Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wood Fence information

"Wood Fence Information" is a popular subject at Handybears: many people refer to wood fences as “wooden fence” or “privacy fence” so before you install a wood fence at your home we’ll give you some really good information that will help you to make the right choice for your yard.

Western red cedar is usually the best choice for a wood fence, because it needs no treatments and will stand up to hot and cold climates and the oils in the cedar are not popular with insects, and that’s a good thing!

Woodfences: or privacy fences as they are often called will give you the most privacy as well as providing safety for your children and pets. Wood privacy fences are usually 6 feet tall and the shadowbox pattern as shown in the picture below is the most commonly installed wood fence. 
Wood fence post should always be set in concrete: your wood fencing contractor, they’ll tell you what’s required by the Building Dept in your area, but we will always recommend fence post set in concrete.

Wood fences: should be installed in the same place as the fence you’re replacing, or if it’s a new fence staying 4 inches inside your property line is a good rule of thumb.

Wood fence repairs: are easy and matching your existing wood and gate hardware is as simple as a call to your local wood fence suppliers. 

Wood fences don’t need to be replaced just because there are a few sections of fence damaged or some loose hardware on the fence; once again a Handyman or a visit to your local wood fence supplier will be all you’ll need to do to find everything you’ll need to repair or replace sections of existing fence. 

Fence post repair: If your fences posts are rotten or they’ve become loose, you can repair them. A Handyman or wood fence builder can drill holes in two places on your wood fence and use pressure treated 2x4’s or cedar to bolster the fence that is loose. If the fence post is cracked or broken at the ground level; replace the fence post by simply digging a new fence post hole and placing a new wood post in concrete and re-level it to match your existing fence.

Gate repair for wood fences: if wood gates are hard to close, make sure they’re not bent. Hinges can be replaced with a larger hinge. Loose screws are a common problem, and a larger hole can be drilled and wood dowels san be pushed and glued in place, and you can drill a new hole where the old holes used to be and use larger galvanized screws to secure the gate. 

Replacing sections of wood fence is the easiest way to fix a damaged section of wood fence, or you can use wood fence panels to match your existing fence.

If you’re getting bids form a Handyman or fencing contractor. 

1. Always get an onsite inspection and don’t pay for an inspection of your existing fence, any Handyman or fence builder should give free estimates.

2. You’ll pay more for pay an average of 10% - 20% in material and installation costs for fences with complex configurations and patterns. 

3. Make sure your wood fence installation includes removal and disposal of existing fence, site grading or improvement, and gate construction.

4. Wood fence estimates should always include costs for post hole digging, post hole drainage rock, posts, post concrete anchoring, fencing materials and all construction supplies for a 6 foot fence, unless you want a smaller or larger fence.

5. High grade, more durable post, extra frame lumber, higher quality fence boards, and sloped terrain installation with decorative fence details can cause the price to increase considerably.
You can save money, by being flexible on scheduling your project during slow periods for the Handyman or fence contractor.

Contact us anytime at with any questions about wood fence repair or replacement.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Thompsons Water Seal for Stamped Concrete

Can we use Thompson's Water Seal on Stamped Concrete?
Absolutely not! We get asked this question all the time at Handybears and the answer is NO, NADA…  

Here’s why.
Thompson's water seal has silicone in it. If you this or any other product with silicone in it, on concrete, nothing will ever (and we mean forever) bond with or stick to your stamped concrete again.

Well meaning homeowners and even Handymen seal stamped concrete with silicone based products and the stamped concrete is ruined.
There are water based sealers for concrete available everywhere, but they don’t have silicone in them.

FYI: if you have stamped concrete installed at your home make sure you write down the name of the sealer used on the stamped concrete, because solvent based water sealers don’t work with water based sealers. We hope this helps and we also hope you haven’t put silicone on your stamped concrete.

Ps, there is nothing that will strip the silicone off of the sealer, so don’t pay anyone to try, it will not work. Sorry for the bad news.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Maintenance for stamped concrete

Stamped concrete will need preventative maintenance every few years and quick fixes year around i.e. oil leaks and chemical spills that can penetrate the sealer and damage the surface of the stamped concrete.  

Stamped concrete: will need to be re-sealed at least every three years along with occasional repairs from damage by snow plows, if you live in the north and there will be oil spills from older cars and trucks that leak oil. The best way to ensure your stamped concrete stays protected from oil and chemical spills is to keep it sealed. 

Stamped concrete that is sealed correctly when it is installed will not need to be sealed as often. Freshly sealed stamped concrete will look as beautiful as the day it was done. Try not to get carried away with too much sealer because the stamped concrete will start to look glossy and real stone doesn't shine in most cases.  

When possible: have the same stamped Concrete Contractor that installed your stamped concrete do your stamped concrete maintenance. They’ll know the colors to use to repair cracks and edges that have been broken. 

keep a large box of the color hardener he release powder (the accent color used on the stamped concrete) to keep for repairs in the future.

The stamped concrete contractors we talked with: tell their customers to use a matt finish so the stamped concrete will look more natural. 

Remember there are water based sealers and solvent based sealers: used on stamped concrete so make sure you know exactly what is used to seal your stamped concrete. You can’t apply a solvent based sealer over a water based sealer. 

Never use Thompson's Water Sealer. DIY Homeowners do this a lot and it will ruin your stamped concrete, because nothing will bond to your stamped concrete after you’ve applied a silicone based sealer. 

Use sand on stamped concrete in the winter: to make the stamped concrete less slippery. Salt eats away at all concrete surfaces. 

Immediately remove any gas or oil from stamped concrete: wash it wish soap and water right away and you’ll be fine. 

Don’t use 3000 PSI pressure washers on stamped concrete: this can eat away at any concrete surface. Use a brush with some soap and water in most cases. 

Crack repair is easy with stamped concrete: use the color hardener (you saved) to fill in the cracks and the lines will blend in with the surface of the stamped concrete.  

If you have any more questions
send them to and we’ll answer them here or we’ll send you an email with the answer. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

What is the most popular stamped concrete pattern?

What is the most popular stamped concrete pattern? 

We asked the largest stamped concrete contractors in 5 large markets and the most popular stamped concrete pattern is Ashlar Slate.

This is a picture of the ashlar slate pattern below. You can see why this pattern is so popular. This pattern is often used with a brick border around it according to the stamped concrete contractors we spoke with. 

Ashlar slate is the most popular choice for patios, driveways, and pool decks. It works well with other patterns and stones because it is a large pattern and is not so busy.

Ashlar slate stamped concrete patio

Stamped concrete is available in an unlimited number of colors and patterns and has become the first choice of many home owners. 

Keep your questions coming and feel free to contact us anytime at with your questions and we'll answer you right away. If your question is one that will interest a large number of people we'll post it here... Thanks again from Handybears 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Brick Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

Brick Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete and brick pavers will both hold up well if Florida. Stamped concrete has been around for almost a hundred years and there are unlimited patterns and colors available.

Stamped concrete will require maintenance every 3 to 4 years to keep it looking fresh. That being said; don’t get too carried away with too much sealer, because the stamped concrete will become very slippery.

Brick pavers are also a great choice for driveways and patios in Florida. Like the stamped concrete there are almost an unlimited number of patterns and colors available.

Brick pavers will require maintenance as well; once again don’t get carried away with too much sealer on the pavers. If the brick pavers sink or the edges become jarred loose they can easily be repaired by a Handyman.

Many Handyman services in Florida offer cleaning and sealing of brick pavers and stamped concrete. Simply make sure they’ve had plenty of experience with sealing and the chemicals needed to seal pavers and stamped concrete.

Thanks for your question Tim, if you need any more information please contact us anytime at and we’ll be glad to help. This is a big topic now so we’ll have plenty of articles here as time goes by about Pavers and Stamped concrete.