FAQ

FAQs - All FAQs

How deep do you drill?

Due to Ottawa’s 3.5ft frost lines we consider that to be our desired depth. For decks, we attempt to reach 4-5ft. For fencing, our footing depths range from 3-4.5ft.

Is there arsenic in the Pressure Treated Spruce?

The Pressure Treated Spruce (PT) that we use for construction does not contain arsenic. The majority of our PT comes from Home Depot; for further information on this product you can contact your local Home Depot.

How high can my fence be?

Fences in the Ottawa region are not permitted to reach above 7ft. A fence cannot exceed 7ft from the front of your foundation to your back property line. Should a fence continue past the front-most point of your foundation, then it is not to exceed 3.3ft in height.

What do you need accessible on days of the build?

During the span of the build we require any gates to be left unlocked and the exterior water and power be turned on. If at all possible, we ask that the parking spot on the street in front of your home be left vacant so we can park our trucks and trailers.

Who cleans up the mess?

We do! Fence Masters prides itself in keeping the jobsite tidy during construction, at the end of each day, and on completion day. During the construction period, all of our lumber will be piled to reduce the clutter. Upon completion of your project our team will do a final clean up to ensure everything is left as it was when we arrived.

Do you need driveway access?

We do not require driveway access for vehicles but on days of delivery we request that you park on the street to ensure there is enough clearance for us to gain access to our work area.

Who informs the neighbours of the construction?

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to inform the neighbours of our presence. We have learned from experience that informing the neighbours beforehand helps to settle the uneasiness of seeing our equipment on their street. Keep in mind, our equipment trailers will remain on the street until your project is completed.

Are estimates free?

Yes, estimates are free, so call today! With every estimate the customer is provided with an ‘on the spot’ print out of approximate job costs.

Do I need a permit?

Fences do not require a permit but some decks do. Decks need a permit if they are over 2ft from the ground. Permits are the customer’s responsibility. For more information on permits, visit City Hall at Elgin and Laurier.

Note: for those not living in the Ottawa region, bylaws might vary. Therefore it is recommended that you contact your local City Hall for more information.

Does everyone in a group project get separate contracts?

Yes, all parties involved have the option to have their own contract. This is calculated by our staff and is beneficial when different methods of payment are to be used.

Who organizes a group fencing project?

Most often a single homeowner takes on the task of organizing a group fencing project. This task is time consuming and we can help to take on some of the burden if you let us. The best way to organize a group is via email. Once you have all of your neighbour’s email addresses it is easier to communicate and provide updates. Because we work evenings and weekends, we offer to attend group meetings at your convenience. Note, meetings on weekends get the best turn out.

Does Fence Masters offer group pricing on fencing?

Yes, the larger the project the better the cost per foot. In order for this to be honoured, all fences in the group project must be identical in style, material and height.

What grade of lumber do you use?

We use Premium 1st Grade lumber. Regardless of whether you choose Pressure Treated Spruce or Western Red Cedar, our lumber is a premium first grade. In addition to using a top grade lumber, we order 50% extra for every job and sort through it on site. The latter is done to ensure we use only the best materials for the job.

Do both sides of the fence look the same?

The majority of our fences look the same on both sides, with the exception of our Chain-Link fences.

Does the framing of a fence have to face the customer's yard?

Yes, according to bylaw, the framing of the fence has to face inward. Even though both sides might look relatively similar, the framing must still face inwards. If there’s an obstruction that prohibits us from building the fence with framework facing in, then we resort to building the fence with the framework facing out.

Who calls the gas company?

It is the customer’s duty to call Ontario One Call (1-800-400-2255). This is a free service. In group situations our sales associate will acquire the responsibility of contacting them for you and your neighbours.

Please note: you should call at least 2 weeks in advance of our start date, for they can get pretty busy. Construction cannot begin without the Promark sheet that only Ontario One Call can provide.

Do I get a warranty?

All craftsmanship comes with a one year warranty. Some products come with an extended warranty: this extension is free with select products only.

Do you have insurance?

Yes, we carry insurance for $2,000,000 liability for all of our fencing and decking projects.

Who removes obstructions in the yard?

Removing obstruction from the yard is the customer’s responsibility. We ask that the homeowner relocate all items that might impede us from constructing a fence or deck. These items include barbecues, play structures, patio sets, drain spouts, etc.

What is the maintenance on Composite and PVC?

Most manufacturers suggest you clean these products every Spring and Fall. This cleaning process can be achieved by using mild soap water and a soft sponge (dish soap works well).

What is the maintenance on Cedar and PT?

Either of these two lumbers can be left to grey and still have a long life. Should you want to extend the life and visual appeal of these two lumbers then you can coat them. Coating can be done with a water seal or a stain. Cedar is to be coated no sooner than 3 weeks after construction. PT is to be coated no sooner than 1 year after construction. The coating on a fence will often outlast the coating on a deck. The time between the re-coating processes is dependent upon the product used and the exposure to the sun and moisture.

Do you use concrete in the postholes?

Yes, we use a ready mix concrete in all of the postholes. We also vibrate the concrete in the hole to alleviate the air pockets and increase the strength of the concrete.

Does a deck need a permit?

Not all decks need permits. Download our deck permit sheet to determine whether or not your project requires a permit.

Who takes care of the permit?

We take care of the permit for all of our customers. All drawings, applications, and site inspections are taken care of by our team.

Does a deck need railing?

All decks over 24 inches in height require a guardrail that abides by the Ontario Building Code.

Do you use heavy equipment?

More often than not, our drilling is done using a bobcat. This bobcat is small and can fit through a 36 inch space. Should you have a septic system, please advise us of its location so we do not ride over it.

Are your fences pre-built panels or custom built?

All of our Wood and PVC fences are custom built on site. Building the fencing custom on site allows us to enforce quality control and to contour the bottom of the fence to the sloping ground if needed. Our Composite and Ornamental Iron fencing are constructed using panels, therefore the bottom of these two products is not able to be contoured over sloping ground.

What is your association with Home Depot?

We have been the fencing and decking installers for Home Depot since 2004. We have completed over 1500 projects as Home Depot’s service provider and continue to act in this role.

Do you provide material costs for projects?

We do not provide material cost breakdowns for any of our fencing or decking projects. Should you visit your neighbourbood Home Depot they would be more than happy to assist you with the calculations.

When does a fence go on the property line?

A fence can go on the property line only if your neighbour agrees to it. Should your neighbour agree then you should have them sign the neighbour consent form that we have available in our downloads section. If your neighbour does not agree to share the fence, your fence must go inside the property line. In this case, we suggest leaving a gap of 6 inches.

Does the concrete go to the top of the hole?

No, we leave a few inches at the top of each fence post hole so we can backfill it with soil. Backfilling the tops of the post holes with soil allows for the grass to grow back. We recommend that the homeowner add topsoil and grass seed to speed up the grass growing process.

Can changes be made to a contract?

Yes, changes can be made to a contract at anytime but keep in mind the changes might have an effect on price.

Can I cancel my contract?

Yes, our customers can cancel at anytime. Cancelling prior to construction has no penalty. Cancelling after materials have been delivered will incur a charge. NOTE: Cancelling special order products will result in a restocking fee.

Do you work on rainy days or hot days?

On rainy days it is up to our discretion whether or not to work. The decision will be made based on safety.

On any day over 33 degrees it is not recommended that our teams work outside. This decision is made with health and safety concerns in mind.

Do you sub-contract out our work?

Fence Masters does not sub-contract out projects. By not sub-contracting out our work we are able to give our customers the best quality at the best price.

What are the most popular materials used for fencing and decking?

Pressure Treated Spruce is the most popular material used for fencing and decking. PT provides the best durability for the best price. With that being said, Composite and PVC materials are getting more and more popular with every passing year.

Does Fence Masters install stone or do landscaping?

No, but we can refer you to a reputable landscaping company that we have worked with before on numerous job sites. By going with our recommended landscapers you are sure to get the best service. This is due to the fact that we can help with the coordination of the projects by contacting them directly on your behalf.

What time do you show up to start work?

Our crews start at 7.00am to prepare and arrive to site between 8.00 and 9.00am. The crews usually finish up between 4.00 and 5.00pm.

Do you work weekends?

We work weekends April through August to increase productivity and compensate for any days lost to bad weather.

Do you employee students?

Every year we take on students for the summer months. We offer students a safe working environment where they can learn valuable skills and life lessons.

Who removes old fencing and decking?

We offer a service that will remove and dispose of existing fencing and decking. The removal process is most often done on the same day as the drilling.

How do we pay?

A deposit is expected at the time of signing the contract. Final payment is accepted once the project is completed and you are satisfied. Cheques are the recommended form of payment, but credit cards are accepted.

Are temporary fences available during construction?

For projects with pools on the premises we offer free temporary fencing that meets city bylaw standards.

Who clears bushes, roots and tree branches?

Clearing obstacles is the responsibility of the homeowner unless it is expressed otherwise. Should you require our services to remove obstructions it can be arranged. However, keep in mind that this might cause additional charges to be added to the project.

Where are materials and equipment stored?

All materials and equipment is stored on site until the project is completed.

What does the bottom of a fence look like? Can the fence slope with a hill?

The bottom of our Wood and Chain-Link fences are custom built to follow the contours of the terrain. Because the bottom of PVC, Composite, and Ornamental Iron fence panels all step down, sloping terrain leaves a gap on the low side of the slope.

How should I prepare for the first site visit?

First site visits go best when the client has already given thought to the purpose, location, materials, and budget of a project. For decking projects it is helpful if you have an idea of the shape you want, or even a rough sketch.

How can I save money on a project without sacrificing the design?

Materials are the best way to save money on a project. Using a more economical material (such as Pressure Treated Spruce) is the best way to reduce the cost of any project. Using a more economical material usually means more maintenance, however, you will still get the project you desire without sacrificing the design.

Do you offer phone estimates?

Phone estimates are available when the footage and material are known.

How are jobs estimated?

Estimates are based on lineal footage of a fence, and square footage of a deck. The latter footage is then multiplied by the cost of the material you choose.

What is the pricing hierarchy for materials?

The following is a list of materials from least to most expensive: Chain-Link, Pressure Treated Spruce, Iron, Western Red Cedar, Composite, PVC (vinyl).

What types of gates are available?

The style of each gate is built to match the style of the fence, with the exception of some wood fencing styles. Wood fences with decorative toppers, lattice and jail-bar, receive a straight or arched gate of matching material. Wood gates are not built with lattice or jail-bar toppers for durability’s sake.

What is the strongest fence style?

The strongest and longest lasting fences are the most basic styles. Therefore, the strongest style of fence is the 6ft privacy fence.

What lasts longer, Pressure Treated Spruce or Cedar?

PT lasts longer than Cedar, thanks to modern science!

How can I extend the life of my fence?

To extend the life of a fence one should consider increasing the size of the posts used. The thicker the lumber the longer it takes to rot. Stains and preservative coatings are another excellent way to extend the life of a fence or deck. Visit Home Depot’s paint department for expert help.