Frequently Asked Questions
What type of wood do you use for your fences?
We use northern white cedar for the majority of our fences. It is a highly durable wood which can be left untreated in many outdoor applications to weather naturally. If, for reasons of increased wood protection or aesthetics, a finish is desired, cedar’s freedom from pitch, resins, and its high degree of stability make it the best coniferous species for stains and oils. White cedar is also naturally splinter-free. It is the only wood that naturally weathers to a light silvery-grey color, while other woods turn a mottled dark grey or black.
One of cedar’s most valuable characteristics is its well-known high resistance to decay. This comes from the presence of naturally occurring fungicidal compounds in the wood called thujaplicins. This is what gives off its distinctive aroma and makes the wood highly unattractive to insects, moths and other pests. Another extractive present in the wood, thujic acid, helps make cedar resistant to insect attacks.
Like all woods, cedar is hydroscopic and will absorb or discharge moisture to attain equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere. It has a very low shrinkage factor, however, and is superior to all other coniferous woods in dimensional stability, and resistance to warping, twisting, and checking.
Evidence of cedar’s durability are the many cedar artifacts still in good condition today. Cedar is the preferred wood for nearly all purposes where attractive appearance or resistance to weather is important.
What is the difference between red cedar and white cedar?
Both are similar in their natural resistance to decay, but there are some significant differences between the two woods that make white cedar a better choice for Yutka Fence. Red cedar is grown and milled on the west coast of the United States and has to be delivered long distances on trucks, adding cost to the product and impact to the environment. Since red cedar is not indigenous to this region, it is less likely to be resistant to the insects and weather conditions of the Midwest. White cedar is grown and milled in Wisconsin and Michigan, so it is being used in the same type of climate where it originated, and the transportation costs and related impact to the environment are reduced because of its proximity to an end user like Yutka Fence.
Red cedar mills are less flexible on available dimensions for their lumber and most times the actual dimensions of their red cedar posts and boards will be smaller than posts and boards made of white cedar. A fence company that is using red cedar may tell you they are using a 4” x 4” post, but the actual measurement of the post is usually 3 ½” x 3 ½”. Yutka Fence uses white cedar posts that actually measure 4” x 4” or 4” x 6”. A 1” red cedar board is usually 1/2″ to 5/8” thick, whereas a white cedar board will usually measure 3/4″ to 1” thick. A 4” board made of red cedar usually measures only 3 ½” wide, and a 6” board made of red cedar usually measures only 5 ½” wide. In comparison, Yutka Fence is able to purchase white cedar boards that truly measure 4” and 6” wide. We suggest that you specifically ask a fence company that uses red cedar or white cedar what the actual dimensions of their posts and boards are so that you can determine if they are rounding up the dimensions when they give you specifications on their wood materials.
Why don’t you use treated wood?
Treated wood is treated with a chemical to stabilize a species of wood that is not normally durable when exposed to weather. This chemical does not uniformly or fully penetrate all the way through the wood. The penetrated and un-penetrated sections of the wood will react differently to the weather, causing warping, twisting, and cracking. Most treated wood is a species of fast growing pine. This is usually 70% sapwood and only 30% heartwood. Sapwood is soft and susceptible to insect decay and rotting. Cedar is the opposite, closer to 75% heartwood and 25% sapwood.
Why choose professional installation?
Fences perform many important functions on your property. Many factors must be taken into consideration when choosing to install a particular style of fence, including privacy, security, and landscape enhancement. If you build it right it will look great and add to your property value for years to come. If you don’t, your investment will soon be decreasing your curb appeal and property value.
How does our business impact the environment?
Read more about our green business practices here.
Is it cheaper to get a friend or neighbor to install the fence for me?
Saving money is not worth the risk you are taking by having an uninsured individual or company work on your property. You are liable for any damage that occurs such as utility damage or an injury. A simple cut to a cable TV line will cost you over $1,000 to have repaired. Other communication lines such as telephone and fiber optic lines can cost several times more than that. Water, electric, and gas lines can be very dangerous to work near and can cause secondary damages.
Am I really liable for accidents on my property?
If the installer does not have general liability insurance AND workers’ compensation insurance then you may be held liable for any injuries or accidents that occur during the installation of your fence. Yutka Fence has general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. We recommend you ask any contractor working on your home to provide you with a copy of both policies.
How deep should the posts go?
We install our posts a minimum of 36” in the ground and only choose products with posts long enough to go that deep. Most of the strength of a fence comes from the post, but to offer a lower price many companies sacrifice strength and cut corners by using a shorter post to save on material and labor prices.
What about electric dog fences?
Electric dog fences will keep your dog in your yard but are prone to problems such as dead batteries, collars that loosen over time, improperly installed or broken perimeter wires, and aggressive dogs unaffected by the collar. They will not prevent another dog or person from entering your yard. They also do not offer a visual barrier that prevents barking and other problems.
Can I get the same fence materials at a home improvement center for less?
Home improvement centers sell fence materials designed for the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t have the required tools and experience to install a professional grade fence system.
Home improvement center vinyl fences use brackets that are made out of plastic or thin metal to attach pre-assembled sections to the posts. These brackets will not withstand movement of the posts or natural expansion and contraction, and often break within a few years. Pre-assembled vinyl sections also have many quality issues such as glued assembly that is prone to failure, low wind resistance, and thin material that doesn’t contain the proper amount of titanium dioxide. The stores only offer 6’ wide sections, which require more posts and more labor to dig the holes. The sections will not rack to follow the slope of your property so they must be stepped to compensate, leaving unattractive gaps underneath the fence and a distracting appearance to the top of the fence.
Home improvement center composite fences use the same bracketed system as vinyl fences and are prone to failure for the same reason. Often, these materials are identical to deck material and not designed as a fence system. Many are not textured and none are textured on all sides of the post, rails, and pickets, leaving you with a look that does not resemble the characteristics of real wood.
Home improvement center wood materials are usually chemically treated and very thin. Many panels are assembled with staples instead of nails. If they are assembled with nails, they are low quality nails that will rust and stain your fence. Backer rails can be as small as 3/4” thick and are 2” x 3” at best. Pickets can be as thin as 7/16” and not usually thicker than 5/8”. Posts measure 3 ½” x 3 ½”, though they are referred to as 4” x 4”.
Should there be wood posts inside the vinyl posts?
No. When a wood post inside of a vinyl post shifts, heaves, shrinks, or expands it will break or crack the vinyl post attached to it, especially if the fence uses a bracketed system.
How do I pick the right fence to meet my needs?
Our experienced estimators will help identify your needs and can recommend products that will fulfill them.
What type of warranty will I get?
Yutka Fence offers a two year warranty, which is longer than the industry standard. This gets you through three frost and thaw cycles without worry.
Aren’t all fence companies the same?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a fence company. We believe our dedication to professional excellence sets us apart from other companies. We feature a full-sized outdoor display to show many styles, colors, and materials to help you envision your project. We staff a full-time office that you can come to or call for service and questions regarding your project. We are a family owned and operated business for over 45 years. Our A+ Better Business Bureau Rating and customer testimonials speak for themselves. Our commitment to continuing education is unmatched with three American Fence Association Field Training School graduates and a Certified Fence Professional.
Why shouldn’t I save money by using a friend of a friend to install my fence?
You can research the many cases of uninsured contractors or people installing as side work who have gotten injured or have had an uninsured helper get injured while doing projects on homes like yours. If they get hurt they will sue you. It is your job to ask for a certificate of insurance and proof of workers’ compensation insurance. If not, you are leaving yourself at risk. Every hole that is drilled in your yard has the potential to hit a gas line, fiber optic cable, water line, cable line, or phone line. If you are lucky enough that someone does not get hurt you will be left with no real warranty after you pay the individual. These are usually the fences we end up removing and replacing because they look good for a year, but they begin to heave out of the ground because the posts holes aren’t deep enough.
Can I purchase materials at a home improvement center and have you install them?
We do offer labor only but do not recommend this as errors and delays such as material shortages, layout changes, and lower grade products could end up costing you much more than a professionally installed fence with higher quality materials would have cost you. Because these materials are designed for the do-it-yourselfer, they incorporate installation methods that sacrifice quality for ease of installation.
Do you pre mix your concrete?
Yutka Fence uses the American Fence Association preferred method, which is to mix the cement with water prior to pouring it in the fence post holes. However, many people, including other fence companies, do not. They often pour a dry mix in the holes, which will absorb moisture from the surrounding ground and cure unevenly. The problem with using the mix without water is that the concrete closest to the post may not ever get wet from the ground moisture. Those dry spots and air pockets inside the mix may not cure properly, causing premature footer failure. Another method for concreting posts is to pour water in the hole before and after the dry mix, which still has its issues because the water will not be evenly distributed throughout the concrete mix. The only way to guarantee the concrete is mixed thoroughly is to mix it with water before pouring it into the hole.
Will the crew trim tree limbs or bushes in the way of the fence?
We ask you to handle this prior to the fence installation. Although our crews are experts in custom fence installation, our knowledge of proper trimming and pruning practices is limited. Excessive trimming performed by Yutka Fence will be subject to an additional charge. We would appreciate you cleaning up your shrubs as we do not want to damage your manicured yard. If the bush is completely or partially on your neighbor’s yard, we ask that you make arrangements prior to our arrival. We have several well-established relationships with landscape and tree service companies and would be happy to give you a referral.
Is there anything Yutka Fence can do to stop our dog from digging beneath the fence line?
We cannot keep your dog from digging but we can offer solutions to help prevent your pet from getting out. Our standard installation practice is to leave the pickets 1-2 inches above the ground, which may not contain a small pet. We do not recommend installing fence pickets on or in the dirt because this makes rot and insect infestation more likely in some cases. We can install kick-boards on the fence to act as a barrier to digging that can easily be replaced if damaged. In extreme cases we can design build solutions for your particular problem.
Should I notify the neighbors that the fence is being replaced?
Communicating with your neighbors can prevent any issues from becoming time and money consuming problems on and after the day of install. Your neighbors may need to make arrangements concerning their pets, plants, or children. They may also want to secure their backyard or remove items from their side of the fence. A simple courtesy can go a long way even in the most strained of situations.
How many feet of fence does it take to enclose my entire property?
Below is a list of perimeter footages for common sized lots. The placement of your house, fence layout, setbacks, easements, and encroachments will reduce this number.
Click here to view larger lot drawing
Are all product warranties the same?
No. A warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it. The fence industry has seen products and/or companies enter the market, only to leave home owners with a worthless piece of paper as a product warranty. That’s why you should check out the reputation of the company offering the warranty, just as you would when choosing the right contractor.
Should I put my new fence on the property line?
We recommend that you set your fence approximately 4 inches in from your property line, so that all of the post footing is on your property.
Do I have to face the “good side” to my neighbor?
Yes, normally the framework of the fence has to be on the inside, or in other words, on your side of the fenced area. In the vast majority of building codes and homeowner associations, this is not optional. You must face the finished side of a fence towards the road and your neighbor.
Why does my existing fence have stains?
Your fence was installed by a company or person who did not use the right nails for your fence. The stains you see are from corroding or rusting nails and fasteners. Yutka Fence uses high quality nails that are designed for wood fences and that resist rusting. Cedar mills recommend the use of aluminum, stainless steel, aluminum-coated, or polymer-coated fasteners. When lower quality galvanized nails or fasteners are used in cedar, the acids in the wood react with the zinc and cause the corrosion streaks you see on your fence. At first, the only sign of fastener deterioration may be the streaks, but eventually the fastener will decay enough to lose its friction hold in the wood. There is no method to remove these stains and the fence will begin to fall apart.
Call us today to set up an estimate at (262) 859-3226.