Fencing Stage 1

by Emily on August 11, 2011

Thanks to some inspiration from Young House Love and their steps to success on their projects, I’ve decided to share the planning involved in our new fence.  You might remember here when I went driving around snapping photos of fences that I like and surfing through all the amazing photos Google images pulled up.  They were great and real inspiration for us.  We kept going back to 2 houses that have a fence that we still think is nice, private, timeless and should fit with our style of house.  We have also agreed upon a shade for the stain!  Yahoo!  Don’t get me wrong, we went through several (shall we say) discussions about height, arbor, gate and paneling but we’ve come up with our design we feel confident that we can complete.  I’d also like to say that I’m using the royal “we” as I doubt I’ll be handling any of this once Sid gets home from work on Friday.  I’ve been in charge of all the planning leading up to.  So….starting Friday, maybe you could call me supervisor!

Speaking of planning, because I have never really built anything beside screwing boards together for the vegetable garden, I had a bit of research to do about how you space things out, what size wood to use, the type of wood to use and then how does it all go together.  First I had several books as I taught myself some basic construction.  What I learned is that carpenters speak another language.  Why on earth is a 4X4 really a 3.5 X 3.5?  And nails measured in pennies?  Wow…..what had I just read?  Can’t we just call it what it is?  Anyways, these were the books that I found most helpful through various trips to the library.  I really appreciated the Better Homes & Gardens reference section that wrote out lumber measurements and actual measurements for me.  It helped when I went to draw.


So, here we have our drawing that is only showing the height and arbor idea, not the paneling we’ll use.  You can see our garage is on the left and our house on the right hand side.  We wanted an arbor to connect the two spaces with lovely climbing, flowering vines growing.  You can also see that Sid drew himself, to get an idea of the scale of the height, doing some amazing rock star kicks while he performs on stage.  Height was one of our major discussions.  The area behind this lovely drawing is our entire backyard.  This small 14 ft fence is protecting our family from anyone and everyone that walks up and down our street.  To me, it was a no brainer that we had to build as high as we could, whilst maintaining some aesthetic elements to deter from the barricade look.  Maybe I’m crazy but I want to be able to enjoy a BBQ dinner on our back patio without having the neighbors ask “What’s cookin?”!



I know this is difficult to see but we’ve designed the paneling in the fence and gate to be a 4 inch panel, with a bit of space to “see through” (not enough to see what’s for dinner) followed by 2 – 2 inch panels.  We’ve also opted for cedar as that’s the wood to use here in the NW for fencing.  I hope it looks as nice as that Peter A. Kirsch-Korff! fence here that I loved only in the vertical pattern.



Our timeline you may ask?  This weekend!  Can you tell I’m excited?  I’ve been waiting patiently for August to come around so that we can kick-start this project.  Thursday is demolition day. We’ll get to take down the awful castle walls that barely hold back little Pip.  Friday will be setting the post holes and Saturday is building day!  Sid’s a tiny bit worried about a perfect gate so that could stretch us into Sunday but I hope to report back next week on the completed project.  This is only the beginning, we still have 3 more sides of a yard to contain but we want to see how this goes before we get planning on the other sides.  I’m not trying to hide away or anything but we need a fenced yard.  We think our neighbors are wonderful people but our side yard is used more by them than us purely because their porch exits onto our yard.  We’d like to take ownership of it and have a place for Pip and Mo to chase one another around without a worry that they’ll fall off the rockery ledge onto the street!  More of this stage later!

Wish us luck!

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