(BPT) - Nearly 60 percent of homeowners are planning to spend money on home improvements in 2017 with outdoor living projects leading the way, according to a survey by LightStream, the national online lending division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. While there may be more popular and trendy outdoor projects, building a latticework fence is a very practical, easy and affordable way to add value by eliminating unwanted eyesores.
Every home is burdened with air conditioning units, garbage can bins, small storage units and other relatively permanent structures that detract from the beauty of a yard. An attractive alternative to physically removing these undesirable outdoor features is dressing them up with a latticework fence, which come in a variety of styles to match any home and outdoor living space.
The long-term viability of a latticework fence is dictated by setting the posts with strong concrete like QUIKRETE Fast Setting Concrete Mix. In addition to reaching a strength of 4,000 pounds per square inch, fast-setting concrete requires no mixing and hardens in 20-40 minutes so the project can be finished quickly.
Here are steps for building a latticework fence.
When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves.
* Set two stakes and run string between each to mark the post hole locations.
* Dig each hole three times the width of the post and at least one-third the length of the post before pouring 6 inches of all-purpose gravel into the bottom to aid drainage.
* Put a post into the first hole and attach two-by-four wood braces to the adjacent sides of the post before using a level to position the post perfectly vertical.
* Fill the hole around the post with fast-setting concrete within 3-4 inches from the top.
* Pour up to 1 gallon of water into the hole until is soaks into the dry concrete mix.
* Repeat the process for the second post, then pull a string from the top of the two posts to confirm matching heights and level.
* Measure and build the latticework panel frame by attaching one-by-one wood strips along the middle of four two-by-fours with screws making sure to leave space at the ends. Cut the corners of the two-by-fours at 45 degree angles and attach the four pieces together with screws.
* Cut the latticework panel to the appropriate size, place in the frame and secure to the two-by-fours by attaching four more one-by-one wood strips on top with screws.
* Allow the posts to set in the concrete four hours before attaching the latticework panels with screws to complete the fence.
* For longer fences, follow the same process to extend with additional latticework panels.
Plants can be added to the latticework and/or a new floor can be poured with QUIKRETE Fast Setting Concrete Mix to further improve the appearance of especially challenging areas like a garage can bin. For more information on properly setting posts including a step-by-step how-to project video, visit the QUIKRETE website or Facebook.