Title:
Architectural and protective roof for fences
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A roof for fences comprises a top panel extending over the upper ends of the pickets and the upper runner of a fence and side panels extending downwardly from the top panel substantially parallel to the pickets. The side panels may be configured to grippingly engage the components of the fence. The roof may be formed from a variety of weather resistant materials including metals and plastics and may be provided with a variety of decorative finishes and configurations.



Inventors:
Wood, James E. (Addison, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/431245
Publication Date:
01/29/2004
Filing Date:
05/07/2003
Assignee:
WOOD JAMES E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/16; (IPC1-7): E04H17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARCIA, ERNESTO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael A. O'Neil (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A roof for fences of the type comprising horizontally disposed runners and vertically disposed pickets secured to the runners comprising: a top panel extending across the upper ends of the pickets comprising the fence; side panels extending downwardly from the top panel and substantially parallel to the pickets of the fence; the top panel and the side panels comprising a unitary structure formed from a weather resistant material.

2. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the top panel and the side panels comprising the roof are formed from a metal selected from the group consisting of steel, copper, and aluminum.

3. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the metal comprising the top panel and side panels of the roof has a protective coating applied thereto.

4. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the top panel and the side panels comprising the roof are formed from a plastic material selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, and vinyl.

5. The roof for fences according to claim 4 wherein the material comprising the top panel and side panels of the roof has a protective coating applied thereto.

6. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the side panels comprising the roof extend downwardly to lower edges which extend parallel to the top panel.

7. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the side panels extend downwardly to lower edges comprising a scalloped configuration.

8. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the side panels extend downwardly to lower edges having cut outs formed therein.

9. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the side panels comprise decorative geometric figures.

10. The roof for fences according to claim 1 wherein the side panels are spring biased inwardly for gripping engagement with components of the fence upon which the roof is mounted.

11. In combination with a fence of the type comprising horizontally disposed runners and vertically disposed pickets secured to the runners, a roof for protecting at least the upper ends of the pickets comprising the fence, said roof comprising: a top panel extending across the upper ends of the pickets comprising the fence; and side panels extending downwardly from the top panel and comprising: a. upper side wall portions extending downwardly from the top panel substantially parallel to and spaced apart from the pickets comprising the fence; b. inwardly extending portions which extend inwardly from the lower ends of the upper side wall portions toward the pickets comprising the fence; and c. lower side wall portions extending downwardly from the inner ends of the inwardly extending portions; the top panel and the side panels comprising a unitary structure formed from a weather resistant material.

12. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the top panel and the side panels comprising the roof are formed from a metal selected from the group consisting of steel, copper, and aluminum.

13. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the metal comprising the top panel and side panels of the roof has a protective coating applied thereto.

14. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the top panel and the side panels comprising the roof are formed from a plastic material selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, and vinyl.

15. The roof for fences according to claim 14 wherein the material comprising the top panel and side panels of the roof has a protective coating applied thereto.

16. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the side panels comprising the roof extend downwardly to lower edges which extend parallel to the top panel.

17. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the side panels extend downwardly to lower edges comprising a scalloped configuration.

18. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the side panels extend downwardly to lower edges having cut-outs formed therein.

19. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the side panels comprise decorative geometric figures.

20. The roof for fences according to claim 11 wherein the lower side panels are spring biased inwardly for gripping engagement with components of the fence upon which the roof is mounted.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

[0001] This application claims priority of prior provisional Application Serial No. 60/379,376 filed May 8, 2002, currently pending.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This invention relates generally to the architectural appearance of fences and to the protection of fences from deterioration due to exposure to the elements, and more particularly to an architecturally pleasing and protective roof formed from a weather resistant material which is received over and extends along the upper edge of a fence.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] As is well known, fences are widely used to afford privacy, security, and decorative and aesthetic appeal for residential yards and for school yards, parking lots and similar facilities associated with institutional, governmental, business, and industrial concerns. In virtually every instance fences comprise vertically oriented fence posts situated at spaced apart locations, horizontally disposed runners secured to and extending between the fence posts, and vertically oriented pickets secured to the runners. In the construction of wooden fences the pickets are formed from wood; however, it is also known to form the pickets from various plastics and other materials.

[0004] In lower cost installations the uppermost runners and the upper ends of the pickets comprising the fence are directly exposed to the elements. In a wooden fence this allows water from rain and snow to penetrate the upper ends of the pickets and the spaces between the pickets and the runners leading to relatively rapid deterioration of the fence components. The upper ends of plastic pickets are also subject to deterioration from exposure to sunlight, etc.

[0005] Higher priced installations sometimes include a cap which extends over the upper ends of the pickets and the uppermost runner to afford protection from the elements. Heretofore caps used with wooden fences have typically been manufactured from wood products such as cedar, redwood, or treated lumber. Such materials are expensive to purchase and install and are themselves subject to deterioration from exposure to the elements, albeit over an extended period of time.

[0006] The present invention comprises a roof for fences which overcomes the foregoing and other problems which have long since characterized the prior art. In accordance with the broader aspects of the invention, an architecturally pleasing and protective roof for fences is formed from a weather resistant material such as various metals, various plastics, etc. The roof is preformed into a configuration which is easily received over and extended along the upper end of a fence.

[0007] The roof for fences of the present invention may be spring loaded to grippingly engage the upper end of the fence. Alternatively, the roof may be secured by suitable fasteners such as nails, screws, etc. The roof may be supplied in a variety of finishes, including a variety of colors, a variety of antique finishes, wood tones, etc. The roof has depending side walls which may be cut or stamped into a variety of configurations depending upon the nature of the installation and the desires of the fence owner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description when taken in connection with the accompanying Drawings, wherein:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a fence having the roof of the present invention installed thereon;

[0010] FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view further illustrating the roof of FIG. 1; and

[0011] FIG. 3 is a collective view illustrating various side wall configurations of the roof of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0012] Referring now to the Drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown a conventional fence 10 which may be constructed from wood, various plastics, various metals, etc. The fence 10 includes a plurality of vertically disposed fence posts (not shown). Upper and lower runners 12 are supported on and extend between the fence posts. Vertically disposed pickets 14 are secured to the runners 12. As is well known, the pickets 14 may be disposed edge to edge or overlapped when privacy is desired, or at spaced apart intervals to provide for air flow and light.

[0013] In accordance with the present invention, an architecturally pleasing and weather resistant roof 20 is received on and extends along the upper end of the fence 10. The roof 20 may be formed from a variety of metals including steel, aluminum, copper, etc. If steel is utilized in the manufacture of the roof 20, it may be galvanized or otherwise provided with a weather resistant coating. Alternatively, the roof 20 may be formed from a variety of plastic materials including polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, vinyl, etc. Other weather resistant materials which may be utilized in the fabrication of the roof 20 will rapidly suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. Regardless of the material used in the fabrication of the fence 20, a protective and/or decorative coating may be applied thereto.

[0014] The roof 20 of the present invention is diagrammatically illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3. The fence 10 comprises the upper runner 12 which may comprise multiple components as shown in FIG. 1 or a single component as shown in FIG. 3. When the runner comprises multiple components, such multiple components may be secured to the opposite sides of fence posts resulting in a substantial space between the components of the runner. Pickets 14 are secured to the runner 12. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the pickets 14 may be secured to one or both sides of the runner 12. As will be further understood, the upper ends of the pickets 14 are not necessarily concurrent with the upper edge of the runner 12. Rather, the upper ends of the pickets 14 may be situated above or below the upper edge of the runner 12, particularly when the roof of the present invention is employed.

[0015] The roof 20 of the present invention includes a top 22 which preferably comprises either a shallow inverted V-shaped configuration as shown or a curved dome configuration to facilitate water runoff. Upper side wall portions 24 extend vertically downwardly from the top 22. Lower side wall portions 26 are secured to the upper side wall portions 24 by inwardly extending portions 28 and preferably terminate in outwardly curved or angled portions 30 which deflect water away from the pickets 14.

[0016] The lower side wall portions 26 of the roof 20 are preferably spring loaded inwardly to grippingly engage the upper end of the fence 10, thereby dispensing with the need of fasteners. Alternatively, the roof 20 of the present invention may be secured in place by fasteners 32 as shown in FIG. 1. When used, the fasteners 32 may comprise nails, screws, staples, etc.

[0017] Referring again to FIG. 1, the lower most edges of the lower side wall portions 26 of the roof 20 may be nominally horizontally disposed, i.e., parallel to the top 22 as indicated at 34, or sinusoidal in shape as indicated at 36. Referring to FIG. 3, the lower side wall portion 26 may be cut in rectangular or curved patterns as indicated at 38 and 40 respectively. As is indicated at 42, the lower side wall portions 26 of the roof 20 may be blanked, stamped, or embossed with a wide variety of geometrical configurations depending upon particular applications of the invention and/or the preferences of the fence owner.

[0018] As will therefore be understood, the present invention comprises a roof for fences which significantly reduces damage to the upper ends of the pickets and the upper runners of a fence due to exposure to the elements. The roof of the present invention may be manufactured from a wide variety of materials including in particular metals and plastics, and may be provided with a variety of finishes. Although a roof comprising a particular configuration is illustrated in the drawings and described hereinabove, those skilled in the art will know and understand that the roof of the present invention may comprise a wide variety of configurations depending upon the requirements of particular applications of the invention. The roof of the present invention is adapted to a wide variety of decorative configurations depending upon the particular application of the invention and the desire of the fence owner.

[0019] Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated in the accompanying Drawings and described in the foregoing Detailed Description, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications, and substitutions of parts and elements without departing from the spirit of the invention.