Fenced Out

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It is the summer of major projects here at the JK household. The ability of having flexible hours while working from home has led to an extremely good work-life balance. Although, I would argue that lately it has been more of a work-work balance since once I am done work, I start working in the yard.

Don’t get me wrong, we are super pumped about all the changes that our yard has gone through this year, and will continue to go through. It is looking so different and really coming together. So, when our neighbours said that they were planning on replacing the fence between our yards, we were all for it. Our fence is clearly quite old and has definitely seen better days. It is leaning in spots, has been propped up in other spots and in general, looks like it is rotting. Rustic farm-fence comes to mind…but more kitsch.

Have I said lately how we have awesome neighbours? Despite letting us know that they were going to replace the fence, there was no expectation from them that we would need to help. They had taken the week off with the intent of replacing the fence on both sides of their yard. It was also his birthday…which he spent working on the fence. We of course were going to help, it is not our style to let others do the work for something that is going to greatly benefit us. Plus it was great getting to chill with them.

So we got started. First task was to tear down the existing fence. Well that proved to be very easy. Time and weather had already started the job for us, and with hammers in hand, we knocked off all the panels within an hour. I should quickly explain that this fence is approx 105’ long with more than half of it on a steep slope. As we tore the fence down, we loaded K’s truck up with what we could and then piled the rest for another trip to the dump.

Once the old fence was down, we ran a string from one end to the other to make sure that the fence would be as straight as possible. None of us wanted to deal with looking at a fence that bobs and weaves down the property line. We used the old post holes as our guide for the property line and definitely hit it on the money. As we dug the post holes we had weeds to tear out, established roots and even found old posts and cement from an even older fence. I would have almost bet money that the fence we took down was original. I guess not.

We had measure out 8’ on center, all the way and had spray painted marks for ourselves. We had 2 post hole diggers going and traded off as someone needed a break. Once they were all dug, we started levelling and bracing them. Once we got the first few braces, K & I started mixing and pouring cement for the posts while our neighbours continued levelling and bracing. It was a really good rhythm that we got going. By the time our neighbours finished the bracing, they jumped in and helped finish up the cementing.

Then it was time to call it for the day and let the cement cure. Our neighbour had come up with the design of the fence, which he explained to us. It sounded great. It is a simple but beautiful and easy to assemble fence. It is going to provide lots of privacy, which is going to be quite the change from the 3-4’ fence we had. We like our neighbours and consider ourselves lucky to have such great people around us, but a private yard is the dream.

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