Worst Fence my Neighbor has ever seen!

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Old 06-05-06, 05:34 AM
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Worst Fence my Neighbor has ever seen!

We had a 6' privacy fence put up last Sept. PT pine. We sealed and stained it in about 30 days, as we were told to do.

The boards are warping bad.

The gate warped to where we had to move the latch to get it to close tight enough so it couldn't be pushed open.

I have called the fence guy and left him a msg, but I wanted to know what y'all thought and what he should be expected to do to fix it.

 
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Old 06-05-06, 05:39 AM
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Could the fence have warped bad because the wood wasn't cured long enough before it was sold and installed?

Or why does some PT pine warp so bad?
 
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Old 06-05-06, 09:58 AM
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Worst Fence my Neighbor has ever seen!

Wood and moisture changes are totally incompatible if you want reliable stability.

The wood is required to be saturated when the presevative is applied. It was probably attached when it was relatively freshly treated and straightened by the packaging. After it was nailed, it dried out and tried to return to its natural shape. If the nails/screws or structure could not hold it, it will warp. It is an inherant problem with PT wood. Some cuts of lumber are less likely to warp, but they are hard to find.

Once you cut the packaging bands to let the wood dry out, it begins to warp and become very difficult to work with.

Untreated woods (cedar, rewood, etc.) at a lower moisture content are less likely to warp, but are not as cheap.

I can't come up with an easy magic solution, but perhaps someone that is more knowledgeable can give you some practical suggestions on where to go from here.

Dick
 
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Old 06-05-06, 12:36 PM
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PT lumber is very unstable unless attached at many points. deck framing keeps it reasonably straight. you might consider adding components to the design to lessen the space between fasteners. but that just adds to the cost of materials and labor.
i've watched 4x4's on the yard turn into rocking chair material.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 04:45 AM
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The exact same thing happened to me with my first fence. I never sealed mine. After one year, I could barely open the gate. Some posts were warped almost 45 degrees with the panels nearly popping off.

As a result, I have never used PT for anything else. Cedar is far more stable and worth every additional cost. Besides, it looks fantastic.

Whether you sealed or not, it would have made no difference.

Huge expense, but the only solution I can think of would be to replace the warped posts with cedar. The installation company will not be held responsible for the warpage as wood is a natural product.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 08:00 AM
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I don't understand why PT pine would be used then, if it warps so bad no matter what you do.

Seems like there would be so many unhappy customers that no one would install it anymore?
 
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Old 06-06-06, 08:51 AM
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PT is not all doom and gloom despite some of the posts in this thread. I think flopshot has the right answer. Because PT is so wet it is really prone to warping as it dries. Guess what - so does just about every other kind of lumber. Just look at some of the stuff at Big Orange.
The key is to fasten and support the lumber to reduce the ability for it to warp. Diagonal or cross bracing will reduce warping and strengthen the fence.
If your fence is already twisted out of shape, you have a problem that might require replacing some of it.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 09:44 AM
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Should the installer be responsible for coming back out then and making it better?
 
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Old 06-06-06, 12:10 PM
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Should the installer be responsible for coming back out then and making it better?
That probably depends on whether he's been fully paid and if the fence material was his choice or yours. If this is "his" fence, than I would think he'll fix it. What does your contract look like?

Barring that, if you end up eating this, all is not lost. I would use some PT 2X bracing and pull the warped boards into place with deck screws. If they are severely warped you might have to pull them in a little at a time. Can you post a picture?
 
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Old 06-07-06, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by foreverkeeps
I don't understand why PT pine would be used then, if it warps so bad no matter what you do.

Seems like there would be so many unhappy customers that no one would install it anymore?
Most first time fence builders choose PT because of the low cost. Because of the low cost, people will continue to buy it. Why people choose to use a "treated" wood is something I will never understand.
 
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Old 06-07-06, 08:06 AM
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Old 06-07-06, 09:14 AM
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It's pretty obvious that the wood does not have enough tie points to stabilize it. I would get some 2X6 PT and run it along the base of the fence and screw the bottom of the boards to it. Same thing for the top although I would probably try a 2X4. Leave it on for a few months until the boards have dried, take it off and see what happens.

What's your contractor saying?
 
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Old 06-07-06, 10:39 AM
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the contractor is supposed to come out next week and look at it and see what he has to do to make it right.

When I was taking those pictures, I could tell that the whole structure of one segment was majorly leaning out of line.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 06:12 PM
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I'll bet you, like I, live in a subdivision that forbids non-wood fences
 
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Old 07-05-06, 06:35 PM
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No. Many people here, including the fences around the subdivision are that white plastic 2x4 and 4 x 4.

But we had a very limited budget.
 
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Old 05-11-07, 01:06 PM
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Just thought I'd post an update to tell you ppl's that we won a $3300 small claims case against our fence contractor last month!

He has not volunteered to pay, of course, so we will be placing a writ of execution against him in a few weeks. The sherriffs office said since I have a canceled check to show his account, they may be able to offset the money from his account, or he has a 92 Ford 150. That's all I saw when I ran his info.

I DO hope to have my funds next month and I am going to go with the white PVC/vinyl fence in it's place. That's what most houses have here.

Don't want to go with wood again.

The warping is REAL bad now and neighbors are talking about us.
 
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Old 05-13-07, 09:40 AM
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Winning a judgement and getting the money are two different things as you will find out.

The person can pay you $10 - $20 a month and not be guilty of non-payment. Even if he "misses" a month frequently.

I'm glad you took the time and effort to win your case. People like your installer should be *[email protected])**. < politically correct for ?!***()@*)!?**
 
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Old 05-13-07, 02:26 PM
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Gee… that doesn’t really sound like much of a win—ruining his life so that you can have the perfect fence?? A ’92 Ford, and you don’t even want him to have that? I guess that makes him an easier target than big and powerful corporations that really do deliberately and maliciously take advantage of people. Why not just eat the cost, as a HOMEOWNER who can afford to spend $3,300 on a decorative fence is surely able to do. In all that time that you’ve spent plotting your revenge, you could’ve built your own new fence by now.
 
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Old 05-13-07, 03:56 PM
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To Caroline Teresa,

Who had vinegar for lunch today?

I can't AFFORD to eat the cost. I can't put up a new fence unless I get my money back. If you want to send me the 3K, then I will cancel the small claims. I don't have money sitting in the bank, but maybe you do?

And he has a 2003 Explorer with no lien in his wife's name AND a 93 Geo Storm in his wife's name.

And it's not a decorative fence. We don't believe in tying dogs up. We fence them in. And a privacy fence makes them not bark at everyone they see.
 
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