Monday, March 17, 2014

One of those days (We built a fence!)

The day started with a plan, a plan that led to internal anxiety and desperation, even though it was sunny, warm, and beautiful outside. But there was this plan, something we didn't account for, a thing, our fence - the neighbors complained since the first day about it, that it wasn't willing or able to stand on its own any longer. We tried everything to avoid a repair, but no matter what, as soon as there was a breeze, the fence fall in the direction of the wind.

Same procedure as usual. Since we don't want to waste too much time fixing the fence, it means we get up early, and since Home Depot opens at 6:00 a.m., it shouldn't be too hard to save some hours by getting a head start. What do we need - we guessed around 6 new posts, between each post two beams, one on top, one at the bottom, concrete to fix the post in it's deep hole, which we need to dig, hundreds of screws, motivation, steam as long as there is steam. Off we go!

The tools to demo the old fence, and carefully please, we want to reuse the old panels since they look kinda cute, much better than 50 yards of brand new shiny ones.

This is the old sucker, only still standing because last time the wind came from the south, so the fence could lean against the tiny little orange tree you see behind the fence, don't know who was helping whom here, the tree to hold the fence or the fence trying to cover this little sad looking tree.

The rest of the story after the break...

Behind the scenes ...

Me taking the old panels off, trying to sort which ones to keep and in which order. Luckily, since the fence basically dissembled itself the demolition wasn't as bad as I was fearing.

Some more panels to take off - poor Megan, she had the bad part, trying to get all those old, rusty screws and nails out of the panels, but it worked out.

A last few panels, ...

These rotten beams and posts basically fall apart as soon as the panels were off, 

Those nails where pretty tough! Thank you Megan!

But as one can see, I couldn't help Megan to get the nails and screws out, since this sucker was falling apart faster than I could take the panels off. ;-) So I needed both hands on deck.

As soon as everything was dissembled - we had this pretty nice open space, and were questioning if we should put up a fence at all. 

We thought it looked kind of nice with the open space, but we didn't account for our little rascals - the neighbors' dogs, even though they seemed to love our company and started to befriend us

and as cute as they might look, they are yelling the whole time. But I have to admit, they've been cute and it was quite fun to watch how their fear turned into curiosity until lastly they took over our yard running around checking things out. 

Next was to dig narrow but very deep holes, past the elbow, to pour the concrete in.

Number 1 - works! Leveled, sits tight, done, next one!

Same procedure, dig hole, pour concrete in, level it, and let it sit for a bit, until the concrete sets. 

Number 2 - done, next one ... done!
Since we decided to not do the entire 75 yards front to back, but only the very bad second half of the fence we needed to figure out a way to kind of level everything, the lot has a slight slope, so the leveler won't work, it would get too high at the end, so we took a piece of twine from one end to the other and made this our leveled height. Works for me.

Looks great so far, only by now its 3pm, sun is burning and Megan as well as I got a sunburn on our necks, I guess that why its called red-neck anyway, welcome to our work! ;-)

Top beam cut and mounted, ...

Lower beams still to cut. As you can see, the sun is not so bright anymore, its getting later and later, and for whatever reason all the wood decided to become heavier by the minute, barely able to move them. 

Lower cross beams - done! Wow, who would have expected that. Megan removed the nails and screws earlier in the day, so they should be ready to go, electric drill, screws en masse and off we steam to the last part, getting the old panels back on, can't wait to get it done.

Done! High five, never would have guessed that we'll pull this off. It took quite a while, longer than I was hoping for, but take a look, we think it was worth it. It's solid, still looks old and vintage like, but wind won't be an issue for it for a long while, we hope. Let's cross the fingers that it'll stay like this for a few years, right now, to be honest, not so desperate to repeat this any time soon.



  1. Absolutely, positively AMAZING!!!!

    1. Thank you! That was TOUGH! Also so, so hot and sweaty and burny. But we did it! I'm proud.