Ask an expert
Get Your Answers

Your Fencing Questions Answered

  • Do we need a permit to get a fence installed?

    It depends on the town where the fence is being installed. Typically most towns do require a permit for a fence installation. In many cases, inspections are required during and after construction. For more details about your particular town please contact your local building department.

  • How long does it take to get a new fence installed?

    A typical backyard fence is installed in one day. However, this may change based upon the amount of fence being installed, unforeseen installation obstacles, and weather conditions.

  • Do you install fences during winter?

    Yes, our installation and service departments work throughout the year. At times we may delay the installation day by a couple of days if there are extreme weather conditions in the winter.

  • How close to our property line do you install your fences?

    Standard installation of a fence is 3 to 6 inches from the property line. We do this so we do not encroach upon your neighbor’s property when excavating and setting the posts. This distance may vary based on township requirements.

  • What type of warranties do you offer on your fences?

    We have the most comprehensive warranties in the industry. All of our fences and decks come with a three-year warranty on the workmanship and installation of the fence. Our gates are warrantied for one year. Our aluminum and vinyl products have a lifetime warranty on the material. If there is a warranty claim on the material we will cover the labor to fix the claim.

  • Do you repair fences?

    Yes, Cedar Rustic Fence Co. has a full-time service department for warranty work and fence repairs. However, at this time we only do repair work on Cedar Rustic fences. It is difficult to fix fences that are constructed differently or made of material that we do not offer. We want to ensure that if we commit to repairing a fence, you will be happy with the results.

  • I see that you are located in Joliet, IL. Where do you install your fences?

    Our main production facility and warehouse is located in Joliet. We do install fences all over the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana. We are licensed and bonded in over 100 different townships. Some of these townships include Joliet, Plainfield, Naperville, Chicago, Downers Grove, New Lenox, Shorewood, Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Lawn, Channahon, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Frankfort, Lockport, Oak Forest, Wheaton, Yorkville, Oswego, Homewood, Homer Glen, Minooka, Romeoville, Palos Heights, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Bourbonnais, Darien, Lisle, Mokena, Crown Point, Elmhurst, Woodridge, Crest Hill, Dyer, Westmont, Lemont, Glen Ellyn, St John, Lombard, Alsip, Matteson, Coal City, La Grange, Lowell, Evergreen Park, Palos Hills, Munster, Schererville, Burbank, Cedar Lake, Clarendon Hills, Flossmoor, La Grange Park, Westchester, Wilmington, Elwood, Hickory Hills, Lansing, Midlothian, Braidwood, Geneva, Richton Park, Schaumburg, South Holland, Bartlett, Morris, Villa Park, Brookfield, Crestwood, Highland, Lynwood, Manteno, Crete, Montgomery, Worth, Batavia, Griffith, Plano, Blue Island, Kankakee, Carol Stream, Palos Park, Park Forest, Winfield, and Country Club Hills.

  • Why are my fence posts cracking or splitting?

    Your fence posts are not cracking or splitting; rather, they are going through a natural process, called “checking,” found in all forms of wood. This process produces separations on the surface of the wood that may appear as cracks or splits.

    When timbers dry, the exterior surface shrinks at a faster rate than the inner heartwood. In this situation, something has to give. The result is a “check.” Checking does not pass through the heartwood itself and will not compromise the structural integrity of your fence.

    Please note the heartwood portion of a cedar tree is the unique part of the tree that causes it to refrain from rotting and facing decay. It is possible to get a sap cut post (the outer portion of a cedar tree) that will check less but this part of the tree is not rot and decay-resistant.

  • How do I prevent my posts from heaving or coming out of the ground?

    Posts typically heave in the winter when the ground freezes. When water underground freezes, it expands and can push up on your posts. The best way to protect your fence from heaving is to make sure your downspouts or any other sources of water in your yard drain away from your fence posts.

  • Do I need to stain or treat my new cedar fence?

    Cedar has natural oils that make it resistant to moisture, decay, and insect damage. If left untreated, a cedar fence will weather to a silvery gray color. If you are looking for a maintenance-free fence and don’t mind the natural gray color, staining is not needed.

    On the other hand, if you want to preserve the original color of your new fence or want to change the color of your fence to match your home, staining is a suitable option.

  • What type of stain should I use?

    We strongly encourage you to speak with a professional at a home improvement center or specialized paint store regarding a specific stain. The most commonly used stain for a fence or deck is a semi-transparent cedar tone color. This stain will slightly darken your fence or deck, bringing out the true characteristics of the cedar wood.

    Please note that most transparent stains or sealants, like a Thompson Water Sealant, do not have UV protection. The sealant will protect the cedar wood, but will not prevent it from turning gray.

  • Do I have to wait to stain my fence?

    We always recommend following your stain manufacturer’s instructions before staining your new fence. There are a few factors you should consider before you stain your fence.

    Moisture Content – Freshly milled green cedar lumber may have moisture content upwards of 30%. Cedar should dry to a level of around 12-15% before staining.

    Surface Texture – Surface texture impacts how a stain penetrates cedar. Your new cedar fence may have some rough-sawn cedar boards and posts. The rough finish is stain-friendly and will accept the stain. Portions of your fence may have a smooth or surfaced finish, which is often referred to as a mill-glazed finish. Stain typically will not penetrate cedar with a mill-glazed finish. You may wait a few months to allow the cedar pores to open and the mill-glazed finish to dissipate. If you do not want to wait, you can apply a fence or deck cleaner and gently power wash your fence. This will assist in opening the cedar pores. 

    Before you stain your fence, we always recommend you test an inconspicuous area on the fence to ensure the stain evenly penetrates the cedar.

    Exterior Temperature – Make sure you check your stain manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, it should be 40 degrees or warmer outside with no rain expected for 24 hours after the application.

  • Why does my gate rub on my sidewalk/driveway in the winter?

    When the ground freezes, it can often cause driveways and sidewalks to heave. In the winter, your gate may rub, while in the summer it may have plenty of clearance. By adjusting the height of your gate in the winter, the gap underneath your gate will increase in the summer.

  • Why are the boards rough?

    Most cedar fence boards and posts have a rough-sawn finish. There are a few reasons for the rough finish. First, a rough-sawn finish is more acceptable to staining. If you want to stain your fence, less preparation is needed. Secondly, a rough-sawn finish hides blemishes in the fence more effectively. Finally, a smooth board must go through a surfacing process at the mill to achieve a smooth surface. The process of surfacing material adds to the cost and decreases the thickness of the fence picket or posts. This process is typically not used for fence boards.

  • Why are my boards a different color?

    Western Red Cedar and Northern White Cedar are natural products that take 80 to 200 years to grow. There can be a slight variation in the color of the wood from tree to tree due to the age of the tree and the geographic region the tree is from. You cannot choose a cedar color or tone when buying cedar as it is not a grading characteristic. Part of the characteristics and beauty of a cedar fence is seeing the natural wood grain and color variation.

  • Why are there gaps in my cedar privacy fence?

    We make every effort to minimize the gaps in our fences. All cedar material is stored inside our warehouse. We unwrap the material to inspect it and to allow airflow as part of the drying process.

    When each fence section is built, we pull the pickets tight and nail them together. Once the fence material is installed, it will acclimate to the outside environment and may shrink. Gaps may become visible a few days to weeks after installation depending on the weather conditions and the amount of moisture in the picket. Gaps between the boards are normal and small, allowing you to enjoy the privacy of your backyard.

still have questions?

Contact us today and step into a world of quality fencing tailored to your needs. Wherever you are across our service area, our talented fabricators are ready to craft a beautiful and functional outdoor space you'll enjoy for years to come.

By submitting your mobile phone number, you are authorizing us (opting in) to send you informational and marketing-related texts. You also agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Thank you!
Your message has been submitted
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.