Vinyl Fencing Durablity/Toughness

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Old 05-09-08, 09:36 AM
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Vinyl Fencing Durablity/Toughness

Considering vinyl fencing to replace our old wornout wooden fence. My concern is that the fence runs along the lawn.

No matter how hard I try, I am always striking the wooden fence with my trimmer taking off bits of paint.

Is vinyl tough enough to take this abuse. I know there are ways to protect against this with add ons, but I don't want to take away from the aesthetics of the fence.
 
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Old 05-09-08, 09:57 AM
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PVC fencing can take some abuse, but do not get too crazy with it .In the first couple of years the fencing would be still very flexible.. After it begins to weather a little the fencing may begin to dry out, thus becoming more and more brittle.
Although PVC fening has all sorts polymers in the making of the product it still over the years becomes more or less a piece of lawn furniture.
As for it taking the abuse of a weed wacker line, it should have no real problem as long as your weed wacker is not the one what has a metal blade that swings around... Plus keep in mind that for sure when you go to cut that grass and the line touches the posts or the bottom rail after cutting grass the green coloring will be all over your fence line.
Sure you can wash it off, but it is a real drag.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 03:57 PM
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After the fence is in, add a landscape edging (vinyl, composite, brick, concrete, or whatever) 6" in from the fence posts. Remove the grass in that 6" strip and fill it with pea gravel, crushed rock or whatever.

Or go wider than 6" and put a flower bed along the fence. Either way it'll keep the weedeater away from the fence posts.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 06:41 AM
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A mow strip is a great idea ...But I would assume doing that digging and trenching of the grass before the fence goes in , not after. I just feel it would be an easier/cleaner job overall.
As for the backfilling with stone or mulch that would be easier after the fence has been installed.
Greg
 
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Old 05-20-08, 11:24 PM
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thanks for the tips, I think we have decided on staying with wood, possibly cedar or redwood.

Great tip on the mow strip, might do this anyway.
 
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Old 05-23-08, 08:21 AM
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Leaning towards cedar, what type of prep/sealer/stain should I use? Do I need to do anything at all?
 
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Old 05-23-08, 09:44 PM
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Stumped1

The weakest link in a wood fence is the posts. There are ways around that. Using steel posts is the easiest. Using 1-7/8" or 2-3/8" chain link post will give you a post that will last about 50 years. (PT wood posts will last about 15 years.)

Wood rails and fence boards will last about 15 to 20 years.

Sealing or staining the wood MIGHT add 4 or 5 years to its' life if you do it every year or so.

Wood -- cheaper up front, but you'll be working on it every year or so and replacing it in about 15 to 20 years.

Vinyl -- Pay more up front, but do nothing to it in the next 50 years.
 
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Old 05-26-08, 10:26 AM
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Vinyl fence vs wooden fence

I have had a vinyl fence installed that has been the best thing that ever happened to my old wooden fence, which was in a constant stage of repair. Weed eating at the bottom of the fence is no problem as long as you don't use a blade or some ridiculousy strong weedeater string and intentionally try to harm the posts. My fence is subject to cattle pressure, reaching under the rail, etc. and had one problem of a rail "popping out of the socket" which was easily placed back. I have had to remove a section of the fence to pull a building through and was able to put it back in service within an hour or so with no replacement parts. Get the durable fence and it should last many years after a wooden fence would have been long gone. No painting and if you want, could be rinsed off and wiped down to remove bird droppings etc.
 
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Old 06-02-08, 02:37 PM
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When it comes to anchoring the posts (vinyl or cedar), I am going to use the method of setting the cement base first and then using steel brackets and mount the posts to the steel base.

Do I set the cement base flush with the surface or should it be backfilled below grade?
 
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Old 06-02-08, 06:00 PM
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Stumped1,

You are dealing with two different animals -- vinyl posts and wood posts. They are set differentlyly, and NEITHER use a steel column base or post base, like a Simpson post or column base. (Read what Simpson says about using these -- "Do not use for a non-top supported structure like a fence").

Vinyl posts are set into the hole once the concrete is poured into it. Contractors around here use a 10" auger for 4" vinyl posts and a 12" auger for a 5" post. Vinyl won't rot.

I haven't set a wood post in the ground in about 20 years. I got tired of replacing them every 15 years or so. I use steel posts, either 1-7/8" or 2-3/8", and use Simpson PGT's to attach the rails to them. Another option is to simply thru-bolt the rails directly to the posts.

When dealing with a gate post for a vimyl gate, it depends on how wide the gate is. A 3' walk gate gets either a 4" or 5" vinyl post set like above. Any gate wider that that gets a steel post set in the hole, with the concrete held about 6" from the top of the hole. Once that has cured, I slip a vinyl post over the steel and finish filling the hole to within an inch of the top. Let the cure for a day, then fill the vinyl post with concrete to within a couple or three inches of the top. I let those cure for 2 weeks before I hang the gates!

The customer knows my time line going in. They want a set of double 6' wide gates that they can drive through and it's going to take 2 weeks for me to finish them. AND there will be a continuous concrete ribbon about 2' wide between those posts so that the weight of the gates doesn't cause the post to lean.
 
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Old 09-17-08, 07:49 AM
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Question on setting the vinyl posts. I plan on using the existing wood posts and slipping a vinyl post over them. What thickness should I look for in the posts and rails?

The products I have seen at big box look thin and cheap. I plan to go through a fencing contractor, I want to have some knowledge about the products before I purchase.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-23-08, 12:17 AM
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Going through home depot and lowes is the only way to go if you plan to use the existing wood posts as support of your new pvc fence. Both these stores sell a high end product as well as a lower end product.
It is the lower end product that you would be buying if you choose to "slip" new pvc posts over the old posts.
This I say because of the proceedure in the construction of the pvc fence.
In the lower end pvc product rails are attached to the posts with brackets and screws... On the higher end product rails are inserted into the posts through doweled holes in the posts.
As you can imagine if you were to buy the higher end product the rail would not be able to be inserted into the post if there was a 4x4 post inside of the PVC post. So , using the old posts leaves you with restrictions as to what you can have installed. Also it leaves you with restrictions as to what you will have to look at.
Now , Here comes the real stinker to the whole process...

Using the lower end product means you will have to have posts set on 6 foot centers.... your having an old wood fence leads me to believe that you have a typical wood fence set on every 8 foot centers.... You may hit every 3rd post or so if it is exact... but the likeliness of this is slim to none.

All of that work just does not seem worth it in the long run ...My suggestion would be to buy the right product, and have it installed fresh and new. Taking short cuts to save you money will likely cost you more than you know. As for the labor to work with brackets... that is huge !
 
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Old 09-30-08, 06:17 PM
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Since the posts and cross members are in good condition, I am going to replace the pickets and put a small garden bed between the fence and the grass.

Thanks for all the advice.
 
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Old 10-02-08, 06:04 PM
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Stumped1,

I may be a little late, but I agree with GregsFence.

You'll be creating a lot of work for yourself to keep the wood posts (as opposed to replacing them with vinyl posts), and the endd product will keep the wood posts, which, as I said earlier, are the weakest link in a fence.

You'll be spending dollars to save dimes.
 
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