Ask A Custom Fence Professional

ATP ?If you are looking for a custom fence in Orlando, one thing is sure.  You have questions, and they need answers.  We are here to help. 

Just ask a professional at Custom Fence Orlando. Understand and realize there are no stupid questions, only a question not ask.  It does not matter if it is silly or complicated. Failure to ask will only lead to aggravation and wasted money. 

So ask that question.  We will get it answered.  You never know. That question might just help the next person who finds this page.  

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 QUESTION:   I heard both sides of the story for using cement on fence posts. How do I know which is correct? Cement with an upward slope to hold the post or no cement due to rotting of the post?

ANSWER:  Last week, I had the honor of attending the American Fence Association's (AFA) National Conference In Pheonix Arizona.  Concrete or no Concrete was a hot topic.  It did not matter if was a fence company from California, North Dakota, Taxes, or New York their answers revolved around three different factors: (1) Geographical Location, (2) Environmental Conditions, and (3)  Leverage Ratios versus External Force.   

Based on these three factors, the answer should be simple; but it is not.  It is as complicated as the Shakes Spear Quote: "To be or not to be..."    That answer is complex and possesses endless meanings just like the use of concrete.  For example, let us examine the reference in the question, "Cement with an upward slope to hold the post."  On the surface, it seems like the companies response makes sense.  One would think, It could prevent the post from being pushed up or down or left or right.   The realistic side is the upward sloping (Doming) of the concrete is a common practice in cold weather climates which experience sustained hard freezes.  It is this practice of upward sloping or doming of concrete that prevents the permafrost from pushing the post upwards, ultimately disturbing the registry of the fence.   

Bottom line, permafrost does not exist in Florida.  The upward sloping of concrete on a post is nothing more than a marketing ploy or way to get a customer to spend more.   We have seen this time and time again, and believe me, Florida Fence companies can get creative.   My personal favorite was the $5.00 cement collar which is very similar to upward sloping.    Basically, it is less than one pound of wet mix concrete spread in a circular manner around the base of a post.   It's a big money maker if you understand (1) 60 lbs of concrete only cost $3.56.   

Let us address the second part of your question: Concrete and rotting.   At the AFA National Convention, I heard a lot of theory as to why posts with concrete rot, but only one made the most sense.   "In my state, the problem is farmers think they are fencers and fencers thank they are farmers," said the owner of a third-generation fence company from Upstate New York.   It sounded silly as I listen, but then he got technical.    I soon realized he had a point, a similar point that Custom Fence Orlando and Paramount Fencing have expressed for 14 years.   Simply put, everyone in Florida knows how to install a fence, they just don't understand what they are installing.   Moreover, it is not the concrete that rots the post, it is the fence companies lack of knowledge.    

So let's get technical.   So why do we recommend no concrete?   This is Florida. It is not Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Nebraska, New Jersy, or California. We receive about 53.19 inches of annual precipitation a year. The majority of that precipitation occurs in a six-month span, so the question becomes where does all that rain go? The answer is it seeps downward towards the water table, which creates a normal ground water level, just below the land surface. Depending on the geological composition of an individual's property such as sugar sand, Florida Pan Dirt, clay, or limestone--the normal underground water level can be found within 12 inches of the surface during the rainy season and 6 feet in the dry season.

Understand, wood is no different than a sponge. If one end of a sponge is placed in water, it will eventually suck up the water saturating the whole. Unlike the sponge, water cannot be easily removed by simply squeezing or ringing the lumber out. In order to dry, wood needs 30 days of complete and aired like conditions. Neither occurs when a post is buried in the ground and surrounded by concrete. Dirt is a natural absorbent and will become the post best hope. All concrete does is trap the residual moister that was soaked up and creates a breeding ground for rot and fungal decay. The only thing the use of concrete achieves in The State of Florida is premature post failure. The only exception would be to use a post which is pressure treated with an. 30 percent retention ratio and treated with UC4B.  Chances are you would not find it on the shelf at the local lumber yards or home improvement store.  Chances are if you ask a fence company, they won't be able to answer.  

Bottom line, the use of concrete is used to provide leverage.  If you desire greater leverage, then use longer posts.  If the fence company did the math they would realize a 4" x 4" x 10' is the same cost as 4" x 4" x 8' and the bag of concrete.   



QUESTION:   I live on Lake Virginia in Winter Park and Don't want the post to rot.  What is the best type of materials to use as we approach the water's edge? Amy S.

ANSWER:  More likely than not, Winter Park requires the use of some type of metal, aluminum, or vinyl fence within the last 50 feet of the edge of the water which is running perpendicular to the lake.   Winter Park can be strict on height, type, and location of fences when it comes to lakes.  Every property is different, so the best thing to do is speak with planning and zoning department and ask.  Kip HudaKoz

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  1. Lisa Martin

    I was think of doing a custom fence in my back yard. I’m not sure what design or material I should use. Any suggestions?

    1. Kip HudaKoz


      Great question. The type of design and material should be determine in the architecture of your home. For example, lets say your house is linear by nature its important to incorporate a fencing system that possesses the same linear concept. As for materials, examine your home a look for architectural elements made of wood, metal, or stone. Pick the one that would create an aesthetic blend.

      Paramount Fencing, Inc.

  2. Mark Savage

    The wood fence you have on your website is beautiful!! Does it last? I heard wood only looks good for a year or two before it warps, cracks and fades…

    1. admin (Post author)

      Great Question:

      Ninety percent of the effects mentioned are created by two simple misconceptions:
      (1) All lumber is created equal.
      (2) All fence companies can create quality custom fence.

      At, we are well researched. We visit the wood millers, pressure treating plants, and chemical makers of the treatment it’s self. Most importantly, we do are own in house test and experiments. We understand how the species of the tree, the milling method, the size and grade, and the fasteners contribute to the long term aesthetics of a fence. It’s little things such as the number of growth rings a tree possess is directly tied to the lumbers ability to resist against fungal decay and termites. Simply put, we take the time to understand the little things others often over look.

      Then there are the discount and outlet fence companies who deliver lowest cost custom fence solutions directly to the Orlando Florida market, all at the lowest quality and highest possible mark up. What they don’t see are the little things. What they do see are dollar signs. What the homeowner see is warping and cracking and discoloration So yes. wood does have the potential to only look good for a year or two before it warps, cracks and fades.

      The key is to have that fence built by a company who understand the little things. Below are four things to consider which should help minimize the warping, cracking, and discoloration:

      (1) Finish Grade Cedar, Kiln Dried Cypress, Pressure Treated Pine preserved with Eco-life, must be used to minimize warping, splitting, and checking.
      (2) The thicker the lumber the better it will perform.
      (3) The post spacing and depth matter. Post should be a minimum of six feet apart and maximum of eight apart with a 50% leverage ratio.
      (4) Stainless steel screws and ring shank nails is your best options.
      (5) A preservation budget for a good oil base wood sealant.

      I hope that helps,

      Kip HudaKoz
      President Paramount Fencing, Inc.

  3. Dorthea

    It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us any changes to custom fence in Orlando, Florida. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. ellen

    thank you for ll the info i learned from your coprehesive guide i am in sarasota and wish you were too. can you recommend a fence co here? thanks for your time

    1. admin (Post author)

      Custom Fence is a tricky thing. We at Paramount Fencing wish we could assist you in Sarasota, but your out of our area. Our best advice is call us. We will be more than willing to assist you in the selection of that custom fence company. We would be more than happy to help in anyway we can.


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