Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making a Fence - Recap

 We built a fence around our side yard in 2009. We are so glad we did. It provided a safe play space for both Cole and Amelia.
We were totally indebted to our neighbours for helping us out.
Here's a bit of a recap because Mary Mary and Mr. Mary Mary are planning to do some fence-building and asked me for specs.

 Our side yard was inaccessible from our back yard. We had to remove a section of the fence that existed and put in a new post in order to create a gate-way.
 We are a corner lot. So first I had to do some research about height restrictions for visibility at the corner.
This helped us decide where to build the fence and how high to make it at each section.
 I phoned the city to have them come and mark out where the gas lines and other underground lines were before we began digging.
 My neighbour, Mr. K, helped me figure out how to use spray paint to mark out where the posts would go. We tried to find the metal stakes in the ground indicating our property line. Where in doubt, we guessed.

Before we go any further, these are the words I'll be using to describe the parts of a fence:

We did some rough measurements and ordered wood from Home Depot and when my dad came to help build the fence, we used his truck to pick up the wood. One great thing about Home Depot is that you can return the wood you don't use for a refund.

Then we planned out sections of the fence that were no greater than 8 feet. We spray painted the ground to indicate the spots and paid a company to come in and excavate the holes, set the posts in cement and level them. Two post holes were within 1 metre of the gas line, so we had to dig those holes by hand.
Note: The company will set the posts for you, but you must purchase the posts themselves and have them ready when they come.

In the above pictures, 24 hours after the posts have set, we started to use string to figure out where the top rail would go. We used metal brackets and screwed them in place and then just set the top rail into them. 
(This later proved helpful when we needed to remove a section of the fence temporarily to allow a vehicle to pass through it. Super easy to remove and return to its spot.)
 Cole was a super big help.
We then added the cap ontop of the top rail and we added the bottom rail.
With that skeleton in place, we could begin adding the fencing.
The rest of our fence was alternating, but we decided for greater privacy to do all boards on one side of the rails. We butted them up against each other flush and as the wood has shrunk, a fairly uniform gap was created.
Many of the fencing pieces along the one edge of our fence were similiar in length, but where the landscape slopes, or we stepped up the height of the fence, the fencing boards needed to be measured and cut as we went.
We used screws to attach the fencing boards.
A lot of decisions had to be made regarding how much to step up the fence at each post along the sides of the yard that sloped. Each of these decisions was made in a case by case basis and not all of the steps are identical.

To decide how much of the remaining post to leave above the level of the cap, we measured the shortest remaining length on a post and cut the rest to match. We left this space in case we later decide to add a trellis of sorts for added privacy.
This year we added some flower beds along the inside of the fence.

To add the gate we left no more than a four foot wide gap. All the books we read said that a gate any wider would be too heavy and cause the post to bend.

We bought a "gate kit" which consisted of hinges and brackets and just used some of the fencing we had left over. I drew an arch using a piece of string and a pencil. We bought a latch from Home Depot.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

~Miss Greenish Thumb~

1 comment:

rmgales said...

This must be the year of the fence. We're putting up a 6 ft dogear along the east side of the house. Can't wait to plant flower beds along it.