Project Spotlight – Parkway Overlook Apartments (Washington DC)

 LOCATION DETAILS

Property Name: Parkway Overlook Apartments

Address: 2841 Robinson Place, SE, Washington, DC 20020

Owner and Client: District of Columbia Housing Authority

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Parkway Overlook Apartments project is a rehabilitation initiative of an abandoned garden apartments complex in Southeast Washington, DC’s Congress Heights neighborhood. The site is located just three miles from the U.S. Capitol across the Anocostia River.  Site reclamation converted the property into 220 units of affordable housing consisting of 1-2-3 bedroom units. Workforce development training programs were implemented to provide onsite support for residents. Solar power systems were installed which will provide up to 30% of the energy needed for the facility.  For more information about the project, read the press release from the Washington, DC mayor’s office.

TREX FENCING INSTALLATION

Trex Fencing is used throughout the seven acre Parkway Overlook Apartments project in applications for trash enclosures, group condenser and HVAC equipment enclosures. Trex Fencing was selected specifically because the architect felt the unique board-on-board characteristics of Seclusions contributed to the site design. The fence was used to surround three sides of the enclosures but left open in the front for easy access and to avoid a sense of the large enclosures appearing closed-off. The architect wanted a small amount of transparency, so the fence was designed for such by cutting alternating pickets near the top to provide a gap. Horizontal rails ran below the semi-transparent top as a way to give the enclosures a finished look to the open feel. This solution provided relative ease of construction and limited costs.

The adaptability of Trex Fencing makes it a perfect solution for trash enclosures or HVAC enclosures. Even tall dumpsters or HVAC equipment can be hidden from view behind a Trex fence since the structures can be adapted to various heights. The sturdy, dense posts can be installed directly into the ground or on top of concrete pads sleeved over post mounts. With a 5/8″ thick wall, Trex posts are designed for standalone support up to eight feet tall.

Like the Parkway Overlook Apartments complex, every housing site has trash collection locations and utility equipment. While necessary for living spaces, these site features are typically unattractive. Dumpster enclosures provide obscurity to hide unsightly trash receptacles and HVAC enclosures block noisy equipment. The aesthetic improvement a Trex fence can provide extends beyond the functional benefit of heavier, more industrial structures such as block walls. Both serve to provide durable enclosures, but Trex fencing is a softer, more natural barrier and provides a value engineering option to finished, textured walls. Trex fences are easier to repair and adapt, and gates can be constructed with Trex Fencing components ensuring a matching design throughout.

PROJECT ARCHITECT

EDG of Bethesda, Maryland was selected as the project architect. The firm provides comprehensive design and production services in the DC Metro area. For more information on the firm’s work on the Parkway Overlook Apartments and the use of Trex fencing in this project, please contact the project architect.

Tim Powell RA, LEED AP

3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 110
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-654-0058

www.edgarchitects.net

ABOUT TREX FENCING FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Trex fencing is a composite fence system designed to provide full or partial privacy with durable, low-maintenance materials. Available in vertical or horizontal picket orientations, the fence is versatile; it can be stepped or sloped and built up to 12′ tall. Since the early 1990’s, Trex has led the outdoor building materials industry in composite products, providing innovative, environmentally responsible solutions for commercial building projects. For more information on how Trex Fencing can be used for your projects, please contact our corporate offices as 877-700-8739 or [email protected]

Want more information about Trex for commercial applications?

Drawing of Commercial Trex Fence Panel

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7 Reasons Trex Fencing is Better Than Vinyl

As a composite fence, Trex is often compared to vinyl. But let’s be honest, vinyl is no match for Trex. Here are the top 5 reasons Trex is better than vinyl.

1. Trex is Stronger

Our horizontal design, Trex Horizons is just as strong as Trex Seclusions.
Vinyl fencing is easily broken and blown out.
Trex is a composite material made of both wood and plastic. Our special formula takes the strength of wood and pairs it with the durability of plastic. Trex is also more solid than vinyl. Our posts are 4 times thicker than vinyl posts, which means they don’t need to be sleeved over metal or wood fence posts for added strength. And we have solid fence pickets, where vinyl panels are hollow. Trex Fencing materials only weigh slightly more than their vinyl counterparts, making them just as easy to install, but its resilience means you’ll only ever have to install it once.

2. Trex Looks Better

Trex Fencing provides the perfect backdrop to beautifully landscaped yards.
Vinyl will yellow in the sun and stains easily.
Trex has a natural appearance similar to wood. While vinyl fences do come in more colors than white, they have a glossy coating that makes them look shiny. Trex comes in 3 natural matte colors: Woodland Brown, Saddle, and Winchester Grey. During the manufacturing process, Trex Fence materials are over-pigmented, so when weathering does occur, the color still looks good. Vinyl fences turn yellow, crack, chip and peel.

3. Trex Lasts Longer

These Trex Fences have been on display in a lumber yard for over 5 years.
Boxing tape was used in an attempt to make this vinyl fence last longer.
Trex has a 25-year warranty, which is longer than most people will live in their homes. Imagine installing a fence that never needs repairs or replacing, a fence that never breaks and always looks good. Trex won’t break or fade, making repairs and maintenance unnecessary. Sure vinyl has a lifetime warranty, but it’s still going to crack, break, chip, or yellow, you’ll have to make time to fix it. That’s something you’ll never have to worry about with Trex.

4. Trex is Better for the Environment

Trex Fencing utilizes recycled materials for a “greener” fence.
PVC Vinyl isn’t doing your fence, or the environment, any favors.
Trex Fencing is made up of 95% recycled materials and contains no hazardous chemicals. Even Trex’s manufacturing process is green with the elimination of smoke stacks and reduced CO2 emissions. Vinyl fencing manufacturers new PVC, a controversial material that is not eco-friendly.  And vinyl uses chlorine, a chemical that can be hazardous to people and the environment. If you are focused on having a responsible, eco-friendly building, don’t mar your landscape by using vinyl. Trex Fencing even qualifies for LEED points through the U.S. Green Building Council.

5. Trex Withstands the Elements

Trex Fencing performs well in all kinds of climates.
This vinyl fence couldn’t survive a windy day.
Because Trex is the stronger, better-built product, this also means that it does better in even the most extreme weather conditions. When you build an outdoor fence, you expect it to handle the outdoor weather. Vinyl fence reacts badly to cold weather, becoming very brittle and breakable, while also expanding in hot weather. Because of the changes it makes in extreme temperatures, the panels can warp and will need to be replaced if you still want a fence that is private and secure. Trex does not warp and the special interlocking design of the pickets will ensure that your fence is always private. Trex has even been tested to withstand hurricane force winds. Often, in wind, vinyl pickets will simply pop out and fly around the yard while the post will buckle and snap in half. Vinyl’s lightweight and flimsy design is better used as a kite than a fence in windy areas.

A perfect example of Trex Fencing vs. vinyl fencing. The vinyl is destroyed while Trex is still standing.

With a 25-year residential warranty, we guarantee you’ll love your Trex Fence for years. Strength and durability, combined with recycled materials in a tasteful design, Trex Fencing has it all. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for vinyl. So, if you are looking for a fence that will last, choose Trex.
Click Here to order samples of Trex Fencing.
Learn about Trex versus other fencing options through our web article.
To access out estimator tool, click here.
Please visit our “Contact Us” Page to get in touch with us!

 

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Project Spotlight: Golden Spiral Design Office

Project Spotlight: Golden Spiral Design Office

Most people buy Trex Fencing because it is strong, beautiful, and low-maintenance. The fact that Trex Fencing is also eco-friendly, is usually just a perk, not a selling point. But when it came to the new office space for Golden Spiral Design, a green fence was their top priority.
Florida architectural & interior design firm Golden Spiral Design focuses on sustainability in a beautiful and creative way. Of course, their home office had to reflect those same values. It’s been several years in the making and a Trex Fence was only part of the project. Golden Spiral Design found a condemned brownfield auto-garage in Boca Raton, Florida. Their goal was to transform the space into a work of art that gave back to the community and the environment. You can read more about this amazing building here: http://www.goldenspiraldesign.com/our-office/

Before: condemned auto-garage

After: Golden Spiral Design office

Trex Fencing’s high-quality composite is actually 95% recycled wood and plastic. When Trex manufactures their fencing, they use reclaimed sawdust, wood pallets, plastic grocery bags, and plastic kitchen film. All of this material would’ve ended up in a landfill, but Trex uses it to make incredible fences.  But it’s not just their product that’s green, Trex’s manufacturing process is focused on eliminating harmful chemicals and reclaiming factory waste. In fact, the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Trex Fencing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points that can contribute to a LEED-certified building. This distinction certifies that a building project is energy efficient, eco-friendly, and sustainable.

Winchester Grey is a popular color in Florida and other coastal states.

The modern style of Horizons complements the local flora planted around the perimeter.

So when Emerald Skyline, a sustainability consulting firm committed to the built environment and the project’s sustainable consultants, went searching for an eco-friendly fence, the obvious choice was Trex Fencing. And while finding a LEED-certified fence was their priority, they also needed a fence that would match the beauty of their building, and provide the privacy and security needed for a commercial office. They decided on 6ft tall Trex Horizons, our horizontal style fence, in the color Winchester Grey. Emerald Skyline’s environmental architect, Abraham Wien designed the rolling security gate that allows access to the building.

Installing Trex Fencing is very easy as the pickets cut just like wood.

This rolling double gate is perfect for large driveways.

Locals say this fence and the overall project has changed the character and appearance of the neighborhood. This was Golden Spiral Design’s first time working with Trex Fencing, but they love this beautiful new component to their building. If you’re in the Florida area, check out Emerald Skyline and Golden Spiral Design and learn more about Trex Fencing.
It’s always nice to get positive feedback on a Trex Fencing project, whether the person loves the beauty it adds to their yard, or they are grateful for its strength in a recent storm, but this project is something special. Our fence was just one component to a much larger project dedicated to making our world a better place.
5 Reasons Trex Fencing is Better Than Wood

5 Reasons Trex Fencing is Better Than Wood

Trex Fencing’s composite material is often compared to wood fencing because of its natural beauty. But in every other way, Trex Fencing outperforms your average wood fence.

1. Trex is Private

You can be comfortable in your yard, even when you live on a busy street.

All those holes and gaps are perfect for nosy neighbors and peeping toms.

Most wood fences are built to be private, but that only lasts until the weather changes and the wood starts warping and shrinking. When wood pickets are installed side-by-side, they might seem tight and difficult to look through. However, over time, as the moisture content in the wood changes, it will expand and contract, and you’ll find gaps between the pickets. A board-on-board fence is often promoted as a method to cover up the shrinkage, but wood warps so this design still doesn’t provide full privacy as the fence ages.

On the other hand, the ingenious design of Trex Fencing’s interlocking pickets are specially engineered to provide total privacy. Even if slight changes occur, you’ll never have a gap in your Trex fence. (These unique pickets also make the fence “neighbor-friendly”, meaning the fence looks the same on both sides. You and your neighbor will no longer have to argue over who gets the nice side of the fence). Trex also gives you an advantage if you need additional privacy and security on top. Trex Fencing can be built up to 12 feet tall!

2. Trex is Strong

This picture was taken by a happy customer whose Trex Fence stayed standing through a Texas tornado.

Hurricane Irma made quite a mess with this old wood fence.

The biggest issue of wood fences today is the quality of the lumber being used. Most of the wood comes from tree farms where the trees don’t have much time to strengthen and grow. This means wood fences are being built with less dense and less durable wood that will only weaken as it ages. But Trex Fencing doesn’t have that same problem. The composite is formulated and manufactured in a way that makes the material incredibly dense and stronger than wood. In fact, Trex Fencing has been tested to withstand hurricane-force winds.

3. Trex is Low Maintenance

Spend less time on your fence, and more time enjoying your yard.

A creative solution if you don’t want to paint your fence, but you also want your neighbor to stop complaining. Or you could just get a Trex Fence.

If you’re someone who takes pleasure in painting or staining and sealing your wood fence every year, then wood fencing can be your labor of love. However, it’s a rare individual who enjoys repairing and replacing broken pickets and posts. For everyone else that hates the chore of maintaining their wood fence, they’ll appreciate the simple, minimal care a Trex Fence requires. The Trex composite material never requires painting or staining to maintain the color. Trex Fencing comes in 3 beautiful, natural colors that fade to their intended shade within a few weeks of installation. You’ll never apply a sealant to protect that color and the integrity of the material. Trex’s composite formula takes care of all that for you. And if your Trex fence gets dirty, just hose it off, and you’re good to go!

4. Trex is Resilient

You deserve a fence that will stand the test of time.

Replacing this with another wood fence doesn’t really solve the problem.

Wood is an organic material that deteriorates over time. Even after treating it with heat, pressure, and chemicals, wood will inevitably decay. Factors like weather, insects, and maintenance will determine just how long a wood fence lasts, but the average lifespan is only 10 years. Alternatively, Trex Fencing comes with a 25-year Residential Warranty. We can guarantee our fences for at least 25 years because wood-plastic composite doesn’t rot like wood, doesn’t attract termites and carpenter ants like wood, and doesn’t crack and splinter like wood. Once your Trex Fence is installed, you can sit back and enjoy it for years to come.

5. Trex is Eco-Friendly

Trex has never cut down a single tree to manufacture their fences.

Wood fences have a negative impact on our environment.

95% of Trex’s special composite formula comes from reclaimed materials. Not one single tree has ever been cut down to make a Trex Fence. When building a wood fence, cutting down trees contributes to the deforestation of old-growth trees or requires the use of inferior wood from tree farms (read this article to find out why that’s a huge deal). And it’s an even bigger waste of natural resources when your wood fence only lasts for a few years and requires a replacement. Fortunately, there’s a better option. In addition to the use of recycled materials like reclaimed sawdust and plastic grocery bags, Trex’s manufacturing process is also eco-friendly. Their factories are focused on reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Trex Fencing is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and qualifies for LEED points. Wood just can’t compete with that.

 

This Trex Woodland Brown Trex Fence was installed right next to an old wood fence. Which would you rather have?

Trex is, by far, the superior fencing material. But there are some who will say, “Wood is cheaper and it’s good enough”. But here’s the thing: when accounting for the time and money you’d spend installing, maintaining, repairing, and replacing a wood fence over the years, wood is actually more expensive. And is a wood fence really “good enough” when it broken, rotting, and not even doing the job it was built for? Save yourself the headache, get Trex Fencing.

Painted Wood Fence Picture Source: http://themetapicture.com/how-to-piss-off-your-neighbor/

Composite Fencing 101: Advantages

A Trex composite fence is made up of many different materials, instead of a wood fence or a vinyl fence, which uses only one material. But what’s so great about a composite? Think of a shirt that is part cotton, part polyester. The cotton makes it soft and the polyester helps it hold its shape. Or CFRPs, another composite that we use every day. From bikes to airplanes, the fiber makes it lightweight and the resin makes it strong. The point of composites is to take the strengths from each material to make a better product, and even eliminate the problems of a single material.
Polyester/cotton blend shirts are extremely popular.
CFRP is also known as Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer.

Trex Composite Fencing

In fencing, building with a single material has its pros and its cons. Wood might be strong, but it is susceptible to rot and insect damage. Vinyl might be easy to maintain, but it is easily broken. That’s where the Trex composite material comes in. Trex uses wood and plastic, taking the best features from both, to make their composite material. Using wood gives it strength and a natural appearance. Using plastic makes it resistant to rot and insect damage. But it gets even better. 95% of the composite material is recycled. Trex takes reclaimed wood and sawdust that would otherwise be thrown out. Additionally, they use all kinds of plastic film, including grocery bags, plastic wrappers from products like toilet paper and paper towels, and even sandwich bags. By utilizing recycled materials, Trex has never cut down a single tree or manufactured brand new plastic to make a fence. Trex composite isn’t just good for your fence, it’s also beneficial for the environment.

Wood
Composite
Vinyl

Trex Composite Colors

Another material in the composite mix is the color. Other companies use expensive UV inhibitors, but their fences always fade. Trex is smarter. When the fencing is manufactured, the material is over pigmented (meaning there is extra color added), so it will naturally weather to the correct color. Everything outside in the elements is going to change, but Trex makes sure your fence will always look fantastic.

A Fence For Every Season

Unless you live in under a large sheltered dome, you’re going to need a fence that can handle the weather. From hot summer days to cold winter nights, and everything in between, the Trex composite is virtually weather-proof. We’re not sure if it would survive a volcanic explosion, but it’s been tested against most everything else. Trex won’t contract like wood, making gaps in between pickets. And when it gets cold, Trex won’t become brittle and shatter like vinyl. It’s been certified to withstand hurricane force winds and it won’t rot in humid environments. Again, it’s that special combination of wood and plastic that helps it withstand the elements.

Trex Fencing is made for extreme weather.

Trex vs The Other Guys

How does Trex compare with other composites? The short answer is: no other product out there measures up. And here’s why:

Trex Composite Material has been perfected in their fencing and decking.

Experience

Trex was founded in 1996, more than 20 years ago, introducing the idea of wood/plastic composites to the outdoor market. In an effort to compete with Trex, many companies have attempted their own composite fencing line with less than stellar results. The common theme among these companies is that they tend to crack, just like their products. Other manufacturers just can’t produce a formula that is strong, sturdy, and long-lasting. And when the products fail, the company either sells out or closes, and those warranties they offered are now void.

 Formula

The exact Trex formula is a company secret, but it’s easy to find out what’s in Trex and how it’s made. It’s right here on their website. Trex uses recycled wood and plastic. Other companies aren’t so transparent, and it can be tricky to figure out what exactly is in their fencing. One company’s composite is made from plastic and wheat, which warps badly in the heat. Another company uses bamboo which isn’t sustainable. Some vinyl and plastic fence companies will even try to pass their material off as composite, saying that its many up of many different types of plastic. But these fences are just plastic, through and through, and come with all the issues of a plastic fence. Even still, some companies will just make composite pickets, then require the use of wood or metal posts which decay in the ground. If a fence manufacturer claims their product is composite, do a little research to find the truth.

Picket Style

In addition to their solid formula, Trex has designed their fence pickets to interlock in a simple, yet brilliant way, that makes them 100% private, 100% secure, and 100% easy to install. The other guys use different styles that just don’t work as well. When using face nail pickets, the nails will loosen over time and the boards can warp and split. Solid panels are heavy, can’t be customized, and can’t slope in an uneven yard. Tongue and groove boards will gap as they expand and contract, and they aren’t nearly as strong as the Trex. The fencing system is just as important as the fencing material.
No other fence works like this.

The Cost of Composite

There is one more thing we have to address, and that’s the cost. If you’ve done your research on composite fencing, you know that it is the most expensive fencing material. But if you’ve really done your research, you know that Trex is worth every penny. While wood and vinyl might be cheaper up-front, you still have to account for the cost of maintenance and repair.  Wood fences need painting or staining, and protective coatings to prevent rot and insect damage. Vinyl fences, while they seem low-maintenance, are easily broken and must be repaired or replaced to keep them looking nice. So yes, Trex Fencing is expensive, but if you want a fence that looks impeccable, doesn’t require ongoing work, and comes with a 25-year residential warranty, it’s the cheapest fence of all.

Trex is the fence you need.
Still not convinced? We encourage you to do your own research. Our customers tell us that, after exploring every option, Trex is the winner. We’ve had contractors say it’s the best material they’ve ever worked with. Click here to order your very own samples of Trex composite fencing.

To get in touch with our experts, please give us a call or shoot us an email!

Composite Fencing & The Future Of The Wood Industry

Benefits of Composite Fencing

Composite lumber is increasingly popular for fence and deck construction. Composites are a mixture of organic fiber, plastic, and a binding agent. The most common reason people invest in composites for building materials is convenience. Composite fencing is an industry innovation that addresses broader issues with wood fencing. In this article we’ll explore four of the issues composite fencing solves.

New-Growth Wood Problems

Most of the fencing we use today comes from younger trees since available supplies from virgin forests are used up or protected. Originally we would get the trees from old growth forests. The trees in these forests grew slowly over a period of many decades or centuries. As a consequence the rings from these trees are denser, which give them a much harder structure and resistant to rot than new growth trees. Today we farm most of the trees we use and cut them down in a period that could last as little as 10 years. The end product is notably different:

The wood from new growth trees has less density and is consequently much softer and structurally weaker. Composite fencing solves this problem by being able to tightly compact wood fibers to make a product that is denser than the new growth wood. This makes the material and the whole structure much stronger. Another added benefit from composite fencing is the ability to create custom configurations. For example, Trex Fencing uses an interlocking picket that would be not possible with regular wood. These specially engineered pickets prevent the fence from sagging, warping or splitting; which can become problematic with wood.

Injecting wood with preservatives only solves a small part of the durability problem. Wood fencing receives some benefit from this process, but the lack of density from new wood growth prevents the structure from lasting as long as it once did. This issue is corrected with composite fencing by increasing the density of the board and engineering more stable components.

Rising Cost of Wood

Not only is the quality of the new growth wood lower than it used to be, which will reduce the life expectancy of a fence, but its price is increasing drastically. According to the National Association of Home Builders the price of framing lumber has nearly doubled in the last five years. The simple explanation for this is increased demand for the wood while supplies are dwindling. The fact that it can take up to one or two decades to grow a tree and demand for wood continues to rise will only accelerate this process.

Another reason for the dwindling suppliers will come from forest fires. As I’ll explain in the next section, these fires will become more common, further dwindling the wood supplies and therefore rising prices.

Other factors such as the new 20-24% import tax for Canadian lumber may also affect prices.  The National Association of Home Builders claims this tax will affect end consumers. However, the U.S. Lumber Coalition claims that most of the costs will be absorbed by Canadian suppliers. But despite these back and forth arguments, the historical data indicates that lumber prices are going up, and there’s no indication that this trend is stopping.

Since composite fencing products like Trex use recycled lumber, (sawdust and other remnants) the density of the growth doesn’t affect its quality. Additionally, Trex is recycling left over wood products that might otherwise be wasted.

Forest Fires Strain Supply

It has been a busy decade for forest fires. The west coast has experienced a prolonged period of drought. The ecosystems of the Western United States and Canada have evolved to be especially adaptive for low intensity and periodic forest fires. But our success in the past 50 years in preventing and quickly extinguishing these fires has caused a massive buildup of combustible materials that in the past would periodically be eliminated by smaller fires. This buildup causes high intensity fires that are very difficult to manage, and now destroy most of the trees that once survived the smaller periodic fires.

Conclusion

Wood-plastic composites are the clear alternative to wood lumber. They are a sustainable choice that have minimal impact on the environment and last longer than wood. As wood supplies decrease the cost of replacing existing wood fences will be much greater than when they were first built.

 

Written by Eugene Sheely.

Project Spotlight: Surfside Colony, CA

Project Spotlight: Surfside Colony, CA

A simple search of “beach fence images” returns tranquil pictures of driftwood sticks tied together with a bit of wire, wavy and windblown, along a beach. These quintessential images exude an easy-going and relaxing vibe that is perfect for your computer’s wallpaper. These beach fences make for great pictures, but in reality, they are terrible fences. They can’t keep anyone in or out, provide any privacy, even marking the property line gets a little tricky when the wind blows these fences over. What if we could have a beach fence that was both sturdy and attractive? A fence designed to match the stunning scenery, while also doing its job? The best beach fence is a Trex Fence.
A recent project in Seal Beach, California at the beachside community of Surfside Colony, proves that Trex is the best kind of beach fence. A-1 Steel installed approximately 200 feet of Winchester Grey Trex Seclusions on the sandy beach. In fact, the Trex Fence starts right at the iconic PCH Water Tower House and heads straight towards the ocean. The old fence was weathered and falling, and the property owners were in search of a new fence that would actually last.

Picturesque beach fence isn’t a great fence

Surfside Colony in Southern California

Old and broken fence before removal

Brand new Winchester Grey Trex Fence along the beach

Surfside Colony chose Trex Fencing for their beach fence for several different reasons. First, because it is termite resistant, which is a serious problem for wood on the beach. Second, because it is an eco-friendly fence. Trex is 95% recycled materials, half of which is plastic and the other half wood. Trex is proud to be doing their part to keep California’s beaches clean and beautiful. Third, because Trex has a more natural appearance than a plastic fence. Its special formula of composite materials gives you the look of wood, without any of the drawbacks like rotting or mold. And the Trex color, Winchester Grey, is especially popular, giving it a nice contrast to the golden sandy beaches and the blue ocean water. And fourth, Trex was chosen for its ability to withstand hurricane force winds. Unlike those flimsy beach fences, Trex will stand its ground.

A solid concrete base was used for the Trex Fence

New Winchester Grey Trex Fence leading to the PCH Water Tower

For those of you wondering just how a beach fence is built, the answer is concrete. Lots and lots of concrete. In order to build a sturdy fence in the shifting sands of a beach, 12ft Trex Posts were set 4ft deep into the ground, using over 400lbs of concrete. If you’re going to put up a Trex Fence, you’ve got to do it right.

A-1 Steel Fence, located in Santa Fe Springs, installed this Trex beach fence. Their slogan “Quality is not expensive, it’s priceless!” rings true for Trex Fencing as well.

Looking for your very own Trex beach fence? Contact us today!

Project Spotlight: Wire Mesh Garden Panels

Project Spotlight: Wire Mesh Garden Panels

Homeowner Kenji S. from Houston, Texas installed this custom Trex Fence, complete with wire panels for growing vines.
Some people might consider a fence an eyesore or a necessary evil. But Trex proves that doesn’t have to be true. Your fence can be an incredible backdrop to a beautiful yard. This project spotlight highlights the creativity of one of our customers. Kenji S. from Houston TX. took his Trex Fence to the next level by replacing every third panel with galvanized wire mesh in order to create a living fence. We are awestruck by the creativity and the effects of this beautiful fence.
Kenji chose to install this fence himself, with the help of a fence-savvy friend. The installation took several Saturdays, but his hard work paid off. After having a positive experience with Trex Decking, it made sense to finish the yard with Trex Fencing. Kenji familiarized himself with the materials as well as the instructions found HERE. The project began by installing the Trex fence posts, then the bottom rails followed by the Trex pickets. In the sections that would hold the vines, Kenji used galvanized 3in. wire mesh.  To match the Trex Winchester Grey color and to add an extra layer of protection, the wire-mesh received a coat of Rustoleum spray paint. After the pickets and mesh were installed, the top rails were placed throughout the entire fence.

3″ Galvanized Wire Mesh was used in place of a Trex panel in order to grow flowering vines.

By alternating Trex Seclusions sections with the vine covered panels, Kenji added visual interest to his fence.

A section of garden bed was prepared at the base of each mesh panel before planting the vines.  Kenji did his research and chose several vine plants that would thrive in the Houston climate.  He also took into consideration vines that were evergreen (which would provide privacy all year long) and different kinds of vines that would flower and bloom at different times. The vines planted include:
  • Star or Confederate Jasmine
  • Blue Crown Passion Flower Vine
  • Evergreen Wisteria Vine
  • Carolina Jessamine
  • Tangerine Cross Vine
  • Red Cascade Climbing Rose Vine
A few of the plants grew quickly and filled in within the summer, while the rest will continue to grow and fill in over the next couple of years.
Kenji S. said about Trex Fencing and his project: “This is a huge project for a DIYer, and I would not have attempted it if my friend George had not had experience installing fence. I used Trex decking because of its longevity in the humid Houston environment.  This naturally lead me to Trex Fencing. I found working with the materials very straightforward and easy. I worked with the Home Depot Pro Desk to secure all the materials, and this afforded me a nice discount from their retail list prices and was an overall great experience.” (Kudos to Doris at store #577 located at 999 North Loop West, Houston, TX 77008).

A small area of soil and irrigation were needed at the base of these mesh panels to help the vines grow quickly and evenly.

And his advice for anyone else interested in tackling a similar project with distinct elements: “Plan, plan, plan and review your plan thoroughly.  Whether you have an architect draw-up detailed plans or use AutoCad or Microsoft Visio, have a detailed plan to ensure correct measurements for accurate materials ordering & installation.”

An alternate view shows both the form and function of this yard.

This project is proof of what hard work and planning, as well as the DIY spirit, can do for your yard.

From the many plants to the eco-friendly Trex, this yard is all about green.

The architectural drawing of the backyard design.

The homeowner was so pleased with his Trex Deck, he decided he needed a Trex Fence to match.

Kathleen Reardon of RD Architecture in Houston, Texas is credited with the design for this incredible backyard.

HORIZONTAL FENCE DESIGN 101

HORIZONTAL FENCE DESIGN 101

EXPAND SPACES. PROMOTE RELAXATION. CREATE UNIQUE CURB APPEAL.

Horizontal fences are in high demand and there are a lot of materials and options available. Perhaps you’re contemplating a new fence for your yard and are considering if this style is right for you. Whether you are looking to do it yourself, have it installed by professionals, or just making plans for the future, this guide will help you sort through some of the most important details you should consider in choosing the right horizontal fence.

DESIGN

Horizontal lines have been adopted in numerous aspects of modern design. From wall treatments to furniture, they provide a signature look. The famous modern architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, used horizontal lines to form a relationship between his buildings and the landscape. Fencing is simply another extension of your home’s architecture. Choosing to build a horizontal fence over a more traditional design, will give your house unique curb appeal.

Trex Horizons Horizontal Fence System

Trex Horizons Fence System

To best understand why horizontal fences look so appealing, it’s important to understand some basics of art composition.

  • Horizontal lines are used to expand spaces.
  • They run parallel to the earth and show a continuation of landscaping.
  • Horizontal lines are at rest and peaceful.
  • Horizontal lines are combined with vertical lines to build stable shapes.
  • A break in a horizontal line can create emphasis.

So what does that mean for my yard?

Horizontal lines occur naturally in nature like the horizon on the ocean.

Horizontal Line in Nature

BENEFITS

Horizontal fences can promote feelings of relaxation and peace. I know this sounds a little cosmic and existential but it’s true. There is an increasing popularity to promote health and wellness in home design through the use of neutral colors and clean lines. A horizontal fence carries that theme to the backyard. Since our brains are wired to recognize that objects laying down are in a state of rest, a horizontal line promotes that feeling. So, naturally while you are reclining on a poolside lounger you’d be able to look at that relaxed fence line and totally relate.

Installing a horizontal fence will expand your backyard. OK, maybe not literally, but visually the lines will make any space feel bigger. This happens for the same reason vertical lines are so slimming on clothing. They draw attention in the direction they run. Having a horizontal fence will emphasize how much area your yard has, rather than drawing attention to the height of your fence and other structures on your property. So, what once might have looked like a tiny patio will now look like there’s room to spread out.

Another major benefit of horizontal fences is that they tie landscaping together. Those lines that run from side to side draw the eye across your yard from one area to another. You can still create unique spaces within your yard by using plants and borders that break up the fence line.

Trees and other tall plants are great at defining different areas in a yard. A tree, tall plant, or yard ornament will be emphasized and stand out even more in front of horizontal fence. Any design that runs against the lines in the background will become a focal point, which is especially great if you want your landscaping to be the star of your design.

MATERIALS

There are a few material choices for building a horizontal fence in the United States that don’t require custom fabrication — wood, Trex, and other composites. With a variety options, it is important to balance your decision between aesthetics, performance, and cost.

WOOD

Wood is the most frequently chosen product because it’s a natural and traditional building material. Within the wood category there are many choices. It comes in a variety of dimensions and can be customized for any project. It also looks great when stained and the exotic varieties are quite eye-catching.

Post supports should be 4-5 ft apart to ensure greater strength and help control sagging. Another good option for structural support is to add a metal frame. This will also help make the fence more solid and provide a good surface to attach the rails. If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to choose which side of the fence will have the metal frame showing.

Hawaiian birch is a popular choice in Southern California because it is quite rigid. Some contractors might also recommend using redwood, ipe, or other hardwood deck boards as rails. These typically have a thickness of 5/4″. Many of the horizontal fence pictures featured on Pinterest are using hardwoods.

Wood has a tendency to shrink with time and temperature. To keep a full privacy look, it is good to overlap boards. Alternatively many homeowners choose to do a semi-private design that allows for a gap.

Wood fences do require some maintenance.. To keep your fence from weathering too quickly, it’s good to stain a minimum of every 2-3 years.

Tropical Wood Horizontal Fence

Tropical Wood Horizontal Fence

TREX

Trex Horizons is a horizontal composite fence system. It uses interlocking pickets to create a board-on-board design that is the same on both sides. Horizons is encased in a metal frame for added structure and to mount to the posts.

The interlocking pickets keep constant pressure on each other to prevent warping, bowing, and sagging creating a full privacy fence with no gaps. It installs on 8 ft centers and remains rigid throughout. A larger section width means less labor for installation.

Trex Horizons is made from 95% recycled materials and resists insect damage and will not rot. It withstands high winds and performs well in all climates. The Trex components of the fence come with a 25-year residential warranty.

There are some additional infographics to see how Trex fencing compares to wood, vinyl, masonry, and other composites

Trex Horizons in Woodland Brown Stepped Design

Trex Horizons in Woodland Brown Stepped Design

OTHER COMPOSITES

Other composite fences typically use tongue-and-groove pickets floating inside a metal frame. The fence boards are sometimes embossed with a wood grain pattern and the boards install in 6 ft and 8 ft sections. The composite fence boards are made from recycled wood or other organic material and plastic.

Manufacturers’ warranties vary, typically starting at 1-year.

SEMI-PRIVATE HORIZONTAL FENCE DESIGN

Fence gaps on a horizontal fence work roughly like a set of partially closed window shades. The closer you get to the gap, the more you can see. There isn’t a very large difference for visibility between horizontal and other semi-private fence designs. It all depends on the size of the gap.

RESIDENTIAL FENCING VS COMMERCIAL FENCING

Horizontal Fencing is becoming more common among neighborhood businesses that reside near or within residential areas. Many new businesses that require fencing or screening (especially larger national retail chains) have chosen to include horizontal fencing as part of their design, reflecting current building trends for fencing within the industry.

Trex Horizons in Woodland Brown Stepped Design

Louvered Wood Horizontal Fence With Brick Columns

OTHER USES

Horizontal fences are a popular choice for privacy screen panels. Sometimes a single section or two will be used as a divider to separate sections of the yard or to partition a patio or pool area. Additionally horizontal fences make excellent enclosures for utility areas or dumpsters.

Climbing vines do well on semi private horizontal fences but considerations should be made as to what impact the vine might have on the fence over time.

CHOOSE WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

To find out more about Trex Fencing, visit the trexfencing.com literature page for helpful tips, installation videos, and contact information for purchasing.

If you decide to go with wood, it’s best to talk to a local fence contractor to see what materials they recommend in your area. Make sure to do your homework and verify any service professional you hire.