A Solution for Tall Commercial Privacy Fencing
In the past, commercial projects typically utilized masonry or chain link with privacy slats for trash enclosures or perimeter fencing over 8 ft. tall. Wood fencing at that height isn’t practical because it is too tall for 4×4 wood posts and maintenance is even more challenging than it is for the more common 6 ft. height. While vinyl addresses the problem of regular painting or staining, PVC vinyl fencing is lightweight and more appropriate for 6 ft. tall residential applications.
Trex fencing was introduced as a product designed for both residential and commercial markets. Its unique attributes are an effective option for commercial properties that require sight obstruction, security, and a softer, more natural look. This is particularly true for commercial properties that back up to residential or public spaces, requiring a non-industrial appearance. Schools, hospitals, and design-focused retail stores turn to Trex fencing for a functional yet aesthetically-pleasing solution.
Comparing Trex Fencing to Other Products for Tall Fences
In its standard configuration, Trex fencing immediately meets the needs of a 6 ft. or 8 ft. tall fence. However, many properties have taller HVAC or electrical equipment. It isn’t just for the security of the equipment behind an enclosure. A Trex fence offers an attractive face to hide equipment located in visible areas.
Unlike Trex, masonry gives off a heavy, imposing look to a space. Masonry walls might be more appropriately associated strictly with functionality but not with beauty. Even textured or brick walls give the impression that whatever may be on the other side is big, expensive, or dangerous. While that may be true, a tall fence still meets the typical requirements of blocking intruders and obscuring equipment that is behind it, but does so without acting as a formidable structure. Additionally, from an installation standpoint, a tall masonry wall requires a substantial footer which not only increases material costs, it can have a significant impact on landscaping and underground utility placement.
Chain link is less obtrusive but is not a design-oriented solution. Chain link is primarily associated with perimeter fencing where cost is the principal factor for choosing it. Even with privacy slats, chain link does not offer full sight obstruction. Aesthetically, chain link is not a contributor to the appeal of a property.
The Development of a Solution that Meets All Needs
Approximately 10 years ago, FDS Fence Distributors worked with an architectural firm to design a solution for tall fencing as an alternative to masonry or privacy chain link. The creation of Trex fencing was conceived as a merger of aesthetics and functionality. To meet the rigors of a tall fence for enclosures and perimeters, Trex is reinforced by using heavy duty steel post stiffeners and mid-rails. With this configuration, Trex fencing can be built to 12 ft. heights (and even more with alternatives to the Trex fencing post). That’s typically sufficient to enclose most commercial buildings’ dumpsters, HVAC and electrical equipment.
The fence was developed to provide architects and designers with the ability to provide an attractive yet durable alternative to masonry and achieve a low-maintenance objective. Trex is a manufactured fence system with enough history to demonstrate its performance. The composite material has been in consistent use for over 25 years and the material density and thickness has been proven for years, giving the fence the strength that lighter products do not have.
For locations that do not retain property management services or do not have personnel on hand to maintain the fence, upkeep can be an ongoing challenge for enclosures and perimeters. A Trex fence does not need to be painted or stained and it will not rot so property owners have the ability to eliminate ongoing costs for maintenance.
Trex fencing installation does not require specialty skills or equipment that other products require. That means the overall cost for a tall Trex fence is typically lower than a masonry wall with an engineered footer. Additionally, in a commercial setting damage is sometimes inevitable, particularly if there are moving vehicles in the vicinity. Should damage occur, repairing a Trex fence may only take a few hours and will not incur the heavy costs associated with dismantling an entire masonry wall and rebuilding it. Trex fencing is built in sections so an isolated impact could be limited to replacing a few pickets. Even a damaged post may only require removing the Trex composite, cutting and welding a new steel post stiffener and sleeving the composite post back over it.
Commercial projects increasingly rely on Trex products to provide a compatible look. Some of our most common clients are schools, universities, and hospitals since many of them maintain large HVAC or electrical equipment. With high traffic around the area of an enclosure or a highly visible perimeter, a Trex fence gives off the appearance of an attractive, natural-looking product, while also providing full privacy.
The following gallery and presentation document linked in the box above provide a visual sampling of Trex Fencing installations in tall configurations.