• Pet Fences: How to Find the Right One for Your Dog

    According to a recent study, people in the United States spend more money on their pets than people in any other nation on earth. We’ll do just about anything to keep our furry friends healthy, happy, and safe, and that includes fencing in the yard to give our dogs a great place to play. How can you be sure the fence you choose will be the right choice for your dog? Read on for some helpful tips.

    • Size matters. Do you have a big dog or a little dog? If your dog is small enough to squeeze through, a fence with widely spaced pickets is not going to keep him safe. Likewise, a big, tall dog is not going to be deterred by a small fence. Think about the size of your pooch before you ever go shopping for fences.
    • What’s your dog’s special talent? Is it digging? Jumping? Climbing? Find a fence that’s designed to handle these acts of mischief, in order to keep your dog safe. If digging Is the problem, concrete blocks buried just under the fence line can help. If he’s a jumper, make sure the fence is high enough to safely contain him. It’s also smart to have your dog spayed or neutered so that the urge to escape is not as strong.
    • Fences are not just about keeping dogs in. They’re also for keeping other creatures out. Depending on where you live, your dog might face threats from accidental shooting or theft, or might be at risk from coyotes snakes, as well as rabid skunks, foxes, raccoons, and bats. Make sure you’re installing a fence that will keep things out, rather than shutting your dog in with them. What’s more, it’s a bad idea to ever leave your dog unattended in a fenced yard.
    • Consider the boredom factor. Dogs who are bored and restless tend to be more inclined to find ways to escape from the yard. Spend some quality time outside with your dog, getting some exercise, and leave some toys outside to keep your dog busy.
    • There are factors to consider beyond your dog’s needs. Before you put up a fence, consider how it will look next to your home. Think about the neighbors, too, and look for a fence that complements the rest of the fences in your neighborhood. You’ll also need to consider your own budget, as well as your aesthetic sensibilities.

    Once you’ve decided on your new fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to install it and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

  • Which Gate Do I Need for My Home or Business?

    If you’re installing a new fence for your home or business, you’ll need to choose the right gate. Especially if you’re installing a fence for security, the gate you choose is an essential part of keeping your property secure. No matter how impenetrable your fence may be, if the gate isn’t up to par, the security won’t be either. How do you choose? Here are some factors to consider.

    • First, consider the purpose of your gate. Are you putting it in for security, or simply to improve the façade? Once you identify the reason you need a gate, you’ll be better able to narrow down your options.
    • Aesthetic appeal is important. The architectural style of your home or business should inform your choice of gate. Some gates, like those made of wrought iron, work well for a variety of styles. On the other hand, some gates only work for a very specific style. You would be unlikely to choose a galvanized steel gate, for instance, for anything other than a contemporary home or business.
    • Consider the practical aspects. These include things like maintenance the gate will require, ease of installation, durability, and your budget. It’s also wise to consider the size of your property so that you can choose a gate that’s proportionately appropriate.
    • There are several types of gates from which to choose:
      • The swing gate, as its name implies, swings in or out. It can have one gate panel or two, depending on the size you need, but it’s not a good choice if the area around the gate is sloped.
      • The sliding gate comes in two types: rolling and cantilever. Each of these gate types slides, but the rolling one has wheels, while the cantilever simply slides along a track. These gates are perfect for sloped ground but need a good deal of space on either side.
      • A vertical pivot gate moves up and down like a railway crossing gate. This is an excellent option for a small space but can be expensive and cumbersome.
      • Folding gates are great space savers because they fold in on themselves. They come in a wide range of styles, from simple to ornate, and can be temporary or permanent, depending on your needs.
      • Vertical lift gates slide on a vertical track. They work well when you’re short of space, and can either raise into the air or disappear into the ground.

    Whether you need a gate or a whole new fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to install it and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

  • 5 Reasons to Start Designing Your Spring Landscape Now

    If you’re like many people, you’re tired of winter and ready for spring. That’s all the more reason to start thinking about your spring landscaping. Why wait? Design your spring landscape now, and you’ll be prepared once the ground thaws and the clouds lift.

    • Your yard takes up a lot of space. If you look at the yard as an extension of your home, it’s the biggest room in the house. If you were going to redecorate a room, you’d take your time to establish a plan, wouldn’t you? There’s no reason you shouldn’t take the same type of care when you’re landscaping. Consider hiring a professional landscape designer to help you create a design that works with your home’s architecture.
    • During the winter months, you have time to think about priorities. Consider your budget and your list of ideas, prioritizing your list of thoughts in order to stretch the budget. What are your family’s current needs? Will they change any time soon? Establish a loose idea of your wishes and a solid sense of your budget before you enlist the help of a professional.
    • It’s smart to start early because makeovers take time. It will take time to create a plan, particularly if you’re communicating that plan with a designer. When you start in the off-season, you have time to plan, even if you need to modify that plan. What’s more, landscape designers are more accessible in the winter when it’s not as busy, so you’ll have a better opportunity for personal attention.
    • Sometimes, outdoor makeovers require permits. Permits can take a while to be processed: the average is 4-6 weeks. Because you’ll need your permits approved before you can begin any kind of construction, it’s smart to apply well in advance of when you plan to complete your project.
    • Schedules are more open in the winter. Your pace is probably slower, giving you more time to make decisions, and as noted, landscape designers have more time. What’s more, when you give advanced notice to the professionals who can make your vision a reality, you’re more likely to get the plum spots on their spring schedules.

    Overall, planning your spring landscaping during the winter months is just a good way to reduce stress and pave the way for your plan to go smoothly. If that plan involves a new fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to install it and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

  • Keeping your Pets Contained

    One of the biggest reasons for getting a fence is to keep your pets safe. So what do you do when your pets would rather not be contained? Whether you’ve got diggers, jumpers, or fence walkers, there are solutions for keeping them safely within the bounds of your yard.

    • Chain link fence is a tried and true containment system. It’s great for keeping animals out of a garden or keeping pets safely secured within the yard. It works better to contain animals that can’t climb, and unfortunately, pets can see through it. If you are concerned that your dog will be too interested in what’s on the other side of the fence, you can use PVC, woven through the chain link, to create an illusion of solid fencing.
    • Iron fences provide great security, as long as they’re tall enough. If you’ve got a dog who can jump a fence, you will need to make sure the fence is taller than the height he can jump. The beauty of iron fences is that they are often designed in such a way that there’s no place for animals (or people) to get a foothold and propel themselves over the fence. As with chain link fencing, the drawback is that dogs can see through iron fencing. If your dog is getting too excited by what he sees on the other side of the fence, you might want to plant a hedge strategically to block his view.
    • If you’ve got a digger, there are several different ways to keep him within the fence. You can bury chicken wire at the base of the fence, taking care to point the sharp edges away from the yard. You can also place large rocks, partially buried, along the bottom of the fence line. Another thought is to work on behavior modification, to keep your dog from digging.
    • What in the world can you do about cats? First, remove any trees that your cat can climb away from the fence. If removing trees is not an option, buy tree guards to keep the kitties off. If you’ve got chain link fence, get some fence extensions that attach to the top of your fence horizontally, and prevent cats from climbing over. If you’ve got an iron fence without horizontal bars, it may be enough to keep the cat contained.

    No matter why you need a fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

  • Improve your Curb Appeal with a New Fence

    If you’re considering a new fence, you’re probably thinking about security and safety. Maybe you want to keep your kids and pets safely in your yard, or keep intruders away, or protect your property from prying eyes. It may never have occurred to you that a fence could be an attractive asset, but in fact, you can greatly improve your curb appeal with a new fence.

    A decorative fence can draw attention to your home. Consider stately iron fences, and the elegant look they add to a house. Even if your fence is simple wrought iron, you can paint or decorate it to be eye-catching and beautiful. Use your fence as a trellis for beautiful flowering fines, place lush hanging baskets at intervals along the fence, or hang decorative birdhouses from it, to allow nature to bring it extra appeal.

    A new fence also shows buyers you’re taking care of your house. If you’re trying to sell your home, you want to put your best foot forward, and give the impression that your home is beautifully maintained. A fence around the yard shows that you care about the property.

    A sturdy fence also gives buyers a feeling of security. They know that if they purchase your home, there’s a beautiful, secure fence to keep their belongings safe. If they have children or pets, they’ll be able to imagine them playing in the fenced-in yard, secure and protected from harm. If the fence affords privacy, that’s another selling point, because prospective buyers can picture themselves enjoying the yard away from the prying eyes of neighbors or passers-by.

    If you already have a fence and you’re about to list your home for sale, walk the fence and inspect it for damage. Even as a fresh, new fence attracts the eye of prospective home buyers, a fence that’s poorly maintained or in a state of disrepair can be off-putting. Before you put your home on the market, complete any necessary maintenance or repair, or consider installing an entirely new fence.

    Whether you need help maintaining or repairing the fence you already have or you need to purchase a new fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • History of Iron Fencing

    Iron fences have a timeless quality, classic and stately. Perhaps that’s because they’ve been around seemingly forever, and we’ve all seen them surrounding elegant homes and large properties throughout our lifetimes. How long have they really been around? Let’s take a moment to consider their history.

    Wrought iron fences have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the use of wrought iron for fencing began in the 12th century in Europe. The first American forge was established in Massachusetts in 1644 at the Saugus Ironworks, which made both wrought iron and cast iron. Wrought iron fencing really took off in larger cities in the United States in the 18th century, with cities like Charleston and Savannah boasting beautiful wrought iron fences and railing. New Orleans has gorgeous ironwork as well, but most of it is cast iron, often shipped from Spain.

    What is the difference between wrought iron and cast iron? Cast iron has a higher carbon content than wrought iron and is cast in a mold. Wrought iron is more pliable, and so it is worked by hand. Wrought simply means worked, so it could also be known as worked iron.

    During the 19th century, steel passed iron in terms of architectural metal, but by the turn of the 20th century, wrought iron was enjoying a resurgence of popularity. With new and more sophisticated tools at their disposal, the wrought-iron craftsmen of this time made more complex designs than had been seen before. The result was some of the most beautiful ironwork ever produced in America, and it’s still in use today on many historic properties.

    Today, the term wrought iron is still used, but it’s difficult to find a traditional wrought iron craftsman. While wrought iron used to be shaped and designed by hand, machines have now taken over the production of wrought iron fences. The term wrought iron has, therefore, become somewhat erroneous, and now simply applies to ornamental fence design. It’s also called ornamental iron, and is very popular.

    Iron fences are versatile and can be customized to meet the needs of the property owner. They can be ornate or simple, and provide not only security but also curb appeal. They’re also extremely durable and require very little maintenance.

    If you’re interested in having an iron fence installed, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Choosing the Right Fence to Keep your Kids Safe

    Why do you need a fence around your property? If you’re like most people, it’s to keep your family, especially your children, safe and protected. When that’s the goal, take these factors into consideration.

    • A child-friendly fence shouldn’t have splinters. Often, as wooden fences age, the wood starts to break down. When that happens, it’s very easy for a child at play to get splinters from the fence. If you choose an aluminum or iron fence, it won’t require as much maintenance as a wood fence and won’t leave splinters in little fingers.
    • It’s preferable for kids not to climb the fence. However, because most children love to climb, they’re likely to give it a try. Remove the temptation by installing a fence with no handholds or footholds, and moving anything near the fence that might enable them to climb onto it. If you’ve got a chain link fence, you can privacy shields, weaving strips through the links for a more solid surface.
    • Durability is important when you’re putting up a fence to protect kids. Again, some fences require more maintenance than others and can fall into dangerous disrepair pretty easily. Going for a sturdy, dependable fence that doesn’t need maintenance will give you peace of mind about the kid playing in the yard.
    • It’s important that children be protected, yet visible. You’ll want clear sightlines with any fence in which kids are playing, in case you ever find yourself on the other side of it. An iron fence, for example, is a great option that ticks a lot of these boxes: it’s sturdy and dependable, hard to climb, yet can be seen through easily.
    • A fence needs to be too tall for someone to reach over and grab a child. That may sound dramatic, but it’s every parent’s worst nightmare, for someone to snatch a playing child right out of the yard. Installing a fence that’s at least five feet tall will help prevent this from ever happening, and pointed finials on top are an additional, optional security measure.
    • The gate to a child-safe fence should latch easily and securely. You should also be able to see at a glance that it’s locked, so you can be sure no children will escape the bounds of the yard.
    • Fence pickets must be close together to contain kids. Remember, small children can easily slip through a gap too small to accommodate an adult.

     

    If you’re ready to install a fence that will keep your kids safe, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Chain Link: Tried and True since 1844

    Ah, the humble chain link fence. Reliable and utilitarian, it’s a ubiquitous sight across the nation, whether along country roads, surrounding suburban yards, or protecting urban gardens. Would it surprise you to know that the chain link fence has been around since before the Civil War? Let’s take a look at the history of this fence so many of us take for granted.

    In 1844, a British man named Charles Barnard had an idea to create sections of fencing using a cloth weaving machine. He switched out the thread for some steel wire, and a new industry was born. With Barnard’s innovation, long stretches of fencing could be produced quickly and easily, and soon, metal fencing became popular throughout England.

    It didn’t make it into the United States’ manufacturing community until almost 50 years after its invention. In 1891, a New Jersey business known as the Anchor Post Fence Co bought the rights to the weaving machine, becoming the first company to manufacture chain link fences in the United States. It caught on fairly quickly, because it’s affordable, durable, lightweight, easy to install, and versatile enough to use in a host of applications.

    Chain link really rose to prominence in London during World War II. At that point, many iron and steel fences that had surrounded parks were taken down and used for scrap materials. In the United States, modern homeowners are often surprised to learn that their chain link fences are considered historic and cannot be taken down without permission from historic preservation authorities.

    Today, the chain link fence is still immensely popular, and in fact, half of the fences sold in the United States are made of chain link. Why is it still such a widespread choice?

    • Chain link provides high security and visibility.
    • This kind of fence is versatile and can be customized to meet a wide variety of needs.
    • Chain link fences can easily be customized to beef up security or increase your level of privacy.
    • Chain link fencing is affordable, and yet highly effective in protecting property and containing pets or livestock.
    • Chain link fences are perfect for gardens, because they can keep out unwanted animals while providing a trellis-like surface for plants to climb.

    If you’re interested in installing a new chain link fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Wrought Iron versus Ornamental Iron

    If you’re shopping for a fence, you may be drawn to the look of iron. Whether you choose a wrought iron or ornamental iron fence, you’ll have a strong, attractive fence that provides security and a safe place for kids and pets. It can be confusing to choose a fence, though, if you don’t understand the difference between wrought iron and ornamental iron.

    The primary difference between the two types of fencing is the material from which they’re made. Even though they’re both called “iron,” their actual composition is different. Wrought iron fences are made from iron, a naturally occurring material, often with iron silicate added. It’s rare for wrought iron to be made of 100% raw iron, but ornamental iron fences aren’t actually made of iron at all. They’re made from steel, a manmade material made from iron and carbon. Steel is more affordable than iron and easier to manipulate.

    There are other differences, as well. Wrought iron fences are typically custom-made, while ornamental iron fences are mass-produced. This means that ornamental iron fences have a more uniform look, while wrought iron fences have the hammer marks and other inconsistencies that indicate craftsmanship. Sometimes, fences are made from steel, but incorporate customized elements like frame caps, fence post caps, scrolls, and collars made of wrought iron.

    The benefits of wrought iron include the custom, unique designs into which it’s formed, and its reliability. Iron is a premium, high-quality material, heavy and solid, with a long life-span. On the other hand, wrought iron is often hard to find, and it takes a long time to create. It’s also typically expensive, because of the skill and labor involved in creating a wrought iron fence. Wrought iron is beautiful, though, especially for high-end architectural applications, and is preferred for restoring Victorian properties.

    Ornamental iron fences have many benefits too, including affordability, availability, and ease of production. It’s cheaper to ship and transport than wrought iron and can be modified or customized after purchase. Ornamental iron is easy to repair, match, or extend, and is often warrantied by the manufacturer for 10-25 years. The drawback of ornamental iron is that it’s more easily damaged than wrought iron and doesn’t last as long. It’s important to always ask about gauge thickness, and double-check materials for quality assurance. Ornamental iron is good for large scale jobs and great for securing a property. It’s also good if you need to install fencing on uneven or sloped land.

    If you’re shopping for wrought iron or ornamental iron fencing, trust A-1 Fence to meet your needs. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Why Chain Link Fences are the Best Fencing for an Urban Garden

    All over the country, abandoned lots in city centers are being transformed into blooming oases of vegetables and flowers. These urban gardens are a sight for sore eyes, and great news for the environment and food deserts alike, but how do you protect them from harm? There’s no better fixture for this job than a chain link fence.

    Why is a chain link fence so perfect for protecting an urban farm? Chain link fences are virtually indestructible. They can stand up to the ravages of time and weather, and when the buildings around them have crumbled, there’s a good chance that the fences will still be there. They are great for keeping people out, especially if you install a lock, and they can take a beating and come out standing; run a car into a chain link fence and you’ll find that the car is the loser in the confrontation. Despite all this rugged durability, chain link fences are a remarkably affordable option.

    Chain link fences are a great barrier to animals, too. If you happen to keep chickens in your urban garden, chain link will keep them safe, while keeping the neighborhood dogs at bay. Modify the fence with some chicken wire at the bottom, and you’ll even keep out tunneling bunnies. Meanwhile, squirrels, butterflies, and birds are free to use the fence as they please, cavorting, climbing, or just resting a while.

    What’s more, chain link fences lend themselves to plan support. Trellis-like, they allow vines to grow up their wires, and plants like tomatoes to use them for support. There’s even an ancient Roman horticultural technique known as “espalier” being revived that allows fruit trees to grow along fences rather than up into the air. As you can imagine, this makes it incredibly easy to pick fruit.

    If you’re concerned about the aesthetic appeal of a chain link fence, don’t be. People have long used their creativity to find ways to make chain link more visually interesting, whether by painting it, weaving things through it, or hanging things on it. Today, there are new techniques in stenciling and the creation of mosaics that can make a humble chain link fence into a truly impactful piece of art. The fence around your urban garden is really only limited by your imagination and artistic inclination.

    Whether you’re fencing in an urban garden or putting up a fence around your yard, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.