Sunday 9 February 2014

Stop Vehicles And Mud On A Grass Verge

Muddy Grass Verge
A grass verge churned into mud by vehicles parking or driving over it is never a pleasant sight.

There are a few solutions to stop an attractive grassy verge turning into an unsightly muddy mess in winter or after heavy rain, some of these options are shown below:

Concrete Curb

If the grass verge is on the corner of a main road or is heavily used by traffic then a concrete curb may be the best option. Curbs will stop the majority of cars running over the grassy area and will divert the vehicles wheel back to the road.

Concrete curbs can have their disadvantages. They are not easy to install and when they are installed can look pretty ugly especially when situated along a attractive entrance to a country estate. Concrete curbs can also stop rainwater running off the road, this causes surface water to stand in the road.  In turn this has its own disadvantages, when vehicles drive through it and splash property or buildings close by.  So after installing a curb it then may become necessary to install drainage.

A Verge Protection Post Showing Tube

Verge Protection Marker Posts

Timber verge protection marker posts are the simple and effective solution to the problem. They are easy to install as they include a metal tube at the bottom of the timber post that allows the post to be pushed securely into the ground. A reflector attached either side of the post increases the visibility of the marker posts at night, stopping vehicles hitting the posts and also warning motorists to keep away from the grass verges.

If there is a chance the verge posts will be knocked then it may be worth fixing them into the ground with concrete or looking at a stronger solution for instance timber or metal bollards.


Wooden Bollards Proecting Grass
Wooden Bollards Protecting Grass

A bollard is a heavy duty solution that will not only stop cars or vehicles driving over the edge of the verge and ruining the grass but will stop vehicles parking or accessing grass areas completely.
There are a number of different styles and sizes of bollard available, usually the type or style depends on the environment where the bollard needs to be installed.

Timber bollards can be installed with reflectors pretty much anywhere and will look good in residential locations.   Metal bollards will fit in with most commercial surroundings and even stainless steel bollards can be used for contemporary locations.

Other options are available but may be more costly and difficult to install.

A Grass Verge With Verge Protection Market Posts And Orange Reflectors 

Sunday 2 February 2014

A Good Fence Needs Good Foundations

No matter how good the quality of the fencing materials, if the foundations are poor then the overall fence quality will be reduced.  Over time the posts will start to lean and eventually the fence could fall completely.

Whoever does the hard installation work, one very important element often overlooked or skimped on are the fence foundations. Good foundations are hard work to achieve and cost money to produce.

Plan your fence foundations as carefully as you plan your fence.

The Fence Foundations.
Usually when we refer to the foundations of a fence we are referring to the way in which the fence posts are secured into the ground.

To make sure these foundations are secure and successfully hold the fence in place, make sure the following points are followed:
Digging Fence Post Hole
Digging a fence post hole using a shuvholer
  • The post holes need to be the correct depth. This is a minimum of 600mm (2ft) and in most cases the hole depth will be deeper. Longer or heavy duty posts should be used in areas exposed to wind or soft ground conditions.
  • The post hole depth is not the only concern when digging the hole but the width and sides also follow guidelines. Make sure the hole is not a large crater but is either square or round and has straight sides.  If installing the fence yourself, the correct tools for the job are important and make the task much easier. A hole created for a fence post will be much better if a Shuvholer and fencing spade are used rather than a traditional shovel.
  • When the hole is the correct depth and post is the correct height then you're ready to secure the post. Remember, don’t scrimp on the concrete. If using ballast and cement make sure you use enough (60kg per post for a 1.8m high panel fence is a good recommendation), make sure the mix is correct, or consider using a premixed product generally known as Postcrete.  Postcrete will ensure the correct strength of mix an reduces the labour element as no mixing is required, just add water to the hole and then add the Postcrete mix. It also sets rapidly in approx. 5 minutes. 
  • Remember to add a minimum of 50mm (2 inches) of gravel at the bottom of the prepared hole to help drainage as this helps to prevent the post rotting. It will also help to get the post at the correct height when installing.
Finally, using fully pressure treated timber is a must.  Ask the supplier if the fence is covered by a guarantee or service life. Long term and respectable guarantees usually show that the timber materials and fence posts have been kiln dried before treatment. Wet or high moisture content timber is impossible to impregnate successfully unless correctly dried first and these products will not carry a long term guarantee.

Following some of these simple steps should ensure your investment in a new fence will save you money and hard work in the future and give a long term investment.
Fence Post Hole Drainage
Adding Gravel at the bottom of the hole aids drainage

For more information and How to install a fence, see Jacksons Fencing video of installing a fence post.