10 posts / 0 new
Last post
cambridge
Faulty Fence ?

A friend & neighbor is having her fence rebuilt.

The first panel is made with full (one piece) vertical slats. The remaining panels consist mainly of half-slats with a seam in the middle.
I have never seen a fence made this way and it strikes me as shoddy construction.

Would appreciate your advice as to whether she should accept this.

A. Spruce
Re: Faulty Fence ?

The contractor probably could not find enough of the smaller slat to do the entire fence, so he substituted the larger slats for the last panel. Unless this was part of the agreed upon design, all the panels should match, and your friend has leverage to have it changed as long as she's not given final payment.:)

A. Spruce
Re: Faulty Fence ?
asc2078 wrote:

When you say "half-slats " I am wondering how they are spliced or joined in the middle? I did not see a center cross-rail in your picture.

It's kind of hard to tell, but if you look at the picture closely, the front panel uses a 1x6 picket, the remaining panels look to use 1x4 pickets. I think this is what the OP was referring to when referencing to "full" and "half" slats, and not a butt splice, which was my initial thought too from their wording. Just an edjumakated guess. ;):D

A. Spruce
Re: Faulty Fence ?
asc2078 wrote:

Correct terminology is always helpful, isn't it?

DB.

This is where being bilingual has served me well. I'm fluent in homeownerese. :p;)

hedgeclippers
Re: Faulty Fence ?

I have a different take on what everybody else is saying about the fence. I think the wood is too knotty and the fence is quite ugly because of that. As for the slats being a different size I don't know maybe they are. Pictures can be deceptive and I am not saying that the picture taker was being deceptive I am saying it is all in how you look at something that can deceive the eye. I give one example, draw two lines on a piece of paper. Make sure the other line is further away from the first one and off to the side. Also make sure that the lines are exactly the same length. Now if you have done it right you can ask several people which line is the longest and they will not be able to tell. So I would measure the wood and it probably isn't off too much if at all. If you are on really good terms with your neighbor who owns the fence maybe that person will allow you to take that portion of the fence down and you could then put up a pvc fence which would look a great deal better. If not then you are stuck with the fence unless it goes into your property. Of course you could always put up a taller fence on your side that would cover that eyesore. Good Luck!:)

goldhiller
Re: Faulty Fence ?

I'm in the camp of......

The boards are spliced. Horizontal seam halfway up. Kinda easy to see on the one board which distinctly and abruptly changes color half way up.

Grabbing the pic and blowing it up with an editing program didn't hurt, either.

No, it's not acceptable in my book. Aesthetically, it's bad. Structurally, it's bad. And....it creates an ideal place for water to gain access to the end grain. Nothing good can come from that.

Running a horizontal nailer so those ends can be nailed/secured.....creates a place for water to get trapped between two layers of wood which will lead to accelerated degradation (rotting) of that wood. (The wood can be readily wetted, but cannot dry out rapidly.)

A. Spruce
Re: Faulty Fence ?

You might be right Goldie. It would be nice if the OP would return and clarify. I pulled the image into a photo editor and the results were less than definitive.

goldhiller
Re: Faulty Fence ?

Gotta say too that the whole deal looks ill-conceived to me.....if what I think I see is actually what is there.

We gots top and bottom pieces comprised of treated stock.......but the bulk of the fence is comprised of non-treated T&G pine boards. (doesn't appear to be cedar)

Also appears to be a bead of caulk along the bottom of those T&Gs in an attempt to keep water out of the created joint/seam. This is doomed to failure all too soon. The wood down there will almost certainly soak up water.............causing the caulk to fail/lose adhesion..... because of wetting from the backside. When this happens, the caulk that's suppose to "save" it all from premature destruction.......will instead become a "guidance" system which will direct and trap water exactly where it will be the most destructive to the wood.

There are far better ways to design/engineer a fence of this basic "frame and panel" style....that will be a better value over the passge of time. Yes, it will take some milling and more careful and time-consuming asssembly, but it's still a better value....despite the extra associated costs of construction.

IMO, we're seeing WAY too much of this "cheap and dirty" and no-thought-required approach to building all manner of stuff in recent decades......in which the ravages of weather and the nature of wood aren't suffciently taken into account. (Things are built as if they're going to reside under roof somewhere) Caulk is used as if it's to be the "savior" of "cheap & dirty" ......when better engineering is truely in order.

Okay.......down off my soapbox now. :D

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.