Winter Installations

As the weather turns colder, it’s easy to turn our attention away from the outdoors. We spend less time in our yards and let some of our projects linger. But your fence doesn’t need to be one of them. Here’s why:

  1. Great time to get new fence or deck estimates. During the summer our business is in full swing. We have multiple crews out doing fence installations from throughout Davis, Weber, Summit, Salt Lake, and Utah Counties. Scheduling time for an estimate is more challenging in the summer. Once winter starts, our time starts to free up, so getting us out to do an estimate is easy to schedule and the installation starts soon after.
  2. We still install fences and decks during the winter. Fence construction is as easy to do in winter as it is in the summer. The CFC Fences and Decks crews are the most talented fence installers in Utah. We need to keep our crews busy year-round.
  3. Our prices are better.  Between the snow and cold weather in the winter, demand for fence lumber and labor decreases these savings are passes on to you through great winter discounts and specials.
  4. Less disruption. One of the great things about a winter installation is that in the spring when your neighbors are scrambling to get things installed you are already relaxing on your new deck or enjoying the privacy of your yard. The fence or deck will be ready for you to enjoy as soon as the weather starts getting warmer.
  5. Fence repairs. The strong winds we have in Utah can cause significant damage to your fence. If you ever have a problem, we do fence repair year round and work hard to get your fence back up.
  6. Mailbox posts.  Snow plows seem to aim for mailbox posts. Did you know it’s a federal law to have a mailbox? We build decorative mailbox posts and can install them quickly.

Even though it’s winter, there is no reason to stop your fence project from moving forward. Give us a call today.

The Final Walk-Through

The Final Walk-Through

On the day the fence is completed, if it is possible, we request the customer meet again with the crew chief and conduct a final walk-through of their fencing project. There are two signatures we request for our paperwork in the office file. First we request the crew chief of the installation crew to conduct his own final walk-through with his crew. Our final walk-through paper work has a check list that our crew chief needs to ensure are completed:

  • All posts are solid, straight and plumb.
  • Excess dirt and spoils have been placed where instructed or disposed of if applicable and as agreed.
  • The fence project site has been cleared of all trash and fencing debris, including tools.
  • Fence lines run smoothly and are cut correctly.
  • All slats and caps are plumb and nailed off properly.
  • Installed product has been inspected for damage or defects.
  • Fence follows contour of the ground with minimal gaps as possible and allowed by grade.
  • All gates are hung as requested, the gates swing properly and the gate hardware is adjusted correctly.

The final walk-through paperwork also requests a dated signature from the customer that includes the following commitments:

  • The customer has duly inspected the project and work site.
  • The contracted work is completed satisfactorily.
  • The terms of the contract have been met.
  • Final payment will be submitted as outlined in the contract.

If there are any concerns regarding the workmanship or product, the best time to address these issues is right then when the crew is still on site with their materials and tools.

In the unlikely event that there are any concerns that cannot be addressed immediately, both the crew chief and the customer should agree on what concerns those are in detail, note those concerns on the final walk-through form where indicated, and the customer sign and date that acknowledgement.

That way, we can address those concerns much more quickly and efficiently and both parties can close the open invoice as expeditiously as possible. 

The Initial Walk-Through

On the date scheduled to begin your fencing project it is requested you take time to meet with the chief of the installation crew. There are several important reasons for the initial walk-through:

  • This is the time to verify again that the style of fence you have chosen and how many sections is what the installers are building. I.e.: considering all details inclusive of verifying color of a TREX® Fence and style of post caps (flat or pyramid), number of sections and discussing possible long sections if it is a Cedar fence.
  • Gate locations must be discussed. The location of each gate and width between gate posts are to be determined by the customer. The direction the gate and swing must also be decided. It can also impact how the gate hardware appears from the outside of the fence.
  • To locate property corner pins and property lines, and absolutely ensure that all posts for the fence line are where the customer wants each one. It matters and is the customers’ decision since it is ultimately their property and fence.
  • To ensure that the fence is not encroaching within any Blue Stakes markings indicating a public utility is in the way. A fence line cannot be placed within 24” of any public utility markings and the customer may need to make some decisions as to the fence line. The customer may also need to discuss with their neighbors the fence line based on the Blue Stakes markings.
  • Actual fence line grade and how the fence will slope or step. Fence height is also discussed. This will include a discussion of gapping under the fence line and how it will be affected by the final grading of the project.
  • Displacement of the excess dirt and other spoils from the post holes. Crews do not remove the spoils from the site without an additional charge, but they can displace the spoils onsite where the customer chooses.
  • Sprinkler systems and heads, their location and the immediate solutions if any lines are split or broken and need repair. A neighbors’ sprinkler system may also need to be discussed if it is too closely located to the agreed fence line location.
  • Removal and disposal of any previous fencing, shrubbery, trees or tree limbs etc.

Sometimes a change order is required due to unexpected and unforeseen conditions that can occur with any fencing project. When this happens the crew will ask the customer to discuss the change order and make all such changes, agreements with the office staff since the crew men are there to do the installation and are not trained on conducting pricing, price changes or estimates.

Once all conditions and fence post locations, details regarding gates, and displacement of post holes spoils etc are all determined and agreed upon; the crew man will ask for a signature on the walk-through paperwork that shows that all above issues have been discussed and agreed and that the crew has authorization to commence their work on your property.

The initial walk through can take from 15 minutes to an hour depending on how many details or questions arise, which varies from each project.

Property Lines

Planning your yard, Fencing—Property Corners and Lines

Property owners who are planning their landscaping are well-served to consider the fence line location compared to the respective property corners and lines. Whether working with a landscaper or Do-it-yourself (DIY), where these lines are located is very important to ensure one property owner is not encroaching on another’s property lines.

The best way to determine property lines is to contract with a surveyor and have the corners of the property marked with accurate property locator pins.

Sometimes neighbors who are sharing a fence line can agree to share in the cost of the survey since both parties are mutually benefited in avoiding any property line disputes that will require future resolution.

Obtaining a plat map from your local County Recorder’s office is also an effective method to ensure there are valid starting points to begin marking property corners and stringing lines for the fence line. Many counties have their public information online and can be accessed from your home or office computer and printed out without having to go in to their offices.

If you have Title Company paperwork from a previous transaction will include a plat map and legal description.

It is always beneficial to speak with and agree with all adjacent neighbors, even if their property is not improved or they do not live locally, on where the fence line is going to be placed.

It is important to note that Blue Stakes does not mark for property corners or property lines.

For assistance in locating property pins and lot measurements, visit your County Assessor and Recorder public website, or contact them directly:

Utah County Assessor
100 E Center Street, Rm 1100
Provo, UT 84606
(801) 851-8295

Salt Lake County Assessor
2001 S State Street, N2300
Salt Lake City, UT 84190
(801) 468-3050

Summit County Assessor
60 North Main
Coalville, UT 84017
(435) 336-3257

Wasatch County Assessor
25 North Main
Heber City, Utah 84032
(435) 657-3221

Other Counties:
It is best to call or visit the assessor’s office for assistance

Mow Strip Details and Recommendations

If you are considering a mow strip under your fence there are some things that you need to be aware of, and that we would recommend.

  • How wide and deep do you want the mow strip – depending on those dimensions the cost will be adjusted.
  • Is the mow strip for edging against the fence line or aesthetics only?
  • What style of fence are you considering – if you want a Trex® or cedar fencing one thing to be aware of, is that those styles of fence posts will expand and contract – therefore cracking and eventually breaking the mow strip. (See recommended diagram) We recommend that the mow strip be no wider than the post – if using Trex® or Cedar.

Mow Strip DiagramCFC Fences and Decks will install a basic (See attached diagram) mow strip for our customers. If there is something more custom (depth, width, or stamped concrete) we have concrete masons that we have worked with, that we will gladly pass their information on to potential customers– in order for them to make an informed decision.

Estimator Steve:

 

 

Preparing for Installation

Fence Project Preparations Checklist

There are many things to consider when building a fence. Once you are contracted to have your fence built by CFC Fences and Decks, you will receive a Fence Project Preparation Checklist: While some points in that form may not apply to your specific project, it is very important to carefully read through the checklist and ensure that any points that do apply are covered with the installation project manager and taken care of completely in advance of commencing the project. This definitely ensures a much smoother completion and customer satisfaction.

The checklist looks as follows:

Fence Project Preparation Checklist for Customers

Establishing and Clearing the Fence line

In order to determine where the fence line will run, please ensure that all property pins (property corners) are visible and accurately placed. If the pins are no longer available, you may be able to determine the location of your property line(s) from your plat map (usually included with your mortgage paperwork) or from your county’s online resources. You may also need to review the property line(s) with your neighbors and/or contact a surveyor.

Utah County Assessor

http://www.co.utah.ut.us/Dept/Record/LandRecordsandMaps/WebAccess.asp

100 East Center Street, Room 1100 Provo, UT 84606
(801) 851-8295

Salt Lake County Assessor

http://www.assessor.slco.org/cfml/Query/query2.cfm

2001 S State Street, N2300 Salt Lake City, UT 84190
(801) 468-3050

Summit County Assessor

[The county’s website provides property information but it is best to call or visit the assessor’s office for assistance]

60 North Main Coalville, UT 84017
(435) 336-3238

Each city has its own regulations and code requirements when it comes to such issues as sidewalk or curb offsets, visibility around street corners, height restrictions, etc. In most cases, your questions can be answered by calling planning & zoning offices for your jurisdiction or looking online for the codes.

Stringing a line: Once you have established the location of your pins, use the provided stakes and string line to create visual markings for the fence line. This will be very helpful for you to determine if there are any obstructions in the fence line such as sprinklers, boulders, vegetation, etc. Unless previous arrangements are made with CFC, the responsibility to clear the fence line resides with the buyer.

Sprinklers: CFC will not be liable for broken sprinkler lines that are within the work area needed to install the fence. If needed, we strongly recommend that you identify where the lines run to move them back at least 18” from the fence line to avoid potential breakage. Please turn off your sprinklers at least 36 hours prior to the installation. This will allow a full day for the ground to dry and avoid potential disfigurement of the landscaping.

Ensuring that the fence line is clear prior to installation is important to help us keep the project on schedule and avoid potential obstacles that will inhibit our ability to build the fence.

Other Considerations

It may be difficult for you to visualize how your new fence will look on your property. From our years of building experience, we’ve identified some of the most common elements buyers need to resolve prior to commencement of the installation project. The following considerations will help you make good decisions for the aesthetics, protection, and longevity of your fence.

Grading: Rough grade (i.e., grade within 1”- 2” of the final grade) should be completed before the fence is installed to ensure that the fence line flows smoothly and does not have any unnecessary gaps.

Removal of existing fence: If you are taking care of removing and disposing of an existing fence you will need to include the removal of concrete on all end and corner posts (and any concrete curbing if applicable). This step needs to be completed 2-3 days in advance of fence installation.

Preparation process

Initial walk through: A CFC representative will meet with you to discuss details about the construction of the fence, mark corner, end, and gate posts, and answer any final questions. A signature will be required from you to initiate the building process. All decisions regarding fence construction must be complete by the end of the initial walk through.

Hole drilling: A CFC crew member will come to your property to drill holes for the fence posts. Unless other arrangements have been made, one of our specialized small tractors with an auger will be used to drill the holes.

Post setting: A CFC crew will set the posts in concrete (unless other arrangements have been made) and allow the posts to set for at least 24 hours. Measurements for gates (if applicable) will be taken and other fence-building preparations will be made.

Fence building: A CFC crew will return after the concrete has cured to build the remainder of the fence. Normally, the gates (if applicable) will be hung during this time unless custom requirements have been made or our shop has a backlog. If necessary, CFC will return once the gates are complete to hang them.

Final walk through: A CFC representative will meet with you after the installation is complete to walk through the project. It is expected that you look at the fence to assure that all workmanship and materials are acceptable. A signature from you and final payment are expected when the project is completed as specified in the contract and initial walk through documents.

Preparation Checklist

Completed

Grading  
Removal and disposal of existing fence/curbing (if applicable)  
Property pins established in all corners  
Other specific steps (e.g. moving sprinklers, concrete work, etc., if applicable)  
Sprinklers turned off at least 36 hours prior to installation  
Final clearance of fence line to enable CFC crew/equipment access  

 

Dispatching Crews

When we set the schedule with a customer we request they be available when the crews show up to conduct an initial walk-through with the crew chief to determine fence line, corners and post locations. The customer needs to know what time the crew will arrive at the job site.

Since the yard and shop are typically closed when the crews get back from a job, the first order of business for the yard and shop crews in the early morning is to unload any materials that are still on the crews trucks from the day before.

The load for the day is then loaded onto the crews’ respective trucks and the load is strapped down and secured. All of the required tools necessary to complete the day’s work order are also loaded onto the trucks. These are the items not already part of the general truck inventory like a jack hammer, concrete saw, bobcat with post-hole auger or other specialty tools and equipment.

When the crew men arrive at the shop around 7:30 in the morning, there is a job briefing with the installation coordinator and supervisors so that the crews know of any unique aspects of the job or special arrangements or work orders made with the customer. The trucks are then re-inspected and inventoried by the crew chief and crews to ensure all the necessary materials and equipment needed for day are on the truck. This all takes about 45 minutes to complete.

After leaving the yard the trucks are gassed up at a local station and then the crews are off to their project sites.

Once on the road there are some determining factors for the travel time to any job site. Our dispatch and yard are currently out of Provo at 543 East 600 South and the crews are leaving around 8:15 AM.

Most any job in the Salt Lake County area takes about 45 minutes to an hour travel time. This is depending on the traffic conditions or weather conditions which could extend the travel time. Traffic accidents and traffic jams will obviously cost the crew some addition time to get to a project. It has happened in the past, as with all contractors, that UHP will arbitrarily pull over a commercial vehicle that is loaded down with construction materials to check for safety issues. This can cost a crew up to an hour of time depending on the nature of the stop.

Going farther north into North Salt Lake, Davis or Weber County, or up into Wasatch and Summit counties will obviously take more time.

When the installation coordinator arranges with the customer the time that the crews will arrive at the job site it is with the understanding and discussion that all arranged times may vary depending upon many factors and that crews arriving to a project site are sometimes subjected to unforeseen contingencies.

 

Cedar Fencing Sections and Footers

We often come across a Cedar fencing project that requires the removal and disposal of the previously existing Cedar or chain link or vinyl fence. These fence posts that already exist will need to be removed and what is customary in the fencing industry is to simply cut of the posts below grade level.

But what happens with the concrete footers that are already in the ground?

Since the new fence line being installed will usually go along the same line as the old fence, the old footers will be a little below grade and covered by the new fencing material.

Some of the footers, especially at the property corners or old gate posts may simply have to be dug up and removed. Since there is an additional charge in having to remove the footers due to greatly increased time on the job and labor, not to mention concrete disposal, we have a solution to this situation.

Working with Cedar fencing products allows us much flexibility in that wood material can be cut and trimmed to many different fencing styles (Canyon Winds, Mini Winds, Estates are some examples of our Cedar fencing styles that you can preview at www.fenceutah.com). We can also use several lengths for each Cedar fencing section which allows us to sometimes bypass the existing concrete footers that are in the ground.

Typically when building a Cedar fence, we try to stay with the 8’ on center of each post for a section of fencing because Cedar fencing materials, such as 2×4’s and 2×6’s for Cedar fencing railings, as a standard come in 8’ and 10’ lengths.

When meeting with our crew chief in stringing the line for your fence he may show you options and locations on your fence line to shorten the 8’ section a little bit or lengthen the section to just under 10’. Doing this will allow the crews to bypass the concrete footers already in the ground and your new Cedar fence can go right over those and new Cedar posts set with new concrete footers.

One of the main reasons to consider this option is the additional cost that adds up quickly when the crews have to break, dig, remove, and dispose of each footer along your previous fence line. The savings in adding some well placed shorter or longer sections can be substantial.

Blue Stakes and Utilities

Before a fence crew comes out to begin digging post holes and begin installing a fence, by law Blue Stakes must be contacted to mark any existing utility lines. Blue Stakes is an organization that is contracted to mark any and all public utilities on a property, inclusive of water, power, cable TV, telephone, Internet and fiber-optics and natural gas lines. Blue Stakes uses flags and different colored spray paint throughout the property to mark the location of these utility lines if they exist. Once the order for blue staking a property is placed it takes 48 hours before a crew can legally dig on the site. This allows the Blue Stakes crew time to get out and mark any lines on the property. Blue Stakes can be contacted at 1-800-662-4111 and ordered online at www.bluestakes.org.

Blue stakes will not be able to mark any sprinkler systems or rogue electrical lines that a homeowner may have installed to take power out to a shed or yard lights etc.

By law the fence crew cannot dig within 24 inches of any marked line. If blue stakes markings are in conflict with a property line or where a customer wants a fence line placed there are a few options to consider:

  • The property owner can decide to move the location of the fence line so as to avoid the utility that is in the way.
  • The property owner can elect to call the respective utility company and negotiate to have the utility line relocated off the property line or away from the chosen location for the fence line. Many utility companies will do this but they will charge the customer for that service.
  • We have a form in our paperwork where our crews will very carefully dig the post holes near the blue stake markings, but the customer will indemnify our crew/company and take full responsibility in writing in the event we hit and break any utility line that was marked.

Fence Installation Preparation

Fence Prep Checklist

There are always multiple things to be aware of when doing home improvement projects around your home, namely fences and decks. CFC Fences & Decks has come up with a checklist of things to be aware of.

  1. Discuss your plans with neighbors/others. You will most likely have lines that are shared with neighbors, it’s a good idea to discuss your plans with them prior to installation and work out details such as clearing the line, moving sprinklers, containing animals during the job, etc.
  2. Establishing and clearing the fence line. Ensure that all property pins (corners) are visible and accurately placed. You may need to review property lines with your neighbors and/or contact a surveyor.
  3. Removal of the existing fence. If you are doing the removal of an existing fence, you will need to remove the concrete on all end and corner posts, and any in-line posts that will fall in the locations of the new posts. Complete this 2-3 days in advance to be sure you have enough time.
  4. Sprinklers. All sprinkler heads and buried pipes should be 18+” away from the fence line to avoid damage. If the lines are closer than 18”, you will need to make arrangements to change the layout of the sprinklers. Turn of sprinklers at least 36 hours prior to fence install. This allows the ground to be dry and limits potential damage to existing landscaping.
  5. Grading. Rough grade (level of the ground) should be within 1”-2” of final grade, and should be completed before the fence is installed to ensure there aren’t any unnecessary gaps under the fence.

Being aware of, and following these steps will make the installation of a new fence project run smoothly and with less incidents.