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Build a fence
Before thinking about the implementation of a fence it is important to choose the type of fence to be built. In the short term, fences are cheaper than low walls, but in the long run maintenance costs eliminate initial savings. If you prefer a wooden fence you need to know that the material is subject to insect attacks and to the putrescence caused by atmospheric agents, therefore it is necessary to preserve its integrity by treating the material with chemical preservatives. Instead, using plastic or concrete components, almost maintenance-free fences are built. For the construction of a fence, no municipal permits are required, but it is advisable to check the municipal technical office for any rules on maximum heights, usable materials, retreating from the borders to roads or public spaces.
On the market there are different types of wooden fences more or less resistant. In this case we must evaluate the use we want to make, because sometimes some fences are more decorative than supportive. - The half-timbered fences are an example of poorly resistant fences particularly suitable as support for climbing plants. The accordion trellises formed by hinged slats of soft wood or red cedar are practically unusable for the real fences, since their resistance is based exclusively on the poles and the currents. However similar fences made with barked rods nailed to poles and sturdy currents form resistant and pleasant barriers, but not ideal to protect the house. - On the contrary, planking fences form resistant and pleasant screens. It is difficult to climb from the outside on the vertically fixed boards, they offer protection both from possible intrusions and from the intrusive looks of the neighbors. The planking fences are built by nailing boards with thinned edges overlapping the horizontal currents. The tapered boards are made of rough wood with a thickness ranging from 1.6 cm to 0.3 cm, while the width of the boards ranges from 10 to 15 cm. The best ones are in red cedar but for convenience they prefer to buy soft wood boards. - Prefabricated panel fences are very common due to their particular ease of construction, in fact a fence can be made by nailing the prefabricated panels to the posts. Almost all the panels are made of intertwined or overlapping larch boards, inserted into rough wooden frames. The standard panels are 1.8 meters wide and have a maximum height of 1.8 meters. - The intertwined board fences are made by nailing boards with squared edges to horizontal currents, fixing them alternately on one side and on the other. Spacing depends on tastes. For privacy the edges overlap, for the decorative effects are distanced. - The traditional low fences are still widespread as "country house style" barriers on the front of houses where high fences are not needed. The narrow vertical slats, with rounded or pointed tops, are fixed with a 5 cm center distance. Since the construction by hand is laborious, prefabricated panels are available with slats in soft woods or plastic to further reduce the cost. - The fence posts and streams are low fences formed by simple horizontal currents fixed to short and sturdy posts are the modern equivalent of fences. Currently they are very used. They are often painted, although the finished wood with transparent varnishes or dyes is equally pleasant and lasts much longer. For such fences, soft woods and some hardwoods are mainly used, but those made of plastic are spreading more and more, thanks to the clean, new appearance and the fact that it is not necessary to repaint them to keep them in good condition.
Other types of fences
In addition to wood, there are other types of less expensive and more durable fences.
- Wire mesh fences, for example, are a purely utilitarian form of barrier made by stretching the metal mesh panels between the fence posts. The real wire mesh fences are made with square mesh nets tilted at 45 ° in strong galvanized iron wire or covered with plastic, suspended by high-strength metal wires stretched between the poles.
- The fence posts and chain are purely decorative elements to prevent trespassing from driveways and paved areas on flower beds and lawns. The metal chain is stretched between short stakes driven into the ground.
- Precast concrete fences offer the safety and durability of low walls and require very little maintenance. The horizontal interlocking sections are placed one on top of the other up to the necessary height. The paneling is supported by grooves made in the concrete pillars that are part of the system.
Implementation of the posts
Regardless of the type of fence you want to build, it is important to fix the posts firmly to the ground. The procedure for setting up the posts is valid for any type of post that is made of wood or iron. It is the type of fence that determines whether to implement all the posts first or one at a time together with the other components. With panel fences, for example, the stake is fixed in the ground while the fence is being built, instead with those in wire mesh, the series of posts is completed before laying the net. The first thing to do is to plant pickets on the ground and stretch the wires to keep the line straight. For a good anchorage the stakes are buried for about a quarter of their height. To remove the earth and carry out the excavation where the stake will stick, the appropriate hand drill is used. As a support for the base of the post to facilitate drainage, the void is filled with pieces of bricks or small stones. Hold the stake vertically and stop it in that position with boards nailed to the stake and to the stakes planted in the ground, checking with the level that it is vertical. For concrete pillars, rope tie rods are used. Insert more rubble around the pillar leaving the hole free for a depth of about 30 cm to be filled with concrete. The concrete is prepared with a part of cement, 2 parts of sand and 3 parts of gravel. Pour the concrete into the hole around the pole with the trowel and compress it with the head of a batten. The concrete is protruding from the ground level and it is left giving it a slight slope towards the ground. The concrete is left to harden for about a week before removing the struts. The paneled fences are supported temporarily with struts wedged against the pillars. The terminal posts are supported with two struts placed at right angles.