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A Texas Fence Christmas Story

The following story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Dear humble reader, filled with holiday glee—

Perhaps wearing a sweater near your Christmas Tree.

 

Christmas is upon us. Can you feel it in the air?

Maybe not in Houston, but it’s definitely there.

 

You’ve heard of sweet Rudolph, with his nose glowing red,

And of Frosty the Snowman, magic cap on his head.

 

But there’s one Christmas story that often is missed:

It’s a jolly old tale about Texas Fence.

 

It starts with Sally Jones, mother of five

Who lives in a home off Memorial Drive.

 

All year long, Sally works hard

As both a mother and head of HR.

 

She raised her kids to be good and not to play tricks,

And she cares for employees when they call in sick.

 

As you may have guessed, Sally loves Christmas

When she can give bonuses and fulfill her kids’ wishlists:

 

A scooter for Tommy! A doll for Cheryl!

And video games for Mark, Peter, and Carol!

 

Yes, Sally was giving without any pretense

But there was one thing she needed herself: a new fence.

 

Her old fence was grey and had twelve broken pickets.

Her dogs could escape. She couldn’t host picnics.

 

Sally’s fence was so bad it scared neighbors away;

It even caught the attention of the HOA.

 

“Sally,” said Marsha, HOA head,

“Your fence is a burden! It makes me see red!”

 

“I’m so sorry, Marsh,” Sally replied

“I’ve been trying to save, really, I’ve tried!”

 

Marsha told Sally that trying won’t cut it

“If it’s not fixed by Christmas, there will be repercussions.”

 

“Please” Sally exclaimed, obviously worried.

“You’ve got two weeks,” said Marsha, “You’d better hurry.”

 

Distraught and perturbed, Sally stayed up all night.

“What can I do?” she thought as she tried not to cry.

 

Her eyes wandered to the gifts lying under the tree.

“I couldn’t sell those,” she thought with defeat.

 

About to give up, Sally let out a sigh

Then something on top of the tree caught her eye:

 

A Christmas-time angel she made as a child,

Something about it made Sally Jones smile.

 

“Mommy” Sally heard a soft voice from the stairs,

‘twas her youngest child, Cheryl, who was holding a bear.

 

“What’s the matter, sweetie?” Sally replied

Cheryl went to her mom and sat by her side.

 

“I couldn’t fall asleep. I kept having bad dreams.”

Sally held Cheryl tight, “I know what you mean.”

 

“I dreamt that we had to move out of our home.”

“I won’t let that happen,” replied Sally Jones.

 

Sally’s daughter could tell something wasn’t quite right

“We should make a wish!” Cheryl said with delight.

 

Sally smiled at her daughter, so lovely and pure

“That’s a wonderful thought,” Sally said, reassured.

 

They looked up at the angel Sally made long ago

Sally wished for a fence; Cheryl wished for snow.

 

“Let’s go back to bed,” Sally said, feeling better

“And thank you for being so sweet and so clever.”

 

Sally tucked Cheryl back into her bed

They both said “I love you”; Sally kissed Cheryl’s head

 

A week before Christmas, Sally ran into Marsha

She tried to be nice, but Marsha was… Marsha.

 

“Hi, Marsh!” Sally said, genuinely upbeat

Marsha responded, “You have one more week.”

 

On Christmas Eve while her children were asleep,

Sally heard noises that came from the street.

 

First, she thought it was Santa, but she didn’t hear bells.

Instead, she heard people using hammers and nails.

 

Sally remembered the wish she had made

She wanted to peek but decided to wait.

 

Finally, it was Christmas, and her kids were ecstatic!

They opened their presents and laughed like fanatics.

 

Sally was happy, but still felt uncertain

Until the moment that she pulled back her curtains.

 

The joy Sally felt in her soul was immense

When she saw that it snowed and she had a new fence.

 

Sally turned to her children and said “Put on your coats.

We’re going outside to play in the snow!”

 

“Yay!” The kids shouted, excited as could be.

“We want to build snowmen like the ones on TV!”

 

The sight of this family playing out in their yard

Was enough Christmas magic to warm anyone’s heart.

 

Even bitter old Marsha couldn’t believe her eyes

“You know what?” she said, “The Jones’ are all right.”

 

One more mystery remains at the end of this tale:

Who installed Sally’s new posts, pickets, and rails?

 

Sometimes magic doesn’t have to make sense

But if you must know, it was indeed Texas Fence.

 

How, you may ask, did we hear Sally’s wishes?

Let’s just say we know a guy who delivers on Christmas.

 

That’s the end of our story, and we thank you for reading.

Have a very merry Christmas, and season’s greetings.

 

And if you’re like Sally, and need some fence heroes

Call (281) 807-7900

6 Wood Fence Add-ons & Why You May Want to Add Them to Your Fence

Have you ever passed a wood fence with distinct features and wondered what those features were called or why they were there? Maybe you’ve noticed a unique fence and want to know the name of its particular construction style. You may even take to Pinterest to explore new fence styles and features to plan an upgrade for your home only to come up empty handed when searching for names of different styles and why each style is important.  

 

Some wood fence options simply make the fence look unique while others improve the fence’s structural integrity. Other wood fence options can add privacy to your yard or home, and some options can even increase the lifetime of your fence.

 

One thing to remember before you begin exploring options for your new wood fence is that your homeowner’s associations may only allow certain design features if any at all. You can read about the Five Common Fencing Standards that HOAs, POAs, and City Councils Enforce if you want to learn about some of the standards that might affect what you can and can’t do with your fence. But the best way to know for sure is to directly reach out to your HOA or city council.

 

If you have a relatively lax HOA, here are some fence options you can apply to your new wood fence and why they may come in handy.

 

Fence Stain

One thing you might notice when walking around a neighborhood with wood fences is that each fence varies in shade. One fence might appear gray while the fence next to it is a deep reddish-brown color. Maybe you’ve seen your own fence lose its color as the years go by. If you’re extra observant, you might even have noticed a fence go from gray and fading to looking like new over night without any sign of a construction crew. What you may have noticed was a fence that was stained when you weren’t looking.

 

As we covered in our fence stain blog, staining your fence with Wood Defender® Stain & Sealant is a great way to protect your investment and add years to the life of your fence while making it look like new again.

 

 

Steel Posts

Have you ever seen a wooden fence fall over after a storm? (We’ve seen plenty). Although there’s no absolute way to guarantee a fence won’t fall over in the event of a tropical storm or a hurricane, using steel posts on your wood fence instead of pressurized wood is one way to minimize the chance of your fence being uprooted. Unlike pressurized wood, steel does not absorb ground water, which is why fences with wooden posts weaken over time. And because the steel that Texas Fence uses to reinforce wood fences is galvanized, it will withstand rainfall without rusting for at least a couple of decades. So if you live in an area susceptible to flooding and want a wood fence with a little more durability, steel posts may be the upgrade you need.

 

 

Batten Boards

Have you ever seen a wood fence with thin strips of wood covering the gaps between pickets? If so, you were looking at a fence with Batten Boards. Batten boards are thin lengths of wood that conceal the gaps between your wood fence pickets. As a wood fence ages, its pickets shrink, resulting in a sliver of space between each picket.

 

One role of a fence is to make a backyard private, so it makes sense that some homeowners would want to cover the small gaps in their fence so that passers-bys can’t peek through. If you are one of these homeowners, cedar batten boards are a simple upgrade that can ensure maximum privacy for your backyard even as your wood fence ages.

 

 

Board-on-Board

Have you ever noticed a fence that had two layers of pickets with the top layer concealing the gaps in the layer underneath? This is what we in the fence business call a Board-on-Board fence. Board-on-board fences are like the second-cousin of a batten board fence; they serve a similar purpose except instead of a thin strip of wood, congruent pickets are used to cover the gaps between the pickets underneath.

 

Some homeowners prefer board-on-board over batten boards because of the way it looks. Although board-on-board fences are more expensive than their batten board counterparts, the second layer of wood adds to the overall structural integrity and security of the fence. Rather than being one board thick, board-on-board fences have an extra layer of protection so they are less susceptible to snapping or being broken by an object tossed around during a storm.

 

 

Cap Tops for a Cap & Trim Fence

Have you ever looked at the top of your fence pickets and thought, “this looks ugly”? Well, you’re not alone. Many homeowners find the ‘dog-eared’ tops of pickets unsightly. If you’re a homeowner who finds the top of your fence’s profile unattractive because of picket tops, a cap top is an excellent way to make your wood fence appear more refined.

 

A fence with a cap top is commonly referred to as a cap & trim fence. The cap top itself is often a 2×4 rail that sits on top of the fence, flattening the fence’s upper profile into a straight line. Custom cap tops may also be installed on your fence with various divots, grooves, and scrolls to give your fence a more modern or rustic look.

 

 

Lattice Tops

If you are an avid fence observer, you may have come across a few fences that go above and beyond the post cap. Have you ever seen a fence that featured interlaced strips of wood above the pickets? If so, you were probably looking at a lattice top fence.

Lattice tops are another way you can mask the unsightly tops of pickets, but instead of doing so with a flat line, you can draw your guests’ attention to an intriguing pattern of crisscrossed wood. One reason homeowners choose to lattice tops is to add height to their fence while providing a certain level of visibility. If you’ve ever seen a lattice top fence, you may have noticed that you can look up through it and see the sky, an effect that many homeowners enjoy.

 

Lattice tops come in a variety of designs, but the main choices are horizontal and diagonal. Horizontal lattice tops feature crossing wooden slats that run vertically and horizontally to create a grid-like pattern while diagonal lattice tops comprise crossing slats that run diagonally to create a repeating diamond pattern. Lattice tops can be painted and stained to match or contrast with your wood fence.

 

Add-Ons You Can Count on From Start to Finish

 

Whether you’re looking for something that will make your fence last longer with steel posts or stain; something that will make your fence more private like batten boards or a board-on-board design; or something that will make your fence look nice like cap or lattice tops, Texas Fence strives to build fences that address your unique needs. That is as long as the HOAs let you.

If you’re ready to schedule a free consultation, call us at (281) 807-7900 or visit our Quick Contact page.

Five Common Fencing Standards that HOAs, POAs, and City Councils Enforce

 

One of the most important things to consider before replacing your old fence are any developmental standards and bylaws that apply to the fences in your area. The last thing any homeowner wants is to pay for a new fence and then be told it needs to be rebuilt to meet a specific requirement. Most fence companies do their best to advise homeowners on common fencing rules, but it is the homeowner’s responsibility to communicate with their neighborhood’s HOA, POA, or city council to learn about the restrictions and bylaws in their area.

 

Fencing standards and bylaws are typically decided upon by the developer of a given area. For instance, most master planned communities like The Woodlands have their own residential development standards that get updated every few years. On top of developmental standards, there are also laws, codes, and ordinances on the city and state level that must be followed or you may be penalized and have to rebuild your fence.

 

While some areas of Houston- like parts of Harris County- rely on a Municipal Utility District (MUD) to enforce fence standards, other areas may just refer to the city council. In either case, whether your neighborhood has an HOA, POA, or falls under a MUD or city council, it’s important to understand the common standards and bylaws that are enforced.

 

  1. Aesthetic Consistency

This one is pretty simple; some developments want the neighborhood to have a consistent look and feel so they require that every home has the same fence made out of the same materials at the same height as all the other fences. Some development guidelines even have rules on the color of stain and paint allowed on fences. If you drive through some neighborhoods, it’s usually obvious which ones have a rule that enforce aesthetic consistency and which ones don’t. If you see that every fence in your area is the same, more than likely your HOA will require you to stick to that fence type when installing a new fence.

 

  1. Structural Integrity

Some areas may not be as strict when it comes to aesthetic consistency but will require that fences be constructed a certain way and limit the type of fence materials they allow. For instance, almost every neighborhood in The Woodlands will require that fences be built out of either wood, metal, stone, or masonry and they do not allow fences to be built out of chainlink, metal sheets, plastic, or rope and bamboo. The reason behind these decisions is to guarantee a certain level of structural integrity so that fences aren’t falling over, which ties into the next common standard.

 

  1. Homeowner & Neighborhood Safety

Safety is a universal development consideration, especially when it comes to fences. As we discussed in our Pool Owners Guide to Fences and Gates, if you are building a fence around a pool, there are a number of height, material, and gate requirements, and you must have an inspector make sure your new fence abides by these rules.

 

If you plan on building a fence near or on a utility easement, most neighborhood HOAs and POAs require utility lines that run underground to be marked. Texas Fence will call the utility company to schedule this before we build your fence. We may also be required to provide proper clearance for any service persons or vehicles that need emergency access to the easement, which we will go over with you when we plan your new fence project.

 

Another way that development standards enforce neighborhood safety with fence regulations is by requiring the rail side of the fence to face the yard, especially for homes that back up to a major road or freeway. This requirement makes it more difficult for people to trespass on someone’s property by climbing over a fence using the fence rails. Some areas even have regulations when it comes to fencing for pets that stipulate what you can and cannot use for pet fencing purposes.

 

  1. Location & Property Lines

An almost universal rule in any city or neighborhood is that fences must be built on the homeowner’s property. To prevent homeowners from accidentally building a fence that stretches onto public property or into a neighboring yard, some areas may require a surveyor to be called out to locate the ground pins that mark the property line. Fences that back up to major roads are often required to be built five feet back from the property line or sidewalk.Some neighborhoods also have rules that prevent fences from extending past the front corners of a home. We also see a lot of areas that enforce good-neighbor fences, which is a fence that alternates rails between your side of the fence and your neighbor’s side of the fence if a fence if between two properties.

 

  1. Nature Preservation

Many cities and HOAs in the Houston and Greater Houston Areas enforce rules when it comes to preserving the trees, lakes, and landscape of a certain area. For instance, if you live in The Woodlands, you are not allowed to build a fence that attaches to any part of a tree because they have very strict tree preservation codes. If a tree is in the way of your fence, you are required to build it in such a way that it weaves around the tree. Furthermore, The Woodlands and other areas require homeowners to plant bushes along the street-facing side of a fence if it backs up to a sidewalk or a major road.

 

 

 

Whether you live in an area that is governed by an HOA, POA, MUD or city council, it’s always best practice to check in and learn all the rules and regulations when it comes to fences in your area before hiring a fence company.

 

Have you reviewed your local fencing bylaws and standards? Call us at (281) 807-7900 or fill out our contact form, and we can provide you with a free quote!

Why You Should Stain Your Wood Fence

Protect Your Investment with the Best Stain for Fence: Wood Defender® Stain & Sealant

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Your fence is an investment worth protecting. It shades your yard, keeps your pets and children safe, and gives you and your family privacy when you want to enjoy your backyard. But as time goes on, nature will take its toll on your fence. The sun endlessly beating down on your fence will make it lose its color and become brittle. Water and humidity will soak up in your fence pickets, posts, and rails, causing them to warp and weaken. And after about 5 to 7 years of enduring the sun, the rain, and the moisture, your honorable fence will start to fall apart.

One of the best ways to protect your fence and get the most out of your investment is by staining it every three years. Staining your wooden privacy fence will not only keep it looking nice as the seasons go by, but also lengthen its life. Instead of lasting only 5 to 7 years, a fence that is stained and sealed on a regular basis can last and look nice for 10 to 15 years, saving you money in the long run.

Why Texas Fence Uses Wood Defender® Stain & Sealant

When looking for a fence stain that would allow us to give our customers the quality and service they expect from Texas Fence, Wood Defender® was the best choice. The first thing that got us excited about Wood Defender® is that they’re a Texas brand. And as we started comparing their product with other fence stains and sealants, it became apparent that Wood Defender® puts just as much care into their product as we put in our fences.

Wood Defender® Offers Fence Stains for Both New & Old Fences

There are minor trade-offs when it comes to the longevity and aesthetics of different fence stains. Some fence stains are semi-transparent, meaning they have a high-pigment load, last longer, and slightly mask the texture of your wood fence. Then there are transparent wood stains that have a lower pigment load to protect your fence from darkening and discoloration but allow its natural grain to show through.

Wood Defender® offers both semi-transparent and transparent fence stains, and Texas Fence can apply either to your fence. We recommend a semi-transparent stain if your fence is already aged and weathered because it will hide all of the imperfections and discolorations in the wood. If you just had a new fence installed, we recommend a transparent stain, especially if it has clear grade, one grade, or two grade pickets. (You can learn more about different wood grades on our Get to Know Your Lumber Grades post.)

 

Unparalleled UV Protection

Wood Defender® fence stain and sealant is specially designed to protect your fence from ultraviolet rays. Just like you put sunscreen on your skin to prevent the sun’s ultraviolet rays from burning your skin, Texas Fence can apply Wood Defender® to your fence to prevent those same rays from weakening your fence.

Seals Your Fence from Water and Humidity

In addition to protecting your fence from the sun, Wood Defender® also acts as a sealant and prevents water from soaking into your fence. Remember, your wood fence still has many of the same properties of a living tree in that it will soak up water, which is why fences can become waterlogged after a big flood. Wood Defender® prevents water from seeping into your fence, so your fence maintains its structural integrity.

 

Uniform Finish

Another quality we really like about Wood Defender® Stain is that it uses a special oil formula that actually penetrates into your fence’s porous surface and doesn’t leave a surface film like other fence stains do. Wood Defender’s® uniform finish leaves your fence looking nicer and provides for longer-lasting protection. It will also make it easier to re-stain your fence when the time comes.

*Note on using Wood Defender® over another fence stain:

If you are planning to stain your fence with a Wood Defender® stain and have already stained your fence with another stain in the past, you must powerwash your fence before we apply Wood Defender® fence stain. If the old stain is still on the fence, the Wood Defender® stain will not penetrate into the wood.

 

Products So Good, Wood Defender® Backs Them With a Warranty

Wood Defender® offers such unique, high-quality products that they are both backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. Their transparent fence stain comes with a 2-year warranty while their semi-transparent fence stain comes with a 3-year warranty. Most fence stains need to be reapplied every two years, so the fact that they offer such extensive warranties on both of their fence stains means they believe they are the best fence stains out there. And they are. Like their slogan says: Nothing Else Compares

If you have a new fence, Texas Fence recommends applying a coat of Wood Defender® transparent stain two weeks after installation. We always use a chemical clean before we stain a fence with Wood Defender® fence stain to kill any mold spores that may be on your fence. Mold spores can still grow under a fence stain if it is applied while your fence still has living mold spores on it.

 

If you would like to protect your investment and add years to the life of your fence, contact Texas Fence and ask for us to apply a fresh coat of Wood Defender® semi-transparent or transparent fence stain today.