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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?

Im glad you asked. 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. We will schedule all utility clearances to ensure they are active when we are on site.

That being said, we are unable to locate any secondary, or private, services that your yard may have. It will be your responsibility to inform us of any underground sprinkler systems or electrical lines that have been privately installed.

Are you insured or have WCB?

Yes we are. We are a registered, incorporated, insured company and up to date with 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?

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 are currently in the process of creating an official warranty certificate but please inquire if there is anything specific you would like to know, or if we have built a project for you in the past and require service.

Who are your employees?

For the majority of projects we utilize a three man team to complete the work. It consists of owner/operator, Derek Law, and two assistants that are 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?

We set our posts 4’ deep and set them in ¾” down gravel/limestone. Unlike concrete this allows for drainage and will not heave in the future.

We are capable of setting posts deeper upon request.

The maximum we have gone thus far is 6’6″.

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 have sharp or 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 not a service that we offer. We only build complete fence projects from start to finish.

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

In our opinion it is merely a matter of style. The 6×6 will give a much “beefier” look to your fence which can be attractive but it does not provide any significant advantage to the strength or structure of the fence. For greater strength increasing the depth of posts and/or decreasing the spacing between them be more effective.

We do use 6×6 posts when installing sliding barn gates. This is appropriate because the greater surface area of the 6×6 provides better weight dispersal to support the added weight of the overhead track and hanging gate.

Materials/supplies/hardware:

Who is your supplier?

Rona has been our major supplier for the past 12 years. They have recently switched their lumber supplier to CanWel who offers MicroPro Sienna pressure treated material.

More informations regarding their product cab be found here:

Resources

Other products including, but not limited to, Pressure treated green, cedartone brown and barefoot brown are available from alternate suppliers. We have samples of each available for you to observe upon request.

What kind of wood do you use?

Regardless who provides it, pressure treated is something called S.P.F. This stands for spruce-pine-fir and therefore can be any of these wood species.

What is the difference between green and brown?

When it comes to green and brown they are in fact the same types of wood (spf) that have undergone the same pressure treating process. The primary 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 and product required to stain 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 should 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 premature 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.

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?

A 5% deposit is required to reserve our services. With this deposit it will provide you with a bi-weekly schedule update including weather reports or any other setbacks which may affect your start date.

A 50% material deposit is due two weeks prior to your start date. This is required to purchase the materials and secure a delivery date for the project.

Balance is due upon completion.

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 definitely take some time off to recover from the long days we face in the summer, but its a good chance to explore the internet for new building ideas and other ways to help us serve you better.