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Frequently asked questions

General inquiries:

Do we need a permit for our project?

Fences do not require building permits. However, there are a few city bylaws that they must measure up to. The Maximum allowable height for fence construction is 4’ (1.2m) in the front of the house and 6’6” (2.0m) in the back. If you have a pool you are required to have a minimum of 5’ high (1.5m)

Any decks over 24” high requires a permit. In this scenario it will also require 36” high railing but can be supported by surface pads for a foundation.

Decks over 48” in height require not only a permit but a specific foundation to pass code. This can be in the form of either groundscrews or concrete piles. Also, in the event it is over 48” high, it will require railing over 42” high.

Any deck over 500 sqft will require a permit, at any height, but any deck/porch under 36sqft does not. There are several factors and requirements and I will go over in detail after knowing the details of your project and can make suggestions to the design to follow their requirements.

Do I need to call before I dig?

Anytime that you are doing work underground it is necessary to contact the local utilities to have the lines properly marked. This service has no charge associated with it, but is only active for 14 days. That being said, we will take care of all the utility clearances for you to make sure that they are active at the time we will be there. Safety first.

Are you insured or have WCB?

Yes we are. We are a fully insured, registered business and have our WCB

How long have you been in business?

I have personally been building decks and fences since I completed my Education at the University of Manitoba (BSc. Chem) in 2004. The business was officially registered in 2011.

What is your warranty?

As far as warranty, We stand behind our work and are willing to match any other warranty out there. We make a habit in contacting all of our customers 4 to 6 weeks after completion as well as the first spring following construction. We are committed to excellence and your satisfaction and will be inquiring if any boards have twisted or split in the drying process or any thing has shifted. We do our best to select the finest boards available but it is unpredictable what posts and boards will do once they are exposed to the sun and elements. We have no problem coming back to swap out boards or posts when necessary. That being said, we will warranty all workmanship and materials chosen.

Who are your employees?

We have a three man team that will be completing the work. They are made up of owner/operator, Derek Law, and two construction students from Red River College’s Co-op program.

Post Hole digging/setting:

How deep will you go? What do you set them in?

4’ deep for the fence posts and up to 5’ deep for the gates. We use ¾” down gravel/limestone to set them to allow for drainage of water and would never use concrete as this will cause the posts to heave in the future.

What kind of equipment do you use to dig?

We operate a 1 man hydraulic auger that is light weight and has a wheel base of only 32”. This allows up to get into some pretty tight spots without sacrificing your lawn and/or garden.

What happens to the mud when it comes out of the holes?

There is a surprising amount of mud that comes out of the holes. Unfortunately it is not nice top soil that can be spread out or used in your garden. When it dries it turns rock hard and can often be sharp and jagged pieces. We work diligently to clean up all that comes out of the holes and haul it away to the dump. You are more than welcome to it if any is required, especially if you have a newer home that has not had the landscaping completed.

Can you just dig and set the posts?

Unfortunately this is a service that we do not provide. We only build complete fence projects from start to finish.

What is the difference between 4x4 vs 6x6 posts?

In my opinion it is merely a matter of style. The 6×6 will give a much “beefier” look to your fence but it does not provide any significant advantage to the strength or structure of the fence. We do use 6×6 posts when installing sliding barn gates in back lanes. The larger surface area that the 6×6 stands on will provide better weight dispersal of the overhead track and hanging gate, but an average fence would not require this extra feature

Materials/supplies/hardware:

Where do you buy your materials from?

We purchase our materials from Rona, who purchase theirs from Prairie Forest Products located in Neepawa, MB. Their other supplier is Taiga and these two are are the major supplies in Winnipeg. These include, but are not limited to Rona, Olympic, Windsor Plywood and Home Depot. Star building and McMunn & Yates have a different product called “barefoot” brown but it will be easier to discuss this in person if you are having trouble trying to decide between the options out there

What kind of wood do you use?

The majority of lumber that we use is pressure treated. It is called SPF, which means it can be either spruce, pine or fir.

What is the difference between green and brown?

When it comes to green and brown they are in fact the same wood. They have both undergone the same pressure treating process, the only difference is, and in my opinion, advantage, is that the brown has already been stained for you. If you cut both boards in half you will easily see that they are both green on the inside. The brown is moderately more expensive but for the time saved staining the green it is well worth it. Manufacturers recommend you let the green dry for one season and apply a clear coat or stain yourself after that. If you apply this too soon it will trap the natural moisture of the wood inside and not allow it to escape. In contrast the brown does not require any maintenance for at least a few years.

Why do you use screws instead of nails?

Nails will work, but will not provide the same longevity or performance as screws. First of all the nailer used to install them will gouge the wood and create perforations for water to penetrate and cause rot. Over the years the wood is going to shrink as it dries in the sun and not only will the gaps between the fence/deck boards increase but the wood surrounding the nail will be exposed to water and air. The Air will cause it to dry and contract further allowing water to penetrate deeper and the process will repeat over and over and completely rot the wood over time. Eventually the boards will become loose enough that they will rattle or squeak in the wind. And if that’s not bad enough if you have any boards that want to warp and twist in the sun the nails will not provide adequate resistance to its internal forces and the board can literally pull it self off of the fence.

By using screws, and not just any screws, but ceramic coated screws we have better control/accuracy during installation. The ceramic coating protects the screw from the chemicals in the pressure treated wood that will actually dissolve inferior fasteners over time causing the to rust and bleed out creating something that looks like black tear drops coming out of where the screws are. Using screws will take a little more time than a nailer, but will produce a superior product that will covered under our warranty.

Cost/Payment:

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, cheque or money order. Receipts will be issued for all deposits prior to construction and invoices will be provided upon completion.

Do you accept credit cards?

Unfortunately we are not set up to accept credit cards. In the event there is no other option for you it can be made available, but note that there will be a service charge associated with it.

When do we need to make a payment?

We like to secure a 50% down payment a week or two prior to our start date in order to purchase the materials and set a delivery for the project. Receipts will be provided and balance to be paid up completion and your 100% satisfaction!

Other Work:

What else do you do?

Over the last few years we have built several picnic tables, pergolas, sliding barn gates,

What do you do in the winter?

We have added Cabinetry to our list of services. Cabinetry can come in many forms including basement bars, kitchen islands, bathroom vanities, custom bookshelves, adding pull out drawers to existing cabinets, and more!