Construction fencing keeps work sites secure and at the same time, keeps pedestrians out. Construction sites are dangerous. There are large pieces of equipment moving around everywhere.
Giant dump trucks deliver and haul away materials constantly. There are overhead dangers requiring wearing hard hats for protection. All reasons to keep people out of them.
Furthermore, people are just plain curious in nature. So, as a preventative measure to stop unwanted traffic from entering a construction site, contractors use constructing fencing to surround the perimeter.
Construction Fencing Rental
Most construction is temporary. As a result, the fence for a construction site will be too. Therefore, for most projects it makes sense to rent construction fencing.
There are many national fence companies that specialize in temporary fence. These companies have experienced crews that come in and install fences at construction sites. Even large sites only take a day or two to completely surround with fence.
Because of their experience, they are much faster at installing fence than most construction companies. As a result, saving time and labor.
Most contractors rent construction fencing. Especially for large scale projects requiring lots of fence. Fence companies rent the fence out on a monthly basis. Sometimes, there are fees for the initial setup and delivery of the fence, along with the removal.
For most companies this makes more sense than owning the fence. It is much more convenient to provide starting and finishing dates and have the fence supplied and installed by others.
Not to mention the storage of it when not in use. However, sometimes it does make sense to own your own fence.
When to Buy Construction Fencing
Construction fencing isn’t cheap. However, for construction companies that use it frequently, it may make sense to purchase and own it.
The initial investment is the hard pill to swallow. However, once purchased, it does eventually pay for itself. Furthermore, for projects that do not have firm starting and finishing dates, owning you own construction fencing allows for flexible schedules.
As a result, not being dependent on a third party in order to start or complete jobs.
Storing construction fencing when not in use might be the biggest burden. For companies without material yards, extra space is sometimes a problem.
Depending on the amount, fencing takes up a lot of space. Therefore, having extra space to allocate for it is a necessity However, hopefully you work load is such that it goes from one job site to the next. Never not in use.
Construction Fencing Panels
Pre-fabricated fence panels are the most popular type of construction fencing. Most panels have pipe frames with chain link infill. However, some will have wire mesh infill.
Popular panel sizes are 6′ tall x 12′ wide and 8′ tall x 10′ wide. Fence panels supported vertically using a weighted base or stand.
Special brackets clamp between each of the panels. As a result, tying them together, making it very difficult to lift from the bases.
Construction fencing panels are easy to install. It takes less than a day to fence around an entire city block.
Another advantage to panels is that they are easy to move or relocate. Sometimes during the construction process, fence layouts or secure storage areas change. It is very easy to adjust layouts when using construction fencing panels.
The last advantage to fence panels are gate openings. Gates always cost extra. And even with careful planning of entrances ahead of time, gate openings often move.
With fence panels, access to any part of the fence where there isn’t a gate is easy to obtain. Simply remove the brackets holding the panels together and remove the panels from the bases.
As a result, providing extreme flexibility for gate opening locations.
Temporary Fence Stands and Bases
Weighted stands or bases keep the panels vertical and prevent them from falling over. Unlike driving fence posts into the ground, the stands and bases sit on top of the ground.
As a result, taking much less labor to install. They also do not cause damage to streets, sidewalks or parking lots. Because they are easily moved, layout changes are a snap.
There are two common types of stands or bases for fence panels. Thermoplastic bases and pipe style stands held secure with sand bags.
Pipe Stands with Sand Bags
Probably the most widely used, pipe stands with sand bags do a good job supporting temporary fence panels. The pipe bases have legs, designed to fit inside of the fence panel.
This give the panel a wide footprint for stability. Sand bags add weight to the stands. As a result, preventing the panels from moving or falling over.
Pipe stands are less expensive than thermoplastic bases. Even when including the cost of the sand bags. However, when it comes down to storage, the pipe stands do not stack well. Causing an awkward mess of pipes.
Sand bags have some drawbacks too. The bag itself is not very durable. Long exposure to the elements, combined with wind, cause the bags to dry rot and break. Therefore, rendering them useless.
Furthermore, sand retains moisture from rain. In northern climates, when temperatures drop below freezing, the sand freezes and expands. This causes the bag to break open. Therefore, also rendering them useless.
Thermoplastic bases are popular for construction fencing because they incorporate the stand and the weight into one unit. Dense heavy plastic is molded into the shape of the base.
Holes within the base allow feet on the fence panels to slide in. As a result, providing a solid foundation for supporting fence.
Thermoplastic bases are more costly than pipe stands and sand bags. However, I feel their advantages are worth the extra investment. They are much more cleaner than sand bags. There is no need to worry about them breaking open as a result of weather.
They don’t hold moisture, so they won’t freeze and split. They also stack very well for storing. The shape and design allows for them to stack in multiple rows on top of a pallet. Therefore, making transport and storage more convenient.
However, they do have one disadvantage when compared to sand bags. When thermoplastic bases for construction fencing get ran over by heavy construction equipment, they shatter.
Many times, space is limited on a construction site. Especially when the site is located in a city where one lane of a street is shut down. As a result, bases get ran over.
While a sand bag may take a few times before breaking open, thermoplastic bases break pretty easily. However, for those of you who have been in construction for any amount of time, you know that accidental damage is something to expect.
Temporary Construction Fencing
Temporary construction fencing uses chain link fence that is similar to traditional chain link fence. However, there is one major difference. The fence posts do not have concrete footers.
Instead, they are driven into the ground. As a result, making them much easier to remove when the construction project is complete. Sometimes, the top rail will also be eliminated.
This reduces cost and installation time.
Chain link temporary construction fencing is not easily moved. It requires dropping the wire mesh and pulling the fence posts. Therefore, establishing the exact layout before hand is crucial.
However, once installed it is a more secure and stable option for construction fencing. The most common heights are 5′, 6′ and 8′ tall.
In many cities, temporary fences require privacy screening. This not only blocks the view from the outside of the fence, it also knocks down dust and debris often found blowing around construction sites.
Privacy screening is easily added to temporary construction fencing. Furthermore, the posts provide more strength to wind resistance then fence panels with bases do.
Installing temporary chain link fence is a harder process than setting up fence panels. Some basic knowledge of chain link fence is helpful. For this reason, it is rented more often than it is purchased and owned.
Gates will require heavier posts. Sometimes concrete is added to the gate posts in order to help support the gates leafs. As a result, gate locations are not easy to relocate.
Orange Construction Fence
Smaller scaled construction sites and projects may use orange construction fence. Manufactured in lightweight rolls, it is easy to install.
Metal T-posts, star pickets or wooden stakes spaced periodically support the fence. Orange construction fence is only 4′ tall in height. It is best for small excavation sites like basements and swimming pools.
It also works well for preventing access to freshly seeded lawns or for blocking blowing leaves in the fall.
Because orange construction fence is made from plastic, it is not intended to last. It is very affordable. As a result, many times it is discarded after one use.
However, homeowners will have no problem reusing it on a yearly basis. The T-post or stakes are reusable.
Construction fencing is a good temporary fence solution to keep construction sites safe and secure. For companies who frequently use them, owning your own will save money overtime.
For those that don’t, renting is the way to go. Either type will provide a safe work zone and secure perimeter.
The duration of your project, the amount of space available and the surface will be on will help determine which type is best for your job.