A Fence for May

With the arrival of Daisy, a.k.a. Little Bit, we found that our 4 foot chain-link fence did not pose a challenge whatsoever to her. She simply walked over, gathered her haunches underneath her and bounced to the top edge of the rail. Perching there momentarily, she gazes about and then drops to the other side. Then she’s off to investigate those interesting birds bathing in the pothole down the road, chasing that squirrel or just saying hello to a person now quaking in terror and she wiggles most terribly in all her exuberance. So, we needed a higher fence. After some research, price quotes, calculations on pre-built sections and two separate episodes of retail cardiac arrest, we realized that our only avenue lay in building a fence from the ground up. Not exactly what I was expecting but very cool as we would end up with a custom fence that we wanted, gain privacy from the street, contain the dog, and all at about a 10th of the price of a contractor.

The design we settled on, I am told is called a shadowbox fence. Basically, it is staggered spaced boards on one side and on the other side the boards stagger covering the holes of the first side. What you end up with is a fence that looks like a solid barrier when looked at straight on but on an angle appears to look like open picket. This nicely prevents a feeling of being barricaded. An estimate of about a month and a half was pretty close to the amount of time it took. It rained a lot during this time frame but I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours almost every day and the whole thing went up with relative ease. The majority of the posts are 4x4x12 with the ones at the gates being 4x6x12. All posts were set down somewhere between 28 to 36 inches. My thanks to Joe for coming over and helping me to put all those big heavy chunks of wood in the ground. I had pre-dug the holes and together we manhandled the posts into their berths, leveling them and finally filling and tamping the earth down. That effectively turned a projected four day process into four hours. After that, it was basically joist mounts and regular construction bits of supplies and work. The entire fence is PT. It is 6 foot high and runs for about 87 foot with one four foot gate and one eight foot double gate.

I still have to do a little bit of finishing trim over the gates, lop off some of the length on the posts and put covers on top of them to prevent winter water damage. We plan on putting statues of frogs, owls and gargoyles and such on top of these little platforms. Once it gets real hot outside, I’ll get out there and apply a couple of layers of staining sealing type stuff for general protection. The work wasn’t really hard. It just took some time. It looks pretty good but the real test will be see what it looks like one year from now after it’s rolled through the seasons. Meanwhile, we now have a beautiful privacy fence that runs through the middle of the yard effectively delineating the space.
And the dog? Well, the damnable thing is that Daisy, a.k.a. Little Bit, walks to the edge of the fence gathers her haunches under and bounds to the top, perches and then drops over. Ain’t this where I started?