My New Fence

the 2018 continuation of my new fence.



Six years after getting my fence repaired, 2018 brought me the less-than-gentle reminder that I didn't put up a whole new fence.  It also brought back the adage, "if you want something done right, do it yourself."  Well, maybe not by myself; I had a lot of help from my new neighbor, but most importantly my friend, Patrick.

This whole thing started just a few days after my dear kitty, Ulurnie, died. I was feeling terrible, and since that was obviously not enough misery, my new neighbors expressed concern over the nails sticking out of my fence.  I had the fence fixed in 2012, but the contractors did an astonishingly poor job.  I tried to call them to complain, but after 6 years, given the awful job they did on my fence, it didn't surprise me they were no longer in business. July 14th through about the 20th was a group of days lost to researching what materials to buy, and so on.  I had not planned on this project at all, so I was over-budget before I even started.  After collecting all the information I thought I needed, I came up with a materials list and an estimate of about $1900, so I expected to come out around $2200.  I thought that would be OK, given that the 2012 repair brought an estimate of $7000 to completely rebuild the whole thing.




So we begin; day 1 was July 26...

Once again, one of the worst spots was behind the shed.  Of course, the piles of trash from still dealing with my nightmarish ex-roommate makes it look even worse.  Trust me... this is the "almost finished" part if that story.

A good close look at the same corner of the fence.

Standing just behind the shed, looking at the South fence.

Some of the nails that were the result of the contractor fixing the original fence.

Another look at the nails. Some of these nails were sticking out almost two full inches!

The end of day 1 (July 26th, 2018)... Ouch! I forgot about the sun. Next stop, sunscreen!




Day 2....

The fence is gone, mostly.  The 2012 repair had some amusing pictures of a tree growing through the fence.  My neighbor tore out that and two other trees.  you can see the three stumps left behind.  They were but the first casualties.  Also, if you look over the new fence in the yard behind us, you can see the house behind us.  Remember that.

Standing behind the shed, looking at the remains of the East fence.  Looking near the end of the fence, you can see the big plum bush.  You can also see that I have the entire South fence to tear down.

The pile of scrap wood is growing at an alarming rate.

No picture of it, but my neighbor and I spent the entire day unloading materials.... 6100 pounds of materials.




Day 3.... remember that 6100 pounds of materials from yesterday? It is currently in the shed, and I am so sore it hurts to move, but on we go...

Sam and my neighbor decided we need to build a large rack to store all the old wood so it can be burned.

The East end of the wood rack.  You can see the old fence posts have been sawed off since we will not be using them.

Again, from behind the shed, another look at the East end of the wood rack.  You can again see the sawed off old fence posts as well as my onion patch and that plum bush.

And this is what it looks like after the one-man crew known as "Aaron's Demolition Service" gets through with the South fence.

This is what the South fence looks like after Aaron did his thing.  Also shows a collection of trash bags holding lots (and lots and lots) of pine needles.  AND we have started cutting down trees that were growing between the fences.  You can't see it, but there is a small peach tree laying in the bottom of the pile - and once the whole thing is done, the poor little thing did still manage to survive.

The big pile of scrap wood is unstable enough, we decided not to put any more on it.  This is now pile number three, just more of those trees being cut down.

And now we can begin rebuilding the fence, starting on the North side.  This was where we discover that the fence we tore down was not the original fence, but rather, the fence that was built to replace the original.  How do we know this? Simple - the post holes are difficult to place with the multiple other blocks of concrete that have been poured.

We didn't get as far as we planned, but it's a start!




Day 5....

At last, we get the whole North side put up, and set in concrete.

When we start working out way South, we find that the old fence was put up where there used to be more of a ditch, but they back-filled it all with rock.  Rather than dig up all the rock and have to re-fill, we decided to move the fence inwards a foot or so.  That made the corner become fairly awkward.... but it won't be visible from in my yard, once the fence is up.

However.... notice that the plum bush is gone? The new fence line goes right through the bush, so it has to come out.  I was very upset about this.




Day 6....

The process of pre-painting the pickets has begun.  I don't have any desire to repeat this process in the near future, so let's see if we can protect them from rotting.

The pile of scrap wood from the old fence is diminishing...

...because it is being chopped up and stacked in the wood rack.

I am still bummed about the plum bush being cut down.




Day 8....

Painting more pickets...

...and stacking them against the shed.  I should probably find a better place to stack them.  I can't put then in the shed... it's stuffed, and the unpainted pickets are inside.

And the wood stack continues to grow.




Day 10....

With mixed feelings, at least the East side is up. Painting more pickets...

And we got a lot of the South side up before the rain pushed us into calling it a day.




Day uhmmm... 15...

I found a place for the painted pickets.  Of the 500 total, these are the first 217.




Day 17....

Thanks to Ron, the piles of tree branches have been hauled away!




Day 24....

333 pickets...

...until we started using some to finally start putting up the East side.  We couldn't do the North side because the new neighbors are having contractors come in to to landscaping in their back yard... they need access to it so they will be using my driveway and yard for access.

And in no time at all, the East fence is done.  Kind of.  The pickets are nice and even, but we now see that the rest of the yard is showing some erosion.  the bottoms of the center pickets are nearly 7 inches off the ground.  This did not make me happy at all..




Day 29...

While painting, I came across this little oddity.  The picture doesn't quite serve it justice, but the board has started cracking in a really cool pattern, using the age-lines of the tree.  I think I'll not use this one.




Day 35....

This is the Northeast corner, behind the shed.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do about the huge gap between the fence and the ground.  I looked around town at various fences, and I noticed that most people just build their fences by following the ground level with the fence.  I put a lot of thought into it, and decided I did not want to sacrifice the bottom of the fence.

The first part of my solution was to buy some yard/garden edging.  I can attach this to the bottom of the fence.  I also realized that I need to get about 2 cubic yards of dirt if I want to even out the ground.  I also found a few online images that used some trimming around the fence; some bricks holding in some mulch.  Yes, I know I need to lay down weed-barrier, but I just wanted to take a look at it.

I like the way this looks.




Day 37...

The last 369 pickets.  So far, to my nearest guess, 500 total pickets is still a pretty good estimate for the full set of pickets needed for the full length of fence.  the first set of pickets is visible on the East fence in the background.




Day 54...

Things have really slowed down.  The new neighbors have contractors coming in to do the remodeling of their landscaping.  At one point, fences were down and it was possible to see through my yard, my neighbor's yard, and their neighbor's yard. The yard behind me in this picture was also visible, so we could actually see almost the entire length of 4 houses.




Day 64....

Remember earlier, I had mentioned that there had been at least two fences that were put up before this new one? The contractors working next door had to pull out the fence posts that were supposed to be my North fence.  In that process, plus preparing to put up new fence posts.  They had to nearly dig up a full trench the entire length of the yard.  This hole was one of the monsters they had to dig before getting the new fence posts placed.  Knowing how much concrete we used originally, I hate to even guess how much they ended up using.




Day 70...

But with all the digging going on during the neighbor's landscaping, I was able to get at least some of the dirt I need to even out the ground on the East side of the fence.  Spreading it out is a lot harder than I expected it to be.




Day 89....

It's been a long, hard haul, but here it is.  The final product!




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