10 Tips to Add Lighting to Your Fence!

(Just in time for Christmas and the holidays.)

Your outdoor spaces are just as important as your indoor ones when it comes to choosing great lighting.

Use these 10 tips to create a dazzling look on your fence with the right lighting:

  1. Add Solar Caps to Your Vinyl or Aluminum Fence                                                    Anchor Fence does sell, supply and install solar caps for vinyl and aluminum fencing which are available for order! These add lighting to your back or front yard and make your fence pop!                
  2. Use Up-Lighting for a Dramatic Effect.
    Using lighting that’s low to the ground and pointed upward creates a look that shows off your garden without being too harsh. It also shows off the texture of your fence, even at night.
  3. Create Shadows with Low-Placed LightingFence Lighting
    By placing lights low to the ground, you can cast harsh shadows on the fence or house, creating a dramatic look.
  4. Bright Spotlights Add Safety and Charm
    Use spotlights on your fence to illuminate areas for entertaining. The bright lights are helpful for guests when they are walking.
  5. Use String Lights for Decorative Lighting
    String lights are easy to install and offer a wide variety of styles so you can change the look of your fence lighting easily and often. These lights are also festive for the Christmas season!
  6. Use Accent Lighting to Highlight the Best Parts of Your Garden
    Experiment with lighting placed at various heights on your fence to make the area in front of it stand out. This is perfect for highlighting specific spots of the garden.
  7. Make Functional Lighting Fun
    Add lights to the underside of benches placed along your fence. This provides light with a fun look.
  8. Use Spotlights to Make Your Home Stand out
    Spotlights placed on your fence and directed at your house make it look extravagant and inviting.
  9. Use Lamps and Lanterns for Versatility and Function
    Lamps and lanterns, that can be moved as needed, provide an endless variety of lighting possibilities for any garden.
  10. Use Ambient Lighting to Set the Mood
    Lighting on a dimmer can be adjusted as needed to create the perfect look, every time.
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Top 7 Tips for Wood Fences: How to Make Your Gray Fence Look Great

Before and After If you live in Michigan, you know that we have thousands and thousands of gray and ugly fences everywhere. The problem is that wood fence cannot withstand the extreme temperatures of our state. People often think nothing can be done to make their gray and ugly fence look bright and beautiful for years to come, but there are many solutions. As the leading Michigan fence company, we have learned some things over the years. We hope our insights can help you and hundreds of home owners, housing complexes, businesses, and landlords/renters know how to turn the tide on the sea of ugly gray fences to something we can individually and publicly be proud about. An ugly gray fence can be a nagging concern and even an embarrassment. But a fence makeover, replacement and/or restoration project can be a permanent solution. A properly done fence makeover can make you proud when you drive up to your house, look out your windows, sit on your patio, and have family and friends over for a backyard BBQ, picnic, or a family party/event. Here are our helpful and proven tips that apply to a fence makeover and restoration project…

#1 РReplace rotting wood fence with a new vinyl fence that will last a lifetime

The prices of wood material has been increasing over the years, so much that a vinyl fence can cost the same amount as a wood fence, if not less. Unlike wood, vinyl fence will never rot or mold also most fence companies, including Anchor Fence have a lifetime warranty on vinyl material as opposed to wood material which normally comes with no warranty and does not hold up too well in Michigan weather.

#2 РRestore your wood fence Some fences, even those 15-30 years old can be made to look like new with a 2-3 day fence makeover restoration.

Years and even decades of gray/black mold, mildew, nail/screw black drip stains, and peeling paint, or old stain can be power washed away in one day on a typical fence!

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#3 ‚Äď Power wash the fence before you¬†stain it.

Professional power washing (also known as pressure washing) will clean away years of gray/black mold, mildew, nail/screw black drip stains, peeling paint, and old stain. Stain will also more easily adhere to a fence that has been properly power washed. Power washing is very affordable to have done by a fence makeover and restoration company. But if you choose to do the power washing on your own, you should use a pressure washer machine with 3000 to 3600 psi. Smaller home model pressure washers normally will not have enough power to adequately clean the fence before it is stained. If you don’t have access to a commercial pressure washer, you can rent one from Home Depot or an equipment rental stores for usually under $100 per day.

WARNING: When using a pressure washer be extremely careful because it is easy to permanently damage your fence by putting noticeable cut marks into the wood. If the spray accidentally hits your hands, arms, legs, or feet you can also experience serious cutting injuries since the powerful spray will quickly cut through clothing and skin. Be sure to wear safety goggles because splinters and dirt can easily get into your eyes. Wear very old clothes when power washing because you will get caked with layers of black gunk. Also be sure to power wash using the 25 degree tip for your sprayer. Smaller tips will burn cut marks in your fence and larger tips will not adequately clean the fence in preparation for staining. If you have never done power washing before, be sure to practice on some old throw away boards to get a feel for it before starting on your fence.

#4 ‚Äď Don‚Äôt use cleaning products on your wood fence.

There are a number of products on the market that promise great results to clean your wood fence. While some manufacturers may be unhappy with our experience, we have tried a number or products and not yet found anything that is worth the time, money, and hassle to use them. We have not yet found anything that works better than plain old fashion garden hose water coming through a commercial grace pressure washer to clean your fence and get it ready for staining. Fence cleaning products tend to be messy, add to your costs, are frustrating to apply, the chemicals can sometimes destroy the vegetation or grass around your fence, and frequently they just don’t work well. The only exception we have to this rule is that we do use a cleaning gel and scraper on fences that have old peeling paint. After the gel has been applied and the fence scraped, the power washing will get your fence ready for staining.

#5 – Be sure to check with your city or homeowners association about stain colors.

Some municipalities and homeowner associations have very specific restrictions on what color stain you can use on the fences in your neighborhood.

#6 РDon’t use a clear-coat finish, semi-transparent stains, paint, or poorly-rated solid stains.

When you use these type of products they will not cover over blemishes and nail/screw drip stains, variations in the old and new wood will be obvious, and normally the fence will only look good for a couple of years. This means that if you want a good looking fence you will need to spend the time, effort, and money to do it all over every 18 months to 3 years. Avoid using paint because over time paint will begin to peel in the high humidity and harsh winters of Michigan. Consumer Reports did a 3 year, 6 year, and 9 year study on fence and deck wood stain products and the hands down winner was Behr solid color wood stains for fences, decks, and siding. Many of the stains by other manufacturers didn’t even last 3 years. Behr stains provide quality, durable, and long-lasting results.

#7 – Work with your neighbors.

Many fences in Michigan are not stand along fences but instead are commonly shared fences with your surrounding neighbors. Work with your neighbors to avoid any disagreements on fence style, color and/or material.

Advantages of Installing a Fence.

A frame completes any work of art or picture. Similar to how a garden will appear with a fence. A garden fence not only adds to the overall beauty of the garden but also gives the entire landscape a more complete look. A fence can be erected around the front yard, backyard or around the entirety of the property. Adequate fencing adds to the security of your house and property as well.

The different styles of fence that you can choose from include picket fences, privacy fences and post and rail fences. You should take into consideration the average cost of popular fence types which include wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel and chain link. A drive through Michigan makes it clear that the vinyl and wood fence is the fence of choice for most of the residents.

Unlike wood, vinyl fence never weathers, rots or grows mold and moss. Vinyl fence also requires little to no maintenance. The most maintenance a vinyl fence may need is an occasional hosing down due to mud or dirt. Vinyl fence also comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose which color best suits your yard. This type of material also blocks out road noise and comes in 6 foot tall privacy styles which can also help with security and give privacy in your own backyard or front yard.

Western red cedar is the most popular type of wood material used throughout Michigan. This type of fencing offers natural insulation for the property by blocking the cold winds. It also acts as a sound blocker and is great for keeping down the noise from loud neighbors.

Cedar also acts as a natural insect repellent. The cedar oil acts as a deterrent to mosquitoes, termites and other bugs, which in turn protects itself as well as the surrounding property. Cedar wood contains natural thujaplicin, this makes it one of the most durable woods. It delays the wood from rotting away due to decay causing fungi and damage. Therefore, this type of fence will have a long lifespan if it is properly cared for. If you want to give your property an elegant look, steel or aluminum fencing is your best bet.

After you have made up your mind of the style and type of fence you want to build around your garden you can go about designing it. Depending on your needs choose a proper height for the fence. However make sure that it adheres to the local regulations for residential fence heights. The state of Michigan requires you to acquire a building permit in some cities. It is always a good idea to research your local laws and regulations before selecting a style and height of a new fence.

Begin your assignment by determining the location of the fence you need. Find out if there are any obstructions on the fence line such as shrubs or trees that need to be removed. If you have your installation by Anchor Fence, we will pull the permit for you. All you would need is a mortgage survey and signature approval from your neighbors, if this is needed in your city. Anchor Fence will also call Miss Dig to locate any underground power or gas lines in your yard before we dig. Be sure to let Anchor Fence know of any private lines or sprinkler lines before we start the installation process as Miss Dig will not mark these.

If you want your fence to be professionally installed, or just need the material to install, please give Anchor Fence a call (313)937-0101. If you are unsure of what type of material you want or if you have the measurements of the fence you desire in linear feet available visit our website to view the different types of material and style offered also have an online quote emailed to you. http://www.anchorfenceonline.com/

Tips for Staining a Wood Fence

Staining and sealing a wood fence can make the wood last longer and make the wood more resistant to mold and rotting. Stains can also make your wood fence more aesthetically pleasing as well as make your yard stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.

There are numerous ways to stain your fence including a paint brush, roller or paint sprayer.  For larger projects, it may be worth it to invest in a quality sprayer as it will make the job go much faster and save time on labor.  For smaller projects, a simple roller and paint brush for those hard to reach areas should work just fine.

Choosing a stain is the biggest decision you will have to make when staining your fence.¬† There are so many variations of stain offered and big box retailers offer generic brand stains at an affordable price.¬† Remember though, as is the case with so many things in life, sometimes you get what you pay for.¬† So be sure to do PLENTY of research before settling on a stain, look up reviews for the brand to get a better understand of how well the stain will work.¬† Going with a cheaper brand of stain without doing your research can mean re-staining the fence in just several years. Another thing to consider is the color of the stain and how it will look on your fence.¬† If possible, try and get a sample of the stain prior to applying it to the whole fence, this way you won’t regret spending all that time and hard earned money and in the end have to ¬† re-stain the entire fence.

Finally, it is time to stain the fence.  It is a good idea to wait several weeks if the wood is new for the treatments to settle in. If you live in a wet or humid climate like the Michigan, allow time for the wood to dry in warmer weather.  Make sure to apply plenty of stain to the fence and paint away!

If you need a wood fence to stain, please contact Anchor Fence for a free onsite or online estimate.

http://www.anchorfenceonline.com/Quotes.html

Stop Dogs from Digging Under Your Fence

digging-dog

A dog digging near a white vinyl picket fence.

If you are a dog owner, you may have seen your furry friend digging in the yard or at the base of a fence.  Dogs dig because, well, they are dogs.  They get bored, want to escape or just like to dig.  Stopping a dog from digging can be challenging and a dog that digs not only creates unsightly holes, but can create costly damage to fence, plants, lawns, etc.

There are quite a few solutions to keep a dog from digging under a fence.  The right solution may vary for each situation. You may want to test out a few different ones to see which works best for your dog and your landscaping.

Strategically Place Rocks/boulders

You can place rocks around the areas of the fence where the dog likes to dig.¬† This will block the¬†dog from digging¬†and once they try digging¬†they won’t have any luck.

Fill in the holes with rocks or dirt

Depending on your dog you can try filling in the holes with rocks or dirt.  Dirt may just encourage them to keep digging and provide constant work for you… it just depends on the dog.  You can also fill in the holes with gravel which makes it harder for the dog to dig.

Train Your Dog

If you have the time and knowledge, train your dog. If you catch them digging, stop them and correct the behavior.  This is your best bet because it fixes the source of the problem and will stop your dog from digging even if you move.

Hire a Professional

If it is too late and your dog has destroyed your fence or has dug up some fence posts give Anchor Fence a call (313)937-0101, we can fix that for you.

Have other ideas of how to stop a dog from digging under a fence?  Please share in the comments as we would love to hear them!