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Choosing The Right Fencing

There was a time when the most common fence material used here in Victoria was wood. In fact it is still very widely used, but today there are many other options that provide attractive style, privacy and security, along with greater durability and much lower maintenance.

Wrought Iron Fence

Things to Consider

Before you get attached to one type of fence, take some time to consider these points. They may inform your decision regarding the style of fence you choose and the materials you use.

Here in Victoria, we have a wet climate which causes wood to deteriorate over time. Still, some love the look and style of cedar, so be prepared to invest much more time into maintenance and re-finishing. Temperature can also be an issue which may impact the construction of a fence. For example, if you experience very cold winters, your fence posts should have concrete anchors to withstand the effects of frost.

Do you need privacy? Do you want to keep your kids and pets safe? Do you want a bit more security for your property? Maybe you simply want to improve the curb appeal of your home. Consider the “why” of your fence. Likely you have a few reasons to install or upgrade your fence. These reasons will overlap and help you choose the best style and type of material to use.

A chain link fence will not be as sexy as a wood or vinyl fence but depending on the “why” it may be just what you need. Each fencing material has its own visual appeal which may or may not be what you like. Sometimes your dream fence might not be best suited for your climate or purpose, so flexibility with your vision may be required.

City Bylaws
Before committing to a specific type of fence, check with your city to ensure that your proposed fence meets the code requirements of your neighbourhood. You will likely need a permit to erect a new fence on your property.

Here are some links to bylaw information in Greater Victoria:

City of VictoriaSaanichCentral SaanichSidneyOak BayEsquimaltSooke

Types of Fencing Materials

Aluminum often represents a very economical and practical fencing solution. Aluminum fences have a clean look which can blend in to the environment while being extremely low maintenance and secure (especially with spear top fencing). They do not rust, are rakable (sloping ability) and recycled aluminum is an option for those who appreciate using environmentally friendlier products.

In fact, when people ask us what type of fence material we prefer, we almost always recommend aluminum.aluminum-fence

If privacy is the primary factor, then wood fencing might be the best choice for you. Although wood will require regular refinishing and maintenance, especially in wet climates, it will add value and curb appeal when professionally designed and installed. Wood also has numerous styles, from picket fences to split rail, and wood and wire.cedar fencing

Did you realize that vinyl fencing has nearly 5x the strength of wood, is flexible to withstand wind and is ideally suited for locations by the sea, which may have salt water exposure? There is almost no maintenance plus your dog cannot chew it up. Vinyl fencing materials are also non-toxic and recyclable.vinyl fence

Wrought Iron
If you want high end decorative fencing which is also very durable and secure, wrought iron would be a good option. While it doesn’t provide privacy, it is very strong and remains impervious to insects. This is the most expensive option and also one of the most elegant and timeless.wrought iron fence

Chain Link
A purely functional fence, for protecting children and pets, this is a simple and affordable option perhaps best suited for a back yard.chain link fence

While not commonly used in the Victoria region, bamboo fences are the most environmentally sound, stronger than wood, pest resistant and less expensive than wood. It may or may not be your style but it is a strong alternative to wood for a privacy fence.bamboo fence

And So…
We recommend using a professional contractor to install your fence. Call a few…discuss city bylaws, permits, fence material and style with them before deciding on which option to proceed with. With all of these fencing choices (plus a few more we haven’t discussed) you’ll be able to balance form and function and budget.


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Home Exterior Improvement Part 4: Garage Doors

Home Exterior Improvement Part 1: Clean Up Your Yard
Home Exterior Improvement Part 2: Small Things
Home Exterior Improvement Part 3: Doors and Windows
Home Exterior Improvement Part 4: Garage Doors

boring garage doorBeing that we are a garage door and gate company here in Victoria, we would be remiss not to mention the impact that garage doors have on the exterior of your home. Garage doors, in some cases, may take up to 40% of the façade of your home and may be one of the first things that people see. Neglecting your doors has a significant impact on safety, function and visual appeal.

Let’s see how we can solve that.

DIY Refreshing

Are your existing garage doors still in good shape? How can you know? There are a number of things you can check to determine the safety and condition of your doors. This includes inspections of the hardware including springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware.  You should also check the reversing mechanism and photo eye sensor.

See this for a more detailed look at garage door inspection.

Let’s assume that your doors are still in good condition. There are a number of ways to improve the look of your doors without having to replace them. Here are a few ideas that may inspire you:

Refinish Panels
If you have generic (that’s another word for boring) looking garage doors, white being very common, then refresh the finish by painting or even getting creative with a faux wood finish. You can refinish whether you have wood or aluminum doors. Refinishing your doors will give you a new look while extending the life of the doors.refinish garage door

Replace or Add Glass
If you have doors that have no glass, or glass styles that are sadly outdated, you can replace the panels and immediately give your doors a new look.add windows to garage door

Faux Glass
Don’t want to add glass? How about faux glass? You can add plastic resin faux panels to the front of your doors. Alternatively, you can even just paint some “windows” on your doors.faux windows garage door

Faux Hardware
Who says those handles and hinges actually need to be functional? Add some hardware to your door simply for visual appeal.faux hardware garage door

Door Replacement

So maybe your doors are in the twilight of their existence. Perhaps they don’t operate as smoothly as they once did and are quite possibly not safe anymore. Replacing the doors will improve function and give you the opportunity of upgrading the thermal characteristics of your garage. If you have no plan on selling you home, you will enjoy the form and function of your new doors. If you are planning to sell, the investment in the curb appeal of your home will likely be garage doors

As with all of our exterior improvement tips, there are budget options and more expensive options. As a Do-It-Yourselfer, you can refinish and really give a boost to the look of your garage doors, assuming they are still in good repair. If you need to replace the doors, it will require the service of professionals but it will be relatively quick and painless, while providing an upgrade for your own enjoyment or as a preparation for resale.

Home Exterior Improvement Part 1: Clean Up Your Yard
Home Exterior Improvement Part 2: Small Things
Home Exterior Improvement Part 3: Doors and Windows
Home Exterior Improvement Part 4: Garage Doors