Monday, February 11, 2008


Meet the New Fence....Same as the Old Fence

With the completion of my office I thought it was time to turn my attention to the outside. One thing I've begun to think about lately is that I've been intentionally avoiding doing much work outside, particularly on front.

I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons (I can think of several off the top of my head) but the fact is I've been neglecting the outside since an initial rash of cleanup projects. Fortunately, the winter winds came along and made the decision to tackle a bigger project a necessity. The wood fencing around my house is weak at best. To friends I've often referred to my fence as more of termites doing Hands Across America than a fence. It finally went, right along the front, and no amount of bracing could make up for two 100% rotted-out posts. I don't really have any before pics, but I do have some "during" photos:

This was actually a big deal for me because this is the first time I've ever attempted any "real" construction projects. This was also my first time using concrete -- USE GLOVES unless you want your hands to feel like concrete for a week. I didn't have a book or any help on this one so I mostly did it by common sense and reasoning.

Of course, what always happens with these things is project expansion. I've noticed that projects will expand to take an entire weekend. I got derailed with some rain but finished up this weekend. It was Sunday morning and I was fitting the last plank of fencing when I noticed that the planting bed was in pretty sorry shape from digging the posts out and general neglect. I had removed the rose bushes (I hate roses) over a year ago and since then the lawn has attempted to encroach. Anyhow, I decided to till the entire 33' planting bed.
That's a lot more work than I thought. I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. I hate weeding. At this point, I'm thinking of tamping down the dirt, laying down weed cloth, and then doing some kind of rock or gravel. Another idea is maybe just lay down some cedar mulch. It retards the weeds and smells great.

I made the galvanized steel pots were evenly-spaced and level. I did get some weird looks from passersby but the extra care really makes a difference. Here's a final shot:

Looks nice! We put up a fence last summer... it, too, was one of the first construction projects. What a sense of accomplishment! Ours is still standing, too... still crossing fingers!
The fence looks good. Keep your landscaping simple (who wants to spend time weeding). Your neighbors will appreciate your new fence and simple landscaping. Plus you will have a great sense of satisfaction now when you pull into your driveway. Keep it up!
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