Saturday, October 3, 2015

Epic catch-up post part 1: Fence Replacement

My lack of posting has literally been the blogging equivalent of me holding my breath. I've had 3 major projects spinning over the last 2 weeks, and today I got word that the 3rd was a qualified success, so I can exhale and post without sounding like a Neurotic Nancy.

I mean, more so than usual.

Project #1: Fence Replacement

This was one that caught me off-guard. Not the part about the fence needing to be replaced, that's a "duh". The surprise part was Neighbor Steve upping the urgency when he found out the people behind their house were moving out and he had carte blanche for fence design.

I've posted previously about our shared drainage challenges (see posts here and here). His was much worse than ours, but it became our problem when his yard couldn't handle the volume. You see, there's a slight grade to our cul de sac and really that entire side of the neighborhood, with our houses being "downstream" if you will. Having observed his flooding situation, he noted that he was getting a tremendous amount of water from "upstream" and the homes on the flip side of us. (A lot of the homes behind us have removed their sod and put down large rock, so their properties don't absorb any water at all anymore and it all becomes our problem to address.)

His imagined solution was a stone fence around his entire property, and he wanted to do that before someone bought the house behind him and had contrary thoughts. He included us in the discussion because he was fearful that his solution would effectively push the water volume onto our property, and didn't want to be a jerk. [Sidebar: our Neighbor Steve and his wife are awesome neighbors: they always take us and their other neighbors into account with any project they consider. We're very fortunate.]

I was a bit cranky about that initially (although only to Ryan), because while I totally sympathized I had been saving up for my sod removal/DG installation project and I didn't want to throw any money at a fence instead. I'm selfish.

Ultimately I'm tremendously glad we did the fence, because

  1. In getting someone to come out and give me quotes for the DG install, we found the fence guy we ended up mutually hiring.
  2. He gave me some tips on how to address my drainage solution (hint: get gutters, dummy).
  3. The fence dude told Neighbor Steve that a stone/cement wall would be expensive and overkill, and recommended just installing "rot boards". 
  4. The new fence looks SOOOOO much better!!
He did give us quotes for installing French Drains, which we (I) declined due to cost, and in hindsight I feel really good about that decision. I will get some gutters on that side of the house, and then we'll see where we're at on drainage.

Anywho, our fence is DONE! 

Do you see what I see?? That's right: more planting space.
We moved it up on the property by about 10 feet, because Neighbor Steve was doing that with his and it seemed weird for our fences not to start at the same point. The fact that it gained me more space for planting was purely an afterthought, I swear. (Although right now I'm loving the empty space. It gives you room to breathe and take in the yard.)

I had a 48 hour period when there was no fence in place and I freaked out about deer getting in and decimating my Cannas, but the fence dude said to put out mothballs and either it worked or I got lucky. Either way, no plants were harmed in the making of this fence.


  1. Oh, nice! And is it just me, or is the new fence taller? I am all for more privacy. Also, what'd your fence guy mean by "rot boards?" Sacrificial horizontal boards at the very bottom?

    1. Good eye, it IS higher! Maybe the old one just sagged that much! ;-)

      And your interpretation of 'rot boards' his hilariously apt!

  2. When we had our fence replaced a number of years ago, I stationed my kid on the deck with an air-soft gun (not a real gun; just plastic pellets) to watch for deer. He pinged a couple that got close, scaring them off, and the next morning my plants were still there, so I guess it worked.

    1. That's too funny, Pam! I still have to replace the fencing on the other side of the yard...when we do that project I'll ping you to see if he's available and how much you charge to rent him out. ;-)