Friday, July 25, 2014

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors- Part 2

Don't Please Fence Me In

What!? The fence we have been talking about for two years is finally DONE!? Indeed it is! When I left off after my last post, we had spent an entire day digging holes and prying huge rocks out of the ground, and we were exhausted and crabby.  But we were motivated to get it done, so we hiked up our big kid pants and got back to work.

The next step was to set the posts in the holes.  All of the videos we had watched beforehand suggested using 1-2 bags of concrete per hole, but as we got going, we discovered that we really had to use at least 4 bags per hole, which meant a return trip to the store for more concrete mix. We used the quick set stuff that you can mix right in the hole (basically just add water  and poke it with a stick!), and it sets in 20-30 minutes and is ready for light foot traffic in 8 hours (which is irrelevant here, since we weren't planning to walk on it anyway).  And true to claim, it sets FAST. As in, we had to make sure the posts were exactly in the right place and perfectly level, because once the water got mixed in, it firmed up almost immediately.

It took us several hours to do the posts, and we let the concrete firm up overnight to make sure it was solid before we put up the rails.

Unfortunately the neighbors came back from their camping trip on Sunday, so we've been working under their watchful glares all week.  If you look closely, you can see their falling down, poorly (drunkenly?) installed chain link fence, from which their unruly dogs have escaped on multiple occasions.

Anyway, the next step was to cut the posts to all the same height and put up the rails.  For the 6' part of the fence we used 14' 2x4's cut down to span 2 6' sections, and in the front for the 4' part, we used 8' boards.  Since I had to go to a meeting one afternoon, Lance recruited a nephew to help with the front section and when I got home I was pretty excited to see how much they'd gotten done.

FINALLY yesterday it was time to put up the pickets.  It took us several trips to Menard's over the past couple of days to pick up all that we needed (110 of the 4' ones and 220 of the 6' ones) and we had to dig through a LOT of piles of wood to find enough pieces that weren't split or warped.  We finished the 4' tall section last night and were expecting the backyard to take most of today, but we were surprised to find that once we got into a rhythm, we were able to work really quickly and the whole backyard was done by a little bit past noon.  Unfortunately it was raining today, so while that kept us cooler, it also meant that the wood was soaking wet and we were covered in mud.

And here is the final result:

We still have plenty of work to do, like build a gate for this space so that we can easily get behind the garage, put down the stone border on the outside of the fence, and put on a coat of wood sealer.  But for now we are happy just to have the hardest part done AND we have effectively blocked the view of the junkyard next door.  Not bad considering we have no fence building experience and learned pretty much everything from watching youtube videos!

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