Finally DIY(ing) has begun!!!
The holiday season has begun and the landscape season is finally coming to a slow point which means that it is time for ME to GET TO WORK!!! As much as I LOVE designing and helping you all complete your ideal landscapes, I also LOVE completing my own projects. Fortunately, in Colorado it was still 60+ degrees in November which allowed me to get a lot of work completed outside. Like building a fence?!?!? Like many of you, we bought our house as a live-in fixer upper. The upstairs was practically completely renovated with new paint, walls, flooring and bathroom just to make it livable while we complete the rest. Now is time to expand the renovation projects and show you all how you can do it too. It's FENCE TIME!!
When we moved in, we didn't' worry much about the outside. Our backyard butts up to a community park which is great. Unfortunately, our backyard fence was nothing more than orange plastic and a Russian Olive tree (on the property line) I knew that in order for anything to happen for the rest of the yard, we first had to fix this fence. As you can see above, the fence is pretty ugly and dysfunctional. Knowing that a contractor could easily charge us $3500 to remove the existing and build a new, I decided this is the perfect first Spencer DIY project. After a couple weekends, we turned a $3500 project into a $545 success!!! First we cut down the trees and removed the old fence. It turned into a lifetime(ish) of firewood!
The trees are down, but how do you handle the stumps? We highly considered renting a stump grinder and handling these ourselves. However, renting one for the day would be $200. $200 really isn't that bad when you know what you are doing. Fortunately though, we found a great guy who could do it in an hour for $180!!! Quick Tip: Check out your local Nextdoor site for such resources. It is amazing the work you can find at a great price.
Stumps were grinded and the let over mulch was great for my garden!!!! I got close to another 2 CY for the entire area!
With the demo completed, it is now time to build. Materials we purchased: (Lowe's) (13) 4"x4"x8' pressure treated posts (26) 50 lbs quick dry concrete (104) 5/8"x4"x6' Dog Ear Pickets (we went to Lowes for the materials and could not find flat top pickets. I will show you how we handled this) (3) deck screws (box of 300)
Weekend #1 Digging the post: Thankfully my wonderful husband has no problem digging posts. He went to work and dug alot!!! Because we could not find pickets longer then 6', we buried the posts 18"-24" deep (some places only went 18" due to the trees roots) 6' on center. The quick dry concrete made it super easy to place the posts. All you have to do is pour the concrete mix in the hole as you spray water in it. Mix it with your shovel and of course make sure to keep the post level as it dries.
Quick Tip: Pull a string from both neighbors' fence to know draw a straight line and know where to place/level your post.
Helpful Tip #2: To keep the post level as the concrete dries, we screwed on the top planks onto the post. Our grade isn't 100% flat. So to keep the fence pickets straight, my husband decided to move from the top down as to keep the height at 6'. It worked out that each panel has exactly 8 pickets, we just had to dig away some of the grade towards the middle of the property. Really it was only maybe 3" that we had to dig away.
End of Weekend #1, (4) panels built!! Weekend #2 Finish Posts and Panels As you can see, our vegetable garden sits near the fence. This new fence is facing east. I did not want a full privacy fence because of two things: 1) I didn't want to lose the morning sun onto my garden. 2) I wanted to keep the view of the park We decided to move forward with a 50% transparent horizontal fence. For the design, I really like the two-tone of the posts vs the pickets. To keep this contrast, we chose to screw the pickets on the backside of the fence.
Pickets were screwed dog-ear to dog-ear on center of alternating posts to create a more deliberate aesthetic look.
Once you complete one or two panels, the rest is relatively easy. We ended up working until 8:30 that night screwing in the last pickets. Snowing was pending for later that evening. It was well worth it....
Morning after!! Just in the nick of time. Needless to say, our first couple's DIY worked out greatly! We spent a total of $545 on the materials including the cost of the stump grinding and just love the results!!!