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Alternative Fencing
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Author:  roadside [ Mon May 04, 2009 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Alternative Fencing

As you know, I live along the Texas Gulf Coast. I am in the process of replacing the property perimeter fence that was damaged during Hurricane Ike, last year. I was talking with the fencing contractor, this morning, regarding possible alternative fencing that could result in less damage due to the hurricane-force winds.

What the contractor suggested was that i consider driving four-inch diameter galvanized pipe into the ground instead of the usual wooden posts; a minimum of four feet into the ground. He said these pipe sections would then be back-filled with concrete and rebar. Instead of the usual horizontally mounted wooden runners, using steel studs similar to that being used for framing in the housing industry would work better; especially if welded into place. Conventional wood boards would then be attached to the runners using self-tapping sheet metal screws.

He told me of some tests that had been run using this fence framing method, and that this system withstands higher winds than conventional wood framing. He said that if anything were to give out, it would then most likely be the boards mounted onto the frame, and not the framing itself. Too, he said, if this new style of framing were to give way, I probably wouldn't have much of a house to come back to anyway.

This all makes sense to me, and I understand the metal framing is substantially more expensive due to the price of metal right now. Have any of you also heard of this, or is anyone now using such a framing system? I'd like some input before I go out and spend a chunk of change trying to reduce storm damage this way.

Author:  Ann Vole [ Wed May 06, 2009 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

I have two suggestions:
1) look at wire fence material which would not catch the wind so would not have all that wind (or water) force against it yet would still be able to stop most debris.
2) look at a high mass fence like rocks or rammed earth bag walls surfaced with concrete stucco. The earth bag construction has several books on it and is able to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis and proved so in several real natural disasters. Each layer is made with bags (usually that weaved plastic strip type used for grain) full of damp dirt or sand then rammed flat in a form like a rammed earth wall. Two strings of barbed wire are then laid on top to act as mortar by the barbs hooking into the bag material before adding a new layer of dirt-filled bags and ramming them in forms like the previous layer.

Author:  roadside [ Wed May 06, 2009 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

Ann Vole wrote:
I have two suggestions:
1) look at wire fence material which would not catch the wind so would not have all that wind (or water) force against it yet would still be able to stop most debris.
2) look at a high mass fence like rocks or rammed earth bag walls surfaced with concrete stucco. The earth bag construction has several books on it and is able to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis and proved so in several real natural disasters. Each layer is made with bags (usually that weaved plastic strip type used for grain) full of damp dirt or sand then rammed flat in a form like a rammed earth wall. Two strings of barbed wire are then laid on top to act as mortar by the barbs hooking into the bag material before adding a new layer of dirt-filled bags and ramming them in forms like the previous layer.


My insurance company will not cover damage to a fence constructed with the use of wire of any kind.

High-mass fences are great if you have the room for them. I have neither in that one fence run borders my property line with a neighbor, and the other two are on the edge of a right-of-way and utility easement. Fences constructed must be of a material that can be easily removed if necessary when they border easements.

So, although both your suggestions are viable, I can use neither. I appreciate your suggestions, though.

Author:  Fosgate [ Wed May 06, 2009 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

My suggestion is basically that of the contractor except that the posts are removeable. They're only held into whatever hole they sit by their sheer mass, which is a function of their volume and density of material used to fill them. When you want them moved, lift them out and either cover or fill the hole. Oh yeah, we are talking a concrete-lined hole here.

Author:  roadside [ Thu May 07, 2009 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

The question then would be why would you want to remove them? The fence along the property line is for privacy, while the remaining fence is in place for security primarily because we have an in ground pool in the backyard. That portion of the fence is to keep trespassers out.

Author:  Fosgate [ Thu May 07, 2009 6:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

Quote:
Fences constructed must be of a material that can be easily removed if necessary when they border easements.


??

Author:  roadside [ Thu May 07, 2009 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

I guess I worded that wrong. What I should have said was easily torn down. In my particular case, one portion of the fence is located just inches away from a couple of utility poles. This means that segment of fence is located within a utility right-of-way (easement). If, for some reason, the power company had to tear down that portion of fence, it has to be constructed in such a manner as they would not require extra heavy-duty equipment to thus destroy it.

There isn't any conceivable reason why I would want, or have, to remove or even move that fence myself.

Author:  Fosgate [ Fri May 08, 2009 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

I guess you could just let the utility folks disassemble the thing.

Author:  roadside [ Fri May 08, 2009 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

I can promise you they don't disassemble anything. More likely, they "take it down" with a backhoe or bulldozer.

Utility easements are something you kind of have to learn to live with. We need them, and are expected to keep them free of permanent structure. Although it's extremely rare to have a utility tear something down to effect maintenance, repair or construction, it is possible; and, they don't want to have to tear up anything more than they have to.

Anyway, we went with the pipe-casing posts and wood construction method for replacing this fence. We'll have to wait to see what happens with it during the next storm that finds itself here.

Author:  Johhny Electriglide [ Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternative Fencing

No intro? The first post is on a thread that died over two years ago?? Deer don't eat zucchini or squash and can't get into an Earthship greenhouse!!!!! #-o [-X :razz:

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