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Mike Holmes’ Advice on Backyard Decks and Fences

Makin’ it Right with Mike

HOLMES_Mike_Outside_003By Kristine Archer

A fence or deck can be the focal point or finishing touch to your backyard. However, these projects can also lead to countless headaches and cost overruns if you choose the wrong person for the job. When dealing with such a big decision and important project, who better to talk to than Canada’s most well-known and trusted contractor?

That is exactly what Pools, Spas & Patios did, posing some of your most common fence- and deck-related questions to Mike Holmes, author, home improvement expert and star of the hit HGTV shows Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection. In this article, Holmes, whose ‘Make it Right’ motto has become famous, offers tips and advice valuable to any homeowner looking to tackle a backyard construction project.

PSP:  When it comes to fences and decks, should I hire a contractor or are can I tackle this kind of project myself?

Holmes: For most home renovation jobs, I tell people to hire a professional, and fences and decks are no exception. If you need to save money and want to do it yourself, make sure you do your homework and ask questions before you start any project.

PSP: What steps should I take before any backyard construction begins?

Holmes: This is a topic I cover in detail in my book, Make it Right: Expert Advice on Home Renovations. No matter what the project is, be sure to take your time and know what you want before you start. Find a good contractor and be sure to interview him or her before hiring. I like to call it ‘The Dating Game.’

You will absolutely need a permit if you are building a deck, but perhaps not for a fence; it depends on your municipality. Be sure to check your survey and call your local municipal government. You need to know if there are any issues or easements with your fence, especially if you’re on a corner lot. Also, find out if there are any bylaws on fence height and appearance. It is really important to call before you dig! You can cut cables and even break a gas line if they aren’t marked.

If you’re building a fence, make sure it is on your property and not your neighbour’s. If you plan to share the building expenses with your neighbours, make sure everyone is in agreement before you start. Discuss with them the costs, property lines, what style of fence they’d prefer and how much privacy do they want. It might even be a good idea to have some sort of written agreement in place before any construction starts.

If you’re replacing an existing fence, find out for sure that the old one was put in the correct spot in the first place. If it was not done correctly, finding out now may save you a lot of headaches when its time to sell your home.

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62 comments on “Mike Holmes’ Advice on Backyard Decks and Fences”

  1. What fence company did you use for your sons house on season 1 and episode 6 of Holmes and Holmes
    Trouble locating a source in a Florida
    We love the shadow box effect and the construction simplicity
    Thank you

  2. I was looking for that answer also. What kind of fence did you install for his house? It made install and board replacing look easy.

    1. I wish to show thanks to you just for bailing me out of this particular trouble.As a result of checking through the net and meeting techniques that were not productive , I thought my life was done.

      1. My spouse and I love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on some the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome weblog!

        1. I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details .

  3. Looking for the name of the material used around the inground pool which had rubber in it and was laid right on top of the cracked concrete?

  4. I agree with his comment that attempting to cut costs by not hiring a professional is probably not a good idea. The upfront cost may appear less, but think about the long-term and ongoing costs that might result in a more frequent fence repair schedule.

    1. For the best fence repair service, this security arranging thought can give all year screening and are regularly not confined by metropolitan statutes restricting their stature. Where space is tight, as in a side yard, quickly developing columnar evergreens like Italian cypress and arborvitae or a sheared privet fence can give a basic answer for isolating connecting yards or hindering sight lines out a kitchen window.

    1. For our fencing service, pruned plants, for example, arborvitae or amassing bamboo can be situated to make a green screen around a raised deck seating region. In a perfect world, pots ought to be raised up on casters or made of lightweight materials so you can without much of a stretch move them for gatherings or deck fixes.

  5. Ideal for warm-winter environments is cedar fencing, verdant tropical plants can make practically moment protection. Notwithstanding, even nursery workers in the North can appreciate these quickly developing, large leaf plants. Develop them as houseplants and move them in and out each season, or treat them as fascinating annuals.

  6. In the event that building a fence isn’t plausible, make deck protection with a boundary of tall supports. Not exclusively will they block sees, however they likewise assist with subduing high breezes and support clamor. Assortments like Juniper and Japanese Euonymus develop quick and react well to pruning. Get a free quote for this service.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me. Anthony Dietrich

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