A few weeks ago I was sitting on the floor of my living room organizing old paperwork. You know – recycle, shred, save. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something walk by the back door. Hmmm, that was an awfully big squirrel. Then another four-legged creature passed by, but it wasn’t a squirrel. It was a dog! Two dogs were running amok in my supposedly fenced in backyard. The whole scenario brings to mind the scene from A Christmas Story where the Bumpus hounds run through the house while the dad reads the newspaper.
Joshua and I went outside and wrangled the dogs back through the hole in the fence they came through. I guess our neighbors weren’t home, but had left the dogs in their backyard. Bored dogs like to get into trouble and trouble was our backyard. We had to stuff those dogs back on their side of the fence three times before I had this bright idea:
What do you call a hole in a fence plus a garbage bag and staple gun? A red neck fence fix, of course! Yee haw!
I texted my hubby, “guess we’re getting a new fence.”
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember this post where I railed against fences. I didn’t want to spend big bucks on a fence when I’d rather spend the money on pretty things for inside my house. Unwanted dogs in the backyard will change a gal’s mind right quick.
We hired someone to do the fence for us. Not very DIY, is it? But, sometimes you just can’t do it all. My muscle man works long hours and we both have bad backs. Plus we’re not into carpentry yet, so we don’t have a lot of the right tools for that sort of job. The fence company came out one morning and took down the old fence and put in new posts. It took them a little less than three hours to get that done. They cut the fence out in sections. A lot easier than the piece by piece I imagined. Good thing I don’t do fences for a living. I’d work myself to death.
Two days later, after the cement for the new posts had set, they came back and put up the rails, pickets and new gates. It took two guys about seven hours. I’m really pleased to have this done. I didn’t much care for having to walk our dog every time he needed to relieve himself. I also didn’t like the neighbor kids running right up to our back door at unexpected times and scaring the crap out of me. I’ll make a great crabby old lady some day, shaking my cane at all the neighborhood kids.
Let me show you how are new fence is so much better than the old fence.
Our old gates didn’t work anymore. They began to sag and I could only open them from the inside by lifting up and pulling.
Our new gates solve this problem. First, the posts the gates are hinged on are larger, 6×6 instead of 4×4. This time around three hinges are used instead of only two. On this side of the house we chose to have a wider opening called a drive gate so we can get big equipment in the back for future landscaping projects.
The ground slopes away from the house so the framework of the gate is level. That is why it may look a little wonky in the above picture. The gates swing out, so hopefully I’ll have a little room to plant something on the inside of the fence opposite the window.
The new hardware is awesome because we can lock it from the inside. Our old gate didn’t do that.
Our old fence didn’t age gracefully thanks to poor maintenance and also the pickets were set too close to the ground, allowing the fence to absorb moisture up from the ground.
Now the pickets are set at a better height. You can see daylight underneath. Hopefully not too much daylight for Buster to escape. He’s already thinking about how he’ll get out.
Here is where the old fence was really failing. You can see how the pickets were warped from absorbing moisture. The rails were badly warped from sun exposure and poor maintenance.
The new fence is constructed a lot better, I think. If the rails decide to warp, they won’t have anywhere to go. They’re stuck in between the pickets and the post. Snug as a bug.
I also like how the posts are finished at the top. It looks nice and provides the post additional protection from the elements.
So, now we have our new dog gone fence and we can move on to other landscaping projects, unfortunately the kind where I’ll be breaking a sweat. Anyway, I learned through this process that not all fences are created equal and I’m not as much of an open space free to roam gal as I thought I was.
I feel like I’ve let the DIY blogging community down by not building this fence myself. Oh well, I’ll survive. Hopefully some other DIY’ers can learn a little something from this post that will help them build a better fence.
Have you recently given up or given in and paid someone else to do a home improvement job? Were you glad you weren’t the one getting down and dirty?
Editor’s Note: Earlier this week Remember Wren participated in a Link Up Party where other bloggers shared how they make do with what they have in their decorating projects. We were happy to participate. Follow this link if you are interested in finding new and interesting projects.