Tuesday, September 03, 2019
“Sometimes I see well-built fences, and sometimes I look at new installations and think, ‘that isn’t how I would build it and hope they didn’t pay a lot for it.’” This is what Steven Sarson sees when he drives through rural America. “Sometimes it is very satisfying, and sometimes it makes me cringe,” explains the Bekaert fence pro and regional sales manager, who has worked in the fencing industry for more than two decades.
Sarson, in addition to his sales and customer support role, also spends his workweeks answering customer questions and hosting fencing workshops and seminars for fencing contractors and livestock producers. He shares a few tried and true tips he’s picked up over the years.
It is important to know the purpose of your fence, including what animals you plan to keep in or exclude. Decide the type of fence you need. Is it a tall fence or short? Should it be barbed wire, fixed knot, or field fence? What will the stocking densities be? “Depending on stocking densities, a fence is either a physical barrier or a boundary,” explains Sarson. This all depends on what you are trying to do.
Good fences are usually made with quality materials and offers a long-term investment. Sarson would recommend high tensile wire for any fence installation.
High tensile wire is 30% stronger than low carbon options. It is tough and durable. The wire also tends to handle extreme temperatures, which means wire is less likely to buckle or sag. Having a quality fence provides benefits in the long run, such as longevity and low maintenance.
Building a fence doesn’t have to be difficult. Planning is the first step to installing a good fence. Finding a contractor is a great idea. Bekaert has a contractor locator that can find one in your area. Once you have a contractor, you can discuss the project and get ready for the installation.
There is also the product finder, which can help you pick out quality materials for your project.
The brace, Sarson says, “is the heart and soul of the fence.” He explains, if a brace is built incorrectly, it doesn’t matter the quality of materials or skill applied to installing the rest of the fence. If the brace fails, the fence fails. A well-built brace can absorb 6,000-pounds of pressure.
When using wood posts, DO NOT use square posts. Round posts, with all the growth rings in-tact, have the strength of the tree. “Those growth rings that make that tree stand strong, will do the same for the fence. A round post is basically a full tree treated,” Sarson says.
Square posts are susceptible to rot and are not as strong because they are either made of heartwood, which will not absorb treatment, or include only partial growth rings. Depending on terrain, availability and preference welded pipe braces are also a viable option.
Use brace pins instead of notching the wood to hold the brace together.
Tensile strength increases longevity of a fence and reduces cost-per-foot.
The greater the tensile strength, the smaller gauge, lighter weight and more ﬂexible the steel, which reduces cost per roll, risk of sag and number of fence posts needed to complete the project.
Here are some additional fence installation tips for your fence project:
Installing your fence, the right way the first time makes for reduced maintenance down the road. Build a fence that will stand the test of time. Need more installation help? Reach out The Fence Pros today.