What do I need to prepare before you come to build my fence?
We would appreciate all pots, plants, and other items to be moved away from the fence before we begin so our team can get straight to work.
How long will my wood fence last?
This a great question and can vary from each location. Things that can negatively impact the life of your fence is constant exposure to water, ground erosion, and plants growing on the fence. Ganahl Lumber has told us that cedar and redwood material will generally last 10-20 years left untreated outside. However, posts are usually where a wood fence will fail first since it gets the most exposed to the elements. We will generally use pressure treated posts for a standard fence but we can also use metal posts, for an additional cost. We recommend metal posts for premium horizontal fences to get the beauty of the hardwood for as long as possible.
Why are horizontal fences so much more expensive than traditional wood fences?
Two different reasons: the wood is more expensive and the building process takes longer. We use higher quality boards for horizontal fences because the boards are under more stress horizontally (higher quality boards won’t warp/move as much) and the higher quality boards will generally be more aesthetically pleasing.
Do you accept credit card?
Yes, we accept credit card. However, we do charge a 2.9% processing fee for credit card payments on the final job payment (not the deposit). This is what we get charged from the credit card companies.
How long does my stain last?
This can vary based on the type of wood, the type of stain, how much exposure the wood gets to sun/elements, and how bright you want the wood to look. Wood is a natural product and stain will fade over time (which can vary from a few months to a few years)
How does stain interact with different types of wood?
Really dense hardwoods, like Ipe, will last for decades outside but unfortunately take the most maintenance to look bright since stain/oil has a difficult time penetrating the dense wood. Softwoods, like cedar or redwood, easily absorb stain.
What types of stain do you use?
Generally speaking, there are two types of stain we will use: oil-based and a water-oil hybrid. Hybrid stains, like Penofin Architectural Grade or Sansin, have more color in them and will stay looking fresh the longest. The advantage of oil-based is twofold: 1) It is easier to apply; and 2) It is easier to reapply when you want to do maintenance: it is more likely you have to sand down hybrid stains to get a new coat on (a lot of work) whereas oil-based you only need to apply a cleaning/brightening solution.
How do the elements affect my stain?
Usually wood facing the sun and/or close to the beach will weather faster.
What about sprinklers?
Sprinkers are basically wood’s worst nightmare. The hard water we have in SoCal will discolor your fence, damage it, cause mold, and affect its appearance. We suggest plants that use drip systems for the ground near the fence.
Why does my fence have black spots on it?
These most likely are mold spots and are actually pretty common for wood near the beach or with a lot of moisture. These usually appear where water can sit, like the top of board or on the top cap.
Usually darker stains can hide this mold if you don’t want maintenance. Wood is a natural product and mold can grow on it, like most other natural products.
Why does my stain look like it is dripping?
Stain can appear as though it is dripping a few weeks or months after the stain is applied. Even though we wipe all of the excess oil as we stain, oil-based stains will occasionally have the appearance of dripping down the wood. This usually happens from excess water dripping down the fence and picking up some stain, usually on hardwoods.
The best solution to this issue is to use a hybrid stain, which is more water repellent and has less problems with drip. If you really like the oil-based stain and don’t mind more regular maintenance, you can sign up for a maintenance program or maintain the stain yourself (let us know if you want resources on this).
Why are there gaps between the boards?
Wood is a natural product and can shrink/expand depending on the moisture in the air and the moisture in the wood. Typically, wood planks will shrink a few days/weeks after they are installed, which results in small gaps between boards.
If you don’t want these gaps and/or want full privacy, we suggest using the board-on-board (overlapping) method or use grooved boards.
What will you do if I have a slope in my yard?
There are two main ways to approach a fence line that isn’t level: 1) Slope the fence or 2) Step the fence. Our teams are experienced with both methods and will suggest what they think is best for your particular yard. We will need to know before we start work if you have a preference on a particular method.
1) Slope the Fence: We take the end points (either of the entire fence or of a section that is a similar grade) and measure the same height from each point. The top of the fence will be a straight line between these two points.
2) Step the Fence: This method keeps the top of the fence level, instead of mirroring the slope of the ground. It looks like a staircase up the slope.
How do I decide on the gaps I want between boards?
We usually will have gaps between ⅛” and ¾”, depending on customer preference. We can also vary the gaps at the top of the fence. Please let us know if you have any preference on gaps or if you want to see different sized gaps before we install planks, which our team will be more than happy to show you.
If you want 100% privacy, we suggest using Tongue and Groove boards (which are more expensive). We do our best to mitigate the wood moving by properly spacing posts and using high quality fasteners; but we cannot stop the wood from moving/shrinking, which is amplified when not having gaps (and not using T&G). Gaps, in a sense, hide these imperfections in the wood which is why we recommend them.
What will you do if I have a slope in my yard?
Two general rules of thumb for horizontal fences: 1) keep the horizontal planks level at all times and 2) keep the fence as straight as possible.
1) Level Planks: We will step up hills and keep the boards level. Feel free to reach out if you want to see pictures of this, which usually look really cool.
2) Keeping the fence straight: Right angles are best; but if you have a natural curve (i.e. live on a corner lot), we can make the turn by a series of small angles. Overall, we do not recommend zigzagging the fence.