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HANDYMAN Q & A

Home Improvement : Discuss Fence With Your Neighbor

April 16, 1989|ANDY LANG | Associated Press

QUESTION: We want to build a fence on our property. The lot adjoins that of our neighbor's. Do we have to get permission to erect the fence?

ANSWER: First of all, the fact that you are asking the question raises the possibility that you are not on good terms with the neighbor who will be affected by the fence. But if that supposition is wrong, contact him and see whether you can agree on the kind and height of the fence. But that is by no means the last word on the subject.

Nearly all communities have regulations on all matters affecting fences even if the one you contemplate will be completely on your own property. You must get a permit after the authorities are certain you intend to conform to the local codes. Whatever your reason for putting up the fence, make sure it is attractive. An eyesore isn't going to do anybody any good.

Read Instructions When Using Adhesives

Q: Is there some rule of thumb that can be used when working with adhesives? In the past, when using adhesives, I have found it difficult to know when to use one kind of adhesive and when to use another. Can you help? I especially am anxious to find out when the so-called flexible adhesives should be used and when they should not.

A: It sounds as if you are not an avid reader of the instructions on the adhesive containers. This is partly the fault of the manufacturers, who sometimes have the instructions in such small type that a magnifying glass is required to read them.

But, no matter how difficult it is to make out the instructions, you should make it your business to see what they say. Generally, a flexible adhesive is required when the two objects to be joined are made of different materials; as for instance, when joining wood to glass. That's because different materials expand and contract differently when there is a change in the weather. With an adhesive that is inflexible, this can cause trouble. But nothing takes the place of reading the instructions and following them to the letter.

Unless Ground Hard Use Base for Concrete

Q: I intend to put down a concrete floor soon. Is there some way to tell when to use a base of aggregates and sand and when it can be skipped? Years ago, when I did this a couple of times, I guessed wrong both times.

A: Generally, a base is needed if the ground is fairly soft. You can proceed without a base only if the ground is hard. Even when it is, it should be compacted. If there is any doubt in your mind about the hardness of the soil, put down the aggregate and sand, with about four times as much aggregate as sand.

Dark Colors Make Roof Less Towering

Q: We recently bought a house in the country for use as a vacation or second home. It has a very steep roof. Since it is due for reroofing, we wonder whether there is any special color that will tend to make the roof lines seem somewhat lower. We intend to use asphalt shingles.

A: Just be sure to select shingles that are dark in color. A dark color makes a high roof seem less towering.

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