Monthly Archives: March 2014

Looking for an environmentally friendly way to enclose your yard? Consider bamboo fencing!

When considering the variety of materials available for a fence, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Chain link, traditional lumber, and wrought iron all have their advantages. Among the different options, bamboo fencing stands out as particularly advantageous. Not only is bamboo fencing an environmentally friendly option, it’s also extremely durable and highly economical. Read on to learn a few of the many benefits of bamboo fencing.

Bamboo fencing is sustainableFence_Center_shutterstock_152789258

A house with a bamboo fence gives the impression that the owners are conscious of their impact on the environment. The material is extremely sustainable when compared to other fencing options. Bamboo, which is actually not wood but grass, has been called the most environmentally friendly fencing material available on Earth simply because of the speed at which it grows. Bamboo can be harvested and made into wood every three years – compare that with a cedar tree, which can take as long as fifty years to grow to a point where it can be cut down for fence construction. Bamboo also yields more “wood” than trees; harvesting a regular forest yields twenty times less wood than harvesting a bamboo forest. Finally, bamboo can be harvested over and over again without harming the environment.

Bamboo fencing is durable

Bamboo fencing is the “iron man” of fences. It is twice as strong as a fence made from cedar, and can be as much as three times as strong as regular timber. In fact, bamboo fencing can withstand hurricane-force winds! This may be surprising given bamboo’s classification as grass rather than wood, but it’s true. In many places, homes are built from bamboo—which is chosen specifically for its durability. Even if it cracks or fades, bamboo fencing will remain strong, and it can last for up to twenty years if properly installed and maintained (Tip: Make sure your bamboo fencing is not in direct contact with the ground when it is installed; this can cause it to erode).

As an added bonus, bamboo fencing does not face infestation from termites. Termites can’t digest the high amount of silica found in bamboo.

Bamboo fencing is economical

You may be surprised to learn that, despite its many benefits, bamboo fencing is a cost-effective choice. As mentioned above, bamboo grows quickly and can be harvested frequently; therefore, it is extremely affordable. Compared to a vinyl fence, bamboo fencing will be far cheaper. The initial cost of a bamboo fence may be more expensive than a cedar fence—but keep in mind that it will last longer, reducing your long-term investment.

Do you have a bamboo fence? What other advantages have you found?

 

Spring Home Improvement Projects You Should Consider Now

shutterstock_121383046

Congratulations ladies and gentlemen, you’ve survived another winter, and we must say that this winter’s stretch was particularly rough.  Your home could probably use a little TLC now to make a comeback for the warmer months. The truth of the matter is that the early spring months are the perfect time to take care of those home improvement projects that you’ve been dreaming about all winter. Here are some of our favorites to get you started:

Get a New Fence: If you own a wood fence, you understand how the elements can affect your fence. First and foremost, snow and fences don’t make good partners. The snow warps and damages the fence. It can also cause fences to rust. We recommend installing a new aluminum fence as a highly durable, aesthetically-pleasing way to secure your property. Aluminum fences don’t rust and can withstand the elements far better than wood. As soon as the ground thaws, take some time to check out our extensive collection of aluminum fencing materials.

Take Care of Those Gutters: Okay, so you probably haven’t cleaned out those gutters in a while. We don’t blame you; it’s not the most fun job out there. Still, you should probably get the ladder and clean them out. The fall and winter months have produced a ton of dead vegetation, which could clog your gutters. Luckily, it’s very easy to clean them out. Just angle your ladder against your house, position a tarp below your gutters, and scoop the gunk out. It might be a good idea to wear some rubber gloves depending on how long you’ve waited.

Get Your AC Inspected and Repaired: Repeat after us: I will not wait until July when something breaks to have someone take a look at my HVAC unit. Anyone who has experienced an outage during the hot summer months knows how much of a pain it can be to get it fixed. You’re normally not alone in your procrastination, and it could take weeks for a HVAC repairman to have an appointment. It’s much smarter to have your HVAC unit inspected now when it’s not 100 degrees, so any repairs can be made. Remember that you can do some maintenance here too, like replacing the filter. A functional HVAC unit will be very useful during pollen season as well.

When it comes to home improvement projects, spring is the perfect time to get some things done. Now is the time to get out of the house and give your home a little TLC. Contact us today with any questions you might have about purchasing and installing your aluminum fence.

How to Create a Tropical Retreat in Your Own Backyard

For many, spending time in the tropics is a dream. The sea, the sand, the drinks, the relaxation, the palm trees — they all give us the break and relaxation that we need. But it’s so expensive to plan and take a trip to the tropics that most of us just don’t bother.  

 

The good news is that it isn’t expensive to create our own tropical paradise at home. Better yet, you can enjoy it for more than a week! If you have a deck or patio or are looking to build one, take a look at these suggestions to bring the tropics to you.

 

Start with the greenery

There are a whole host of tropical plants at your local hardware and gardening stores that would go a long way to giving your outdoor sanctuary a tropical feel. Though, there are a limited number of palm tree varieties that can withstand a northern climate, find the ones that can and take good care of them — you’ll have the biggest part of your summer garden all set up.

 

Bromeliads are a colorful and easy-to-care-for plant, which will enhance your space both indoors and out. They can easily be placed in decorative pots during the summer season and brought inside when it starts to turn cold.

 Fence_Center_shutterstock_157997246

 

Some other great plants to invest in include calla lilies, bird-of-paradise, elephant ears, hibiscus, trumpet flowers, yucca, and anthurium.

 

Try some decorations

Two very popular decorations to consider include inexpensive fountains and tiki torches. Fountains are relaxing additions to a garden, and will create the illusion of being close to a tropical spring or small stream. Tiki torches have a very distinctive Polynesian feel and will help reinforce the ambiance you are looking for, especially at night. As a bonus, you can fill them with citronella oil to keep mosquitos away.

 

Fence it in

Once you have your tropical getaway set up, you’ll want to enclose it so that the outside world doesn’t intrude to break your fantasy. And what’s more tropical than bamboo? At a place like Fence Center, you can purchase distinctive bamboo fencing to put around your deck or patio. It’s incredibly sturdy and easy to install. Not only will it keep people from seeing inside, but it will provide the perfect way to ensure the sanctity of your tropical paradise.

 

Taking a vacation every evening when you get home from work is easy when your favorite vacation spot is literally in your own backyard. Do some Google image searches for more ideas. Almost everything you’d want inside of your bamboo fence will be at your local home store. Enjoy the summer!

Keep Your Garden’s Food to Yourself: How to Keep Animals Out

We’re heading into the season many of us have been waiting for after such a long, cold winter. Spring! Most places are starting to thaw out, the sun is making an appearance more often, and some of us are starting to open our doors and windows again, if just to get some fresh air.

 

Many will begin to plan out their gardens soon, including some first-timers. However, don’t forget to plan for the security of your garden. Think about how disheartening it would be to get excited about your bounty, see it start to pop up, and then seeing it disappear overnight. The lucky ones will catch the culprits in action as the ground animals sneak up to get some lunch.

 

Here are a few different ways you can keep your garden animal-free:

 

Human hair

You can start by spreading out some human hair around the end of the garden. This tactic is especially useful for deer, which makes sense when you think about it. Deer run away from the smell of humans, and the hair has enough scent that the deer won’t touch it. The next time you get a haircut, take a few bags along with you and ask your salon if you can take some hair home. If they look at you funny, promise them some tomatoes!

Fence_Center_shutterstock_97529420

Red Hot Pepper

This one sounds a little silly, but it’s a totally effective, natural way to keep many types of animals from bothering your crop. Go to the grocery store and buy a large container of cayenne pepper powder and sprinkle it around the vegetable plants. When the animals approach them, the smell will sting and they’ll run away. If they get around to nibbling, they’ll get some pepper and that’ll stop them pretty quickly.

 

A fence

Of course, if you really want to secure the garden well, you can always put a fence around it. The red pepper will help with the small animals, but the fence will definitely keep the big ones out. Chain link is a good option because you can usually install doors easily and it’s also reasonably priced. You can even get your chain link fence supplies online at Fence Center and avoid the trip to the hardware store.

 

Don’t fret about animals as you start your garden, but don’t forget about them either! Using these simple tips will go a long way to ensuring your hard work will pay off all season, allowing you to enjoy the literal fruit of your labor.