Frequently Asked Fence, Rail and Deck Questions

We’ve compiled the top frequently asked questions regarding our company and the major product lines we carry.  

At any time, feel free to contact us if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Select any tab to get your questions answered!

Q: How long has MFOS been in business?
A: We incorporated in 1994, and opened our doors for business in January of 1995. We are licensed to do business in Missouri and Illinois.

Q: Do you use sub-contractors to install your products?
A: No. In order to have better quality control, we hire and train our own employees for all of the installations we perform.

Q: Do you offer installation for all of the products you sell?
A: We offer installation for all fence products we sell as well as for vinyl railing installations on concrete. We don’t offer decking or deck rail installations, but we can recommend a number of reliable and qualified contractors experienced with our products to install the deck or deck rail for you.

Q: Are you competitively priced compared to your competition?
A: In two words ABSOLUTELY YES. It has always been our philosophy to offer the best quality products at the lowest possible prices. Due to this philosophy, often times we will have a lower price than the competition. However, since there are some companies that offer lower quality products and/or use less expensive installation methods, we may not always have the lowest price. When you compare our products to our competitors, it will become apparent that any difference in price will be eliminated by the superior quality of our products. Also, if you choose for MFOS to professionally install your product, once again you will see the differences between ours and our competitor’s installation methods, and this again will more than wash away any price difference.

Q: What is your track record with the Better Business Bureau?
A: We encourage all of our prospective customers to call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on all companies that they’re seriously considering to do business with. This is a step you can take to make sure you’re dealing with a company of high integrity. The phone number for the BBB is 314/645-3300. You will need the ten digit phone number of each business you want to obtain a report on. Our main phone number is 636/464-1144. The BBB’s report will indicate that we haven’t had a customer complaint in the past three years. Their policy is to report only on the three most current years each company has been in business. As a matter of record, MFOS has never had a BBB complaint registered against our company since our business began in 1995. Our history includes thousands of installation and material only transactions.

Q: Do you have references you can provide me?
A: Each year a few of our customers ask us for references. At MFOS we’ve made a conscious decision to NOT offer references because we don’t want any of our past customers to be inconvenienced with our new prospective customers calling them and taking up their valuable time. In other words, even if we did an excellent installation for you to where you had nothing but kind words to say about us, we still wouldn’t want anyone calling you because we respect your time and privacy too much. Besides obtaining a performance report from the BBB on us, feel free to click on “Testimonials” at the left column to read excerpts from some of the “thank you letters” we’ve received over the years.

Q: How far will you travel to install my product?
A: We perform professional installations within approximately 60 mile from our radius of the Gateway Arch. We have been known to travel even further, but typically for larger sized projects.

Q: Do you install very small or very large jobs?
A: Unlike some of our competitor’s who “don’t want to mess with a small job” or don’t have the capacity to perform large jobs, MFOS is ready, willing, and able to tackle any size job. All the way from a small porch rail to several thousand feet fence installations, no job is too little or big. We are also happy to service our customers and perform small repairs which result from unfortunate events such as storm damage or vehicles running into the fence.

Q: Do you install during the winter time or during inclement weather?
A: MFOS install all year around, weather permitting. Everyone who lives in St. Louis knows that our weather changes frequently. During the winter there are three conditions which could prevent us from installing your fence or railing: 1) temperature is too cold, 2) snow is on the ground, and 3) ground is frozen. In a typical St. Louis winter we will be able to install most of the winter, but we’ll have a few times when the winter weather will prevent us from installing. Other instances that don’t allow us to install throughout the year include: 1) very muddy ground conditions, 2) rainy weather that prevents us from being able to use our power tools, and 3) unsafe working conditions such as working along a steep retaining wall in slippery conditions. As soon as the conditions improve we return to finish your job.

Q: Do you start and stop your installations like some contractor’s?
A: No. Once we begin your job we will continue to install it until we complete it. When we schedule the job, we will be making sure that each customer is completely ready for us to perform the entire installation. Even though we have occasionally worked on Saturday’s in the past, we typically work Monday through Friday. Therefore, it’s possible for example, to begin your installation on Friday and return on Monday to complete it. If a material shortage prevents us from completing your installation, we will immediately order the material (if we don’t have it in stock), get the material sent to us as soon as possible, and then schedule you as quickly as we can to complete your installation. We understand that everyone wants their project completed quickly, so we do everything we can to complete every job in a timely manner.

Q: Do you have any material warranties or labor guarantees?
A: Your material warranty comes from the manufacturer(s) of the products you purchase from us. (Click on Warranty Information at the left column for a copy of the manufacture warranty for the item you’re interested in.) Most of the products we offer come with lifetime limited warranties. During the rare instance where you may need to make a warranty claim, feel free to call us, and we’ll be happy to assist in directing you to the proper manufacturing representative. MFOS backs all of our professional installations with a written one year workmanship guaranty. Once again, click on Warranty Information at the left column, then click on MFOS Installation Warranty for complete details.

Q: Why doesn’t your company offer wood or chain link fencing?
A: Given the name of our company, Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions, Inc., we decided at the formation of the company to offer products that are either maintenance-free or low-maintenance. Wood and chain link fencing both require substantial maintenance and have much shorter life spans that any of the products we offer. We felt like these products wouldn’t be appropriate to include into our product mix.

Q: Will you deliver the material to my job site or can I pick the material up?
A: Most of our customers choose to pick up small orders themselves, and have us deliver the larger orders to their job site. If you choose to pick up the material please call ahead to make sure your order is ready and to find out when our shipping and receiving hours are. If we will be delivering the material to your job site, we will require someone to be present when we arrive. This person will need to inspect the quantity and quality of the material, and will need to make the final payment as soon as we make the delivery. Please note that our standard “curb side delivery” indicates that we will set the material near to where our truck stops. If we can drive onto your driveway and stop next to the garage we’ll be happy to put the material in your garage for you. This standard delivery does not include taking the material to the job site in your back yard or to help you to install it!!!

Q: Do you offer free installed fence and railing estimates?
A: Yes. If you’re interested in an installed quote, we will send a very qualified sales estimator to your home, association, or business for the free estimate. MFOS is NOT a high pressure sales company. We simply will take the proper measurements, educate you about our company, products, and installation methods, and offer you the estimate. If you’re interested in our products and know that you will be installing the product yourself, then we ask that you send, fax, or come into the showroom with a simple drawing (including the dimensions) of your project. One of our sales staff will be happy to assist you with the design, material list, and installation instructions you’ll need to install the job properly.

Q: Do I need to do anything to prepare for the arrival of the sales estimator before he arrives to provide me the free estimate?
A: Yes. First of all, if any portion of the proposed fence is going to be installed along a property line, the perimeter of the property should be marked by a professional surveying company. We recommend for you to receive a quote from the company that produced your plot plan. Optimally, the stake survey will be completed prior to your fence estimate. This will allow the estimator to obtain accurate measurements when he arrives. If the yard is not stake surveyed at the time of the estimate, you will need to provide a “to scale” copy of your plot plan which allows the estimator to obtain a “close approximation” of the dimensions of your fence lines. Once your property is stake surveyed, the sales estimator will return for a “final measurement” of the fence location. If you choose not to get your property surveyed, you will be solely responsible for the fence location. Next, if you live in a subdivision or incorporated area, check with your subdivision and/or governing municipality for any height, style, or location restrictions to determine what and where you can build. Also, if possible, discuss the location of the fence and any gates before the estimator arrives. This will help to speed up the “layout” portion of the estimate. Of course, if you’re not sure where you would like to locate the fence or gates, our sales estimators will be happy to assist in the design of the fence layout.

Q: What kind of fence should I get?
A: After you have been able to determine any style, height, or location restrictions, it’s time to choose your fence. The most common height for residential backyard fencing to contain dogs and children is 48” high. The normal height for semi-private and full privacy fencing is 72” high. The most common color for vinyl fencing is white, and for ornamental aluminum fencing, it’s black. Spacing between the pickets will determine how much you can see through the fence and whether a dog will be able to squeeze through the fence. If you plan to get a swimming pool or hot tub in the future you will need to choose a style that complies with your local swimming pool code, and there may be special gate requirements. Speaking of gates, most homeowners get one or two. The standard width is four feet. Make sure the gate width is wide enough for the widest item that will be going through the gate opening such as a riding lawn mower. If you wish to rarely go through an area of the fence, removable sections are available. Double-drive gates are available if you need to get a vehicle through.

Q: How do I get on your list?
A: Before you order your material or installed job, it’s important to make sure you’ve selected exactly what you want AND that you have approval from any governing subdivision associations or municipalities your property is located in. Since most of the jobs we process are either of the “special order” or “specially fabricated” variety, it is imperative to make any changes to your project before placing the order. MFOS requires a one-third deposit with the balance due upon receipt of the material or completion of the installed job.

Q: Who gets the permit if one is required?
A: If you live in an incorporated area, check with your municipality for any restrictions. They may very well require a permit to be issued before you can begin your project. Most customers get their own permit because they live close to where they have to go to apply for and pick up the permit, and because it saves them money versus paying us to obtain the permit for them. MFOS can get the permit for a fee.

Q: How long will I have to wait before you begin the installation?
A: Our sales estimators will provide an approximate backlog time you’ll have to wait from the time you go with us until the time we begin the installation. If you take a while to make your decision to go with us, the approximate backlog time may need to be adjusted since our backlog fluctuates throughout the year. Please understand the backlog is an approximation. Weather, material availability, customer readiness, and the length of time it takes to install the jobs ahead of yours are all factors which determine when we install your job. Our track record has shown that we begin the installation ahead of or at the estimated backlog time over 95% of the time. As we approach your job, we typically call one to two days ahead to schedule the installation. It’s very difficult, sometimes even impossible, to provide a firm start date any earlier due to weather and job start to completion variables.

Q: Who is responsible for marking the public utilities? Are you going to hit my sprinkler system or pool pipes?
A: Before work begins, MFOS will have only “public” telephone, electric, gas, and cable TV lines marked. Each customer is responsible to mark all other buried lines including but not limited to satellite TV, electric, telephone, intercom, gas, water, sprinkler, drainage, and underground pet containment lines. If a customer directs digging in the vicinity of any buried line, he will assume all liability for damage or injury. Please understand that we don’t want to damage anything on your property anymore than you want us to. No matter how much precaution we take when digging the holes, it’s still very possible we could damage something. Occasionally, we may damage a line and not even know we damaged it. Sprinkler systems are especially prone to getting damaged. Just because we can see a sprinkler head does not mean we know where the sprinkler water lines are. The best way to avoid damage to privately owned lines is to either install the lines after the fence is installed, or if the line is already in the ground, dig and expose the line where it will cross the fence line before we arrive to begin the installation.

Q: Do I need to be there at the beginning of the installation? What can I expect during the installation?
A: The person who was present during the estimate needs to meet the installers, because this person is familiar with the specifics of the installation. After we layout the job with string, spray paint, or both, we have the customer to approve the location. You will need to make sure that you remove all brush and any other obstacle in the fence line before installation begins. We will also be asking where to dump the dirt, where to use your water and electric, and to see if you have any special concerns or needs pertaining to the installation. Each installation crew consists of a lead man and a helper or two. You can expect wheelbarrows and an auger to be rolled over your property. Optimally, the customer will be present during the entire installation to make periodic inspections. This allows us to obtain your approval of the job at each stage of the installation and to make any necessary adjustments before the concrete sets up. Also, especially if the fence height (distance from bottom of fence to ground level) is of great importance to you, it’s best to be present during the installation so we can set the height of the fence with your approval. This way, we install the fence the first time just the way you want it. If you aren’t present, then the installer is “guessing” at the fence height. The installation will go much more smoothly if you choose to be there!

Q: Do I need to be there at the completion of the job? To whom and when do I make my final payment?
A: The person who has the “final say” needs to be present upon completion of the job. (Feel free to check with the lead man for the approximate time the job will be completed.) MFOS has developed a “Customer Satisfaction Checklist” which allows the installers to double check their work and assures the customer that all aspects of the installation are performed to their satisfaction. If you have a concern while going over the checklist, please bring it to the lead man’s attention immediately. This allows the installer to address the concern before the concrete sets up. Some concerns may require additional material to be ordered, delaying the completion of the job. Final payment is due upon completion of the job. Please pay the lead man at that time. If the job has bee “substantially completed”, but MFOS needs to return and perform a small amount of work to complete the job, please pay the installer the balance due, less 10% of the total contract amount. When the job is completely finished, please pay the balance. A lien waiver and warranty card will be presented to you once final payment is received.

Q:  What is Bufftech’s product made of?
A:  The base ingredient is rigid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) modified to provide superior impact strength and ultraviolet (UV) resistance. The formulation is similar to that of vinyl siding which has a 20-year history of providing long-term durability and structural integrity.

Q:  Is it recycled plastic?
A:  Technically, “recycled” refers to post-consumer or post-industrial materials coming from the waste stream. PVC can and is being recycled. Bufftech does not use the waste stream as a source. However, we do reprocess our own PVC where it meets our rigid specifications. The use of this reprocessed material keeps it out of the waste stream, positively effecting our environment.

Q:  Will it turn yellow?
A:  No. Bufftech products contain 10 parts titanium dioxide (TI02), which prevents ultraviolet degradation. All Bufftech products are warranted for the lifetime of the original consumer purchaser.

Q:  Will it break in cold/hot weather?
A:  As with most plastics, vinyl will become less flexible in colder weather conditions. However, unless subjected to unusual impact, it will not break. It is normal for materials to expand and contract during temperature changes. Our product has been engineered to accommodate normal temperature swings and changing climatic conditions.

Q:  Will it burn?
A:  PVC has a high flash point of 900 degrees F and does not readily ignite. It is therefore categorized as being “self-extinguishing”.

Q:  Does it chalk?
A:  Light chalking is a normal occurrence of any pigmented surface. Washed away by rainfall and normal changes in weather, this process helps to keep your fence looking like new. In effect, it could be described as virtually “self cleaning”.

Q:  How strong is it?
A:  PVC can be impact modified. Bufftech has tailored its formulations to meet or exceed the requirements necessary for excellent performance in the field.

Q:  Will a weed eater scratch or hurt it?
A:  Bufftech products have smooth surfaces with no nails, sharp edges or chance for splinters. You, your children, pets and animals are all safer. Vinyl has a tough surface, retains virtually no moisture and has no taste – therefore horses will not “crib” or chew on a Bufftech fence. In addition, our experience shows that Bufftech fencing holds up to routine property maintenance, including the use of most types of weed eaters.

Q:  Hos do I know it will last over 20 years?
A:  Bufftech’s process is similar to that which has been used to produce vinyl siding for nearly 20 years. In addition, Bufftech performs accelerated weathering tests, which have produced excellent results.

Q:  What is the warranty and what does it cover?
A:  Backed by CertainTeed, a world-leading manufacturer of building materials founded in 1904, Bufftech products are warranted against manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the original homeowner. Refer to Bufftech’s warranty document by first clicking on “Warranty information” at the left column, then click on “CertainTeed’s Bufftech vinyl fencing.

Q:  How do I clean it?
A:  Use of a non-abrasive liquid cleaning agent is normally sufficient. However, for more stubborn stains, a product similar to Soft Scrub may be helpful.

Q:  Can I paint it?
A:  There should be no reason to paint your Bufftech fence. If you decide to paint it, an epoxy-based paint needs to be used in order to adhere to the smooth vinyl surfaces. As with any painted product, it would have to be repainted in time. Any painting of your Bufftech product voids Bufftech’s lifetime warranty.

Q:  Can I add a hot wire attachment?
A:  Attachments like a hot wire for post and rail fencing can be attached to your Bufftech fence.

Q:  Why is it more expensive than wood?
A:  Very simply, it’s not! Although your investment is more initially, this is where your expense ends. The cost difference is quickly eliminated once the substantial cost of continuous maintenance of a wood or metal fence is considered. Bufftech fencing is the economical way to go, confidently saving you time and money with a fence backed by a lifetime warranty (see Cost Comparison chart below).

PictureCost Comparison

Cost includes price of fence averaged over 20 years plus maintenance and repair costs. Cost is expressed as a percentage.

 

Conclusion

Your Bufftech fence cost over 20 years is constant because there are no maintenance and repair bills. Wood or metal fences are less expensive in the first few years, but increase and become more costly than your maintenance-free vinyl fence.

Q: What is vinyl made of?
A: The base ingredient is rigid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) modified to provide superior impact strength and ultraviolet (UV) resistance. The formulation is similar to that of vinyl siding, which has a 20-year history of providing long-term durability and structural integrity.

Q: Is vinyl recycled plastic?
A: Technically, “recycled” refers to post-consumer or post-industrial materials coming from the waste stream. PVC can, and is, being recycled. CertainTeed’s vinyl fence, decking and railing products do not use the waste stream as a source. However, we do reprocess our own PVC where it meets our rigid specifications. The use of this reprocessed material keeps it out of the waste stream, positively affecting our environment.

Q: How strong is vinyl?
A: Vinyl is impact-modified for flexibility and overall durability. All CertainTeed vinyl fence, deck and railing meet or exceeds the requirements necessary for excellent performance in the field.

Q: Will vinyl break in cold/hot weather?
A: As with most plastics, vinyl will become less flexible in colder weather conditions. However, unless subjected to unusual impact, it will not break. It is normal for materials to expand and contract during temperature changes. CertainTeed vinyl products have been engineered to accommodate normal temperature swings and changing climactic conditions.

Q: Does it chalk?
A: Light chalking is a normal occurrence of any pigmented surface. Washed away by rainfall and normal changes in weather, this process helps to keep your fence looking like new. In effect, it could be described as virtually maintenance-free.

Q: Is vinyl safe for children and animals?
A: Vinyl products have smooth surfaces with no nails, sharp edges or splinters. You, your children, pets and animals are all safer. Vinyl has a tough surface, retains virtually no moisture, has no taste, and is non-porous.

Q: Will vinyl turn yellow?
A: No. Vinyl products contain 10 parts titanium dioxide (TI02), which prevents ultraviolet degradation.

Q: Will vinyl burn?
A: PVC has a high flash point of 900°F and does not readily ignite. It is therefore categorized as being “self-extinguishing”.

Q: What is the warranty and what does it cover?
A: All of CertainTeed’s fence, deck, railing and garden products are backed by a lifetime limited warranty (not installation or labor). The warranty covers rotting, peeling, cracking, chipping and discoloration. Refer to the warranty certificates for additional information.

Q: How do I clean vinyl?
A: Use of a non-abrasive liquid cleaning agent is normally sufficient. However, for more stubborn stains, a product similar to Soft Scrub may be helpful. Refer to the Care and Maintenance section of the warranty certificate for additional information.

Q: Can I paint it?
A: There should be no reason to paint vinyl. If you decide to paint it, an epoxy-based paint needs to be used in order to adhere to the smooth vinyl surfaces. As with any painted product, it would have to be repainted in time. Any painting of your vinyl product voids its lifetime warranty.

Q: Will my CertainTeed vinyl deck fade? Is one color less likely to fade than the other colors?
A: As is similar with siding, everything fades some over time. Our PVC products will not fade, over the life of the product, to the point in which there is a visible difference between pieces. Lighter colors do better against fading.

Q: Can I butt the vinyl deck planks together for a 50′ run?
A: If the temperature at the time of installation is within 30 degrees of maximum temperature seen for the area, the deck planks can be butted. If not, you should allow for an approximate 1/8″ gap.

Q: How do you install CertainTeed’s EverNew Vinyl Railing and Decking?
A: Railing posts are reinforced by galvanized steel post supports available for wood or concrete mounting. Posts can be routed for top and bottom rails. Rails can also be attached to existing posts using wall mount brackets. Deck planks install directly to joists and handle like wood. Refer to installation guides for more step by step instructions for both EverNew Vinyl Railing and Decking products.

Q: Why is vinyl railing and decking more expensive than a wood railing and decking?
A: Very simply, it’s not! Although your investment is more initially, this is where your expense ends. The cost difference is quickly eliminated once the substantial cost of continuous maintenance of a wood or metal product is considered. Vinyl deck, railing, and garden products are the economical way to go, confidently saving you time and money with a product backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

Q: What is the best way to install a railing in a wall to wall situation? Is it possible to use the wall mount bracket without plate?
A: Using the wall mount bracket with plate is the easiest method. However it is possible to do with the brackets without the plate if you slit the end of the rail to slide over the bracket. This cut will be visible from below once the job is complete and may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the wall mount bracket with plate method.

Q: Will uplift be an issue with the Colonial Porch Post?
A: In high wind areas it could become an issue. We recommend on our structural porch post packaging to take uplift into account when installing the product and to utilize the tie down kit if unsure. We offer an optional tie down kit to provide metal to metal tie down connections.

Q: How do I install vinyl railing between existing wood posts?
A: Rails can also be attached to existing posts using wall mount brackets, sold separately.

Q: Can the vinyl railing be used on a second story?
A: Yes, it meets all building codes when installed per the instructions.

Q: What can I use on my CertainTeed deck to melt ice?
A: Rock salt or Halite will work fine without harming PVC

Q: What is TimberTech?
A: TimberTech is a leading manufacturer of low-maintenance, high quality composite Decking and Railing Solutions. Made from reclaimed wood fibers and pure plastic resins, TimberTech composite decking and railing is a revolutionary alternative to traditional wood decks that offers a skid-free, splinter-free surface that doesn’t need to be painted, stained or sealed.

Q: Does TimberTech have a warranty?
A: Yes. TimberTech warrants to the original consumer purchaser that, for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date of original consumer purchase, under normal use and service conditions, TimberTech Decking and Railing shall be free from material defects in workmanship and materials, and shall not check, split, splinter, rot or suffer structural damage from termites or fungal decay. For a complete copy of TimberTech’s warranty, first click on “Warranty Information” at the left column, then click on “TimberTech Composite Decking & Railing”.

Q: Does TimberTech Decking come in any colors?
A: Yes, TimberTech offers som of their products in the traditional colors of cedar, grey, and redwood. Their “Earthwood” line of deck planks are available in Tropical Teak, Tropical Walnut, and Tropical Rosewood. TimberTech is offering for 2008 an exciting new line of ultra-low maintenance deck planks called XLM. XLM is available in Mountain Cedar, River Rock, and Sand Ridge.

Q: Does TimberTech Railing come in colors?
A: Yes, TimberTech’s Ornamental Rail System is available in Cedar, Grey, Redwood and Whitesand. TimberTech RadianceRail comes in a Coastal White and Classic Black. For 2008, TimberTech is unveiling their “Builder Rail”. TimberTech’s Builder Rail combines the rich look of black metal balusters with cedar, grey, or redwood composite rails.

Q: Will TimberTech Decking and Railing fade in color?
A: Yes, most materials exposed to UV and weathering will fade. TimberTech decking and railing solutions are blended with high quality raw material and UV-inhibiting pigments to produce products consistent in color. Because of the quality of material used, most TimberTech decking and railing products fade less than other composites available.

Q: What effect does heat have on TimberTech products?”
A: The effect that heat has on TimberTech products is similar to the effect it has on a wood deck. All TimberTech colors were developed with reflective, inorganic pigments which are more expensive than organic pigments, but dramatically reduce heat build-up. Some competitors use organic pigment due to the cost of the reflective, inorganic pigments. TimberTech’s R&D engineers have been developing pigment systems for vinyl siding for over 50 years, providing the expertise for TimberTech to have one of the coolest composites available.

Q: How will salt water affect TimberTech products?
A: Salt-water climates are a perfect application for TimberTech products. Salt water will have no ill effects on TimberTech.

Q: Can TimberTech products be used as a porch?
A: Yes, many porches are built with TimberTech products. If using Floorizon, ventilation requirements must be met.

Q: Can I build my TimberTech deck directly over an existing surface?
A: See below for minimum space requirements for your TimberTech deck planks:

Earthwood, DockSider, TwinFinish, 5/4 & 2×6 Planks
There must be a minimum of a 2″ (nominal) sleeper system supported by and connected to the substructure over which the deck is to be built.

Floorizon Planks
There must be a minimum 12″ high unobstructed continuous air space along at least three sides of the deck to allow for cross ventilation.

Q: Can I use TimberTech for the surface of a boat dock?
A: Yes, TimberTech DockSider Plank is ideal for dock, marina and boardwalk applications. TimberTech DockSider can span 24″ on-center for both residential and commercial applications. TimberTech Earthwood, TwinFinish, 5/4 and 2×6 Planks can also be used on docks. Floorizon Planks cannot be used in this application due to ventilation requirements.

Q: Can I use TimberTech Floorizon product if I do not have a minimum of 12″ from the bottom of the joist to the ground?
A: No, the Floorizon product cannot be used in any application that does not have at least 12″ from the bottom of the joist to the ground. Without adequate ventilation, the top surface is typically dry and underneath the deck could be damp from moisture and or humidity. This, in some cases, may cause the Floorizon profile to cup slightly and would void the warranty. Please see our installation instructions by clicking on Installation Instructions, and then clicking on the TimberTech Decking / Railing instructions for proper ventilation requirements.

Q: Can I use TimberTech DrySpace with TimberTech Floorizon Deck Planks?
A: Yes. With proper installation, TimberTech DrySpace can be used with Floorizon Deck Planks. The moisture will be carried away from underneath the Floorizon Deck Planks. It is the moisture underneath the Floorizon Deck Plank that could cause cupping. In addition, since the V-Panels are cut 3″ from the beam or rim joist, there should be some air flow around the planks.

Q: Can I use glue or caulk with TimberTech?
A: In the past, we have not recommended the use of glue or caulk with any TimberTech products. Some of our contractors have been successful using an adhesive identified as Tremco Vulkem 116 Polyurethane Adhesive. This is what we would recommend if an adhesive were needed.

Q: Can TimberTech’s Floorizon Planks be made into a watertight surface?
A: No, TimberTech Floorizon is made with weep holes every 9″ on the tongue. These weep holes allow water to drain off of the deck. Correct installation of the product with hand pressure gives you a gap of up to 1/4″ between planks. This gap allows the product to expand and contract with temperature changes. If this gap is made watertight by a caulk product, the product will not have the ability to expand and contract in the gap. If your project requires a dry space beneath the deck you can install TimberTech DrySpace.

Q: Can TimberTech Ornamental Rail and RadianceRail be curved?
A: Yes, our railing products can be curved in a variety of styles.

Q: I have a chip in the cap stock (outer layer) material on my RadianceRail; can I repair it or touch it up?
A: Yes, automotive touch-up paint such as Duplicolor 2 in 1 Scratch Fix works well and is available at most department or automotive retailers. For Coastal White use universal gloss white and for Classic Black use universal flat black.

Q: How long are the RadianceRail baluster end plugs?
A: There is two inches of solid material with a centered pilot hole that extends through the entire end plug.

Q: How do I cut the RadianceRail balusters for the stair applications and still maintain enough of the plug for a secure attachment?
A: Start the angled cut at the top edge of the baluster to maximize the length of the baluster and to minimize the amount of the plug being removed. Cut equal amounts from each end of the baluster.

Q: Are the RadianceRail kits actually a full 6’ and 8’?
A: Yes, BUT the actual length of the railing assembly must be measured from center of post to center of post. The additional material is provided to allow for angles and end cuts/trimming.

Q: My RadianceRail components appear to be two different shades, what should I do?
A: The two support rails within the kit could appear lighter or darker than the balance of the components. When assembled, these support rails will not be visible so you can proceed with assembling your rails.

Q: Is there a top and bottom of the Colonial Spindles in the RadianceRail System?
A: Yes, the Colonial Spindle should be installed with the shorter box tube (approximately 6”) at the top and the longer box tube (approximately 7”) at the bottom (or nearest the bottom rail).

Q: Can TimberTech CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners be used on angles?
A: Yes, any angle up to 45 degrees can be achieved. Simply align the screw hole in the fastener with the center of the joist.

Q: How do I know how many CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners I’ll need for my project?
A: You can determine the number of fasteners needed by multiplying the number of joist you have by the number of decking boards. TimberTech has made it easy by packaging CONCEALoc fasteners in boxes that cover 100 square feet.

Q: Do I need to gap my planks when I’m using the CONCEALoc fasteners?
A: The CONCEALoc fasteners provide proper/consistent spacing between the sides of the planks. You will need to gap the ends at all butt joints 1/8”.

Q: Is it possible to replace a plank installed with CONCEALoc fasteners, if it gets damaged after installation?
A: Yes, you can find complete details on how to do this in the TimberTech Installation Guide.

Q: Can CONCEALoc fasteners be used with other decking styles?
A: Yes, they can be used with any of TimberTech’s solid planks: Earthwood, TwinFinish, 5/4 and Docksider. Refer to the TimberTech Installation Instructions.

Q: What are the CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners made of?
A: The CONCEALoc fasteners are made from .060 304 stainless steel. This material, with its high nickel content, will ensure a long life even in harsh environments.

Q: Where do I purchase the CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners?
A: Any retailer that carries TimberTech products will have, or can get, CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners.

Q: Is there a CONCEALoc Hidden Fastener installation video available?
A: Yes, request the DVD be sent to you by calling 1-800-307-7780.

Q: What tools are required to install the CONCEALoc Hidden Fasteners?
A: No special tools are required when using TimberTech pre-grooved deck planks. With some 5/4 planks and DockSider planks, a router will be needed to create a groove at each joist. You can find complete details on how to do this in the TimberTech installation guide .

Q: Can I install DrySpace by myself?
A: Yes. Complete, easy to follow instruction come with your DrySpace purchase. Installation is easiest with two people. You are likely to have the tools and materials you need, or they are easy to find at your local hardware store.

Q: Will chemical treatments or stains damage DrySpace?
A: No. Common, off-the-shelf stains and chemical wood cleaning treatments have no adverse effects on DrySpace.

Q: Is there a warranty?
A: Yes. DrySpace is backed by a limited 5-year warranty that covers material defects.

Q: Can I splice panels together to save material?
A: No. There is no way to make a joint between the Joist Covers and/or Panels that will prevent leaks. DrySpace comes in 12’ and 16’ lengths that allow for seamless installations. The 16’ kits are ideal for DrySpace installations where the joist cavities are 8′ long.

Q: My deck was constructed with pitch away from the house. Can I install the Joist Covers tight to the bottom of the joist?
A: No. The Combo Bracket and Joist Cover is a gutter that does collect water. When the Combo Bracket or Joist Cover is installed tight to the bottom of the joist, water cannot freely flow from the Combo Bracket or Joist Covers.

Q: Can I run the Panels over the top of a beam?
A: Panels must always stop 3” from the beam. In most cases the low point of the Panel will interfere with the beam causing water to dam on the Panel. Combo Brackets and Joist Covers should stop 1” from the beam.

Q: I have a support beam 3′ from my house. Can I run the Panels over the top of the beam?
A: While the Panels would clear the beam 3′ from the house, the Joist Covers must terminate at the beam. The Panels should also be trimmed at this point. Because the Joist Cover is a gutter any water that drains from the Joist Covers should be collected with a K-style gutter.

Q: Will the Combo Bracket or Joist Cover cause my deck to rot?
A: No. When properly installed the Combo Bracket or Joist Cover channels water away from the house and out of the Combo Bracket or Joist Cover. This also allows for airflow between the Combo Bracket or Joist Cover and joist.

Q: Can I paint DrySpace?
A: We would not recommend it because of the maintenance issues, but yes DrySpace can be painted.

Q: Can I install a more decorative ceiling under DrySpace?
A: No. That would require penetrating the Joist Covers with nails or screws.

Q: Could I install DrySpace by using F-Brackets only and not the Combo Bracket (Joist Cover/F-Bracket combo)?
A: No. The Combo Bracket (Joist Cover/F-Bracket Combo) must be used to collect any water that drains thru or around the joist.

Q: What is the SimTek Simulated Stone Fence made of?
A: SimTek Simulated Stone Fence is made from polyethylene, which is the same type of plastic that “Little Tikes” toys and playground equipment is made from.

Q: How is the SimTek Simulated Stone Fence made?
A: It is made by using rotational mold technology. This patent pending process produces the very realistic look and feel of real stone wall!

Q: How long has the this roduct been in existence?
A: In 2003, research and development began to produce the SimTek fence. The product has been installed primarily in the Utah and surrounding areas since 2004. The product has performed extremely well in this harsh environment.

Q: Can the SimTek fence withstand high winds?
A: The SimTek fence has been tested to withstand 110 m.p.h. sustained winds, and 130 m.p.h. wind gusts.

Q: How durable is the SimTek Simulated Stone Fence?
A: Like all fences, the SimTek fence is not indestructible. However, it is very durable. For example, a baseball pitching machine set at 70 m.p.h. threw baseballs towards the SimTek fence, and they simply bounced off leaving no marks. If a panel was damaged from a tree falling on it, for example, it would take less than five minutes to replace the section.

Q: How does the SimTek fence perform in hot and cold weather extremes?
A: Unlike other plastics, the SimTek fence doesn’t become brittle in cold weather until it reaches a temperature of -40 degrees Fahrenheit. This, of course, is more than adequate for our St. Louis winters. The SimTek fence also performs well in hot climates as well, and is very stable at 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Does the polyethylene material expand and contract?
A: Yes. The fence panels expand and contract up to approximately 3/4″ horizontally and vertically. The panels are designed with steel tubing that horizontally reinforces the “top and bottom rails” of the panels. This steel tubing is longer than the panel is wide. This allows the panel to expand and contract during temperature changes without adversely affecting the performance of the fence. If a six foot wide panel needs to be reduced in width, the steel tubing needs to be cut approximately ¾” longer than the panel width to allow for this expansion and contraction.

Q: Can I cut the posts?
A: All SimTek fence posts are reinforced on the inside with steel. Since the polyethylene plastic will expand and contract, if you need to cut the post, cut the bottom of the post. If you cut the top of the post and fasten the pressure fitted cap to it, when the plastic contracts it could potentially force the cap off the post.

Q: Does the SimTek Simulatd Stone Fence fade?
A: The SimTek fence has undergone accelerated weather testing which has produced excellent results. Although the color technically fades over an extended period of time, 15 years of accelerated weathering has produced no fading that can be detected by the human eye.

Q: What colors for the SimTek fence are available?
A: SimTek fence is available in the colors of white granite, gray granite, black granite, beige granite, brown granite, and desert granite. The most popular color is the brown granite.

Q: Like some plastics, will the SimTek fence turn yellow?
A: No. The SimTek fence will not turn yellow or chalk, and is not toxic.

Q: What heights is the SimTek fence available in?
A: The most common height available is 72” high. It is also available in a 36” height as well.

Q: Are gates available for the SimTek fence?
A: Yes. The 72” high single gates are available in 4’ and 6’ wide. Double-drive gates are available in 8’ and 12’ widths, or you can combine one 4’ wide single gate with one 6’ wide single gate to make a 10’ wide double-drive gate. Each gate needs to be hinged on a heavy duty steel reinforced gate post. The gate hardware is made of powder coated stainless steel. The latch is pad lockable from both sides of the gate. There are currently no gates available in 36” high. As an alternative, ornamental aluminum gates complement the SimTek fence very well.

Q: Will mold or mildew grow on the SimTek fence? Can I get grass stains or paint off the product?
A: Polyethylene is referred by some as “Poor Man’s Teflon” since most things can’t adhere to its surface. Any mold or mildew that grows on the SimTek fence can easily be removed with a power washer. Consult your power washer manual to determine the proper tip to use to remove the mold or mildew. Grass stains and most paints can also be removed with the power washer, making this product very graffiti resistant.

Q: Is the SimTek fence expensive?
A: The “Nicest Looking Fence on the Planet”, the SimTek fence is a high quality product. Fortunately, when compared to an actual “stacked” stone or brick wall, it’s actually much less expensive. The SimTek fence is a very cost effective alternative to these types of products.

Q: Can the SimTek fence be used to hold back earth like a retaining wall?
A: No. The it has been designed to be a fence, not a retaining wall. Attempting to use the product as a retaining wall will create a potentially unsafe situation. It will also void the warranty of the product.

Q: Are you able to turn the SimTek fence at a degree other than 90 degrees?
A: SimTek fence posts are available as end posts, gate end posts, line posts, and corner posts. Although the corner post is designed for a 90 degree angle, you can insert each panel into each side of the corner post up to approximately 10-12 degrees from the side of the post that the panel is being inserted into. This allows the corner post to accommodate an angle range of approximately 68 to 112 degrees. Line posts can accommodate a range of approximately 22 degrees (compared to a straight line), while end posts can allow a variance of approximately 11 degrees. For angles that don’t fall into the above ranges, you will need two end posts. Dual post caps are available for two end posts set next to each other at a 45 degree angle.

Q: Can the SimTek fence rack down a hill, or does it need to be stepped?
A: Racking is a term used to describe keeping the lines in the pattern of the fence panel horizontal and vertical, while the rails follow the downward slope of ground. The SimTek fence can rack down a hill, but it’s not recommended. When racking down the hill the six foot wide panel will lose a portion of its width, and the pattern of the panel will be tilted the same degree as the slope of the ground. Instead of racking, stepping the fence is recommended. It’s permissible to trench the “high hill” side of the panel into the ground in order to eliminate any gap between the bottom of the panel and the ground on the “down hill” side of the panel.

Q: Is the SimTek fence able to be installed on concrete patios and walls or on a wood retaining wall, or can it only be installed in ground?
A: The SimTek fence is designed to be installed in the ground. However, a mounting bracket is available to install it on concrete or wood. Fasteners to secure the mounting bracket are sold separately. Also, remember that a fence is only as secure as what it’s fastened to. Therefore, make sure you attach the fence to a secure foundation.

Q: What is the warranty for the SimTek fence?
A: The SimTek Simulated Stone Fence is backed with a Lifetime Limited Warranty. Click on “Warranty Information” for a copy of the warranty.

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