“It’s all in the wood preparation and engineering,” says Chris Peeples, president of Vixen Hill, when speaking about why a few of his gazebos held up against Katrina, one of the most infamous hurricanes in history. “The before and after photos are amazing, however, and most importantly, our hearts go out to the people who were affected by this horrific storm.”
Vixen Hill customers voluntarily wrote testimonials stating that their backyard gazebo withstood hurricane Katrina, which devastated much of New Orleans and the surrounding southern region around the Mississippi River almost four years ago. Check out the testimonials and photos at the Vixen Hill website, www.vixenhill.com. “We must be doing something right if our product can stand up to one of the worst storms of our generation,” says Peeples.
Weather is a huge factor when building outdoor structures. Hot sun, humidity, water, snow, even hail and insects are all elements to consider when engineering a gazebo, pavilion, or pergola. Strong wind is another and hurricane season in some parts of the country can bring gale force winds. While not a guarantee that Vixen Hill outdoor structures will sustain these extreme conditions, testimonies from customers puts a stamp of approval on these backyard products.
“These letters and photos demonstrate the strength of the wood that we use and the benefits of our treatment process. Equally as important, is the knowledgeable engineers who have years of experience in building durable structures able to last for years,” says Peeples.
All of Vixen Hill products are made from the finest, western red cedar wood, which is air-dried at the Vixen Hill factory. This natural air- drying technique helps maintain the wood’s strength and repels termites and other wood boring insects that can cause damage.
Each customized piece is analyzed, by a licensed engineer who calculates the structural, wind and in some cases snow loads, in other words, how much of an element can the structure withstand. “Even snow must be accounted for, since heavy snow can typically cause a roof to cave in,” he adds.
Most standard structures are made to withstand anywhere from 100 to 125 mph wind speed. According to Peeples, “It’s not uncommon for hurricane winds to knock down cheaply-made gazebos and arbors, however, at Vixen Hill, our products are made specifically to endure whatever punishment Mother Nature doles out.” In addition, Vixen Hill offers durable anchoring hardware in strong metal choices like brass and zinc.
With detailed building plans available online, the engineers at Vixen Hill ensure that customers have every piece of information necessary to successfully build their dream gazebo, arbor or pergola. “If there is a question, our experienced customer service representatives are here to help,” says Peeples. For customers who aren’t the ‘do-it-yourself type’, Vixen Hill can recommend local expert installers to help with the project.
“We welcome feedback from our customers and proudly include their letters on our website,” he adds.