Archive for April, 2012

How Not to Build a Fence

April 1, 2012

Three years ago, we hired Capital Fence to replace the deteriorating old fence around our yard. They’re a popular fence company here in the DC/MD/VA area, so I assumed they’d do a reasonable job. It wasn’t until they were building the fence that I learned that

  1. They just stick the posts in the ground, with no concrete or other means of keeping them from heaving seasonally, and
  2. They use nail guns, not screws, to put the fence together.

The result? Within a year, I was having to make repairs to our new fence because of warping boards pulling out the nails and heaving gate posts pulling the gate so far out of alignment that the lock wouldn’t open. Buyer beware: ask detailed questions before signing a contract. Even if they are a big name. I couldn’t imagine that professionals would use such poor construction methods, but by the time I found out it was too late.

Here are some closeups of our three year old fence. I’ve got some work ahead of me driving in deck screws to pull it back together.

Here are some examples of warping boards pulling the nails out.
Warping board pulling out on top
Warping top board

Boards pulling apart

Boards warping at the bottom

Here is a closeup of the gate lock showing the original top screw hole above the lock. I had to drill new holes because the post sank so much that the lock no longer lined up.
Gate lock misalignment due to sinking

Here’s their sign on this shoddy work.
Logo of fence company to avoid