Los Gatos Fence Company - Fence And Deck Installation Contractor

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How To Shop For The Right Fence Contractor.

#1 Do your research when choosing a contractor.Get three estimates.
Years ago before Google when getting estimates for a fence or other projects homeowners use to ask for references. A contractor would give three or more past customers names and numbers to be contacted by a possible new customer to ask how the contractor performed. Now with everything at our fingertips we can research a company in a very short time. More people write bad reviews than good reviews. If a company has people that were so happy that they took the time to write good things about their experience, that's saying a lot about the experience.

#2 Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
Being a contractor for thirty plus years I have seen and heard many horror stories. Not just shabby work but accidents happen. Things catch on fire etc.. When I was a teen I asked my father to drive his nice sports car. The same car that he would polish every Sunday and often when he came home he would open the garage and just glance at it...he loved that car. "Come on Dad let me drive it I wont get in an accident. I am a good driver?" He said" son that's why they call them accidents." Building fences requires digging, gas lines, water mains and underground high voltage utilities exist below the ground. Experience is important but insurance pays for accidents. There are also many things that can just happen above ground around a home.

#3 Be sure all materials and specifications are written in the contract.
The fence posts should be ground contact pressure treated Douglas Fir, not Hemlock Fir. Hemlock Fir fence posts will twist and do not last as long as Doug Fir. Many contractors use them because they are cheaper. Be sure the grade of wood is written in the contract. For wood fences in the Bay Area we mainly use Construction Common Select Redwood. Select is exactly as it sounds. At the mill they sort out the best (they select) and we do pay a bit more but the quality is night and day. Use nails not staples. Years ago many companies started cutting corners and started using staples. We use ring shank-ed galvanized nails. One of the most important things is to be sure the concrete is crowned, or sloped away from the post just above the soil line. This keeps the posts from rotting faster- everything gets old eventually. The best way to protect a post from rot is use a Post Collar.

References, licensed and insured and using the best materials. Be certain everything is spelled out in writing on a contract, exactly what you contracted for. And a start and finish date. This is the practice for choosing any contractor.

A fence is more than just a wall. The design is limited to the imagination and can really enhance the beauty of a home. A fence can change the appearance and style of both the home and the landscaping. Choose the right style and you will enjoy your fence for decades to come.



         Los Gatos Fence Company Uses The Post Collar
Wood post rot starts at the base of the post - at the grade  becuse of soil to wood contact. Microbes, moisture and fungus fuel the wood rot. Rot needs four elements to start and spread.  It cannot spread if it never starts. There is not enough oxygen below the surface or fuel for rot to exist.The post rot where they exit the earth and the elements exist. The base of the post must be protected form soil.  Most home owners have observed this over the years, and all fence contractors know this fact. The fence post rot and snap off right at ground level, not below the ground.  The fence boards that are not in contact with the soil are still in good shape and have many years of life left in them.
 You shouldn't have to replace an entire fence because the fence post rot!
The Post Collar Is The Answer
Protect your posts where it matters most with The Post Collar. 

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 Is The Customer Always Right?                        

by Los Gatos Fence Company

The engine that drives our company is management, and down the line to the residential crews. We are only as good as the worse employee that represents our brand. We have a system of teamwork from the beginning of the job to it's completion. Our estimators, managers, drivers and crews are our real asset - our product. They deliver the service that we are known for. We are very good at what we do. We promise high quality and over deliver.

Is the customers always right? Yes, unless he or she is wrong. Quite often a customer will have an idea of how they want something built and many times it is not the proper way. Our estimators will explain that what the customer is asking for is not going to work, or last , look good or is not to code. Most of the time the customers truly appreciates our product and we get many jobs this way. We do turn down jobs on a weekly basis. An example is someone is selling their home and wants to double board  a fence so it appears new. My estimators and even crews use to call me with questions that a customer was requesting them to build something against our policies. I do not get those calls anymore from my estimators because they know what we do and do not. The front line crews know (once a job is in progress) to make the decisions and know to try to explain that the request is not they way to build. 90% of the time it ends there and the customer is grateful for our knowledge. Sometimes we get an adamant customer that want's us to build something wrong, the foreman steps down and then the estimator takes over. We explain right from the beginning precisely what and how we are going to construct our fences and the problem always stops at that level. I am proud to say that after over 28 years of doing this I have never not been paid. In the end the customer is always right and always happy. We go that extra mile but will not construct inferior work.

The fence business is a bit more challenging than a roofing company or door company that deals with one homeowner. Somedays we are working for a dozen or more customers because 99% of the fences we build have at least one neighbor and usually several, sometimes six or seven neighbors. So we work with many personalities - I love the challenge but it is not for everyone. There unfortunately are chronically unhappy people and usually we get to experience them as the neighbor of who we contracted with. Rare. That is usually when I step in and when I can make an unhappy person happy - well, that is what it is all about. And that has what has always happened with those rare situations.

Customer Service And Satisfaction Is Everything At Los Gatos Fence Company And Home Improvements!

Thanks for reading!

Troy Emmett

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Even Fences Need Crowns
by LosGatosFence on 

Using pressure treated fence posts will definitely extend the life of your fence as pressure treating increases durability and resistance from rot and insects. Despite the fact that treated wood is shouldn’t rot when it comes in contact with the ground, the moisture will cause problems if the concrete is not crowned.


Crowning the concrete that holds the post in place means that it is mounded above ground and sloped away from the posts, allowing water from rain or sprinklers to run off and not pool at the base of the fence post.

To avoid rot, concrete should be molded to sit above ground and sloped away from the post.

If the concrete isn’t set and mounded properly, wood rot will occur not only at the base of the post but also below ground at the bottom of the hole. Once moisture gets into the posthole, there is no way for it to escape or evaporate. So there it sits, at the bottom or base of the post like a pool, slowly rotting away your fence, making it sag and lean. It might take years to see the damage but even 40 pressure-treated posts will eventually succumb to rot.

The simple solution? Adding a crown at the base of each post. We crown all our posts at Los Gatos Fence Company at no additional charge. If you choose another fencing company, be sure to ask the contractor to crown the concrete. They will usually charge extra - we don’t.

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No More Loose Nails
by LosGatosFence on 

At Los Gatos Fence Company, we always use galvanized ring shanked nails on our fence boards for a fence that will still be standing for years to come.


Ring shank nails, sometimes referred to as deformed shank nails, have ridges or grooves along the long portion, or the shank, of the nail. When the shank penetrates wood, the grooves grip the wood, holding the nail securely in place.


A cross between a screw and a nail, ring shank nails offer much better holding power than smooth shank nails. Although the nails may look like screws, with the exception of the typical flat head, they are not designed to function in the same way.


Because of their secure grip, ring shank nails should be used for permanent construction. The ridges make these nails even more difficult to eradicate than conventional nails and they tend to leave large, ragged holes if removed, so be sure not to use them for any temporary structures. 


Perfect for use in roofing, flooring, heavy drywall, wood decking and fences, all of which endure considerable stress on the materials used.


At Los Gatos Fence, we use shank nails when constructing fencing made from softwood such as cedar or redwood. Under pressure, conventional nails tend to loosen easily from these types of wood and homeowners find themselves having to re-nail fence boards time and again. By using ring shank nails, the grooves keep the nails in securely in position, even under extreme stress or as the wood weakens over time. Nails with a ring shank provide 40% more holding power.


Los Gatos Fence is the only company in the Bay Area that uses these nails in all of the wooden fencing we construct. Get your fence built right the first time with Los Gatos Fence.

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The Natural Strength and Beauty Of Redwood
by LosGatosFence on 

Redwood is a super wood, offering attributes that many other wood choices lack. Besides its inherent beauty, it is by far nature’s most maintenance-free building material.


Redwood contains natural oils and acids that offer unprecedented resistance to rot, fire and decay. The tannins produced by the tree act as an insect repellant and fire retardant and deters moisture, preventing warping, rotting and twisting. Redwood is also extremely strong and durable and like a fine wine, ages gracefully.

There are over 30 different grades of redwood and there is a grade for pretty much any need. A redwood tree has outer wood and heartwood. Heartwood is a deep red in color and contains of the most tannin and as such, offers the most durability, strength and beauty. Outer wood, or sapwood, tends to be a light brown color and has considerably less tannin. Because of this, sapwood requires more treatment and maintenance to keep it looking its best.


While getting bids for new fencing, ask what grade of lumber your contractor will be installing and get it on the contract in writing. Los Gatos Fence Company installs only the finest quality materials. The redwood we use is premium construction common grade but if you prefer heartwood, we can install that as well. We guarantee whichever you choose, you will be thrilled with the durability and beauty of your new fence as well as with our quality and customer service.

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