Talbert Fencing and Gutters
 

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Copper Metallic Gutter

Hey ya’ll, today I’ll keep it short and sweet. I’d like to go over a couple of styles of rain gutter that can give your home a really unique look. They are known in the industry as copper metallic gutter (also known as copper penny) and designer copper gutter.

Despite the use of the word “copper” in the title of both, neither are made from this expensive (albeit beautiful) material. They’re made from aluminum just like your standard aluminum gutters. The difference is in the finish, copper metallic has a shiny coppery hue covered with a clear coat which gives it it’s shiny appearance. Designer copper has the same copper color but is then flecked with an additional bronze coating that is meant to give it a weathered look.

While neither look exactly like the real deal they do have unique qualities that can add a dramatic look to your home. Both styles are seamless just like normal seamless gutters and install exactly the same way. The material cost is a bit pricier than your standard colors so you will see an increase in cost but it is nowhere near the cost of real copper.

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Here’s an example of copper metallic on a home that has cedar siding. The color of the gutter blends very well in this application but can also be used to great effect in a two tone application if your home has painted soffit and fascia.

Unfortunately I don’t have an example to show you of designer copper. I had some pictures in my camera but unfortunately they aren’t there anymore…..not sure what happened but I’ll be sure and post them once I find ’em.

Anyways, in closing if you want to give your home a great unique look but don’t have the cash for copper these are a couple of examples of some alternative routes you can go down to stand out from your neighbors.

See ya’ll next time,
Matt

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Fancy Fencing on a Budget

Hello all, today I’d like to discuss ways that you can upgrade your fence installation without breaking the bank. Everyone has a budget that they’d like to stay under and if getting a full blown board on board fence is just too much there are other options that give you some of the upgrades of a board on board without going whole hog and subsequently blowing your budget out of the water.

In my previous blog posting I went into depth regarding the advantages of a board on board fence. Now agreeably without utilizing the board on board picket structure it’s not possible to have a fence that won’t have some gaping between the pickets, that’s not what this is about. If that’s what you truly desire then you’ll have no other choice but increase your budget to accommodate the additional labor and material costs, but without going “whole hog” there are options you can take advantage of to have a very desirable fence constructed.

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For instance above is an example of a standard spruce side by side fence with the addition of a treated 2×6 kickboard. It gives the fence a trimmed out look at the bottom and allows the pickets to be raised up a few inches offering additional height and protecting the pickets from ground rot. For this upgrade you’re typically looking at an additional $2-3 per foot.

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This one is a cedar side by side with an added top trim. Once again it gives the fence a trimmed out, finished look that adds some elegance to what would otherwise be just a simple fence. To add this type of upgrade it’s also typically an additional $2-3 per foot.

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For this example we have a cedar side by side fence with the addition of a treated 2×6 kickboard, a 2×6 cedar topcap and double trim. This fence is really only one step away from being a full blown board on board fence but considering the size of the fence (in excess of 350 feet) the customer was able to reduce their price substantially.

Remember you don’t have to blow your budget to have a great looking fence. There are always various options and upgrades that you can utilize not only for function but to create a great aesthetic. And if your installer is worth the lumber he’s putting up accommodating your requests shouldn’t be any issue at all.

Happy fence hunting!
Matt

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Board on Board Fencing

Hello all, this article will cover the ins and outs of board on board fencing and why it is such a desired style of fencing. If you’ve driven through pretty much any suburb in the Dallas area you’ve seen one. It’s definitely my favorite style of fencing as it offers functionality with great looking aesthetics.

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Here’s a list of reasons why board on board fencing is such a great choice.
1) The pickets are overlapped, hence the name “board on board” which provides complete privacy. Even a tightly spaced side by fence will eventually gap out as the wood dries over time. With board on board you don’t ever have to worry about it.
2) A kickboard is included in all of our board on board builds. A kickboard is a 2×6 rail (typically treated) that sits at the very bottom of the fence. One benefit is that it allows the pickets to be set off the ground 4-5 inches which helps prevent insect infestation and keeps the bottoms from rotting out. Also if you have a dog it provides a great deterrent from digging out and keeps stray animals from digging in all the while adding strength and rigidity to the fence.
3) A top cap and double trim is also included in our board on board builds. A top cap is a 2×6 board that lays flat across the top of the pickets. It prevents rain from entering the tops of the pickets at the cut end where the wood grain is open. It also provides a great finished look to the fence. The double trim is comprised of a 1×4 board positioned just below the top cap with a 1×2 board positioned atop the 1×4 just below the top cap. It is primarily there for aesthetic reasons but in conjunction with the top cap also provides rigidity and strength to the fence overall.

Really the only con to having a board on board fence is the expense of the additional lumber and labor required to build one, but if the budget is within your grasp a board on board fence is a great addition to any home. It not only boosts your property value, it also provides a great look that will last for many years to come.

Happy fence hunting!
Matt

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Chain Link Fencing – Quality on a Budget

Chain link fencing, we’ve all seen various styles, lengths, heights, and states of repair (or disrepair). It’s the workhorse of the fence world, all function without any consideration for aesthetics. If board on board fencing is the Rolls Royce of fences then chain link is like an 80’s model Ford pickup…not necessarily the best looking but hardy, durable, and a lot of bang for your buck. Not to knock you Ford owners out there, I owned an ’88 F150 for many years and it served me well. But without any further ado, here’s why I think chain link is a great fence for certain applications.

1) Durability – I recently drove through the neighborhood where I grew up as a kid and noticed many chain link fences that were installed in the 70’s that are still standing and doing exactly what they were built to do.
2) Maintenance Free – You don’t have to worry about re-staining a chain link fence ever. Really the biggest damage I see to chain link fencing is when a tree blows over and takes the fence out with it. Other than that the galvanizing will eventually wear off and the fence will begin rusting but you’re talking 40+ years.
3) Value – Chain link fencing is typically less expensive than a wooden fence of similar size and height. That combined with the longevity of a chain link fence makes it a great value for your dollar.

Sure I understand fully that chain link isn’t the best option for all applications. It doesn’t offer the privacy and beautiful aesthetic that a board on board does but if your fencing need is more about function than looks then chain link is a great option.
Cheers!
Matt

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Seamless Gutter Vs. DIY Gutter

Hello all, today I’d like to go over the benefits of seamless gutter vs. the variety purchased at your typical DIY home improvement store and the importance of a good gutter installer.

DIY seems to be the new fad these days, what with all the big name home improvement stores and DIY shows; there’s even a cable network devoted to the greatness that is DIY. The mindset of DIY appeals to our human nature to be thrifty and save a buck but thrifty isn’t always the best route.
The drawbacks to DIY gutters are as follows….
1) The gutters are pieced together, often with superfluous seam bands and specialized pieces that have a built in outlet for the downspout, not to mention that any run longer than 10ft will require more than one piece of gutter
2) The seam bands are meant to be self sealing meaning no sealant is needed (at least that’s the best I can figure since almost every time I tear these off a house there is no sealant on the seam bands). As I’m sure you’ve guessed these often leak like a sieve.
3) Since this is a DIY project you are the installer. I’ve also seen these installed by a handyman (presumably at a cheaper cost than an actual gutter contractor). Nothing against homeowners or handymen but I’ve seen some realllllllly shoddy workmanship go into some of these installations resulting in gutters overflowing, leaking, or falling off the house.
4) They’re steel. Instead of aluminum these are usually made from steel which will eventually rust out, especially if they’re not installed correctly and are holding water.
5) They only come in dark brown or white. So unless you happen to have a house that is the same shade or dark brown or white you will have to paint your newly installed gutters in order to match your trim thereby adding to your expenses.

Alright, enough about the drawbacks of DIY, here are the benefits of hiring a gutter contractor….
1) The gutters are seamless. This means that every run on the house is one piece of continuous gutter. Yes there are seams where the corners meet and at the endcaps but as long as they are sealed properly there is no way for water to escape.
2) The gutters are aluminum and won’t rust out like steel gutters.
3) You get a warranty. My warranty is 5yrs on the labor and 20yrs on the material, be sure that your contractor has something similar in place and in writing. 4) There are 30 or so color options. I know 30 doesn’t seem like much but unless your house is painted pink or a bright shade of orange matching up colors is rarely an issue. 5) You don’t have to lift a finger except to sign a check. You can sit in the comfort of your home while the work gets done and if you’ve done your homework and hired a quality contractor you’ll be worry free with a great looking and functional gutter system that will protect your investment for years to come.
Cheers! Matt

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Make Sure Your Contractor Cares

Choosing the right contractor can be a daunting task but to me it really comes down to a couple of simple stipulations.

First of all you need a contractor that has the experience to handle the installation and all the problems that will arise. Every job presents unforeseen difficulties and problems regardless of how straightforward it initially appears to be. The key is to have a contractor that has the experience, creativity, ability, and most importantly the care to figure out the best solution and then execute it.

Which brings us to what I really consider the most important factor when choosing a contractor. This applies to any contractor, fencing contractors, gutter contractors, etc this rule is across the board. The contractor and installation crew must have the desire to perform good quality work, and not just because the customer is paying for the service. The desire to get the job done right must be first and foremost because you take pride in your work and you’re only as good as the last job you did.

We’ve done small fence installations, sometimes only requiring the construction and installation of one gate and we’ve done huge installations involving hundreds and hundreds of feet of various styles of fencing. Regardless of the size and scope of the job the mindset never changes. Provide the highest quality installation possible and create something that you are proud of.

The same applies to gutter installation. I can recall one installation that literally involved one foot of gutter and one downspout all the way up to installing hundreds of feet of gutter at the new AW Brown Charter School campus. The same mindset applied at both jobs and we completed installations that I will be proud of for years to come.

When you choose a contractor, choose wisely and remember the cheapest guy out there probably won’t provide the best installation BUT at the same time the most expensive guy won’t guarantee a great installation either. Check out your contractor’s website, look at pictures, but most importantly talk to him and make sure that there is a legitimate care and concern to make sure the job is done right.
Best of luck! Matt

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Pre Stained Cedar

Pre stained cedar is definitely my favorite material to build fencing out of. For starters it’s cedar so you get the longevity and natural insect repelling qualities of the wood. On top of that you get the beautiful aesthetic of cedar. In addition to all of this, since it’s pre stained there are no runs, no thin areas, no overly sprayed thick areas and it holds up to the elements a lot longer than a spray on stain.

If that’s not enough to get my point across, take a gander at this example.

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You can see how evenly the coloring is and the addition of a wrought iron window adds a customized element. We really enjoy installing these type of fence projects simply because the finish is always so awesome it gives one a great feeling of satisfaction!

Sure you’ll come of pocket a little more on the front end but given the longevity and beauty of pre stained cedar you’ll have a fence that will not only last for years but will look great for years.

Happy fencing hunting!

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Vinyl Gutters

…..or more to the point why you shouldn’t purchase vinyl gutters.  You know ’em when you see ’em…bulky unappealing profile, typically sagging off the house, and they only come in one color, white.  Lets compare them to seamless aluminum gutters and go through the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl Gutters

Cons
– They’re made out of vinyl which will decompose, crack, and split in the Texas sun usually in about 2 years
– There are numerous seams.  Each downspout outlet creates 2 seams, every 10 ft there is a seam requiring a connection piece, every corner creates 2 seams
– I checked the manufacturer’s website and could find no warranty information
– You have to install them yourself
– They only come in one color, which would look great if you have a white house.  If you have a different colored house you are forced into  a two tone color scheme

Pros
– They cost less than seamless aluminum gutters (the savings are negligible, I’ll go into detail later)

Seamless Aluminum Gutters

Cons
– They cost more than vinyl gutters
Pros
– They’re made from aluminum which resists corrosion
– The only seams are found at the corners and the endcaps which are then sealed with a rubberized polymer sealant that expands and contracts with the temperature changes
– There is a 5 year warranty on labor and a 20 year manufacturer’s warranty on the material
– You sit in the comfort of your home while a crew of professionals installs them properly
– There are over 30 color choices

And now for the smoking gun, the dollar amount which is the only one advantage of choosing vinyl gutters over aluminum.  I based the pricing on an average size one story home which equates to around 200 linear feet of gutter and 7 downspouts.

Vinyl Gutter – $759.35   (material only)
Aluminum Gutter – $923.00  (material and installation)

Keep in mind that although you will save $163.65 you will probably spend at least 2 days installing said gutters.  (probably longer as it takes a professionally trained crew of 2 about 5-6 hours to install the same amount of aluminum gutters).
In closing one must keep in mind that while the diy mentality can be a good thing and provide you with good results while saving you money gutters simply isn’t one of them.  Find a contractor that you trust and get it done right.  Protecting your home investment is worth the extra $163.65.  Best of luck and have a blessed day!  Matt

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Privacy Fencing

The most effective way to create a private space in your yard is via the installation of a privacy fence.  There are various options one can take depending on the amount of privacy needed and the available budget.  The simplest and most budget friendly option is with a chain link fence combined with privacy slats.  Privacy slats are typically made out of nylon and are woven in and out of the chain link mesh. If chain link’s not your preference the next step up is a side by side wood fence.  These can be constructed in a variety of configurations typically with either spruce pickets or cedar pickets.  A kickboard can be added to keep your pets in and unwanted animals out.  A top trim board or even a top cap and trim adds a pleasing aesthetic. The ultimate in privacy fencing can be found in a board on board fence installation.  This type of fence eliminates any possible gaps by overlapping the pickets thereby providing complete privacy.  As with the side by side fence you can opt for spruce or cedar pickets (most commonly found with this style of fence).  Adding a kickboard, top cap & trim, and stain will provide you with a beautiful fence that not only offers privacy but adds a luxurious addition to your home that will last many years.

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Leaf Screens 101

Leaf screens can be an important part of a successful gutter system when incorporated properly.  There are various styles, shapes, and types out on the market but making the right choice shouldn’t require an excessive amount of research and doesn’t have to break the bank.  First is your basic expanded metal mesh screen.  When installed properly this type of screen is very effective against the vast majority of debris that can clog your gutters especially leaves from deciduous trees, acorns, pecans, etc.  However if you have pine trees the needles can and will penetrate most expanded mesh designs and eventually clog your gutters.  It is then that you’ll need to consider a more solid design that relies on small holes instead of a mesh to allow the water to flow through while keeping the debris out.  There are various models on the market that are very effective at doing just this while keeping you within a realistic budget.  For those projects that require extreme measures, i.e. water harvesting which requires the cleanest water source possible there are screens that offer a combination of expanded metal mesh and a fine stainless steel mesh (similar to a window screen) that will filter out all but the finest of particles.  No matter the choice, if you have trees on your property you will eventually be up on a ladder cleaning out gutters, unless of course you thought ahead and installed screens!  Best regards!  Matt

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