This post is a long time coming. The new cedar fence turned into our major house-related improvement project of 2011. We wanted to be debt free before we put any more money into the house, we had to wait until August.
The old chain link just had to go!
We asked all of our adjoining neighbors if they were ok with us putting up the fence. They didn’t really have a lot of choice since we had the receipts for the original chain link, so technically we owned it on 2 sides and could do whatever we want with it.
This was a non-issue, though, as everyone was excited to benefit for at least one part of a free fence, as we weren’t asking to split the bill or anything. We also got to meet our new backyard-adjoining neighbor through this process. She did offer to chip in, but we declined as we didn’t ask reimbursement from anyone else.
There was one small portion tall section that was built later behind the garage. Our other neighbors wanted to keep it up, but they said they had no problem with us butting up against it on our side.
Once we had the thumbs up to lightly trample on the adjoining properties, it was time to get the overgrown garden area under control. Morning glories had taken over one side of the chain link from the neighbors yard.
Then Jeremy spent a couple of weeks digging out all the old fence posts. There was over a dozen and they were all concreted in. To make matters worse is that the neighbor’s new sprinkler line was in the way on one side, and trees and bushes in the way on the other side, so we couldn’t use a gas-powered post-hole digger. Jeremy had to dig and break them out by hand. We put the old chain link pieces on Craiglist and they were gone within 15 minutes! Crazy.
Another fun thing to contend with, was this nasty old clothes line post to dig out before we placed the new gate posts. It was a huge mushroom of concrete buried a few feet down.
During the initial digging, we had the cedar delivered from Custom Cedar Products. The wood was absolutely beautiful and the prices were great. For not a significant price increase, the wood quality and customer service was above and beyond what you’d get at the big box stores.
Next he spent a few more weeks of aligning and concreting in new pressure treated posts in his spare time. Jeremy’s friend Rob helped him with this step. Our lot slopes downward a bit so they had some fun working around it. We’ll likely need to do some backfill to level things out a little more next spring.
While Jeremy was working on the posts, I started staining and waterproofing all the boards. Usually you would do this step after the fence was built, but we wanted both sides protected. We would’ve only been able to access one portion of the fence after it was up. Another factor at play was that I didn’t want the neighbors to stain their sides a different color that may bleed through the cracks.
We used a great product, TimberTek Pro UV Natural Oil Wood Finish in “Leather.” This product was recommended on a fellow neighborhood blogger, Rose City Bungalow 1913. We went down to the TimberTek showroom on Burnside, and they gave us a ton of color samples to try out.
I stained hundreds of boards every day after work and all weekend for at least a month.It was a challenge to keep Jeremy supplied with finished enough boards to build each section. Too much work, but the end result was worth it!
See the results…
It made a very open backyard feel very private and intimate. The lattice is high enough where you can’t peak through it. All that gorgeous cedar really warms up a chilly fall backyard too!
After getting the fence up, Jeremy set to work on the custom gates. He mocked some designs out on paper and we modified until we found one that would suit our tastes. Other factors were the availability of boards we had to choose from. Without specialized tools, we were limited on really fancy options, but what Jeremy came up with was fantastic!
The tile detail was my idea. We had a few extra tiles left over from our kitchen backsplash project, so it was a great way to use them here. I also love the arbor arrangement.
You might also note we added a little custom feature for our cat, Max. It’s a cat door with salvage hinges from the house remodel and a salvage latch from Rejuvenation. Annoying raccoons also love it.
The other gate blocks off the side yard, and is rarely used. It’s nice to have for security, though. The unfinished side is out on this door.
We got simple latch hardware from Mr. Plywood. We were going to search online, but its hard to really know if they would work properly, and a lot of sites didn’t give specifications. It was easier to go with something we could easily return if they didn’t fit.
We started in the beginning of August, and wrapped up the project around Halloween! We had an original estimated budget of around $2,500.00. We ended up spending about $800.00 more than our original budget. We spent a couple hundred more on higher quality cedar. General materials and sealant were more expensive than anticipated too. Still, since we didn’t pay for labor, we didn’t break the bank.
|Wood||2,146.80||Cedar fence boards and pressure treated posts|
|Materials||583.30||Concrete, nails, screws, etc.|
|Stain||509.14||TimberTek Pro UV Natural Oil Wood Finish|
|Hardware||68.06||3 thumb latches and 1 dummy handle|
We hope to do a lot more in the backyard next spring. A paver patio is planned and we hope to put in a proper garden with some boxes. Maybe even a bungalow-inspired garden shed behind the garage.