Difference Between a Cantilever Gate and a Sliding Gate

Just as a square is a special kind of rectangle, a cantilever gate is a unique type of sliding gate, but with distinctive, interesting differences from your typical gate with wheels.

Role of Wheels

One of the primary differences between a cantilever gate and a sliding gate is the gated-drivewaylocation of the wheels that helps the gate move. A cantilever sliding gate rests and rolls on a wheel on the front bottom edge of the gate with a track supporting wheels on the back edge. In contrast, a cantilever gate is held above the ground, moving along rollers running along the top and inside of the fence, with wheels attached to a vertical concrete foundation.

Space Requirements

Generally, the space required to accommodate a sliding gate is the same as the width it covers, with a few extra feet for access. A 30-foot wide driveway would need to have 30 feet on one side for gate storage and about three feet to allow maneuverability around the gate frame. A cantilever gate needs to be about 50 percent wider than its span to counterbalance the weight of the suspension posts.


Because sliding gate frames aren’t supporting mounting posts, they don’t require the material strength and rigidity needed for cantilever gates. The frames for sliding gates are smaller overall, making them less expensive than cantilever gates.


Sliding gates have simpler and smaller operating mechanisms than cantilever gates, and as a result, roll more easily. But wheel contact with the ground can make operation noisier than cantilever gates.

Since cantilever gate wheels are off the ground, this style can span a wider range of terrain including gravel, grass, blocks and uneven, angled or steeply inclined surfaces. The absence of contact with the ground also allows cantilever gates to function easily in snowy or icy conditions.


The smaller frames of sliding gates make materials easier to lift, while the weight of cantilever gates requires a crane. Sliding gates, however, may require concrete footings or ground track installation in the existing driveway. Cantilever side posts are installed with no disruption to the drive, making this part of installation easier and faster.


Sliding gates can be shifted from the track, making them more susceptible to breaches. Cantilever gates can’t be lifted and as a result, may be more useful when security is a concern.

Sliding Gate or Cantilever Gate: Finding the Right Option

If you’re looking at a gate for residential, small commercial or industrial interiors and face some space limitations, then a sliding gate may be the right choice for you. For high traffic areas, with rougher, outdoor terrain where installing a ground track isn’t possible, or if you’re facing security considerations, a cantilever gate is the better alternative.

Cantilever Gate Installation in Southwest Washington

Talk with our team at Pacific Fence & Wire about our high-quality sliding and cantilever gates. We’ll find the solution to fit your needs, with expert installation to ensure reliable performance.

How to Plan for a New Fence

A repaired or new fence can add value to your property, add privacy, or add a decorative aspect to your yard, but there’s a few things to know before you jump feet first into a new fence. Here’s your guide to planning for a new fence.

Should I Repair or Replace my Fence?

Rotten fence replacement Portland OR Before determining if you need a new fence, it’s best to see if your current fence, if you have one, can be repaired.

The first thing to consider is what kind of fence you have.  If your fence is vinyl, chain link or decorative metal (wrought iron), you may want to consult with a fence professional so you can get the most accurate information possible.  Often times with these types of fences only sections of the actual fence need to be fixed.  Chain link fences, which are fairly durable, can be susceptible to rust though if caught early enough can be treated to prevent further damage.  Vinyl fence is also very durable but due to its plastic properties it can fall victim to a different array of damage including warping and cracking.

If your fence is built from wood you can usually tell yourself if it needs to be completely replaced or repaired.  Start by inspecting the fence boards from the bottom up.  In most instances, the boards will begin to rot from the bottom where they usually have contact with the ground.  This is especially true here in the Pacific Northwest where we tend to see more rain than the rest of the country.  If you cannot visually see if the boards are rotted you can try scraping indiscreet area of the board with a nail or other hard object.  If the wood easily disintegrates, it is most likely rotted.  If only a few boards are rotting you may simply be able to replace just those boards.  If more than a quarter of the boards on your fence are rotted, it is time for a new fence.

Checking the integrity of your wooden fence goes beyond just check the face boards, however.  You also need to check if the fence posts are still in tact.  This is usually a pretty simple task.  First, try and find an angle where you can look down the length of your entire fence line.  Are the posts in a straight line or are some of the tilting in different directions?  If they are not in a straight line the posts may be rotting.  To check if your posts are rotting you can use the same test we used above with a nail or you can simply try and shake the post.  If it is pliable it is most likely rotted and it is time for a new fence.

Next Steps in Planning for a New Fence

After you’ve determined whether or not your fence will need to be completely replaced or just repaired in places, there are more decisions that will need to be made.

Decide on the Primary Function for Your Fence

While most fences will ultimately serve more than one purpose, pinpointing your primary purpose will help you make important decisions regarding materials and layout.

For example, maybe the main purpose for the fence is to keep your dog in the yard, and the second purpose is to frame your garden. Recognizing the primary need for containing your dog helps you figure out the necessary height and strength of the fence. After you’ve decided on those essential elements, then you can start thinking about ways the fence can aesthetically complement your garden.

Decide on Desired Access Points

Vinyl Fence Door in Portland ORYour fence should serve you, not the other way around. You will want to decide on a few key areas where you and your family will be passing through the fence.

You also need to consider what you will be using the access points for. Will they be just for people passing through? Would you eventually like to fit wider equipment, or even drive a lawnmower or vehicle through? Discovering your answers to these questions will help you decide on the type and necessary width of gates you can install.

You should also decide on the number of access points you want. Our team at Pacific Fence & Wire recommends having at least two. Not only is this practical, but having multiple exit points can also help during emergencies.

Look into the Details of Your Property

Property Plans for New Fence Pacific Fence Installation in Portland OR

Your residence will have buried electrical lines and water connections. Since these are not visible from the surface, you may need to review your blueprints to find them.

Thoroughly reviewing your blueprints is an absolutely essential step, and should be done in the very first stage of planning, so you don’t accidentally design (or build!) a fence on top of an underground feature such as a water or power line.

It is similarly crucial to figure out exactly where your property line falls, particularly if you want your fence to hug the perimeter. (If the blueprints don’t specify where your property line is, here are a few ways you can find out.)

Find Out If There Are Any HOA or Neighborhood Regulations and Talk to Your Neighbors

White Vinyl Picket Fence in Portland ORMany homeowners associations will have policies regarding the appearance of your home’s exterior. For example, there may be a specification about how far a fence has to be set back from sidewalks and property lines.

Certain municipalities will also have regulations regarding home appearance, such as height restrictions for fences. Find these out ahead of time, so you can incorporate them into your design.

Additionally, make sure you talk to the neighbors that your fence may impact. If the fence is on your property, you are within your rights to build the fence but communicating to them about the upcoming change is a nice thing to do. If the fence is on the border or your property and theirs, you may be able to come up with a compromise and maybe even split the cost on the project.  Make sure to get any kind of agreement with them in writing. In these cases, it is particularly helpful to be respectful of the neighbor’s own preferences in terms of fence type. You might consider sharing your design ideas with them so they are happy with the final product as well.

Determine Your Budget and Materials

New Fence Estimate Pacific Fence and Wire CoGetting a rough idea of your budget ahead of time can help guide your selection of materials and the degree of customization you would like. In general, chain link fences and vinyl fences are among the most economical, while wood and steel cost more per square foot.

The most economical fences will have standard 90° intersections and be on flat ground. Special angles or accommodating slopes are customizations that will increase the price.


Quality Fencing Services in Portland, OR

If you would like any assistance with planning for, designing, and/or constructing a new fence for your home, Pacific Fence & Wire would be happy to provide a free consultation. From discussing fence materials to the design itself, we are here to lend a hand. Just give us a call and we can help you get off to the right start on your project.


All About Vinyl Fences

Vinyl picket fence along a driveway in Portland ORA popular alternative to wood, vinyl fences are low-maintenance and durable alternatives to wooden fences. Easy to clean, long lasting, and attractive, vinyl fencing is a great option for almost everybody. Here’s everything you need to know about vinyl fences.

What is Vinyl Fencing Made out of?

Vinyl fences are plastic, made specifically with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This material is combined with special ingredients that make it strong, durable, and resistant to various types of weather and ultraviolet rays. Vinyl fencing is usually made in two different ways: mono-extrusion and co-extrusion. The first process uses PVC that is injected with UV inhibitors. The second process includes two layers of PVC, the first one being the UV coverage layer and the inner layer serving as impact resistance.

We partner with CertainTeed for their BuffTech vinyl fences because they’re built with high-quality materials and offer incredible warranties for customers.

Vinyl Fences vs Wooden fences

  • Maintenance: CertainTeed’s vinyl fences may need to be hosed off to rinse off chalk build-up which happens naturally to pigmented surfaces that are exposed to the elements. A simple garden hose does the trick. On the other hand, maintenance duties for anything wooden in the outdoors is a huge responsibility, especially in Portland’s wet climate. Consistent moisture can destroy wood by allowing it to decay over time and warp or split.
  • Durability: Our vinyl fences are fitted with a reinforced steel rail that runs along the bottom rail. This means that they are far stronger than traditional wood fencing. In addition, our vinyl fences are about 4 times more flexible than wood, which is crucial for high wind conditions.
  • Hazards: Wooden fences, especially ones that are not properly maintained, are a hotbed of potential hazards. From toxic weathering chemicals to splintering and exposed nails, wooden fences can pose a serious threat to small children and pets. On the other hand, vinyl fences have no dangerous chemicals or exposed sharp points.

Vinyl picket fence surrounding a home in Portland ORMore Advantages to Vinyl Fencing

There’s a host of customization options at your fingertips with vinyl fences. With more than 15 colors and textures to choose from, you can rest easy that your vinyl fence will match seamlessly with the rest of your yard and home. Here’s a quick rundown of some of CertainTeed’s customization options:

Vinyl fence styles

  • Privacy: Want passersby to have zero visibility of your yard? Privacy fences offer peace of mind with enclosed styles that can be as tall as 8 feet high (local fence height regulations may vary).
  • Semi-Private: These styles come with a thru-picket “good neighbor” design.
  • Contemporary: Modern design with top rail reinforcement
  • Classic: Sophisticated look with nod to the past
  • Traditional: Timeless picket designs that instantly say “American Dream”
  • Post & Rail: Built for containing livestock safely

In addition, there’s an even larger selection of vinyl fence trims to further separate your fence from the rest.

Fence trims for vinyl Vinyl fence with trim in Portland OR

  • Victorian accent
  • Lattice accent
  • Huntington accent
  • Concave/convex
  • Imperial
  • Columbia
  • Canterbury
  • Manchester
  • Yorkshire
  • And much more

How to Clean Your Vinyl Fence

Cleaning a Vinyl Fence is pretty straight forward. You should start by washing off loose debris with a garden hose and a soft brush. This will reveal your problem areas that you may need to give more attention to. A household cleaner like Simple Green will work fine with a brush. Apply the cleaning solution and let it sit in for a couple of minutes. Scrub with a soft brush as needed and wipe clean with a cloth.

For more stubborn stains you can use a small amount of bleach water and a brush. When using bleach keep in mind that it is a good idea to test it on a portion of your fence that is not visible to make sure it will not remove the natural fence color. It is also a good idea to make sure you are not harming any vegetation beneath the fence.

Finally, for those really tough spots like tar or paint you can remove them by chipping at it with a plastic tool. With vinyl it is a good idea to keep hard metal away from the fence as it can cause damage and instead use soft scraper that will not mar the material or leave marks.

To keep your fence in top notch condition try to clean it at least once a year, preferably in the spring. This will help extend the life of it as well as help keep that nice and clean look you want. Always test your cleaning solution on a part of the fence that is not clearly visible to make sure it will not damage the material and if you are unsure about something be sure to consult a professional.

Vinyl Fence Installation in Portland, Oregon

Pacific Fence and Wire provides excellent fence installation for both residential and commercial customers. Call us today and speak to one of our fencing professionals about your next project.


Vinyl fence surrounding a pool in Portland OR

Installing Outdoor Safety Railings

Ramp Safety RailingsWhen it comes to installing outdoor safety railings, there are a fair amount of questions to consider. First, who will be using this railing? Is the railing around the edge of a small pond, or accompanying a winding set of stairs? Another factor to consider before installing safety railings is the local codes and ordinances in effect for the area. While many railing code laws are fairly logical, it can be hard to sort through the many pages of structural codes and ordinances to find out if a railing should be 34” or 38” high. The answer is either height, of course, depending on the slope of the staircase, but these technical questions are critical to getting right so that installation can be done right the first time.

Installation process for safety railings

When it comes time to install outdoor safety railings, proper safety measures are key to make sure that nothing goes wrong. In the case of an elevated installation, the safety of the fencing contractors is the number one priority when installing the railing itself. In some cases, fall precautions can be placed around the building so that if an accident does happen, the fall is not too severe or is prevented altogether, such as installing temporary scaffolding so that the edge of the roof is extended to prevent slips near the edge of the roof.

Another way to prevent slippage is to install a temporary anchor point. This point acts as a tether for the workers so they do not fall off the edge of the building while working on installing safety railings. After all, while the safety railing will prevent falls in the future, having a worker fall during the installation defeats the purpose of the rail itself.

Installing safety railings and handrails Portland, Oregon

When it comes to installing outdoor safety rails, safety and caution are key. While the actual installation process varies from rail type to rail type, making sure to follow code and safety laws is key to making sure your installation goes smoothly. Hiring a fencing contractor to is key to the success of your project. If you are looking to have handrails installed in Portland, Oregon, contact Pacific Fence and Wire. We’d be happy to help you get started on your project, and make sure your handrail installation goes as smoothly as possible.

Security Gates for Your Home and Business

Whether you are looking to improve the safety of your home or business, security gates and fencing can give you a little more peace of mind. The benefits of installing commercial security gates and home security fencing can protect the safety of your family and your investments all through the installation of a few key units. Here are some of the benefits of investing in residential or commercial security gates.

Benefits of commercial security gates

For commercial lots, safety can be hard to maintain due to the large amount of traffic moving in and out of the lot on a daily and nightly basis, particularly during early morning shipments. While cameras can help track and deter some threats to your business, nothing acts as a better deterrent than commercial security gates.security-gate-icon

For commercial venues, a security gate can serve many purposes, from serving as a deterrent for unsolicited parking, to monitoring visitors and employees who enter and exit the building without the need for intensive security checks. Commercial security gates can be manual or electric, and provide a level of protection against the outside world. With the installation of an electric security gate you won’t have to worry about relying on a set of heavy metal gates to roll open every time someone clocks out. Commercial security gates can also give your business and the employees who work there a greater sense of safety by helping to keep any potential criminals or vandals off of your property, while still allowing welcomed visitors inside.

Home security fencing and gates

If you are looking at security for a residential lot, such as a large house or expansive property, a security gate can look stylish and be practical by keeping unwanted visitors, both animal and human, off of your property. gated-driveway

Beef Up Security

With a sturdy fence, thieves, vandals and crooks are less likely to target your home. Criminals prefer easy jobs, so make your property difficult to burglar with a good solid fence and gate. Your gate will need to lock from the inside. We’ll help you choose the latch or lock that’s right for you.

Add Style and Curb Appeal

There’s something impressive about a stylish gate that spans a drive. No matter what type of fence you have, we can add a gate that complements and enhances the style. Whether your fence is chain linkvinylwood or iron, we’ll attach a coordinating gate.

Keep Out Trespassers

An open drive is an invitation to all. If you have a long driveway some distance from your home, it can be difficult to control who comes onto your land. With a gate, there’s no question that your property is off limits to solicitors and strangers. Whether you post signs or not, a closed gate sends a message.Fence Replacement

Increase Your Home’s Value

Fences are an investment in your property. When you add a driveway gate to the mix, especially one that’s stylish and secure, you’ll increase the utility and value of any fence. If you’re planning to sell in the near future, consider the added appeal of a gate.

Make Life Easier

An automatic opener on a driveway gate can make your life easier. With the touch of a button, you can open and close the gate without having to get out of your vehicle. In rainy Portland, Oregon an automatic gate will keep you from having to run through the wind and wet.


Protect Your Kids and Pets

A fence with gates that lock gives you peace of mind. Your kids and pets need to get outside for exercise, play and fresh air. But without a fence, it’s hard to keep an eye on little ones. A flimsy gate makes it easy for kids and pets to leave the yard. Make sure your yard is protected with a quality fence and gates.

Your local Portland fencing company

If you are interested in learning more about how to have a security gate installed on a commercial or residential lot, contact Pacific Fence and Wire to find out how good fence installation makes good neighbors.

How to Measure Your Yard for a Fence

Check out this white picket fence. How to measure your yard for a fence.Before you can build a fence, you need to buy the materials. To get the right supplies, you need to measure your yard. If you’re building on your own, you’ll need to measure and plan carefully. If you’re hiring a fence company in Portland, they’ll do the measuring. But, you might want to make preliminary calculations before you call a fence builder. Measuring will guide you in setting a budget and help you communicate with the fencing company.

Here’s how to measure your yard for a fence:

Locate Property Lines

Do you know precisely where your property ends and your neighbor’s begins? You need to confirm the property lines. Don’t rely on a guess. If your fence goes up on the neighbor’s side of the line, it may need to come down. It’s an expensive mistake that happens more often than you’d think. Check county records or have a land surveyor take a look.

Look for Obstructions and Utility Lines

If you have trees or other permanent features, you’ll need to plan around them. Will the fence need to run near the features? In front of them? Behind them? You’ll also need to find underground utilities. These include gas, electric and cable lines. In Oregon and Washington, visit the Utility Notification Center or call 811. The center will notify someone come to your property and mark the location of utilities. It’s a free service.

How to Measure Your Yard for a Fence

Now that the prep work is complete, it’s time to start measuring.

  • Mark corners with a stake. The corners are where panels meet at a 90-degree angle.
  • Measure the perimeter of the area in feet. Use the stakes as a guide. The tape needs to be taut, so find a helper to make it easier.
  • Divide the perimeter by the size of the fence panels you plan to buy. Typical panel sizes range from six to eight feet. The resulting number will tell you how many units you’ll need to fence the area. If you’re building a custom or chain link fence, you can skip the division. The perimeter total is all you need.
Wood Fence

After taking a measurement of your yard, you’ll have a good idea of what to budget for the project. Plan on measuring again if you’re going to build the fence. Once you get into the nitty-gritty of building, you’ll want to mark the spot for each corner and line post. You’ll also run a string between the stakes. If you have slopes and curves to account for, you’ll need more detailed measurements.

Pacific Fence and Wire is a full-service fencing company in Oregon. We’d be happy to measure your yard, make an estimate and build a fence that adds beauty and value to your property. Contact us today to get started!

What Is Vinyl Fencing Made Of?

Vinyl fence on a residential property.There are all sorts of quality fencing options out there for homeowners. Vinyl fencing has become quite popular in the last few years because of its affordability and versatility. Vinyl fences come in an array of great colors, interesting textures and appealing styles. No matter what type fence you prefer, there will likely be something that matches your home. Here are some details about what vinyl fencing is made of and some of the benefits of using it.


Best fence types for a park

mini-mesh-chainlink (3)Community parks are a special place for families and individuals of all walks of life. Heading outside to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors is great for the mind and the body, so when planning a nice community park, it’s important to think of all facets of the project, including the fence. Municipalities and city builders looking to construct a community park have several different style options. Here are some basics: