Fence Woes

mxylplik2August 8, 2007

Got a vinyl fence installed the other day, noticed that there were large gaps between the bottom of the fence and the ground (anywhere from 4-12 inches). Apparently, they took the dirt that they dug out and used it to cover the gaps (they racked it instead of stepping it).

I'm getting ready to have a HUGE dispute with the company tomorrow - will they say this is okay because the fence was on a hill? Don't know why they destroyed the grass that was underneath the fence - maybe the grass is there but the dirt that is all over it hides it. When you push the dirt away, you see the gaps - neat trick huh?

For the gate, they said that they had to make the two posts level so they can argue that they had to dig under the gate to make the ground even there - I can possibly see that argument.

Also, for another part of the fence, they stepped it down a hill, but then used dirt again to hide the "holes" between the bottom of the fence and the ground. Is that normal? Aren't fences supposed to prevent animals from coming in?

Thanks - getting ready for a huge fight - any advice would be appreciated!

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davidandkasie

you should have specified how you wanted this handled. if you requested that the top of the fence remain level for each section, then by definition the bottom of the fence would have to be off the hill at the down hill side or the uphill side would have had to been dug into the hill.

if you specified, IN WRITING, that you wnat the top of the fence to run parrallel to the drop of the hill, then there should be very few holes under the fence and those could be filled in with dirt.

honestly i hav enever seen a fence installed on a hill that did not have some holes under that had to be filled in. if you did not specify they were to fill them, then they did their job and you should do yours.

if you did specify that there be no gaps along the bottom, then fight and make them come back to finish the job. withhold the final payment until you can agree the job is finished.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:15AM
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sawdust_maker

If these are things that would cause problems for you, then you should have understood what they were going to do BEFORE they did it. Don't just tell them to put in a "fence" between two points and then crab about it afterwards. Look at pictures in advance. Talk to them. Get it clear what you want done and what your goals are before anybody puts a shovel to the ground.

Sorry. This is a case where both you and the contractor are to blame. Neither one wanted to be bothered with getting it done right, with spending the time needed up front. Its a lesson both you and this contractor should learn.

Of course, if you actually did all of this up front, and had clearly written specs that said what you wanted, then keep them to their word. But I doubt it is even remotely so given your statements.

John

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 7:57AM
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Jillofall

I had a similar experience. The vinyl fence panels are squared, so it is virtually impossible to follow the slope. Consider yourself lucky that they made the gate posts the same. Mine on not the same height and it is impossible to close off the area under the gate. -- Kris

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 4:04PM
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mxylplik2

Guy came out, said that given that the fence is on a hill, he had to find a point to make the ground even for the gate (thus, the two posts for the gate had to be at a certain point) - then the posts that was right next to the gate HAD to be higher as this is standard in how that looks. So if he had to start that post higher, then the entire fence would be high. Then, the next panel was where the ground was slightly higher than the rest - so he said, see - it couldn't be any lower here. Then for the last panel, he said if he dropped the last post down, that the angle on that panel would be different from the angles on the other two panels (and that would look worse than the gaps). Right now, the angle for the three panels to the right of the gate are fairly consistent (I'll concede that). Apparently, there are notches in the posts where the panels fit into - so you can't choose the height on the post to put the panel but you can choose to angle the panel down or up based on the height of the next post.

He could have dug the ground lower under the second panel to make the ground more even relative to the first and third panels - that way, he could have dropped the height on all panels closer to the ground. But he keeps saying that that would look awful as the post next to the post for the gate would be lower and that is just not how it works.

Pics:

http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p1000215094-4.jpg

Put dirt to hid gap - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p921898893-4.jpg

Closer view of that panel - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p981863779-4.jpg

Middle and third panel - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p538938054-4.jpg

Closer view of third panel - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p771995843-4.jpg

Posts adjoining gate posts has to be higher - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p886915799-4.jpg

Three panels to right of gate - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p972147792-4.jpg

View from other side - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p669401276-4.jpg

Fence is "stepped" - creates big gaps - http://mxylplik2.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p922657155-4.jpg

Thoughts? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 6:50AM
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mikie_gw

Put dirt to hid gap -

Closer view of that panel -

Middle and third panel -

Closer view of third panel -

Posts adjoining gate posts has to be higher -

Three panels to right of gate -

View from other side -

Fence is "stepped" - creates big gaps -

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 9:48PM
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mikie_gw

UtOh for dial up... some pics are big bytes.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 9:51PM
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