Landscape timber cracking


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Old 07-03-12, 09:10 PM
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Landscape timber cracking

We purchased a new house. The builder decided to use cheap landscape timber labeled "Above Ground Use only". They aren't even treated. Almost all of the posts are now cracking and starting to twist in some cases. Cracks are anywhere from half and inch to just over an inch. Some cracks start at ground level and extend to the top of the posts. We had two other fence installers come over and told us that they were not the right thing to put in for our area because the wind blows all the time (OK). They also said it was a terrible install with the absolute cheapest materials that could be had. We are now looking at a huge cost to either replace a majority of posts or the entire fence as two companies suggested.

What would be the best kind of material to replace the cracking posts and strengthen the fence for the constant wind? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-04-12, 05:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

PT 4x4's are normally used for the fence posts. They're usually set in concrete. The depth varies by location and the size/type of fence. I've never seen landscape timbers that weren't treated although some PTs are lighter than others. As far as I know, all PT 4x4s are rated for below grade contact although landscape timbers are not rated for below grade.
 
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Old 07-04-12, 06:09 AM
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They also said it was a terrible install with the absolute cheapest materials that could be had. We are now looking at a huge cost to either replace a majority of posts or the entire fence as two companies suggested.

What would be the best kind of material to replace the cracking posts and strengthen the fence for the constant wind?
First, how did the previous owner get 'permit' from the city/county? Normally, all of 6ft-fences need to 'permit' to install, at least the place where we live.

A replacement of all of fences with posts are very expensive if you'd hire a professional. Then, if you have time to do the job/re-inforce the fence, you would rent 'hole-digger' from the Tool-rental store and put PT 4x4 posts close to existing and cheapeast post to reinforce. It's not definitely 'eye-pleasing,' but it's 'cost-saving.' Also, you could go to Home-Depot or Lowe's asking whether they carry 'heavy-metal' post-support. Because, last summer I saw those DIY material.
 
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Old 07-05-12, 07:50 PM
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If the junk fence was installed by your new house's builder, its cost was included in the price you paid for the package. And its performance should also be covered by the new house warranty (unless ruled out by the fine print in the contract you signed).

Time to play hardball. Document everything with lots of photos, and make copies of any written references about the shoddy work from the fencing professionals you've already talked to. Make copies of at least 3 written quotes for replacing the entire substandard fence with quality materials. Then call the builder, tell him what the quotes each come to, and have him tell you which one he wants you to use to replace his substandard work. Don't let him tell you he will replace the faulty existing fence members with his own crew, because he already had his chance the first time around, and you know a second won't be any better. Don't be shy about mentioning that you will gladly pay for the cost of a replacement fence, and will then see him in Small Claims Court for complete reimbursement of the bill should he refuse to pay you for it.
 
 

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