When Hurricane Charley Blew into Town

Cold Front

Luckily, we haven’t had the kind of hurricane seasons over the past several years that are known to wreak havoc on Central Florida homes and landscapes. Was it really ten years ago that Hurricane Charley blew into town knocking down trees, ripping up roofs and causing millions of dollars in damage?

I remember that summer of 2004, well. We had just barely moved into our new home when Charley hit. My family had never witnessed winds that strong or rain that heavy. Fortunately, our house is well built with double-paned storm windows, and a good roof that survived intact.

After the storm passed, we went outside to survey the damage. We lost a lot of tree branches and one whole juniper was so severely bent over that I had to saw it down in pieces. The only other loss was our entire backyard fence, which simply couldn’t withstand the violent winds that tore across the region.

Our neighbor on the other side of the fence had a good friend who agreed to do the work to replace it, and together, we shared the cost. Within a few weeks, the new wood was in place. My only concern is this: It’s very likely that another storm of similar magnitude will simply knock down the new fence, just as Charley smashed the old one.

And here’s why:


The problem with most fences is that they aren’t constructed in a way that makes them sturdy enough to withstand strong winds. Think of a fence placed in the ground in the same way that ceiling studs are laid out in the attic of your home. Studs that are placed farther apart make for a weaker ceiling than studs that are placed closer together. The more studs that are anchored to the house frame, the stronger the entire structure.

For example, if your fence posts are eight feet apart, they will be less able to withstand pressure than if they are six feet apart. That’s just basic physics. And that is why at Bella Fence, they place their posts six feet apart. It simply makes the whole structure stronger, since over the entire length of the fence, there are more posts anchored into the ground.

But they don’t stop there. Consider the panels between the posts. The thinner they are, the more prone to damage they are, as well. Standard fences have six-inch panels. But at Bella, they’ve discovered that by doubling the size of the panel – to twelve inches – they can just about double its strength. And in order to achieve the maximum aesthetic appeal, they make their single twelve-inch panel look like two six-inchers. Same look – better structural integrity.

So there it is:

Posts placed six feet apart are better than posts with eight feet between them, and twelve-inch panels make more sense than six-inch ones. It’s just another way that Bella Fence combines the science of fence building with unmatched dedication to craftsmanship and style.

I wish I had Bella Fence around after Charley came and went. And while I hope that I don’t have to replace another backyard fence anytime soon, if I do, I know who to call.

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