Although this article could be called Japanese Cedar Vs Western Red Cedar, that is not the intent of this article. Japanese cedar is an option available for fencing in the DFW area. It might be a better option than some woods but here we will compare it to Western Red Cedar because some people sell Japanese cedar as simply, “cedar.” Not all cedars are alike and you want to make sure what type of cedar you are buying, if it has not already been explained to you. If you are buying Japanese cedar you should not be paying as much as you would for Western Red Cedar.
Japanese cedar or Cryptomeria japonica is a tree that is native to Japan. It is a type of wood that has been used in Japan for centuries as a material used for building and construction, including fences. Like Western Red Cedar, Japanese cedar contains natural tannins that protect and preserve the wood from rot and insects. Japanese cedar is a soft wood while WRC is considered a medium strength wood. Japanese cedar and WRC are both attractive and long lasting woods that have a range of properties that make them ideal for various uses in outdoor construction and indoor applications. While they have some similarities, they also have some differences that can determine how they are used and a preference for one over the other.
The most prominent fencing cedar in the United States and Keller TX is Western Red Cedar. Japanese cedar became popular in 2020 when WRC became difficult to acquire. WRC is still the dominant cedar in the U.S. for fencing. Although the price is slightly less for Japanese cedar, there are some differences in the properties of the two woods. Japanese cedar is less dense than WRC, making WRC the stronger and more durable species. Although they are similar in strength, Japanese cedar has a low bending strength compared to WRC’s moderate bending strength. Japanese cedar has a moderate crushing strength while WRC has high crushing strength.
As you can see there are some differences between the two species of wood. Japanese cedar is somewhat pink in color. It is noticeably different that Western Red Cedar. They both can be stained and if there is no Western Red Cedar, you might want to consider Japanese cedar. Another popular fence material is treated pine. This is a conversation for another article. Japanese cedar like WRC, is a stable product in that it may make for a better picket than say pine fence pickets as it will not shrink, warp, twist, and crack nearly as much as a treated pine picket. There is a place for Japanese cedar in the market but we believe there are higher quality options.
There are several types of fence stains that you can use to protect and beautify your fence. Here are most of the common types and their advantages.
OIL BASED STAINS: These stains penetrate deep into the wood and provide excellent protection. Oil based is also more resistant to peeling and flaking. If you are doing this yourself you need to be aware of overspray! Oil based stain can carry hundreds of yards and land on a neighbors car or house if not controlled. You can wet down any nearby concrete surfaces to help with accidental spills. If you spill this type of stain on your concrete you want to clean it up immediately with mineral spirits or paint thinner.
WATER BASED STAINS: These stains are safer to work with as far as overspray and spills but they are not as protective as an oil based stain. They are more environmentally friendly if being sprayed. They may need to be re-applied more often than because they do not penetrate as well as an oil based.
ACRYLIC STAINS: These stains are made with a water based acrylic resin and offer good protection and color retention. This is a quality product but does not offer the protection of oil based.
SEMI-TRANSPARENT STAINS: These stains allow some of the natural wood grain to shine through, allowing the fence to maintain its natural appearance. These stains offer good protection and are available in a wide range of colors.
SOLID-COLOR STAINS: These stains will completely cover the wood and provide excellent protection with a uniform appearance. They are available in a wide range of colors but you will not have a wood grain appearance. If you have an old fence this may be the perfect product to cover repair work and the different colors you may have after pressure washing.
As a professional fence staining company we normally recommend an oil based stain. Below are some of the best stains on the market. There are numerous stains available but these are our top three choices.
Ready Seal - Available at Amazon and Home Depot
Wood Defender - Available at Amazon and Walmart
Sherwin Williams Woodscapes - Available at Sherwin Williams
A pressure treated pine is one of the most popular choices of fencing in the United States. In the North Texas area you will probably find more cedar fences. When comparing the cost benefit of pine pickets vs other options, it’s hard to beat a pressure treated pine picket. A six-foot high five-and-a-half-inch wide dog eared treated pine picket is approximately half the price of a cedar picket. If you are looking for a fence with complete privacy, you will need to use a more stable make of wood such as cedar. Treated pine is delivered wet when it comes from the manufacturer. In the process of drying, pine shrinks, warps, and cracks which makes its best use a semi-private fence such as a side by side fence or a shadow box fence.
As an example, if you or your fence company were building a three hundred linear foot fence you would need approximately 655 pickets for a side by side fence. We’ll make it an even 700 pickets to account for imperfections. Using current 2022 pricing a six foot dog eared picket can be purchased for $2.08. The same cedar picket can be purchased for $3.72. So total cost for pine pickets alone would cost $1456.00. The equivalent cedar pickets would surprising cost exactly $2604.00. The pine pickets would be a 44% savings or an $1148.00 difference. At this point you would probably need more information to make an informed decision as to whether or not the difference in cost makes sense for your needs. Now that you have a better idea of the cost difference, we’ll look at the properties of pine vs the other most popular option, cedar.
The above example is for the average size subdivision type of residential property in DFW. If you have a property to cover that might easily be four times that number of pickets, you can do the math. The bigger the fence the more significant the difference. Bigger could also include a taller fence which can add an additional 33% total cost for say an eight foot tall fence. The bigger the fence the more those pine pickets start to make sense. At this point if you want see our opinion on a whole CEDAR VS PINE FENCE debate you can check out our other blog post. The remainder of this article will address pickets only.
Both treated pine pickets and cedar pickets are both highly resistant to rot, insects, and weather. Cedar is naturally resistant due to its natural tannin oils. Treated wood is processed to give it the same properties. Both are time tested materials you can count on for quality fencing materials. These are very important properties and facts. Cedar is a lightweight wood that will put less weight on the structure of a fence. Treated pine can be very heavy especially when wet. Both pickets can be stained but the treated pine will probably take months to dry. You want to wait until wood has a minimum moisture content of 12% before staining. You will often have the option of a limited number (normally 1) of pre-stained cedar fence pickets. This is not the case with a treated pine picket. Pine will have more of a natural look while cedar will be reddish in color.
The biggest difference between the two pickets other than price is going to be the stability of a cedar picket. Cedar pickets will have very little shrinkage, which is why they are optimal for a board on board fence. Cedar will have very little warping, cupping, cracking, and shrinkage. A pressure treated pine picket is prone to shrinkage, warping, cupping, and cracking. This doesn’t mean a treated pine fence is going to look unsatisfactory when done or even months or years down the road. It just means you are going to see some movement and imperfections. Cedar is not a perfect product either as they are both natural products and this is what makes them so absolutely beautiful.
If you have anymore questions about the differences feel free to give us a call.
The steps to staining a new fence are a little different than staining and old fence. Here we will go over the steps to properly stain a nearly new wood fence. It’s not that difficult most people can do it but if you don’t have the time or just don’t want to do it give us a call we appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.
The first thing you want to do is tend to any needed fence repair. Replace any broken or missing pickets. If you have a broken rail it’s a little more involved as you will have to remove the pickets for the broken section. If the fence is leaning or you have broken or loose posts you want to consider making the needed repairs. Gates are always an issue but let’s assume your gate is good to go. If it’s not, we replace gates with steel frames and poles, these gates will open and close as intended for the life of the house with very little adjustments.
Once the fence is back in good condition you’ll feel great about your fence again. If you had to replace some pickets or rails you may have some difference in the final products color but not much. It’s a real wood fence it’s not perfect at that is much of the beauty of a wood fence. Now it’s time to clean the fence to remove dirt, debris, and fungus. Apply a 50% water / 50% bleach mixture to the fence using a garden sprayer, and apply generously. Let that sit for 15-20 minutes and remove by using a pressure washer or a garden hose with a sprayer. Make sure to rinse the fence completely to remove the solution.
At this point if you had an old fence you might consider taking an electric sander to the pickets using a 120 grit sandpaper. Once that’s complete you would need to thoroughly rinse the fence again and let it dry completely. Once dry you can begin the actual process of fence staining.
It’s time for the fun part now. We like to use a product that is readily available to the public you can get it at Home Depot or Amazon it’s called Ready Seal. This is a high quality, amateur proof, oil-based stain that does not require a primer. It’s one of if not the best product available on the market and we highly recommend it. It’s easy to apply and it does not leave drips or streaks no matter how much you put on. You can apply it with a garden sprayer, a brush, or a roller. Try to give yourself a window of opportunity for it to dry but don’t worry too much. Once installed the product only needs a couple of hours to soak into the wood. It may be wet to the touch but after a couple of hours you are good to go, even if it rains.
It this point you’re done and should not have to re-stain again for the next 2-4 years. If you are wondering how much stain to buy the coverage is listed on the product online. It’s been our experience that you will need at least 25% more than listed on the product. You can sometimes get a better price per gallon if you purchase by a five gallon container.
If you don’t have the time or desire to stain your fence please give us a call we’ll make sure it gets done correctly the first time.
The general rule of thumb among our company and others is that if you need to replace 20% of your fence, it might be time for a fence replacement. Some exceptions to this would be if the cost to replace the fence is just too expensive. If the cost of repairs exceeds the cost to replace then of course you want to do a replacement. If your fence is at the end of its life you probably want to get some professional opinions. Replacing a few pickets is usually not a big deal. If you have an old leaning fence, you might consider replacing a section of your fence if you don’t want to replace the entire fence. In general, doing repairs on an old fence is like opening the proverbial can of worms. Most old fences are being held together simply because they haven’t been given a reason to fall apart. When you remove a trim piece, you might be surprised to see what’s under it and you’ll be lucky if something doesn’t fall apart.
That being said, let’s assume you don't need any major fence repair, and we will share the steps we would take to assess the damage and do the repairs. Even if you know exactly what you want done, we still need to see how it all ties in. The first thing we like to do is take a quick walk around to take a look at the overall appearance of the fence looking for missing and broken parts and taking notes. We will be looking for sections of the fence that are leaning. We’ll look at any gates and their condition. On the second pass we will check the condition and sturdiness of every post. At this point we have a pretty good idea of the condition of the fence. Now we can begin estimating the needed repairs to help make the repair vs replacement decision. Next we’ll go through some of the most common repairs we see and a brief summary of how we make repairs.
Gates are a very common repair issue. Most gates we see are being dragged across the yard just to get them opened and closed. They are hanging on by some loose hinge bolts, the latch, and a rock in front of the gate. In the case of gates you can decide to put a temporary bandaid on it using old wood that may not support the gate, or you can replace it. We normally only replace gates, and we replace them with steel framed gates and steel poles. These gates will open and close as intended for the life of the house with very little adjustments needed. The poles must be straight and not loose or they will need to be replaced. If they are solid then you can just replace the gate. We use custom gate frames and hardware but if you want to do it yourself, Adjust-A-Gate makes steel frames you can purchase at Home Depot.
Leaning fences are a common issue and a not so easy repair. If your gate is leaning it’s going to affect two or more sections of the fence. And over time these sections will pull down adjacent sections. The poles in these sections will have to be dug up and reset with concrete. What needs to be determined at this point is, what is the condition of the poles and fence in the affected sections. If the poles are all in good condition and the fence is solid, we can dig up the poles and either prop up the fence or strap it to the ground to get back to being level. Once everything is standing straight again we can refill the holes where the poles have been dug up and the old concrete ball has been jackhammered and removed. If poles in the leaning sections need to be replaced, then most likely the entire section or sections have to be replaced.
Broken or loose fence posts are another common issue. Many times this will be the first sign of a soon to be leaning fence. If you have a wood post that is loose or broken, Simpson Strong-Tie makes some mending brackets that can be used for a semi-permanent repair. The fence will have to be disassembled a bit to get to the pole. If you have an old fence anytime you start disassembling a fence you are taking some risk of having to replace a larger section than you intend to repair. If the wood post cannot be supported by one of these brackets the next option is to replace the pole. In this case we can try to pull up the pole if it is safe to do so without destroying the fence. If it looks like it will not come out easily then the concrete around the pole will have to be jackhammered so everything can be removed. Once removed a new pole can be set and everything reassembled. Steel poles are normally just replaced by pulling or jackhammering.
Repairing fence pickets is not difficult and can usually be achieved but anyone with a little handyman skills. You can use nails or screws to replace these pickets. If you are going to use nails we recommend using rink shank stainless steel nails. If you are going to use screws we recommend pre-drilling the holes and using a coated exterior screw. If you have a broken fence rail, all the pickets will have to be removed and replaced. Once the pickets are removed you can then easily remove the broken rail and replace it. Once replaced, re-install the pickets. Be careful when removing the pickets so as not to break them. If the pickets are nailed in, you may be replacing some pickets and possibly all of them.
Please give us a call for your fence repair needs thank you.
So many gates are being dragged across the yard every day just to get them open. They are then hung back up and barely held on by the latch and some loose hinges. We are talking about old wood gates that are probably due for a replacement. Occasionally we come across one of these gates that are actually repairable, but most are not. Occasionally we get called out to repair nearly new gates. We are big fans of steel framed gates. Most fences in the DFW area have steel polls. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a steel framed gate but unfortunately most fence companies for some reason just don’t take the time and energy to make this a part of their business.
Fence repair and fence work in general is not cheap. It’s labor intensive and materials are expensive. For an average size gate it only makes sense to spend a few hundred dollars more to have a gate that will open and close as intended for the life of the fence with very little adjustment needed. Steel framed gates are attached to steel poles by steel latches with the fence rails and fence pickets attached. The weight of the fence rails and pickets are just not a factor when using a properly constructed steel framed gate.
The first thing we look at when assessing a gate repair is the poles it is attached to. Are the poles standing straight and solid. If not then they need to be replaced. When digging up posts and replacing them we need to get with 811 first to see if there are any utilities in the area. This is normally not an issue but it is a necessity. If you want to change the height of the gate you will want to check with your homeowners association or HOA to make sure there are no issues. Pulling poles out of the ground is always fun, if they are made of wood and the pole breaks and we have a two foot long clump of cement stuck in the ground. If the poles need to be replaced then you might as well replace the entire gate structure.
If the poles are wood, standing straight, and not loose, it really doesn’t make sense to use a steel frame for the gate unless you want to replace the poles. If the wood poles are solid, we can just replace the gate if you like. If you have steel poles and they are standing straight and solid we can replace the gate only with a steel frame. If you have one of those old gates, just putting a bandaid on it really doesn’t make sense. We can put new hinges on it but attaching them to old wood will produce poor results.
If you have a gate that needs repairs we are happy to take a look at it to see if anything you have is salvageable. We can give you some options and hopefully get you squared away.
Cedar is an amazing natural product suitable for many home uses. There’s a reason why most chests are made of cedar or at least lined with cedar. Cedar with it’s natural tannin oils repels insects and fungus and has a fresh aromatic scent. Many manufacturers make furniture out of cedar because it is not only a lightweight wood but it is also a strong and sturdy wood. Cedar is even used as siding on houses because of it’s protective characteristics. Cedar is a time test fence picket that is hard to beat without moving to another material such as composite fencing or metal fencing.
Cedar fence pickets can be purchased in a variety of size, shape, and species. Cedar pickets are normally available in four-foot, six foot, and eight foot lengths. They are available in different widths normally available in three-inch, four inch, five inch, and six inch widths. The two most common top ends of cedar pickets is dog ear and flat top. Other not so popular but available tops would be a colonial top, a French gothic top, a pointed top, a Virginia cut, and a rounded top. Cedar pickets depending on are available in different thicknesses as well. A normal picket will be from 5/8” to an actual 1’ thick picket. There is of course a difference in price for all of these depending on availability and quality.
The quality of a cedar picket is rated from “Clear Cedar” being the best, “#1 Grade” being a high quality mid-grade, and “#2 Grade” coming in next. They are all excellent choices with the difference being the appearance in number of knots. A clear cedar picket comes from the heart or area closest to the center of a tree, while a #2 picket comes from closer to the outside of the tree. When purchasing cedar pickets you want to know the difference.
At Keller Fence & Gate located in Keller Texas we only use Western Red Cedar pickets. There are other species of cedar or wood that may be called cedar such as Japanese cedar and Chinese cedar. You may see some of these other species being offered in the DFW area as they are available. Both Chinese and Japanese cedar pickets are inferior to Western Red Cedar. If it’s not stated as to exactly what cedar make is being presented you will want to ask directly and get it in writing as to what is going to be installed. We know there are companies selling these other species without making it clear as to what is being purchased.
If we can be of any assistance please feel free to call we look forward to earning your business.
Pressure treated pine and cedar are both popular choices for fencing. They are the most popular wood species in DFW when it comes to fencing. They are both durable and resistant to rot and pests. Both can be stained and both are often combined to create a superior fence. Each wood has its own pros and cons. Understanding the differences will help you to make an informed decision when purchasing your next fence.
Pressure treated pine is a wood that has been chemically treated with a chemical preservative that helps protect it from rot and insects. Treated pine is significantly less expensive than cedar. Due to its chemical treatment this is a very durable and long-lasting wood. In fact, it is stronger than cedar. Treated pine is generally delivered to the store wet and will require some time to dry before it can be stained. Pressure treated pine is also prone to warping, twisting, and cracking. These are the not so attractive attributes of treated pine that make people think twice about the cost savings one can achieve. There is a solution to this. There is a not so available product called KDAT or kiln dried after treatment lumber. This is a wood that has all the benefits of treated pine, and has been dried after the treatment process. This wood is much less prone to the warping, twisting, and cracking. This product costs less than cedar but costs more than the treated wood that typically comes wet. Treated pine does not need to be stained.
Cedar is a time-tested product when it comes to fencing. It as a very long lasting and pest resistant wood. Cedar is resistant to insects because of its natural tannin oils. These oils are also beneficial to the longevity of the wood itself. When insects come upon your cedar fence they will move onto the neighbors to see what theirs is constructed of. Insects do not like the taste of these tannin oils. Cedar is a lightweight wood which is beneficial to the structure of a fence. Treated pine is a heavier wood, especially if it is wet. A cedar fence can be treated shortly after installation as can be the KDAT lumber which is often used for railing and rot boards. Cedar has a beautiful natural appearance and does not need to be stained. Cedar is quite possibly the most attractive fence material ever produced. Staining is a protective process that adds to the durability and longevity of a fence.
Many fences are built using 100% pressure treated pine and it is constructed with wet wood. This is a very cost effective fence that will last a very long time when constructed properly. Just be advised that there will be shrinkage, twisting, warping, and cracking. Wood is not a manufactured synthetic product it is natural and there is no way to control it. A fence constructed of 100% cedar including the posts is a very high quality fence that will last a very long time if constructed properly. At our Keller TX fence company we believe there is a happy medium using a combination of materials that will achieve the highest quality at the most cost effective price. At Keller Fence & Gate we believe KDAT is superior to cedar when it comes to fence rails. We prefer to build every single fence we construct using KDAT. We believe cedar is the finest natural fence picket you can buy and is far superior to a treated pine picket.
Pressure treated pine pickets are a cost saving option. Because of the shrinkage and movement of treated pine pickets it is advised not to build a board on board type of fence. Treated pickets are best used for shadow box and side by side fence styles. Board on board offers total privacy but this style of fence is better suited for cedar pickets. Treated pickets are best for semi-private fences as the pickets will shrink and leave small openings in a side by side fence. Most treated wood fences will have what is called dog ear pickets and will not have any top trim. Top trim is generally used on cedar fences although cedar dog ear pickets are an option. Rot boards or kick boards should always be made of ground contact treated wood. If you need some help choosing the materials for your next fence please give us a call we are happy to help.
This article does not include chain link fence which is by far the most popular metal fence. We are going to discuss ornamental fencing which is loosely defined as a decorative type of fence which usually consists of metal and sometimes other materials which are probably framed in metal. The most popular types of ornamental fencing are wrought iron fencing, steel fencing, and aluminum fencing. They all have various attributes contributing to their pros and cons which will assist you in determining the best fence material for your needs. They all come available in residential and commercial applications and warranties vary by manufacturer. There are many styles, heights, and even security and animal variations available. The biggest differences between the three are determined by the materials they are constructed of. In this article we will break down each metal fence product to provide you with as much information as possible. Ornamental fences are long term investments that if properly selected can last a lifetime. If you need help deciding which metal fence is best for your home or business we are more than happy to assist you.
Wrought iron is a type of iron that has been heated and worked with tools to create a malleable, strong, and attractive fence. Wrought iron is a very durable and long lasting material that offers strength, resistance to corrosion, and an elegant appearance. It’s a product that is available in various sizes, shapes, and can be customized to any residential or commercial need. A wrought iron fence can be damaged by a strong blow by say a car for instance but because of its properties, it is more likely to bend than break. Being a porous metal, once damaged a wrought iron fence should be repaired as it will begin to rust. Wrought iron fences do not offer privacy but they do offer a high quality, long lasting, strong, secure, and attractive fence.
A steel fence is very similar to a wrought iron fence in that it has all the benefits including strength, beauty, low maintenance, and commercial and residential availability. Most people associate ornamental fencing with wrought iron. Steel is probably the fastest growing metal option available as people realize it’s benefits and availability. The properties of steel make it even more durable than iron. Steel can take bigger hit than iron but, once it hit’s its breaking point it will snap and break rather than bend. The benefits of a steel fence are that there is no welding required and can be installed and or have parts replaced simply by ordering a replacement from the factory. Steel fences are bolted together giving them the advantage of an easier installation.
Aluminum fencing is the least expensive of the three. It is a strong fence but not nearly as strong as steel and iron. Aluminum fencing is available in residential and commercial designs. Aluminum is the most resistant of the three to corrosion and is easily installed using bolts and or fasteners. If damaged, parts can be replaced by ordering from the manufacturer. Aluminum fencing is the lightest of the three fences. Some commercial applications require aluminum as it is not a conducive material and can be used around electricity. Aluminum is as strong if not stronger than a wood fence for instance. But a metal fence and its pickets can be bent somewhat easily so it is not the best option if security is a concern.
None of these options offer privacy. There are some metal options that offer privacy such as corrugated metal which is probably something you’ve never seen. It’s just not that popular or attractive. Commercial users will have different needs and circumstances which mean any of the fences could be the perfect option. When it comes to residential we are personally a fan of, steel fencing. Steel fence is less expensive than wrought iron. It’s easier to install and requires zero welding. Once installed the parts are easily replaced with a socket set and some bolts. New sections can be ordered from the factory. When it comes to steel fence and evaluating the pros and cons, it’s hard to find any cons when comparing it to other types of fencing if you’re not looking for a privacy fence. We only use the best steel fencing manufactured by one of if not the most popular manufacturers, Ameristar. If steel fencing is of interest to you please browse the Ameristar website and give us a call if you have any questions.
Are you looking for a low-cost, long-lasting fence for your home or office? Black aluminum fencing is an excellent choice for just about anywhere. Our fence company provides various fencing options to our clients, with our black aluminum fence installation in the area being top-rated. Give us a call today if you want to add a long-lasting black aluminum fence to your property.
Why Should You Select a Black Aluminum Fence?
Our Black Aluminum fence has several advantages over other fence materials, including:
Our Black Aluminum fence gives any property a beautiful, elegant aesthetic look. Aluminum is not only functional and useful, but it is also stately and upscale, with unobstructed views. Aluminum fencing maintains its beauty over time, even in harsh weather and harmful sun rays. Its appearance will not change dramatically over time due to wear and weather conditions because special technology prevents fading and chalking.
Our Black Aluminum fences are available in various grades, styles, and cap options to complement or match your existing home or outbuilding. Depending on your desired style, you can go for a more industrial or ornamental look.
Our Black Aluminum fences are available in various heights and can be installed on both level and sloped yards. This is a great distinguishing feature that neither wood nor vinyl fence options have. With no gaps at the bottom, you can be confident that your pets will remain safe inside, and those other unwanted animals will remain outside.
Our black aluminum fences require no annual maintenance or refinishing. They may only require a light cleaning with water or the removal of debris from the base on occasion. They do not rust (as wrought iron fences may), do not attract insects, do not rot or fade over time (as wood fences may), and do not expand or contract in response to changing weather conditions (as vinyl fences might). They are incredibly durable, easily lasting for many years with little maintenance.
Aluminum fences do not provide the same level of privacy as wood or vinyl fences, but they do provide superior security and safety features for your yard or around your pool, for example. When properly installed, they are extremely secure and can be capped with spear pickets to provide even more protection from intruders.
Aluminum fences are more durable than wood or vinyl fences. When it comes to weather and harsh winds, for example, aluminum holds up exceptionally well in high-velocity wind zone areas susceptible to damaging hurricanes.
An aluminum fence is lighter than wrought iron and less expensive. The elegant appearance of an iron fence can be achieved without the high material, transportation, and installation costs. Though more expensive than a wood fence at first, aluminum fences can provide tremendous value over time and are a smart, maintenance-free, long-term investment in your property value. For an estimate of cost for a black aluminum fence please see our fence cost calculator.
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