After trying our hand at building our fence, we offered to help K’s parents build a fence. They had received quotes but couldn’t successfully book a contractor to build the fence. During a trip to visit, I decided to offer to build it if they continued to be unsuccessful in finding someone to build it for them. It benefits us as well since our dogs visit with us often.
They have a beautiful view from their backyard, surrounded by the woods. While enjoying a morning coffee you can see a variety of birds flitting through the trees, the odd deer meandering through enjoying some tasty shrubbery, and sunlight breaking through to create beautiful patterns on the grass. It is a view that you do not want to block with a fence. Luckily K’s parents had some ideas of what they wanted to ensure they still enjoyed their view. In fact, they found someone else in town that had a fence that I could base the design off. K’s mom sent me some photos of the fence to work with.
I put together a build design and a supplies list and sent them off to K’s parents to source at one of the local building supply stores. K’s dad made sure to follow up with me if he had any questions and worked with me to make some minor adjustments to my supply list based on what the lumber store in their town could supply. All was arranged to be delivered a few days prior to our arrival so that once we arrived we could get right to it.
We had also arranged for some help from one of K’s brothers. He is also a builder so I was eager to have his help and suggestions while working through the fence build. It is impossible to come up with a perfect design on your own, on the first try. I expected him to have a different perspective and have suggestions to consider. He hadn’t seen the photos of the other fence, so he also could look at my drawings and identify changes without a pre-conceived notion of what the final product needed to look like.
The bulk of the fence is actually black snow-fence. We framed it with 1”x4” boards that pinched the snow fence tight. It also gave us something to staple the snow fence to and hid any squirrely cuts we made. We didn’t have to worry about perfectly straight edge cuts, just that it lined up nicely in the frame. We knew it was going to be a bit more finicky than the fence we built in our yard earlier this year, but figured we would get a rhythm once we got going.
We arrived on Thursday to get started. First task was taking down the small sections of fence they had up where their brick walls did not go. We made quick work of that and got to digging the 29 post holes that needed to be dug. We dug them all 2’ deep to ensure that they were nice and sturdy. We were expecting some troubles digging the holes like rocks, or thick roots, but we lucked out. Only three holes had rocks, but were fairly easy to work around. Most of the roots that we encountered were small and we could chop through them with the shovel. What we weren’t expecting was the ground to be rock-solid. We had originally planned to use sono-tubes for the posts, but the holes were perfect due to how hard the ground was, so we skipped that step and put the cement directly into the ground. We did however have to change the way we dug the holes with one of us loosening the dirt with a post hole shovel, while the other cleaned it out using the post hole digger (think 2 shovels that work like chopsticks to clasp shovels of dirt out of the hole). Luckily we work really well together, especially when it comes to digging and placing posts! We’ve done plenty of them in our own yard after all!
It took us about 5-6 hours to get all the holes dug, straightened, and cemented into place. Granted we took a few breaks so that we didn’t injure our backs, but we accomplished getting that part done so that we could frame them on Friday. Due to our breaks, we ended up losing light quickly as we finished and ended up finishing by flashlight. A bit of poor time-management, but we got it done!