Benefits of Privacy Fencing and Automated Gate-Controlled Entry
One effective way to protect a home and add value to the property in the process is by installing a fence around the property and adding an automatic gate to keep unwanted visitors from coming on your property, while allowing the people inside to control entry through the gate. A fence around your property will give you privacy, something Texas homeowners need and want as part of their outdoor living experience. When you install an automated gate, the added security not only benefits you and your family; it also increases the value of your home and surrounding property.
Deciding What You Need
If you want to use an automated gate to add to your home’s security, you have many alternatives from which to choose. The automatic gate can be an extension of a privacy gate, or one that merely blocks off entry to your property, or just to your house. In today’s technology-driven world, people are looking for ways to transform their homes into smart homes that are easily controlled from every electronic device they own – no matter where they are.
Many homeowners choose to use wireless keypads or telephone systems. With each of these technologies, a person must contact the homeowner via the telephone system or intercom to ask entry or get the keypad code. If homeowners have a whole house security system, it may be possible to remotely program the gate so that it is tied into the entire household security system.
Regardless of the type of technology you choose, and the cost of installing and maintaining it, the goal is keep intruders out and control who enters your property, or the area you choose to surround with an automated gate.
Automated Gate-Entry to Safety-Proof Swimming Pool Accessibility
Homeowners who install an automated gate as part of a fence surrounding a swimming pool, may add a level of security to their pool area with potentially life-saving benefits. Whether the gate has a keypad that only gives entry to people who know the code, or is hooked to a telephone system where people must ask to enter the pool area, this automation may effectively prevent children from entering the pool area without adult supervision.
When it comes to your home’s security, think of the safety of your family. Look at all the materials and options available to you, and allow the experts at L & C Fence & Gate help you choose the automated gate that is as attractive as it is functional. You don’t have to sacrifice looks to increase your home’s security.
Advantages of a Deck
Decks are relatively inexpensive compared to whole room additions, and deck sizes, shapes and materials are easy to customize. Whether you want to create an outdoor entertaining space, complete with built-in seating, or a small area where you can set up your own Texas-style barbecue station, all of this is possible with a deck.
If you have to walk down stairs to enter your backyard, why not take advantage of the elevation to create a living space from which the stairs extend? If your yard or garden area is largely shaded, a deck may allow you to capture some sun so you can grow things to increase the appeal of your outdoor living area. A deck is an excellent place on which to place containers for growing everything from native flowers to vegetables, miniature fruit trees and other interesting plant life.
The materials from which decks are made are easy to care for and need very little maintenance. Railings can increase the privacy of your deck, give you areas on which to place window boxes and offer protection for your children, so you don’t have to worry about whether they will fall. Stone or concrete patios are much more susceptible to damage from weather, and the cost of repairing and maintaining them is considerably higher than it would be for a deck.
You may not be considering selling your home at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that when you make improvements to your home, you shouldn’t consider the value that those improvements add to your home and property. Since outdoor living is so much a part of Texas life, by adding a deck, you are making your home that much more appealing to potential buyers, whether now or years from now.
Why an Arbor?
An arbor or pergola is an excellent way to extend growing space, especially if your property doesn’t have a lot of outdoor space. You can also use it as an umbrella or canopy under which you can put an outdoor living space, eating area, or small sitting area that is shaded from the intense Texas sun and heat. If you have a very sunny outdoor area that extends right off your house, an arbor is a useful and attractive way to shade your house, while also adding visual appeal to your home and to the overall look of your outdoor space.
Fast-growing vines easily attach themselves to arbors, creating a living umbrella that is as attractive as it is functional. If you choose to grow vines that produce colorful nectar-rich flowers, you’ll enjoy your property even more because of the beautiful hummingbirds and butterflies that will be drawn to your arbor. If your arbor is close enough to your home to offer protection from the sun during the hottest part of the day, you may also lower your cooling costs, making the investment of an arbor even more worthwhile.
Whether you add an arbor or a deck to your property, your family will enjoy the added outdoor space, while you increase the overall value of your property, adding to the equity you get from home ownership.
Watch nearly any family movie from the 1940s and at some point, you’re going to see at least one house with a white picket-type fence surrounding it. Watch enough of those movies and you’ll see that, while these fences – at least those in the front yards – may be similar in height and “first glance” appearance, they’re actually very different, using different styles to give each house a unique character.
In fact, fencing has been used for years to enhance homes and define yards – both front and back – and to give that “coming home” feeling. But recently, for many, many years, it seemed that just about the only fence you’d ever see was the so-called stockade style fence – you know the style: Lots of skinny panels in a row, each sporting a pointed peak at the top. As a fence, the stockade served its purpose – it divided spaces and defined yards. But from a stylistic point of view, it didn’t have a whole lot to offer – especially when everyone on the block had one in their yard.
Today, homeowners are breaking free of “stockade syndrome,” choosing fences that use styles, materials, finishes and other design elements and embellishments that not only help make a design and style statement but can also add significant value to your property. If you’re considering a fence for your home, here are a few ideas to help ensure the fence style you choose enhances your home’s style, making it look more welcoming and more attractive:
Gothic: Gothic fencing provides a more traditional “picket look,” with each picket featuring a top edge that that resembles a fleur de lis. Gothic designs are available in wood and vinyl materials, and both materials offer lots of finish options, including solid colors and stains. Gothic styles are available in a variety of heights so you can match front and backyard styles if you choose.
Full or partial lattice: Depending upon the amount of lattice used, this style can be used for contemporary and traditional homes and works well with craftsman-style bungalows as well. Lattice also helps break up the appearance of long expanses of fencing, tricking the eye into “seeing” a larger space.
Iron: Especially popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, iron fencing has experienced a big revival in recent years, especially among those with larger homes seeking to create an “estate” appearance. Paired with a matching gate and depending upon the design, an iron fence makes a bold statement for both contemporary and traditional homes. Because iron fences provide little privacy, they are often used in combination with other fence types to enclose back yards or other private areas.
Horizontal plank: Think about it: Most fencing uses vertical pickets. Turning that tradition on its side makes this fence a popular choice for owners of modern homes as well as ranch-style homes.
Of course, when it comes to selecting a fence, style is only one part of the equation. Today’s fences are available in lots of materials and finishes, which means you can truly personalize your outdoor space. Traditionally, wood has been the most popular choice among consumers for a couple of big reasons: First, wood tends to be less costly than many other materials, and second, it accepts a wide range of finishes, including stains and paints. As a result, depending on the finish you select, wooden fencing can be used to enhance a variety of home styles, from rustic country styles to cottage and Victorian homes.
While wood is amenable to lots of different finishes, it also requires upkeep to maintain its fresh appearance. Unless you like a really natural, rustic appearance, that can mean scraping, sanding and priming to keep it looking its best. Even rustic, natural fencing needs some occasional treatment to keep the wood in good condition and help it last for years and years. That’s why vinyl fencing options have become so popular in recent years. And while early versions of vinyl fencing looked, well, plastic, today’s manufacturing techniques have come a long way to provide realistic-looking fencing that can’t be told apart from its wood counterparts unless you get really, really close – and sometimes, not even then. Even iron fences come in a variety of styles, colors and other finish options.
Finally, no matter what type of fencing you choose, to get the best possible look and ensure its longevity, it’s a good idea to abandon your notions of “do-it-yourself” installation. Putting up a fence may look pretty straightforward – dig some holes, drop in some posts and screw on the horizontal sections, right? – but actually, it’s not nearly that simple. Proper installation requires adequate anchoring of vertical and horizontal supports in addition to precise leveling across often long expanses of ground in order to make sure the fence looks good and performs as it should. Professional installers understand the investment you’ve made, and they have the experience and skills necessary to make sure the fence you choose gives you years and years of enjoyment and also helps boost your property’s overall value.
Privacy is very important, especially if you live in an urban area like Dallas, TX. Of course, no matter where you live, a neighborhood snoop can really put a crunch on how you enjoy your property. It can be very annoying to be out with your family, holding a barbeque, swimming in the famous Texas heat, or just sitting on the porch when suddenly you notice the neighborhood snoop staring into the yard. How rude! Pull the shades, close the blinds, or stay inside, those neighbors aren’t going to stop spying. But wait, what about enjoying your yard? There are ways you can keep those nosy neighbors at bay without getting into an argument. By installing a fence you can be passive and aggressive in a way that is safe for everyone.
Bushes for Privacy
There are different options for the homeowner that wants to preserve their privacy. Some people choose to plant bushes. The problem with bushes is that they can become unruly. While you might be fine with a high line of bushes, your neighbors might not be as happy when the bushes grow too large. Keeping bushes trimmed can be quite a job. Once bushes reach a certain height they become leggy and if one of your problems are wandering animals, such as dogs and cats, they can walk right under the bushes.
Trees are sometimes advertised in gardening catalogs as a great way to secure your privacy from prying neighbors. Most of the trees in the tree ‘fence’ advertising are fast growing. However, not all areas will support the best growth for these types of trees. In Texas the heat may cause them to be scraggly and weak. What Texan wants a pitiful looking line of trees surrounding their property? This is the home of ‘big, bigger, biggest’ – don’t get stuck with wimpy trees.
Privacy fencing is one of the most attractive ways you can envelop your home in a cocoon of privacy. You’ll avoid critters that are attracted to bushes. Western Red Cedar fencing is the most common and cost effective privacy fence you can have. Cost effective because of the long life this lumber affords to your project, expect well over 20 years You should use steel posts and can even cover the metal posts with cedar to soften the look. Attractive fencing can add beauty and value to your home, which makes such a fence an investment for your future – home equity is one of the most important aspects of property ownership.
Summer is a time of scorching heat in Texas. Whether you have been living in the state for years or just moved away from another area, Texas has an extreme range of temperatures from well over 100F in the summer to below freezing in the winter for some areas. Your lawn needs to be prepared for these extremes.
So, what can you do to get your lawn ready, plus enjoy the summer weather to the fullest? Maybe you need to look into gate repair for your garden or lawn gates, set up a natural pond, or install a patio. Whatever you need, you should get started now.
Get Started Early
You can begin by choosing the best grass type for Texas. Your local garden supply store will have seed that is appropriate for your area. Ordering from online sources or catalogs can be dicey as quite a few of the most lush looking varieties will wither in the Texas sun. Prepare your lawn early by planting the right grass seed.
In the fall you can prepare for the next summer by putting one last fertilizer application on before the growing season ends. You may use chemical fertilizer or compost. Using compost has the added benefit of rotting throughout the winter and spring, this releases nutrients over time and can feed your lawn for months.
We all know that Texas is hot. The beating sun can kill even hardy grass types when there are extended periods without rain. Watering your lawn is an important part of keeping it healthy throughout the summer. Due to drought conditions, this can be a problem in Dallas. Many times there are water restrictions put in place during the hottest part of the summer.
Another thing to keep in mind is to water around the fence, just as you would a foundation. By watering around the fence line you’re helping to keep the gate in adjustment and prevent fence posts from moving. You never want to go from drought conditions around your fence to boggy water-ladened swamp, keep a nice moderate soil saturation for the best results. This will keep your fence and gate investment protected.
One way to beat the water restrictions is to install rain barrels and gray water disposal. Gray water is the water left over from washing clothes, bathing, and doing dishes. You can divert this water from your septic system into a large container system. This water needs to be filtered before it can be used in the lawn. Sand filters can be used before the water reaches the holding tanks or directly after leaving the tank. Gray water is a valuable resource when there are water use restrictions – you can have a lush lawn and garden even in the hottest days of summer.
Decoration and Privacy
While you want your lawn to be gorgeous, grass is only one consideration. Flowers add beauty to your lawn. As with grass, choose flowers that are suited for your area. Many beautiful flowers will not live even a few hours in the mid-day heat of high summer in Texas, even with intense watering. Look for native plants – these Texas and SouthWestern native plants will give your lawn a gorgeous look and will come back year after year.
A wooden fence around your yard or back patio can give your lawn privacy and beauty. You can build your own fence or use a fence contractor for the fastest, professional installation. Nosy neighbors or wandering animals can ruin the nicest of lawns – you can’t enjoy your yard when people are staring or dogs are digging holes! Such a fence can also provide safety from wandering coyotes, even in urban areas these wild canines cause problems. If you already have a fence, check your gates. A strong gate can deter animals and burglars. If it isn’t strong enough, consider a gate service for repair or installation.
You don’t need to put in a lot of work all at once to keep your lawn in great shape. You can spend a few weekends getting your property in shape or spread the work out over several months. A professional service can help with clearing property, installing fences or patios, and almost any other yard project you need completed to get your yard in shape for the Texas summer.
You’ll be happy with the final results if you spend a lot of time planning and a little elbow grease on your preparations. When you’re enjoying your pool, barbeque, or just sitting in the shade with a glass of iced tea, you’ll be glad you prepared ahead.
If you have animal companions, you know the importance of allowing them access to the outdoors to run, play, investigate their yards and take in fresh air. You are probably also concerned with the safety issues involved with keeping them confined to your property while keeping uninvited animal guests out.
Properly installed, intelligently selected fencing around your outdoor spaces makes all the difference in allowing a pet access to enjoy sufficient exercise outdoors, and a confined, unhappy animal. There are many different animal-oriented fencing options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some fencing basics to help you choose the right fencing choice for you, your pet and your property.
Many dog owners don’t feel they have the time or ability to take their pet on multiple daily walks, and most cities and towns have leash laws and ordinances prohibiting dogs from running loose without supervision. Chaining is never the answer, but there are a few fencing options available:
- Dog runs – Typically constructed from chain-link fencing, they provide an outdoor exercise area and visual access. Newer innovations feature an attractive vinyl coating as well as powder coated pipe to dress up the look of boring galvanized chain-link fencing.
- Invisible fencing – Requires the use of installed underground wires around your property perimeter, transmitters and clunky collars. When your dog approaches the boundary, they are given a static energy pulse, mild shock, citronella spray or unpleasant noise. After time, some dogs become used to the shocks, noise or smell, and it no longer serves as a deterrent. Some city ordinances ban electronic containment systems, or require special permits. The main flaw in invisible fencing is that while it may keep your pet contained, it does not prevent other animals or people (who may do your pet harm) from entering your property.
- Traditional fencing — The best overall solution for most dogs are fences made out of solid wood materials. They secure your dog, keep out other people and animals, and are an attractive addition to your landscape. In addition, they prevent your dog from looking beyond his immediate territory, which is helpful for dogs more prone to barking. Tall privacy fences are suitable for large jump-happy breeds, and they can be installed with a dig-proof footing for thwarting diggers.
Most people would like to allow their cats outside access, but worry about roaming issues and predators. However, keeping your cat indoors can result in a fat cat. Over 50 percent of felines were found to be overweight or obese in a study by the APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) in 2011. Inactivity predisposes your cat to sedentary obesity and diabetes. Better solutions for cats are:
- Vinyl-coated chain link – Allows your cat free reign of your yard. They look good, provide safety, and are difficult to climb. Combined with a cat-proof fence conversion system, you never have to worry about Fluffy wandering the neighborhood. The conversion systems easily attach to chain-link fences with bolts, and feature a spring-loaded arm and baffle that folds under your cat’s weight, to deter even the wiliest escape artist.
- Wood fences – Best for homes with a cat and dog duo. They are easily fitted with a fence conversion kit. An added plus is that they serve double duty as a scratching post, to spare your furniture.
When shopping for fencing for your companion animals, be sure to work with an experienced fencing contractor who will consider your needs, preferences and budget to arrive at the best solution for your pet-friendly fencing project.
While there are many plants you don’t want to go around fencing, ones that have roots that can destroy the fence, there are still many pretty flowers and plants that can go around the fence area. Here are some ideas that can work well in flower beds that are near fencing.
With over 400 cultivars, you’re bound to find one of these that will work for you. Semi-woody vines have saucer-shaped flowers in any color you care to choose. Have these trail along the pickets of the fence for the most dramatic effect.
This climbing rose has a wonderful cream-white color on vine-like canes. It produces single flowers with glossy light-green leaves. These are a wonderful addition to have on dark wood or white fencing.
Grey-white stems with silver-grey leaves and lavender flowers. This subshrub has a great aroma and can be a lovely addition to fencing that is around a patio, so guests can smell the richness of the plant.
Yellow-orange blooms with a dark center stand erect and daisy-like on stems. This is a summertime favorite and one that will work with just about any other type of plant. This is a good addition for a border plant and for those that like the classic feel of a daisy-like bloom.
Flowers and plants around a fence can make a dramatic statement and really add life to the straight line of a fence. It makes landscaping easier when you don’t have to mow near the fence, and it can be a nice visual to help increase the value of your home. If you don’t have flower beds around your Dallas, Texas fencing, give some of these great choices a try.