5 Tips On Choosing The Right Fence For Your Home

shutterstock_456001000Finding the best new house for you means thinking about details — from square footage to layout to landscaping — and that includes fencing. When you’ve found the right house plan and are building your dream home, you can’t forget to consider features that will make your home stand out. A quality fence is one such feature, able to enhance a home’s architecture, provide backyard privacy, add security and more.

How do you select the right fence for your home? Does it make sense to go for a picket fence or a privacy fence? Will you be happier with a low-maintenance option or one that is easy to replace when it needs repairs?


To help answer these questions, here are five key tips to keep in mind:


  1. Start with why you want one. To make sure you pick the right fence for your property, take the time to think about the fence’s purpose: Are you looking to enhance curb appeal or protect pets from traffic? Are you most concerned with fencing style or added security? Know what matters most to you. By defining your goals in adding a fence, you’ll be better able to prioritize what features to look for and how to make a selection.
  2. Think about aesthetics. Ideally, your fence will complement your home’s architecture and fit with your property’s style. With that in mind, think about what kind of fence would look good with your home. Just as a wrought iron fence may not fit a log cabin, a chain link may not fit a suburban home. Likewise, find out if there are any community regulations you must comply with when choosing a fence.
  3. Consider privacy. Determine how much privacy matters to you in your fencing choice. If you’re looking to protect your yard from unauthorized views or to create more of a retreat feel on your property, choose a fence that has no space between boards. If, on the other hand, privacy isn’t a big issue, feel free to look at wrought iron fencing, fencing with space between slats, and other options that don’t necessarily block views.
  4. Explore your options. Today’s market includes fences in a wide range of styles, from classic picket fences to durable metal railings. Explore the options that are available, from designs to materials, and get inspired with possibilities. Some possibilities to explore include wood, chain link, vinyl, composite, ornamental metal and galvanized steel.
  5. Understand fence maintenance. One of the biggest differences with different types of fences is how much maintenance they’ll require. While some fences need to be painted or stained every few years, others need little ongoing upkeep. Wood fences require a lot of maintenance, for example, but they are some of the easiest to repair. Vinyl or aluminum fences require almost no upkeep. However, if they get damaged, you have to find the original manufacturer and see if it still makes the same product. If you can’t find replacement parts that match what you have, you could end up replacing the whole fence.


shutterstock_498244105The bottom line with fencing? There isn’t one best choice for everyone. Rather, by looking at your specific property and needs, you can find the right fence for your home. When you’re shopping options for your new home, use the five tips above to guide your efforts. By starting with your reasons for getting a fence, thinking about aesthetics and privacy, exploring the possibilities, and thinking through fence maintenance, you’ll be equipped to make a decision you can feel good about for years to come.


Author bio: Dean White is Owner and Operator of Tru-Link Fence, one of the largest fence companies in northern Illinois. He has more than 30 years of experience in the fence industry. 

Make a Design Statement with Cypress

23087460_original(BPT) – As Americans design their dream homes, or plan the remodel of their existing ones, wood is once again becoming a prominent feature in their interior design schemes. One species in particular – cypress – is attracting the attention of both millennials in the suburbs and boomers along the shoreline. So what’s the appeal?

“Cypress is a unique wood that offers a variety of looks,” says Brian Meier of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org. “It’s readily available in visual grades ranging from knotty to knot-free. And it’s a beautiful wood. Its natural color, which typically varies from golden honey to light chocolate tones, can include red and olive hues. And while wood is a timeless building material that can complement any architectural style, cypress will make a design statement in any room.”

The Appeal is Real

Cypress is often the go-to material for siding and other exterior applications where good looks and durability really count, and rightfully so. However, it’s those same attributes that make cypress an ideal choice for indoor applications like high-end cabinetry and bold, built-in storage solutions.

Mandeville, Louisiana custom cabinet manufacturer Geoff Philippus agrees. “Thanks to its natural resistance to water, cypress is a great wood to use in wet zones, such as kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and even outdoor cooking areas,” he says. Philippus added that customers usually come to his custom shop with a design in mind, and he then offers suggestions on how to achieve their desired look.

“More often than not we introduce people to cypress, from new growth, reclaimed, river recovered, or pecky cypress with its naturally occurring 23087731_originalpockets and holes,” Philippus says. “It’s something they’ve never seen before, and they fall in love with it. We recently completed a massive kitchen island and matching built-ins showcasing pecky cypress. The visual effect is like nothing else out there and it’s one of my favorite projects.”

Add Some Personality

Plain walls and bare ceilings are passé. Today’s savvy homeowners are looking to add personal style to their living spaces beyond what a fresh coat of paint can provide. Adding a touch of cypress to the mix is a great beginning.

According to Mark Jefferson, a specialty woodworker from Palm City, Florida, “Nothing adds aesthetic warmth to a room like wood,” he says. “And cypress packs plenty of character and design flexibility. I’ve used it for everything from coffered ceilings and decorative doors to paneling and general millwork. Cypress also is excellent for structural design elements, such as exposed timbers and beams, which are popular because they open up a space, making ceilings seem higher and rooms look bigger.”

Be Inspired

Wooden furniture is synonymous with durability and a long-term investment that can be repaired, refinished and passed down from generation to generation. And while furniture can be crafted out of many different wood species, for custom furniture maker Jason Straw of Gainesville, Florida, his choice is cypress, and for several reasons.

“Cypress offers intense imagery and color, with a rich grain and texture that makes stunning furniture – or rather, functional pieces of art,” Straw says. “It’s a great wood to craft dining room tables, desks, vanities, headboards, and nightstands.” But for Straw, there’s an even greater appeal.

“I like using cypress, especially logs that are recovered from rivers and swamps,” Straw says. “To know that I’m using wood from a tree that probably started growing thousands of years ago – and has been under water for at least 100 years – is fascinating to me. The wood’s history is on my mind every time I work with it.”

You too can be inspired. Visit www.CypressInfo.org to explore the myriad ways cypress can make a design statement in your living space.

Playroom Upgrade: A Wall-Mount ‘Barn Door’ Makes More Room for Fun

22781563_original(BPT) – With spring fast approaching and the kids at school, there’s no better time to upgrade the playroom.

Why not swap out a traditional swinging door for a playful chalkboard wall-mounted sliding door? Your little artists can draw for hours on the chalkboard, plus the sliding door can add up to 14 square feet of floor space which means more room for spreading out toys, games and building forts. There’s also more flexibility in furniture arrangements. This means even the smallest nook in your house could turn into a cozy play space.

It’s easy to do with Johnson’s 2610SC Soft-Close Wall Mount Sliding Door Hardware. You can use it with virtually any metal or wood door from 1-inch to 1 3/4-inch thick, up to 60-inches wide, and weighing up to 200 pounds. The 2610SC Wall Mount includes hardware that gently slows the door’s travel speed to softly pull it into the fully open or fully closed position. The hardware works like a cabinet door closer, enabling doors to open and close quietly and securely. It also prevents door slamming and pinched fingers, as well as significantly reducing door operational noise.

The built-in satin finish fascia gives a warm decorative detail to the room (also available with bronze fascia). There are also adjustable door guides and smooth rolling tricycle hangers. You can set the adjustable track stops to control the door travel as well. The jump-proof aluminum box track is available in lengths up to 96-inches for single doors, and up to 192-inches for double doors.

The smooth rolling door hardware and track exceed ANSI standards, which means it can successfully complete 100,000 opening and closing cycles. Made in the USA. This is an easy project for an experienced handyman to complete. Check out the installation video for guidance: www.johnsonhardware.com/video.htm.

For more information, visit www.johnsonhardware.com/2610f.htm or call (800) 837-5664. Follow the Company on Twitter: @JohnsonHrdware, Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/johnsonhardware/ Instagram: johnsonhardware or Facebook: www.facebook.com/johnsonhardware1958.

Ready For Your First Move? Beginners’ Tips For A Successful Move

shutterstock_549354853Whether you’re a renter or whether you’re among the 35 percent of homebuyers who are settling into their own home for the first time, you probably have a lot on your mind as you approach your first move. From creating a broad overview to getting down to the nitty-gritty details and then into the execution of the plan, these tips will help you through organizing and carrying out this enormous project.


Moving Timeline:


As Early As Possible

Find the movers you’ll use and get your moving date locked in at least a few months ahead of time. You may also wish to arrange other moving services, such as:


  • Car shipping
  • Extra insurance for valuables
  • Packing services
  • Move-out cleaning
  • Child care or pet day care


Other tasks to start immediately include downsizing, making travel arrangements, arranging to transfer utilities to your new home (or canceling utilities and finding new providers), and getting paperwork together. Personal documents, medical and vet records, referrals for new doctors and emergency contact info are all included here. Keep this moving paperwork together in a binder or file folder for easy access.


One Month Before the Move

Some tasks to work on a month ahead of time include:


  • File a change of address with the post office
  • Notify credit cards of your new address
  • Find a new bank if necessary
  • Have school transcripts sent to your kids’ new school
  • Fill prescriptions, then transfer to a pharmacy near your new home
  • Start packing (beginning with infrequently used items)


You’ll also need to identify all the things you own that can’t go on the truck, such as:


  • Solvents
  • Aerosols
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Paint
  • Plants
  • Pets (obviously)


These can either go in the family vehicle or find new homes before the move.


Before Moving Week

Moving week will be filled with last-minute preparations, and you’ll probably be in a rush to finish packing. Before that week arrives, try to complete these tasks:


  • Use the perishable foods in your fridge and freezer
  • Donate extra non-perishable foods to a food bank
  • Take your car in for a tuneup
  • Make sure you have equipment for move-out cleaning


Moving Week:

Now is the time to wrap up loose ends before the movers arrive. These last-minute tasks include:


  • Defrost the refrigerator the day before the move
  • Fill nail holes in the wall
  • Make a list of everything you’re taking in the family car


Packing Tips

Look for online ads for free moving boxes or call local businesses like bookstores, print shops, liquor stores and grocery stores. Ask if they have any extra boxes you can take for free. Next, supply yourself with equipment, such as:


  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Labels
  • Permanent markers
  • Padding material
  • Moving dollies, straps and blankets (if it’s a DIY move)


Using soft items, such as hand towels and dishrags, to pad breakable items can save both money and space. Don’t skimp, though; it’s better to spend money on some bubble wrap than end up with broken dishes because you didn’t have enough hand towels to go around.


Other clever packing strategies you can implement include:


  • Use containers you already own (like suitcases, laundry baskets and pots) to pack other things in
  • Use plastic wrap to hold dresser drawers shut
  • Be sure to pack an overnight bag and an “open first” box
  • Pack glassware in wine cases
  • Pack plates vertically to reduce chances of breakage


As you put these tips into practice, remember to factor in time to relax and de-stress. If you feel overwhelmed, stop and remind yourself of the good things that await, like better opportunities at work or better schools for your kids. If the moving stress is negatively affecting your health, work or relationships, consider hiring additional moving help. Making your first move doesn’t have to mean doing everything yourself!


Author bio: Kim Schachtele is Director of Consumer Sales at Berger Allied, an agent for Allied Van Lines. Throughout her 13-plus years in the moving industry, Schachtele has held many positions ranging from inside sales to most recently managing Berger Allied’s new call center. Schachtele is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) and the Professional Sales Association (PSA).