, it’s not too late to go ahead and clear everything off your deck. That means your deck furniture, leaves and debris that tends to pile up during the fall, and even your planters. Potted plants, even if they’re only empty, can create areas where moisture gathers around their bases. You’ll need to completely clear your deck before you re-stain or surface it anyway.
Careful Snow Removal
Professional deck installers in Colorado caution customers to avoid using salt or other chemicals to melt snow on their decks during the winter to avoid damage to the stain or surfacing. Also, when shoveling the snow, use a plastic shovel or always run the shovel lengthwise over the boards to avoid scratching or cutting into the surface.
Professional fence installation in Fort Collins tends to heat up in summer when more homeowners feel the need to protect their outside areas. They’re more attuned to what their front and backyards look like in the summer, and they’re more motivated to ensure that these areas are prepared for summer outdoor activities, like cookouts with the neighbors. However, there are many advantages to buck the trend of summer professional fence installation and opt for a winter installation.
We enjoy many advantages of living in Northern Colorado. Yes, our winters are cold, but there are usually enough warm, sunny days even in December and January that the ground won’t be frozen solid all winter. This gives you an opportunity to get a jump on your fence installation project. Not waiting until spring to get that new fence installed can be beneficial to both your lifestyle and your wallet. Here’s why:
Advantages of Winter Fence Installation
Installing a fence offers many advantages, not the least of which is privacy. By getting your fence installed in the winter, you’ll be ready to reap all the benefits of having a fence right when you’ll be outside taking advantage of those outdoor areas in the months ahead. That’s not even mentioning the benefits of protecting your yard during the winter months.
Professional Fence Installers Can Install Your Fence Faster
Fence installers can put up your new fence faster in the winter because fewer people are booking these services during December than there are in April. Everyone gets spring fever and realizes they need a new fence, but you won’t have to wait to enjoy your new fence in the spring if you get it installed in the winter.
Increase Your Privacy During Winter
Some yards have evergreen trees that help maintain privacy during the winter, but if you don’t have any evergreens, your yard will look a little bare. Installing a fence now will help you had the privacy you want for your yard.
Protecting Your Plants is Easier During the Winter
Protecting your plant life during the installation process is easier during the winter. Since your trees and shrubs are dormant and without their extra leaves and growing limbs, they’re more out of the way and easier to work around.
There is only one thing that could delay a fence installation in winter: the weather. When the ground freezes, the fence installation work is frozen along with it. But on many days when the ground is perfectly unfrozen, why not consider calling Altitude Fence and Deck for a professional fence installation job in the wintertime? Contact us today to get your estimate.
When you contact a local fence contractor about installing a new fence on your property Fort Collins or elsewhere, one of the first questions that they will ask you relates to the type of fence that you want to install. One of the most common fencing types on residential properties is a privacy fence, and there is good reason for this.
Your fence is an important part of your property, and Fort Collins privacy fence installation is a popular service in Northern Colorado because many of the residents here want to protect their homes and properties in an increasingly urban area. Privacy fencing offers your home much more than protection from prying eyes, however. Many privacy fences are ornate and add a sense of style to a property, along with a clearly defined boundary that both animals and people will be hesitant to attempt to cross. Usually, privacy fences are made from tough materials, and because they’re typically taller and dug further into the ground, they tend to last longer than your typical white picket fence.
Benefits Privacy Fences Offer
Fort Collins privacy fence installation services have taken off in Northern Colorado for many reasons, from rural homeowners needing to keep animals from wandering into their property to urban dwellers looking for more security. It’s easy to see why privacy fencing is becoming more popular, especially with more designs and materials being used than ever before. Here are some benefits of privacy fences to consider:
Many fences don’t adequately serve as boundaries or obstacles to intruders, but rather serve more as decoration. The white picket fence can add a clear boundary to your yard, and it looks pretty, but a high privacy fence offers more functional benefits.
Unlike a white picket fence, privacy fencing adds some shelter from the elements to your property. Since privacy fences are so tall and sturdy, they can act as windbreakers, shielding your property during storms or high winds. If you have plants that need some extra protection, privacy fencing can come in handy. It can also provide some much-needed shade in the summer months.
A Secure, Private Perimeter
Privacy fence installation is all about security. That’s the obvious benefit of a privacy fence, right? Along with keeping prying eyes out of your backyard, privacy fencing discourages animals and would-be trespassers as well. Privacy fencing also does a great job of keeping your animals and children in your yard. It’s much more difficult for your dog to jump over a privacy fence than a waist-high chain link.
Privacy fences, again in part because they’re tall and made from thick, sturdy materials, can also help reduce all the noise flying around and through your property, particularly if you live in an urban area. With Fort Collins growing all the time and more people discovering the beauty of Northern Colorado, many quiet neighborhoods are becoming noisier all the time.
The Many Decorative Options
Some people may not think that a privacy fence has the full style that they are looking for, and it may be true that wrought iron, stone and other materials are viewed as being more decorative. However, wood fences do have some decorative options as well. For example, you can use brick or natural stone as the fence post material.
You can install the slats horizontally for effect, or you can add a top trim piece to the fence to give it more character. These are only a few of the many decorative options available for you to consider, and your fence company may provide you with others that are common or popular in your area.
Available in Several Styles and Materials
Installing a new fence on your property is a great way to boost property value and add functionality and style to your space. If you are wondering which type of fence you should install, take a closer look at the benefits of a privacy fence. This may be the right fencing solution for your needs.
If you’re interested in Fort Collins privacy fence installation, there’s no better selection of materials to fit your property and still provide all the benefits of a privacy fence to your home than at Altitude Fencing and Deck. With several styles to choose from, you’ll find the perfect fit for your home, whether you need serious protection or just another boundary to delineate your property.
Spring has come at last and summer is around the corner in Northern Colorado, so the time is ripe to make sure your backyard deck is ready for the warmer months. And if you don’t have a deck, that’s where a Fort Collins deck installation expert team can help you turn your outdoor areas into a prime hangout.
For your existing deck, where should you begin? Getting your deck and outdoor areas “ready” is primarily concerned with making sure your outdoor furniture is undamaged and able to withstand another season, ensuring the deck itself will be durable enough to host guests, and tidying up your outdoor spaces. The overarching theme of deck prep is you and your guests’ comfort. Going over your equipment (i.e. grills, outdoor lighting, fire pits, etc.) will help you make plans for when the weather gets hot and clue you in on which types of events you can host at your home.
Spring Deck Preparation Tips
Whether you plan on hosting large bar-be-ques on your backyard deck or simply want a place to sit and enjoy the sunshine, there are several considerations you should make before summer kicks off in earnest:
Look for signs of rot
Look for signs of rot such as soft spots, discoloration, the splintering of the wood, and loose boards. Do a thorough inspection of your deck surface to find and replace all or part of the wooden boards that are rotten. You can always hire a trusted deck installation company to do necessary updates to maintain your deck’s safety.
If you’re still looking for new deck installation, you won’t have to worry about rot right away. Consider which materials you’re using for your deck. Pressure-treated pine wood, for example, isn’t as susceptible to rot as a natural redwood deck.
A fun deck is a clean deck
Before you do anything else, clean your backyard deck. Go through whatever clutter you have on your deck and wash the surface. If you have a wooden deck, power wash in cooler months to avoid putting stress on your deck wood. After you’ve washed your wooden surface, consider re-staining the deck if it looks like the protective layer has flaked or been damaged since last summer. If you have a deck made from faux-wood or most other materials, you won’t have to worry about staining. For more deck clean-up steps, click here
Add color and light
Adding a splash of color is a great way to spruce up your deck for a new season. Rather than painting the deck itself, restrict your painting to deck chairs, furniture, etc. A fresh coat of paint on your deck chairs will make them look good as new.
Another addition that is sure to bring any backyard deck party to life is outdoor lighting. Depending on your property, bringing lights to your deck could be as easy as running an extension cord outside. For more elaborate light set-ups, you’ll need to install power outlets or lines to your deck. For more on color and lighting, click here.
Summers in Northern Colorado can be hot, and the sun is intense at this elevation. Consider where and how to place shady areas throughout your outdoor areas. There are, of course, infinite ways to create shade, but the most popular are wide umbrellas (which can be moved and placed in other sunny spots as needed), canopies, or curtains. Curtains work well on roofed patios to keep the inside cooler and the insects out.
For a more permanent option, consider having your deck installers add on a shaded area to your deck.
Another consideration that might be difficult to visualize in winter is the use of plants to add decoration and function to your outdoor gatherings. Planting fragrant and colorful flowers is sure to wow your guests and add a sense of comfort to your cookout. Plants can also be used to repel pesky insects like mosquitoes. The best plants to keep mosquitoes away are marigolds, lavender, and catnip (although you might replace your mosquito problem with a cat problem).
Adding a Backyard Deck
Cleaning, repairing, and setting up your deck will ensure that your outdoor parties have the perfect setting all summer. Adding a deck is an investment that pays for itself in entertainment and outdoor comfort for years to come. If you’re thinking of adding a brand-new deck to your home, consider contacting Altitude Fence and Deck, Fort Collins deck installation experts who have improved home outdoor areas in Northern Colorado for years.
Altitude Fence and Deck has worked with many landlords throughout Northern Colorado looking for custom Fort Collins fences. Our products stand the test of time and can help improve security and property values.
If you’re a landlord, property decisions are much more complicated than if you were only a private homeowner and resident. You’re not only responsible for your own property; you’re responsible for marketing that property to the right renters and then maintaining that property for your tenants. There is of course no end to the improvements you can do to your property, and there’s no end to the requests for better facilities and repairs, too.
When looking for fencing options for rental properties, there are many options to consider, and many factors that private property owners and residents don’t have to deal with.
Custom Fences for Rental Properties
Landlords are in a unique position. They’re at once maintenance foremen and women, marketers, sales people, and friendly neighbors. They have to collect rent and improve their properties so they can gain more from their rental investments. For all property owners, installing a fence is an investment in their future security and property value. For landlords, they must also impress current and would-be tenants. Even though it’s the landlord’s investment, new custom fences benefit the tenants.
What should you consider before investing in a new fence for your rental property?
For your own home, wood can be the perfect fencing material. You can use a variety of elegant styles and types of wood to achieve just the perfect look for your outdoor space. However, wooden fences require more maintenance than other fences (read more on fencing material considerations here).
Ornamental aluminum fencing can make any property look more upscale, and it’s easy to maintain. You don’t have to worry about your fence rotting or fading in the hot sun. Aluminum won’t rust or color in the snow and ice of winter, and it won’t warp in summer. Fixing aluminum fences is usually easier than fixing wooden ones.
Another option is PVC fencing. Although this material isn’t as elegant as aluminum, it’s as durable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective as aluminum fencing.
Aluminum and PVC are usually the most cost-effective materials you can rely on to protect your rental property and add value to it. But there are other materials that have their benefits as well. Wrought iron fencing is more expensive, but the security this material provides is unparalleled. Iron fences won’t break down over time, either, and require minimal maintenance.
Vinyl fencing is easy to install, easy to clean and care for, and customizable with many different colors and styles, but it’s also on the more expensive end of the scale.
To read about other fencing materials, click here.
There are more factors that you don’t control when you’re a landlord trying to make improvements to your property. Notifying your tenants and getting them to keep themselves and their pets away from the installation crews might be a challenge in some cases, although, your tenants might be enthusiastic about the work, especially if they’ve complained to you about the need for a fence.
The main issue with installation, other than the work itself, is the scheduling and safety concerns. Make sure your tenants know when and where the fence will be installed so they know to steer clear. If you’re installing a fence in part because of dogs, make sure your tenants know to keep their pets out of harm’s way, too.
You may find that the best time to install a fence, if possible, is between tenants.
Creating a Beautiful Outdoor Space
Landlords and regular homeowners alike invest in fences because they not only add security, they add a bit of elegance and beauty to your outdoor space. Invite your tenants to put flower planters next to the fence, or to dress up the gate. Add some of your own easily maintainable landscaping touches like flower beds or garlands to the fence after it’s installed to make your property even more attractive to tenants. You could make the gate the grand entrance with some natural décor.
These considerations will get you started on your fencing project for your tenants. If you decide to install a fence, consider Altitude Fence and Deck for top quality services and results.
Do-it-yourself projects around your home are very often rewarding and cost-effective ways to improve your property. However, as Fort Collins residential fences experts can tell you, there’s plenty that can go wrong when installing your own fence that can cause you to go over budget and spend entirely too much time on a less-than-satisfactory product.
This is not to discourage you from attempting home improvement projects around the house or disrespect your DIY prowess. There are certainly numerous projects that could bring about just the end result you want. But as a homeowner, you need to be aware of what could go wrong in a fencing DIY project, and why you should consider hiring professionals to at least help you with the job.
Before you start your next fencing project, with professional help or otherwise, you should consider a few things.
First, know why you want a fence in the first place. Do you value your privacy? Are you near a busy street and want to cut down on traffic noise? Do you have small children or pets who might wander off when playing outside? Determining the reasons behind your fence will help you make other decisions about fencing materials, height, and length.
You should also consider the maintenance work you’ll be doing on your fence once it’s completed. The prototypical white picket fence is usually made of wood, which requires more maintenance than other materials because the slats and posts can warp and rot over time if not properly maintained.
After you know what you’re getting yourself into and what you want, consider hiring Fort Collins residential fences experts.
Reasons Why Hiring a Fort Collins Residential Fences Professional is Worth it
The first reason stems from a common misconception by DIY fencers. Many DIY-ers swear by their obsession with hand tools and paint because they believe it’s cheaper to complete home projects (like installing a fence) themselves than hiring professionals. While it’s certainly possible to build your fence for less than a professional would do it, you almost certainly need experience in this work to complete it will at a cheaper cost.
A professional job is much cheaper and faster than an inexperienced fence install. Have you ever tried to draw perfectly straight lines on a field for a pick-up game? Simply building a consistent and straight fence is difficult, let alone digging the post holes and hammering in the fence planks. The right fence installation company will go over the cost with you and help you make the right decision for your budget.
2. Correct Installation
The next reason is a simple concept: you can trust the fence will be installed correctly the first time. This ties into the first reason because an improperly installed fence is a quick way to go over-budget. Do your homework and find a quality fence installation team in your area so you can trust them to build your fence correctly. You’ll save yourself money and the headache of wondering if your fence will last and do its job properly.
Fencing experts also know the best materials for each scenario. So if you tell them why you want to install your fence where you want it, they’ll suggest the materials that will be the easiest to maintain and will stand up to the fierce northern Colorado winter (and fall, and spring, and summer, for that matter). The last thing you want is a fence that starts to rot at the first sign of moisture.
3. Easy Maintenance
The final main reason for hiring professionals to install your fence is that you can expect easy maintenance once it’s installed. Reputable professionals make it easy for their customers to keep their fences clean and structurally sound.
If there’s ever an issue with your fence and you need to have it repaired, you can call up your installers for repair work you can count on. Usually, fencing companies will help you out if something unexpected happens to your fence. Also, since your fence installers used the best-possible materials and their expertise the first time around, you won’t have to worry about premature maintenance tasks. Fencing specialists will also usually discuss the best maintenance tips when you choose your fence and materials.
4. It Requires More Expertise than You May Think
Attractive, modern fences often use a mix of materials and require skill and experience to install masterfully. You may need to be well-versed in mortaring, carpentry, welding, and metalworking. In fact, even the simplest fence can be a hassle to install. Fence installation is by no means simple, and there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong.
For example, professionals will accurately measure every part of your fence. However, if you’re off by even a fraction of an inch, that inaccuracy will be magnified down the line of your fence. It’s all too easy to end up with a lopsided or uneven fence.
5. It’s Hard Labor
Let’s face it—fence installation is hard work. You’re out in the elements doing backbreaking work. Fencing materials can be quite heavy, and digging postholes is no one’s idea of fun. There’s ample opportunity to injure yourself as well. Wouldn’t you rather be inside relaxing or spending time with your family? When you use a professional fencing installer, someone else gets to do the hard work.
6. Professionals Have Access to Better Materials
If you try to erect a fence yourself, you’re going to have to choose, purchase, and haul your own materials. You’ll be limited to what you can get in a home improvement store and probably won’t be able to buy direct from a fencing manufacturer.
On the other hand, if you choose a professional fence installation service, they’ll have access to a wider variety and better quality of materials. You’ll be able to work with your fencing contractor to secure the exact type and style of fence you want. You can even get custom features and decorative elements that would be difficult or impossible to obtain on your own.
7. You Can Get a Good Warranty
If you go the do-it-yourself route with your fence, there are no guarantees. You might be able to get a short warranty on the materials themselves, but there is nothing backing up the quality of the workmanship or installation. If you overlooked a detail or made a mistake, you may have to start the job from scratch.
Of course, if the installation is done by a professional fencing company, then the work will include a warranty. The best companies even offer multi-year guarantees. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, it will be made right.
5 Rules for Finding the Right Professional Fence Company
While you may know the value of hiring the pros, picking out a fence company can be a difficult process due to the sheer amount of companies and differing rates. While prices seem like a definite starting point, they don’t always determine the actual quality of the work that will get done. Your fence is going to have to blend into your landscaping and stand as a lasting structure on your property.
You should pick out a company that will build a fence that suits your needs. The following are some rules you should follow when picking the right company.
1. Never Base Your Decision on the Quote
Money isn’t everything, as the saying goes, and you shouldn’t base your decision solely on the price of the job that will be performed. This is the number one rule because the differences between individual fencing companies go beyond the price.
2. Services Should Be Personal
This almost goes without saying, but you should choose a fence company that will work with you as an individual. Sometimes different companies will go for quantity over quality, and your project will be treated as a number. You might even end up with something completely different from what you asked for.
Work with a company that adheres to the previously placed schedule, obviously accounting for weather and other incidents that might delay construction. Companies should come up with a clear schedule that shows the project from its start to completion. Simple fencing repairs usually last a day, but larger projects could last up to a week.
4. Guarantees and Offers
A fence company should work to create a lasting relationship with its customers. Most often, that means giving a guarantee for completed projects, which means there will be free repairs if something goes wrong. However, the company could also provide offers such as discounts on repairs or replacements in the future as the new fence is worn down over time.
5. Look Out for Any Signs of Potential Problems
Your intuition is a lot more valuable than you think. Many people get a gut feeling right off the bat, but go through with a project anyway out of guilt or resistance towards those feelings. While being critical of your doubts is a good thing, you should not be afraid to back out if you feel like something is wrong.
A fence is the visible border for your back yard and blends into the landscaping to create a cohesive yard. It helps provide a sense of privacy and safety to the yard as it protects from onlookers and animals that would try to get in. Fences wear down over time and eventually you will need to hire a fence company for maintenance.
Choosing a fencing company can be hard work because there is a lot of competition in the industry. However, if you pay attention to the above rules, then you should be able to weed them out and get the fence company you can trust for the project at hand.
Professional Help Matters
Again, don’t be afraid to try some DIY projects around your home, but fencing is more complicated than it seems. Consider hiring professionals to get a fence guaranteed to last and give you want you want for your property.