As an engineer, having a plan is one of the most important things you can do to make sure a project is going smoothly. Even though working on a perimeter wall or fence can seem like a simple matter, it can get complicated fast.
Start each project by asking big picture questions about the primary purpose and scope of the perimeter wall. This will help determine what type of fence you will need and how tall to build it. From there, keep track of the project by asking yourself the following questions;
Questions to Ask Before Construction
- Where should the fence be located?
By laying out the fence on the property (best done on-site), you can determine if there will be odd angles and sharp corners that could impact the design. Knowing this in advance will help you properly plan.
- What is the location of all the utilities?
All states have a hotline you can call to mark out all the underground utilities before you start digging. It’s important to know what is underground before you plan, in case the design needs to be changed. Otherwise, you risk damaging these utilities. This also applies to any above-ground utilities.
- What does the drainage look like?
Knowing how the water flows on the site will also potentially alter the design. Either additional drainage can be worked into the design or the wall can be realigned. Having an uncontrolled source of water around the perimeter wall can cause damage to the wall.
- What local code and permitting requirements are in place?
What does the building department say about how high the fence can be or how far the setbacks have to be? What other requirements will they have that will impact the design?
- Do you need a permit?
The building department will also be able to tell you if you will need a permit and if so, give you more details on how to go through the process of obtaining one. Sometimes, the approval process can take a long time, so the sooner you get all the required information submitted, the sooner the project can start.
- What does the on-site soil look like?
The soil type and condition will significantly impact how the support for the wall will be built. Knowing if you have sandy, loamy, or clay soils(or some other kind) will likely change your design.
- How will the concrete get onsite?
Once your precast panels are finished, how will they get to the place they will be installed? You want to be sure the transportation doesn’t cause damage to the fence. Be sure you have proper transportation that will get the fence from point A to point B.
- Can all areas of the site be reached by equipment and personnel?
If you get to the installation phase of the project and realize the equipment you need can’t access the project site, you might have to turn to smaller equipment to get the job done. Be sure you plan ahead for this step!
- What will the weather look like?
Will the project take place in the winter or summer? What is the weather typically like at that time of year? What kind of precautions might you need to take to be prepared? The great thing about precast concrete is the shorter installation time because it is pre-made off-site. This means your fence can be installed all year round and during shorter windows of good weather.
- Are you meeting all the inspection and testing requirements?
This is another opportunity to talk to the local building department. What kind of inspections and testing will they want to do? How will the schedule look? The more you know about how the fencing system will be inspected in the future, the more you can prepare for it during the design to make sure it will pass the inspection.
Precast Concrete is Ideal for Your Next Fencing Project
More and more engineers are choosing to use precast concrete, rather than concrete that is poured on-site. If you choose precast concrete, be sure you ask yourself the ten questions mentioned above so your fencing system avoids issues that may arise. If you are new to precast concrete, contact American Precast Inc. today for your free estimate or to learn more about the advantages.