Q: Why use Western Red Cedar?
A: At MainStreet Fence Company, we have a combined experience of over 75 years between the three owners, and our positive experience with Western Red Cedar has stood the test of time. Western Red Cedar is attractive and durable. It naturally resists rot, decay, and insect attacks. This is the perfect lumber for any fence or garden structure built for years of enjoyment. Other lumbers have their usefulness, but for our clientele, we want to build the strongest, longest lasting structures possible. For more information on Western Red Cedar, please visit http://www.realcedar.com/why-real-cedar
Q: Do I need a permit?
A: Yes. MainStreet Fence Company installs fence in Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties. That means we work in over 250 individual municipalities, all with different codes and zoning requirements. We ask our homeowners to check local building code to determine if a permit is needed and then secure your own permit. In cases where the townships requires the contractor to secure the permit, or is a homeowner is just too busy or out of state, we charge a small processing fee to secure permits from within our office. If travel time to your municipality or other services are needed, that cost would be discussed prior to beginning the process.
Q: Do I need to call PA-One Call?
A: No. Pennsylvania One Call system is used to mark underground lines and utilities so our installation crews can dig safely. It is our policy to contact PA One call before we begin any project which requires digging. PA one call will mark all publicly run utilities. Any privately run utilities will not be marked, MainStreet Fence Company cannot be held responsible for hitting any privately run lines. Communication with our homeowners is very important to us, any information on the location privately run utilities is appreciated.
Q: What is pool code?
A: Pool code can vary from township to township. Most of the municipalities in our area adhere to the BOCA code (international building code), however, there are several municipalities who created their own code. Homeowners must check with their individual townships for compliance. Here is some (not all) of the most important factors which go into the BOCA code
- Fence must be at least 48” (4 ft) tall
- The mid-rail must be at least 45” above the bottom rail.
- The spacing between pickets must be less than 4”
- The space between the bottom rail and the ground must be less than 4”.
- Gates must be self-closing, self-latching, and open outward (away from the pool area).
- The opening mechanism of the latch must be at least 54” above ground.
Q: What is a Rock Charge?
A: Proper post installation is the foundation of any good fence installation. Any unforeseen, hidden obstacles, such as rock, concrete slab, root or landfill that cannot be determined prior to excavation by the seller or the buyer, and results in additional time and materials, may require an additional charge. At the time of the estimate many obstacles will be pointed out and accounted for in the proposal, such as core drilling, jack hammering through asphalt, posts on plates, and exposed root systems from trees. If we encounter any unforeseen obstacles, we will bring you to the area and address the situation before continuing. No additional costs will be incurred without full knowledge and acceptance from the homeowner.
Q: Am I protected as a consumer?
A: In 2009 Pennsylvania passed a Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act to protect citizens against unscrupulous contractors. Every residential contractor must register with the state of PA and post it’s HICPA # on all printed materials. You can find our HICPA # at the bottom of each page on this site. For more information, please refer to www.phfa.org/forms/renovate_and_repair/r_and_r_forms/hicpa_info_sheet.pdf
Q: Do you recommend painting or staining a fence?
A: We use Western Red Cedar because it naturally resists rot and decay, but like all wood it will age, weather, and eventually turn a beautiful red tone grey with blends perfectly with many landscapes and stone facades. However, a grey fence is not for everyone or if you want to protect your investment for even longer, then water sealing or staining is recommended. No matter what may be applied, we recommend the fence be installed for at least 9-12 months before anything is applied. Lumber used in construction is generally moist, and that moisture needs to seep out, before it is covered. Water sealing will slow the ageing process while stains can and will change the appearance of the wood. We recommend Cabot Stains www.cabotstain.com. Keep in mind that red cedar contains an acid called tannin, if you are looking to stain a solid color, a special primer must be applied first to lock in the tannin. If you decide to water seal or stain, it should be applied as per manufacture recommendation.