Key notes every contractor needs to know for fence construction site access.
America’s Fence Store provides the best products for the best prices—to a diverse clientele that includes homeowners, DIY fence builders, and professional contractors. When it comes to fence construction sites, one of the biggest things to account for is installation critical factors. Taking into account drainage, sidewalks, retaining walls, and many others, the amount of time spent inspecting each site to maximize resources and materials is crucial. These items must be noted to get the customer exactly what they need to complete their vision.
Consider the following when estimating a fence construction job and construction site access:
- Sidewalks. Sidewalks may prevent you from freely driving heavy equipment through the site—or just hinder construction site access in general. After all, a lot of the equipment used in construction is exceptionally heavy, and sidewalks are only 4” thick. Having vehicles drive over them will likely damage and compromise the pavement. This results in repairs, which in turn rack up additional costs for your project. If your client’s construction site includes sidewalks, we recommend using a concrete buggy. This small, lightweight vehicle helps with the removal of dirt and the transportation of concrete.
- Retaining walls. Commonly found on property with slopes, these structures are made up of blocks and loosely packed soil. If the fence is located on the retaining wall, it is recommended that you keep away all vehicles by at least half the wall’s height. Driving within close proximity to these structures is not allowed as it could cause the wall to collapse—once again, adding to the project’s overall cost.
- Asphalt. Never drive heavy equipment on new asphalt. While the edges may solidify relatively quickly, the slab will likely remain soft and vulnerable to damage in the middle. Avoid heavy masses moving over the asphalt until the entire slab hardens. (It is worth nothing that asphalt in driveways typically isn’t compacted the same as on a highway. On highways, asphalt's compacted using a roller compactor driven back and forth in overlapping passes.)
- Vehicles. Vehicles should remain a safe distance from monuments, vaults, footings, and poured structures. This helps prevent damage, as monuments and similar structures are established on concrete foundations. These foundations need time to cure. Any equipment driven near or around them before the curing process has finished could result in foundation damage such as submersion, chips, or cracks.
- Finish grade. For newer homes with no sod: you must account for finish grade. Knowing where finish grade will be installed is important when installing a fence on a new home. If the fence posts are set and the finish grade isn’t finished, the fence could end up being too tall, resulting in a gap between the fence and the grade. This creates windows for pets and children to escape, as well as exploitable points of intrusion. Not to mention the possibility that, when the sod is laid, it will not close the gap between the fence and the ground.
- Newly laid sod. Like asphalt, freshly installed sod is soft and vulnerable, so it should also not be driven on. Even the lightest of equipment could leave unsightly ruts. Keep in mind, as well, that the new sod will need to be watered continuously to ensure it takes to the ground. This is where maintaining good communication with the other trades is so important.
- Newly poured concrete. Likewise, special care should be taken for newly poured concrete. Any heavy equipment need not be driven across the surface for at least a week after installation. This allows necessary time for the concrete to set up and cure; this way, in the future heavy equipment, may safely move over the cement without causing damage.
- Newly installed landscaping. When landscaping is present, please take note of this as this too can be damaged upon installation. Just as with new sod, landscaping can easily be damaged by any equipment driven near or on said landscaping. This may require the crews to use less heavy equipment like a wheelbarrow to move concrete or other items near new landscaping.
- Other construction trades. As you no doubt know from experience, a fence company is rarely the only construction team at work on a job site at any given time. In most cases, different companies with different tasks end up working simultaneously. When there are other trades active on the site—such as sprinkler, landscaping, or concrete staff—please be aware of them. Note their schedules so everyone’s work can be completed in the most efficient matter. Everyone on site has one task in common: to put together installations that’ll please the client.
- Paver driveways and sidewalks. Same as newly poured concrete, paver driveways and sidewalks need to be paid attention to and special care for them needs to be taken into account. Paver driveways and walkways need time to setup as well after installation. This gives the pavers a chance to settle into the base that they are laid upon. The surrounding areas will most likely have a finished grade and sod next to them so there is another factor to think about.
With these critical factors taken into account, you can rest assured your construction site access has been optimized. Now it's time to start amassing fence supplies. As the industry's top online vendor, America's Fence Store sells all the individual parts you'll need: posts, rails, infill, fittings, access control devices, and more! Great prices and nationwide shipping!