Fencing FAQ

How do I care for and maintain my fence?

You can power wash and/or seal your fence. We recommend using City Clean if you do not have the tools to do the project on your own. Click here to visit their website , or call them at (443) 454-1919.

Is there a product that you recommend to use if my PVC fence has been defaced with spray paint?

An engineer approved product called "Graffiti Buster II" should be used in this case. The company who manufacures this items can be reached at 1(800)777-7870, or via their website.

What do I need in order to get a permit for my fence?

This depends on the county in which you live, and is occasionally dependent on your city and/or community as well. We typically pull the permit for you, but ask that you provide us with your property plat with the location of the fence, style, height, and description noted. We will provide structural drawings and plans, as well as ICC codes and other miscellanious requirements. During the application process, we may request additional information.

What happens when the gate latch miss-aligns or my gate does not open/close properly?

Vinyl - Most the time it is a simple as adjusting the bolt portion of the hinge on a vinyl gate. Wood - If your wood gate misaligns, take a screwdriver and unscrew the "catch", then take a hammer and gently tap down until it aligns. For more problematic gates, a professional might have to edge the gate(if wood) or actually re-hang a vinyl gate

Can I keep wood piles and debris stacked near my fence?

In most cases, this will encapsulate moisture and create a problem. The over hydration of the wood will drastically accelerate rot decay and inspect damage. If this stacked debris situation is likely to be inevitable, try to avoid cedar wood. Vinyl is a great alternative in this case, as it does not absorb any moisture and so the moisture will have little to no effect.

Do I need a permit to build a fence in Anne Arundel County?

Typically you will only need a permit if your fence is over 6' high, your property is waterfront, or your house is on a corner. For corner lots, the fence must be 25' or further from the corner so that it does not block the view of traffic. Waterfront fences must be 4' high or shorter in spans that are directly between the home and the water. They must also have 2.25" spacing to minimize view obstruction and to allow small animals to pass.

Do I have to put the finished side out on my wood fence?

In Anne Arundel County Maryland, there is not a requirement for the finished side of the fence, although there are in many Home Owners Association covenants. Please be sure to get HOA approval with any construction project in your community.

Do I need to get my lot surveyed?

We highly recommend that you have your property professionally surveyed with any new fence installation. If you would like to attempt to find the original survey pins, you can do so using a metal detector - they are typically set with rebar and a plastic cap. Ultimately it is the homeowner’s responsibility to have their lot lines established.

I have my property Plat, do I still need a survey?

Yes, you may notice on your plat it is stated “Not to be used to establish boundary lines”. While they are typically very close, they are not intended to be exact

How close to the property line can I place my fence?

Other than corner lot set backs there is no designation on how close you can install your fence to the lot line. If we have a staked survey we will typically set our fences back 4” to account for the footing.

How deep in the ground do you usually set the posts?

Typically, post depths extend 50% of the above-ground height. For example, a 4ft high fence would require footer holes that are 24” deep.

Decking FAQ

Do I need a permit to build my deck?

Yes, In most instances if you are building a new deck on your home, you will be required to have a county permit. Always check with your local permit and inspection office for regional code laws.

What do I need in order to get a permit for my project?

Generally what you need is a copy of your property plat that clearly shows the house, including property lines. Indicate on the plat where the new deck is to be located on the property. You will also be required to fill out the application for a permit and there is a county fee involved. You will also need a drawing of the deck to scale that clearly shows the dimensions of the deck, footer size and depth, beam size, joist size and spacing, decking material to be used, railing system and staircase location if any.

Is my contractor supposed to be licensed?

Yes, All contractors in the state of Maryland are required by law to have a Maryland State Home Improvement License in order to install any decking in Maryland. They should also carry general liability insurance and workers compensation so both you and your contractor are protected from any liability. Licensed contractors should gladly provide you with a copy of their home improvement license and a certificate of general liability and workers compensation insurance upon your request before any installation is to begin.

Do I need to call Miss Utility?

Miss Utility should always be called when digging, but we will take care of this step for you if we are doing the installation.

Is my contractor supposed to be licensed?

Absolutely, through both the State of Maryland and the Maryland Home Improvement Commission

Should I take caution when using a grill, patio heater or any other heat source on my deck?

Yes, you should always use caution in these situations. Grill mats are great, but be sure to check your decking specifications, as some PVC deck material may have a reaction with rubber mats

Why don't GeoDeck boards fade like other composites?

Most composite products are made with wood flour or chips and plastic. The lignins found in wood products are a major contributor to fading. GeoDeck uses Biodac® rather than wood chips as its fiber source. Biodac has low amounts of lignins and consequently its GeoDeck products are more resistant to fading.

What type of framing material should I use for my new deck?

Framing material generally consists of a #2 grade ACQ pressure treated southern yellow pine. ACQ stands for Alkaline Copper Quaternary which recently has replaced the old Chromated Copper Arsenate woods. ACQ is a waterborne preservative that is copper-based. The copper and quaternary compounds together provide protection from a broad spectrum of fungi and termites, preventing rot and decay.

What should I use for my bearing posts that support my deck?

In most applications a treated 6x6 timber will be used as the main support posts.

Should I use a back beam at my house when I build my new deck?

A back beam requirement is subject to the county in which you live in. Prince Georges County is one of them.

Hardscaping FAQ

Why do Nicolock pavers make the best pavement?

Not only are Nicolock pavers beautiful, but they provide the best pavement solution in freeze/thaw conditions, when installed over a compacted aggregate base. Installation over a compacted aggregate base results in a pavement that is strong, yet flexible enough to move as the ground shifts without breaking apart, rutting or heaving. In addition, they can be "unzipped" to allow for repairs or access to utility lines. Unlike asphalt and other surfaces, pavers are virtually maintenance-free. And, by definition, concrete pavers are about 3 times stronger than regular poured concrete.

What makes Paver-Shield™ better than the competition?

Paver-Shield is not a thin veneer of color coating. Paver-Shield pavers are guaranteed to look great year after year, retaining their vibrant color and smooth texture. Products without Paver-Shield may look worn and faded over time with exposed aggregate on the surface.

Does the color go all the way through Nicolock pavers?

All Nicolock pavers have color throughout. Those manufactured with our exclusive Paver-Shield™ process have an extra concentration of cement and pigment on the wear layer providing deep rich colors and a smooth, dense wear layer.

How do pavers compare with patterned concrete?

Patterned concrete pavements are slabs of concrete that are embossed with a pattern. Therefore, they are prone to the same problems with freeze/thaw cycles, namely cracking and spalling. Also, unlike Nicolock pavers, patterned concrete pavements don't allow access to underground utilities or the ability to make repairs. At virtually the same price installed per square foot, Nicolock Pavers are clearly a superior choice.

What is efflorescence?

Efflorescence is a whitish, powder-like deposit that may sometimes appear on the surface of the paving stones. It may appear immediately or within a short time after installation. Efflorescence occurs when natural salts come to the surface and leave behind a white deposit that can normally be brushed off. Left alone, normal wear and exposure to the elements will dissipate the efflorescence. This is not a product defect or harmful to pavers and walls and Nicolock accepts no liability for its occurrence. If there is a need to remove the efflorescence before it naturally wears away, best results are obtained by using an efflorescence remover which is available from most mason supply dealers. Do not use muriatic acid.

If a sealer is to be applied to the paving stones, it is recommended that any presence of efflorescence be removed prior to sealer being applied. Precautions for proper drainage of the paving stone system should be taken to minimize the occurrence of efflorescence. Follow proper installation methods.

What is polymeric sand and what are its advantages?

Polymeric sand is a high-tech mix of graded sand and binder, specially formulated for filling joints between pavers. When installed properly, polymeric sand will remain in the paver joints and inhibit weed growth and insect infestation.

I have a rotting railroad tie wall that is falling down. What can I do?

Our segmental retaining wall systems provide an excellent solution to this problem. They are strong and will last a lifetime. Nicolock offers several different wall systems to meet your needs.

Will weeds grow between my pavers?

Weeds and grass between pavers occur when seeds or spores lodge in the joints between pavers. They will not grow from underneath. This can be minimized by using polymeric sand or mixing a pre-emergent granular weed killer into the joint sand. If weeds do appear, a spot vegetation killer (such as Round-Up™) can be used and will not damage the pavers.

Contact Us

Address: 1901 Halethorpe Ave. Halethorpe, MD 21227


Make a Payment

Phone: (410) 247-0707

Fax: (443) 817-0996

Email: FDDinfo@FenceDeckDirect.com

Hours:  Mon-Fri 7am-4pm