https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/IG-1.jpg 600 800 FDS ADMIN https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp FDS ADMIN2016-07-12 12:03:222019-04-04 20:32:35Security https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/picket1.jpg 600 800 FDS ADMIN https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp FDS ADMIN2016-07-12 12:01:262019-04-04 20:32:36Garden/Decorative https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/lodgepole3.jpg 600 800 FDS ADMIN https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp FDS ADMIN2016-07-12 12:00:242019-04-04 20:32:37Ranch/Farm https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-11-07 10:24:512019-04-04 20:45:53Composite Fencing – the growth of a new generation of fencing product https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-11-06 10:42:112019-04-04 20:59:03Market Adoption https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-10-31 11:20:562021-12-02 16:39:00SimTek https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-10-30 11:09:362019-04-04 20:48:57Design Attributes https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-10-24 10:56:072019-04-04 20:45:54Composite fencing as a next-generation product https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-10-23 14:12:552019-04-04 21:37:37Step vs. Slope https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp 0 0 Edmund Rose https://fenceanddecksupply.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/fence-and-deck-supply-utahs-local-source-logo-1-300x53.webp Edmund Rose2013-10-22 13:49:412019-04-09 15:36:19Steel vs. Aluminum Ornamental Fencing
Composite Fencing – the growth of a new generation of fencing product
Each year, new products are introduced at FENCETECH. Timing, cost, demand, and practicality are some of the factors that impact the potential success of new offerings. Some will fail to take hold. However, some products establish a foothold because they are viable solutions that fulfill a market need. The best new products typically have some historical precedence or key attribute that fill the niche that they serve. PVC fencing, manufactured ornamental steel and aluminum systems, and simulated rock walls are all game-changing products that at some point were “new-to-market.” They addressed a growing demand for low-maintenance products. In privacy fencing, plastic-based products that simulated traditional wood designs have established themselves as the best alternatives overall given their anticipated longevity and low maintenance requirements. Vinyl fencing in particular has grown aggressively to claim significant market share for privacy fencing.
It’s natural that newer products build on the successes of their predecessors, and then add refinements to address previous limitations. In our industry, wood fencing traditionally addressed the needs for privacy, and containment or exclusion, but as consumers increasingly find their time consumed with priorities other than maintaining a fence, the demand has amplified a low-maintenance requirement. Synthetic products such as PVC were developed as the next generation of privacy fencing. Over the years, vinyl and similar fencing performed well as a solution for the market needs. However, many products have inherent limitations that do not make them a complete solution. This is true for vinyl fencing. Although vinyl offers low maintenance and expense, the product has challenges in terms of durability and aesthetics. As a relatively lightweight product, production and transportation costs are lower but less material also increases the risk of degradation or damage in comparison to other more durable products. There is also something to be said about the impact of subjectivity. Buyers don’t just purchase based on price or performance. Decisions are heavily affected by the consumer’s individual sensibilities. What appeals to some may not appeal to all.
Costs for composites are higher than wood or vinyl. The manufacturing process adds a labor and material acquisition element that does not exist with wood and, though pound-for-pound a composite product is more in line with the cost of vinyl, the significantly higher volume of material in a composite means higher cost. However, the cost benefit over time is clear once the lifetime of a fence is considered.
In a recent study by SBI Reports, forecasted demand for alternative fencing will continue to grow with composites growing the fastest. A case study for Highlands Ranch Metro District in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area was developed to evaluate various materials and design for appearance, life span, structural integrity, costs, and construction logistics. Several conclusions led to the selection of composite fencing as the best overall solution:
This type of analysis, although perhaps more thorough than an average consumer is likely to perform, creates a growing awareness of the benefits of composite fencing. Consumers expectations of better solutions for low-maintenance fencing will cause the market to continue growing.
The introduction of products creates challenges for fence contractors and their suppliers both in creating a successful sales strategy and becoming acclimated to building with the new product. The economic downturn over the last several years has been disruptive to the traditional business model of standing pat on a core competency. As their consumer base shrinks, the contractors that selectively expand their portfolio of products will have a competitive advantage over those that do not adapt. For the short term, the contractors that make an early entry into composite fencing will be able to differentiate themselves until composites become a more widely accepted commodity as vinyl fencing has become.
The SimTek factory in Orem, Utah is only 15 miles north of Provo where Fence & Deck Supply calls home. With the close location to the factory, Fence & Deck Supply and SimTek have become great partners in the marketing and distribution of SimTek. Our national distribution division, FDS Distributors, ships product all over the US and Canada. Known as a “faux rock wall” and “simulated rock wall”, the fact remains the same that no matter what you call it, consumers are looking for the same thing; an alternative to the costs that come with building a true rock wall.
Fence & Deck Supply has seen SimTek used in all aspects of the fencing application. Installed at an attorney’s home in New York, a doggy day care in North Carolina, the Dearborn, Michigan Proving Grounds of Ford Motors and the iconic Salt Lake City Temple in Utah, SimTek’s applications have no limitations. Receiving calls from business like hotels, apartments, and condominiums, SimTek give the privacy and sound barrier that people expect with a rock wall. With seven colors and variable styles from height to semi-privacy, SimTek is the right product for you.
SimTek EcoStone Beige Granite
As mentioned, while a fence is primarily a functional element, aesthetics matter. In privacy fencing, this is particularly true because of the high visibility of the object. A consumer that is willing to invest in the landscaping of their property is likely to see a fence as an extension of their living space environment. Manufacturers of composites generally have taken one of two approaches with their products: 1) create a design that simulates a wood fence (examples are Timbertech FenceScapes and Fiberon Fencing), or 2) create a distinct design with a premium appearance. In the former, the advantage of a composite is that part of the material is composed of natural material, typically wood or another form of reclaimed organic waste. This gives the product a more wood-like appearance and texture, and is much less reflective than vinyl. In the latter, a well-designed composite fence takes advantage of the natural attributes of its wood-based elements but because it is a manufactured product, the dimensions and aesthetics of the fence can carry a look of exceptional quality and greater value.
The benefit of a simulated look is that if a proximity to a wood appearance is preferred, composites are the best low-maintenance alternative. Composites tend to hold a richer color value than vinyl, have excellent durability, and perform better in the elements over time. However, cost becomes an issue with this design. The traditional stockade (dog-ear) style fence is more expensive than a similar wood fence, so the low-maintenance benefit may not be enough to overcome the price difference. Adding fascia rails or a top “cap” rail to create a more attractive design increases the cost, further challenging the justification for a higher-cost composite.
System-oriented fencing, on the other hand, can differ considerably in appearance but can keep the costs closer to a stockade style composite fence. Trex in particular has been successful with this design. The picture frame, shadow box (board-on-board) design creates an identical look for both sides of the fence. This is significant, particularly in residential installations where neighbors often share the cost of a fence. The fencing also centers within the post profile making it easy to center the fence on property lines. Despite its durability and strength, no composite is load bearing so the propensity for sagging is quite high. Rather than using treated wood support rails, however, the Trex fence design uses a metal (galvanized steel or aluminum) bottom rail which supports the entire fence. Because the fence is also constructed in components, the number of fasteners required is fewer than traditional wood or other composite fences.
Another unique element of a composite product is that they typically made from at least some recycled content. As sustainable building gains ground in public interest and in building requirements, composites are increasingly included in plan specifications. Timbertech, Fiberon, Terra Fence, and Trex use 51%, 84%, 94% and 95% recycled content respectively. All have green manufacturing processes as well and qualify for U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification points. Partially due to”green” criteria, Trex was selected recently in a Utah for public transportation initiative to run approximately 17,000 along a light rail line. The U.S. Forestry service also selected the product for the Black Hills National Park in South Dakota for similar reasons.
Composite fencing as a next-generation product
Composite products have risen in recent years as a newer generation alternative to wood and fully-plastic materials. Composites combine natural and man-made elements for a stronger and aesthetically different product than traditional PVC-based materials. They have been substantially successful in decking, siding, and flooring applications gaining traction year-over-year. Companies like Fiberon, Nature’s Composites, Timbertech, and Trex that have been successful previously with composite decking or other products began introducing composite fencing profiles in the mid-2000’s.
Until recently, adoption of composites in fencing has lagged. Key limiting factors were poor product design and quality, high production costs, and difficulties in using traditional distribution channels. Introducing new products also mean significant investment in marketing to build product and brand awareness. In principle, the key attributes of composites dictate that they are the most likely alternative to vinyl fencing. Composites are stronger and more durable than other synthetic products. They use a dense, thick-wall profile that makes them resistant to the types of breakage common in vinyl or other PVC products. For example, in tests where Trex Seculsions posts and pickets were subjected to strikes from objects such as gravel, golf balls, and baseballs, the material did not break. In a Miami-Dade County wind test, Trex also performed well sustaining 110 mph constant and 130 mph burst speeds with no failure.
Step vs. Slope
There are very few yards that are perfectly level. So when deciding to install a fence, you have to decide what the best way is to deal with a change in the level of the yard. If there is only a slight change in the grade, you can hire someone to level the ground. Usually this doesn’t cost too much. If this isn’t an option, there are two other ways to deal with unlevel ground. Stepping or sloping.
Stepping a fence is where each panel is level, and the panels are stepped down along the grade of the ground. There are some types of fences that come in solid panels and can only be installed by stepping the fence. This method can leave gaps under a portion of the panels, but this can be remedied by putting some fill dirt or some sort of landscaping at the base of the fence.
Sloping is another method of building a fence along the grade of a yard. This means the panels are shifted to follow the slope of the ground, leaving little to no gap under the fence. It also gives a cleaner look between the fence and the ground.
If you are unsure which method would be the best, ask the estimator who gives the bid for your new fence installation. See more information at http://www.fenceutah.com/sloping-and-stepping/.
Steel vs. Aluminum Ornamental Fencing
Ornamental metal fencing has evolved over time due to the advances in technology and availability of raw materials. This type of fencing often called Wrought Iron is frequently mispronounced “rod iron fence.” Wrought Iron or “commercial iron” was prevalent in the days before mild steel came into production. Wrought meaning worked by hand described how this crude metal with a low carbon content and fibrous inclusions, known slag were manipulated by blacksmiths. While wrought iron is tough, malleable, ductile and easily welded, in reality it is no longer a material used for fencing.
In the 21st century the most common metals used for ornamental fencing are steel and aluminum.
While there are certainly a nice variety of fencing styles the major drawback for this material is strength. Uncoated Aluminum certainly performs better than steel in the category of red rust and resistance to salt spray for fencing in direct contact with the ocean.
The state of the art coatings on steel ornamental fencing offset the risk of rust and corrosion prevalent in the true wrought iron fencing. And the strength and durability of these panels and gates is far superior to aluminum.