May 22, 2012

The Fence: (Stop) Oh yes, Wait a Minute Mr. Post-man!

If you’re familiar with The Carpenters (not my husband, but the musical artists), you’ll have that song in your head the rest of the day. Anyhoo…

I’m back with an update on the fence project. Let me tell ya, it’s come a long way very quickly.

I left you hanging with the fence post holes dug and the posts getting set up in said holes. Here’s the layout of the holes/posts/soon-to-be-fence….

Being on a small corner lot, it wraps around the back and side yard to create one “area”. It makes a huge difference in the feel of the space, but more on that later.

Following the hole-digging, the guys took the bags of concrete we purchased and mixed the concrete with water in a wheelbarrow to create cement and that was subsequently poured around the base of the posts. Joey filled up each hole about 3/4 of the way. That equaled about 3 feet of cement. These posts ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Joey used a level to make sure the post was straight up and down – not leaning left to right or front to back. Then he used 2 scrap pieces of wood – lightly nailed to the post – to ensure it stayed upright…

Then he was able to string 2 pieces of pink string across all the posts and use that to help make sure they were all level with one another. It seemed to work pretty well.

The guys worked their way down the line, post by post – securing each post with wood sticks as they went…

They even kept their smiles up while mixing and pouring all those bags of concrete.

The entire process – digging the holes and setting the posts – took about 5 hours. The concrete started to cure right away, but we let the posts sit for 2 days to ensure they were secure.

So, fast-forward to 2 days later… Joey removed all the scrap wood attached to the posts, and then began the next steps – filling the remaining quarter of all the post holes with dirt (and collecting leftover dirt in a pile to haul away) and then attaching the horizontal boards along the posts. This cleaned things up quite a bit.

Joey actually started by cutting the top of the posts so that they were all the same height. Then he measured from the top of the posts down to determine where the boards should go. We wanted to be sure they were level across all the posts. The top board is about 4 feet above the ground – which is how high we want the paneled part of the fence to go. The bottom board is about 6 inches from the ground.

Small brackets were screwed into the posts at the exact heights and then the horizontal boards were screwed into the brackets.

With these boards in place, the fence panels began to fly up! Each panel screwed into the upper and lower horizontal boards to create and mostly private fence up to 4 feet…

I’m gonna stop here. More pics to come with all the panels in place, hand-made gates hung at the entrances, and what’s next!

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May 16, 2012

The Fence: Hole-y Cow!

It's been a couple weeks since my last update. So, I thought I'd clue you in on where we stand with the whole new fence situation. The orange marks seen above sat there until this past weekend when Joey, his brother Justin, and a neighbor friend who has (thanks to his job) some awesome landscaping equipment got started on the actual process of building - from scratch - a new fence. This means no pre-put-together fence panels, but instead purchasing a lot of different boards that somehow come together to make a less-expensive version of a fence. I don't know how Joey makes the magic happen, but he does.

Here are a few of the materials purchased...

1. Posts that will stick in the ground and boards to run horizontally from post to post

2. Bags of concrete to mix in a wheelbarrow and pour to secure the fence posts

3. Individual panels that will get nailed to the horizontal boards

There are some brackets, nails and other necessities too, but I don't have a pic of those items.

The first order of business was digging the holes where Joey had spray painted the orange "x" marks in the first picture above. Our neighbor friend had some sort of fabulous hole-digging machine to do this. Joey just had to be sure it got lined up properly and push down on the top of it to make it go into the dirt.

I initially watched through my living room window - watching the dirt spill out all over the lawn. It left a pretty little hole...

I walked away thinking this would be a neat little hole-making process. But when I returned a few minutes later, the scene looked like this...

I was a little worried that the yard was being destroyed, but I kept quiet and let the boys do their job. Pretty soon there were holes dug all around the perimeter of the yard...

Digging the post holes right by the driveway and patio was a little complicated as they had to get super close without hitting any of the concrete. I watched with my eyes closed...

It was successful with just a tiny bit of plastic drain pipe shredded. No biggie.

Then they moved on to finish the rest of the holes along the driveway. In the meantime, Justin started clearing dirt away from the holes to prep for the posts to be set and concrete poured.

The holes are actually much deeper than I thought they would be. 3-4 feet maybe?! I made sure not to drop my phone or camera down there. That's something I would do...

Well, within about 1-2 hours, the hole-making process was completed. The next step? Setting and cementing the fence posts...

...something I know nothing about. But I'll show you what it looked like! Stay tuned.

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