Fencing

Handyman Heath has struck again, this time leaving a beautifully constructed horizontal cedar fence in his wake.

Yes, while I was spending my Friday night gallivanting with girlfriends Heath was getting acquainted with a handsome set of post hole diggers. Twenty four hours, three 2-foot holes, 240 pounds of concrete and $270 later we found ourselves the winners of a sort of fencing match.

It was our (Heath’s) first attempt at legit fence construction, but the final result couldn’t be more beautiful. Before the fancy fence, a significant portion of our backyard was visible from the street, as a 3.5-foot chain link fence didn’t lend us much in the way of privacy. And while I do post photos of our backyard for the world to see on this magnificent creature we call the Internet, I felt funny about so much of it being on display to every passerby in the neighborhood at any time of day or night. So after a bit of eye lash batting and finger hair twirling, I convinced Heath to gift me with this enchanting piece of back yard privacy.

Heath considers himself a novice craftsman, but proved to have a knack for fence building. To other “fencers” he offers this advice:

1) Keep a pickaxe handy. Blackland prairie soil (what we have here in Austin) is not easy to dig into. It’s hard and it’s thick, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble if you have the right tools. In this case, a pickaxe was the ideal weapon for tackling this muddy mess. Plus swinging a pickaxe back and forth is an easy way to get instant street cred on the East side.

2.) Make sure the faces of the fence post are even. While everything may be nice and level, the faces of the posts have to be flush with one another. Otherwise, you run into trouble when it comes time to put on the horizontal planks. A difference of an inch or two between the faces will result in a wonky, bendy-looking fence, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

3.) Check that the wooden planks you select for the fence aren’t warped. This one got us a couple of times and forced a few unexpected return trips to Home Depot. A warped board will affect the leveled appearance of the fence. Instead of clean, even lines between each slat, you will wind up with variation that can diminish the entire clean and streamlined look of the project.

Building the fence was a big piece of completing the back yard puzzle, and while it will probably never be “finished” this, along with some extra weekend gardening, made the new house feel a little more like home.

Heath picked up these concrete pavers from Gramps after a recent trip to Denton. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to use them in the yard but finally settled on burying them as a type of garden border.

Silver Cassia shrub purchased this weekend from The Natural Gardener

The air conditioner got a make over with these concrete blocks and bright planters.

Moss Phlox

The windows hanging in the back ground were found as garbage on a neighbor’s curb.

Frannie Sue isn’t allowed out of the coop while we still have chain link around the yard. She’s hoping this “building tall fences” trend continues so she can have free range of the yard again.

The veggies at the new house finally start to take shape.

The entire front of the house has a planter that’s quickly filling with anemone-like succulents.

The vegetable garden slowly taking shape.


9 Comments on “Fencing”

  1. Sharon says:

    I’m especially a fan of the picture with the pansies in the metal tub and the windows hung in the background. Beautiful.

    (Also, your fence is lovely. Good work!)

  2. kmom says:

    I love watching the transformation. The fence is splendid and I especially like the alternating sized boards. Well done….and ROSES in January??

  3. Black Jesus says:

    leave it to Heath to find something to do with the windows he found down the street

  4. Like how you hid the A/C. Function is important, but it doesn’t always have to be ugly.

    And good work on your fence Heath!

  5. Micah Fingal says:

    Awesome post! I like your blog!

  6. Awesome article. I just love it.. Dirk Angleton

  7. Excellent blog … thank you for sharing. Ismael Clowney

  8. […] there we used wood scraps leftover from other projects (like the fence and chicken coop) to create enclosed boxes within the pallet to harbor the plant life. After 30 […]

  9. […] didn’t build a fence or paint a wall. Sometimes you need a break from the pace of it all. It felt real good to move a […]


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